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  • Gun Control

    I am sure this topic has been beat to death over the years but I am new here and I would really like some input from currently serving law enforcement officers. I'll try to be brief.

    I was a Military Policeman and a Correctional Officer serving in Germany in 1997. When I returned to the states I was called in by my commander and told the military had to discharge me (I was an E-6 getting ready to pin on
    E-7) due to my pleading guilty to a previous 1995 domestic battery (No injuries of any type, no weapon of any type involved) which was a misdemeanor. I had a public defender and he advised me to plead guilty and go home. I very foolishly listened to him.

    Long story short, I lost 15 years of honorable military service (8 active duty, Desert Storm Vet w/101st Airborne, the rest Guard time, had just returned home from serving as a patrol supervisor with an MP Company) I lost 5 years working for the state as a Correctional Officer, thats two careers gone.

    I know the Lautenberg Ammendment had to have affected at least some Police Officers. I would be curious what someone in my position can do, short of appealing to the state for clemency of the charges and to have them expunged. I did this with two different Governors and was denied by both, even though I met every requirement for it and then some. Governors Jim Edgar and then the "Honorable" George Ryan both denied me.

    I have since tried to rejoin the service to help out in our present debacle overseas but was again denied. I am not making excuses for what I did, but the penalty seems a "little stiff" for what I did. I am still married to the same woman and have never had a problem like that since. I even had Congressman Ray LaHood go to bat for me. To no avail. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Gun Control

    Originally posted by mdolan View Post
    I am sure this topic has been beat to death over the years but I am new here and I would really like some input from currently serving law enforcement officers. I'll try to be brief.

    I was a Military Policeman and a Correctional Officer serving in Germany in 1997. When I returned to the states I was called in by my commander and told the military had to discharge me (I was an E-6 getting ready to pin on
    E-7) due to my pleading guilty to a previous 1995 domestic battery (No injuries of any type, no weapon of any type involved) which was a misdemeanor. I had a public defender and he advised me to plead guilty and go home. I very foolishly listened to him.

    Long story short, I lost 15 years of honorable military service (8 active duty, Desert Storm Vet w/101st Airborne, the rest Guard time, had just returned home from serving as a patrol supervisor with an MP Company) I lost 5 years working for the state as a Correctional Officer, thats two careers gone.

    I know the Lautenberg Ammendment had to have affected at least some Police Officers. I would be curious what someone in my position can do, short of appealing to the state for clemency of the charges and to have them expunged. I did this with two different Governors and was denied by both, even though I met every requirement for it and then some. Governors Jim Edgar and then the "Honorable" George Ryan both denied me.

    I have since tried to rejoin the service to help out in our present debacle overseas but was again denied. I am not making excuses for what I did, but the penalty seems a "little stiff" for what I did. I am still married to the same woman and have never had a problem like that since. I even had Congressman Ray LaHood go to bat for me. To no avail. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Your issue isn't so much gun control as it is Domestic Violence. I want to get one thing clear with you from the very start. I'm not passing on your innocense or guilt. Without going into too much detail, the Lautenberg Ammendment has negatively impacted many military and law enforcrement careers. I don't claim to be fully conversant with all the provisions of the Ammendment, but a Domestic Violence conviction does not require the use of any weapon in the commission of the offense, it merely requires a conviction of a Domestic Violence offense. The practical effect of the Ammendment is what you're now experiencing. You are subject to the prohibition against owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition. Obviously, the ability to lawfully carry a firearm are at the basis of any military or law enforcement career. I would not advise you against seeking to correct this record, or even seeking a pardon . I will tell you that you face a very uphill fight in this regard. A cautionary note on "expungement". In a law enforcment Background Investigation, there is no such thing. Your record(s) can be accessed. What that means is that even if you were pardoned for the conviction, it would be necessary to list it in any application. I wish I could be more helpful and encouraging, but unfortunately, that's not the case.

    Comment


    • #3
      +1 for Philips post.
      sigpic

      I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

      Comment


      • #4
        PhillipCal

        Thank you for your reply. I have come to the realization that I will never become a Police Officer. I had been applying to numerous departments at the time. I do realize, unfortunately, that, pardon or not, with certain jobs I would still have to volunteer the information. I want to re-join the Army, if pardonded and having it expunged that would be sufficient. Then I could receive my pension from the Military which I think I earned. I dont know if I would be able to become a Correctional Officer again or not, I believe it would have to be in another state than Illinois.

        Thanks for your thoughts

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mdolan View Post
          PhillipCal

          Thank you for your reply. I have come to the realization that I will never become a Police Officer. I had been applying to numerous departments at the time. I do realize, unfortunately, that, pardon or not, with certain jobs I would still have to volunteer the information. I want to re-join the Army, if pardonded and having it expunged that would be sufficient. Then I could receive my pension from the Military which I think I earned. I dont know if I would be able to become a Correctional Officer again or not, I believe it would have to be in another state than Illinois.

          Thanks for your thoughts
          You're entirely welcome, and I do hope things work out for you.

          Comment


          • #6
            I guess I would also like to ask if any of you know anybody personally that this ammendment affected and what if anything they were able to do about it?

            Comment


            • #7
              Ex Post Facto Law

              That this law would be applied retroactively is (IMO) shameful and should be repealed or ruled unconstitutional. Many people pled guilty prior to it's enactment to misdemeanor violations in the belief that the punishment would be limited to a small fine, DV education program and probation. I'm sure that a good percentage of these defendants didn't commit the offense, but were advised by their attorneys that an early guilty (or Nolo Contendre) plea wouldn't affect them beyond the indicated punishments and would be less costly than a trial. That they're rights would be so strongly impacted by a law which was passed after the offense was allegedly committed seems to go against the very nature of our justice system. I certainly don't support or condone domestic violence, but this is wrong!
              "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                That this law would be applied retroactively is (IMO) shameful and should be repealed or ruled unconstitutional. Many people pled guilty prior to it's enactment to misdemeanor violations in the belief that the punishment would be limited to a small fine, DV education program and probation. I'm sure that a good percentage of these defendants didn't commit the offense, but were advised by their attorneys that an early guilty (or Nolo Contendre) plea wouldn't affect them beyond the indicated punishments and would be less costly than a trial. That they're rights would be so strongly impacted by a law which was passed after the offense was allegedly committed seems to go against the very nature of our justice system. I certainly don't support or condone domestic violence, but this is wrong!
                Man, leave it to you to raise the issue of constitutionality, as in Ex Post Facto. But, you are absolutely correct. Your background take on the issue is 100% correct. What's unfortunate, is the impact the Ammendment has had on numerous military/law enforcment careers. That includes our original poster here. The issue is likely to take years to wind through the courts, if in fact, it's challenged at all.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mdolan View Post
                  . . . I was called in by my commander and told the military had to discharge me (I was an E-6 getting ready to pin on
                  E-7) due to my pleading guilty to a previous 1995 domestic battery . . .

                  . . . I would be curious what someone in my position can do, short of appealing to the state for clemency of the charges and to have them expunged. . .
                  http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#a8

                  I am not making excuses for what I did, but the penalty seems a "little stiff" for what I did.
                  Well Congress disagreed with you when the enacted the legislation, specifically 18USC922(g)(1)(9). They specifically stated there was no exception for LE or military.

                  Therefore, the policy of the various services is that a misdemeanor DV conviction is a bar from continued military service.

                  http://www.riley.army.mil/view/artic...-08-09-41021-5

                  http://www.usmc.mil/maradmins/maradm...=2,186%2F03%20

                  My only advice to you is to continue to work towards having the conviction expunged and your gun rights restored, or seek a pardon, in the state in which you were convicted.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                    That this law would be applied retroactively is (IMO) shameful and should be repealed or ruled unconstitutional.
                    18USC922(g)(9) is NOT applied retroactively, and is therefore NOT ex post facto law. The law states that it is a crime for anyone convicted of a crime of domestic violence to possess firearms or ammunition. The law is only applied to the person if they possess a firearm or ammunition after they have been convicted of such a crime, and after the date on which the law went into affect. No one can punished for having a gun or ammo prior to their date of conviction, or prior to the date the law went into affect. Therefore the law is NOT ex post facto. They are not being punished for having firearms prior to their date of conviction, or prior to the date the law went into affect.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                      The issue is likely to take years to wind through the courts, if in fact, it's challenged at all.
                      The issue has been challenged many times in the 11 years since the law went into affect, and every case has resulted in the courts rejecting the notion that 18USC922(g)(9) is ex post facto law. The reasons stated in my previous post are why.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SA13 View Post
                        18USC922(g)(9) is NOT applied retroactively, and is therefore NOT ex post facto law. The law states that it is a crime for anyone convicted of a crime of domestic violence to possess firearms or ammunition. The law is only applied to the person if they possess a firearm or ammunition after they have been convicted of such a crime, and after the date on which the law went into affect. No one can punished for having a gun or ammo prior to their date of conviction, or prior to the date the law went into affect. Therefore the law is NOT ex post facto. They are not being punished for having firearms prior to their date of conviction, or prior to the date the law went into affect.


                        I disagree. If the ammendment to the law affects people who were charged BEFORE this ammendment went into effect makes it retro-active. I pled guilty in 1995, this did not go into effect until I believe 1997. As a military member, I was told that I could not perform the duties assigned to me because of the weapons clause, now you can color it anyway you want but the fact remains...it was retro-active. If it wasnt, it wouldnt have affected me or all the other people whose lives were ruined because of it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SA13 View Post
                          18USC922(g)(9) is NOT applied retroactively, and is therefore NOT ex post facto law. The law states that it is a crime for anyone convicted of a crime of domestic violence to possess firearms or ammunition. The law is only applied to the person if they possess a firearm or ammunition after they have been convicted of such a crime, and after the date on which the law went into affect. No one can punished for having a gun or ammo prior to their date of conviction, or prior to the date the law went into affect. Therefore the law is NOT ex post facto. They are not being punished for having firearms prior to their date of conviction, or prior to the date the law went into affect.
                          Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                          That this law would be applied retroactively is (IMO) shameful and should be repealed or ruled unconstitutional. Many people pled guilty prior to it's enactment to misdemeanor violations in the belief that the punishment would be limited to a small fine, DV education program and probation. I'm sure that a good percentage of these defendants didn't commit the offense, but were advised by their attorneys that an early guilty (or Nolo Contendre) plea wouldn't affect them beyond the indicated punishments and would be less costly than a trial. That they're rights would be so strongly impacted by a law which was passed after the offense was allegedly committed seems to go against the very nature of our justice system. I certainly don't support or condone domestic violence, but this is wrong!


                          I couldnt agree with you more!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mdolan View Post
                            I disagree. If the ammendment to the law affects people who were charged BEFORE this ammendment went into effect makes it retro-active. I pled guilty in 1995, this did not go into effect until I believe 1997. As a military member, I was told that I could not perform the duties assigned to me because of the weapons clause, now you can color it anyway you want but the fact remains...it was retro-active. If it wasnt, it wouldnt have affected me or all the other people whose lives were ruined because of it.
                            The only criminalizes actions that occur AFTER the law was passed. If you had a DV conviction predating the law you possessed a firearm or ammunition before the law went into affect in 1996 you cannot be punished for possessing the firearm and/or ammunition. You can only be punished for possessing the firearm and/or ammunition AFTER the law went into affect. Therefore it does NOT punish you for something that happened before the law went into affect, only for actions AFTER the law went into affect. If you don't possess firearms or ammunition AFTER the law went into affect you cannot be punished.

                            You are not being put on trial, convicted and put in jail for anything you did before the law went into affect, so it's not ex post facto law. You can only be tried, convicted, and put in jail for violating the law AFTER it went into affect. It's that simple. If you don't like it, lobby your Congressman to change the law, but the Judiciary within it's powers under Article III of the Constitution has repeatedly rejected the notion that 18USC922(g)(9) is ex post facto.

                            However, if you feel that it is ex post facto law go consult with an attorney who is an expert on Con Law and ask that attorney to research it. I think you'll find the answers you get from him will be completely in line with what I've already stated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                              Many people pled guilty prior to it's enactment to misdemeanor violations in the belief that the punishment would be limited to a small fine, DV education program and probation. I'm sure that a good percentage of these defendants didn't commit the offense, but were advised by their attorneys that an early guilty (or Nolo Contendre) plea wouldn't affect them beyond the indicated punishments and would be less costly than a trial.
                              See....that's the problem I have with the law.....as a lot of folks were advised by Attorney's to pled to the DV...pay the fine....go to classes....and all would be well for them in the end....

                              Now, a lot of them are being booted/denied jobs (like the OP) even when the offense was before the law came into effect.....

                              Good luck to the OP......not sure what to tell you other than that.....

                              Comment

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