CCW app question

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This is my first formal post after much lurking. So please be kind:

How does one formally file a Freedom of Information Act request for a CCW application with their local PD?

I have stopped by and asked as was told "only detective X does applications and he's not here." (I purposefully did not include his name)

I've left numerous voicemails for this detective and no response. I called the Chief's office and was told "only Detective X handles those and if your deemed fit in his eyes he'll pass it on to the Chief to sign off on the application, call him"

I'm already a little concerned that its only passed onto the chief if some Detective sees me as fit since it could be kept as I never applied with the Chief thus he has no responsibility for my denial if it doesn't get to him.

I want to use the Freedom of Information Act to get access to an application however I have no idea how I am to go about doing that with a Police department. When I google it, I get tons of forms that are specific to particular agencies however that doesn't do me much good.

Would a simple email to the cheif stating 'under the FOIA I would like a copy of the town's CCW application?"

Town is woonsocket and I've heard from reputable sources they WERE giving them out as long as there was nothing that would force them to deny but lately they have been slowing things down as a direct retaliation to the recent gun bills flopping. I'd love some info on how to get my hands on a application without waiting another 3 months just to apply.
 
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Sounds like overkill. Can't speak of RI laws but you're Detective X is called a Licensing Officer/Authority in MA. Just keep calling, find out his hours and show up if necessary. They won't bend over backwards to get in touch with you.
 
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His hours are 8:30-4. I've showed up three times during those hours and it was "he's not here come back later". Called every day multiple times a day and no answer/no call back.

Plus in RI for a town permit; IF there is a police Chief then (S)HE is the Licensing Authority not a detective....IF and only if there is not a police department is then regulated by either a clerk or other official but in the case of myself there is a Police Department and a Police Chief and thus he is the one who is supposed to make the decision not a detective.

This has been going on long enough to warrant a FOIA - your from Mass if you read any of the other posts in the RI section you'll realize RI police chiefs are notorious to drag things out since they are under a Shall Issue provision and not a May Issue like our states AG.

Either way - its been going on long enough and I've gotten no where and I don't see an FOIA as overkill - if it was a week, fine great but we're talking weeks here that I've been trying to get ahold of this one person which I shouldn't have to go and sit at the police station for 40 hours a week in hopes of bumping into this guy in the parking lot.
 
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They should have a form available to anyone. It should not require the particular detective to hand it to you. They refuse to hand you a form at the dispatchers desk? Is that the problem?
Well they refused to give me one at the dispatchers desk, they told me to call a specific detective. He refuses to call me back and is never there when I show up. When I call the Chief's office I'm also directed to this same detective who is never there and never calls back.

My understanding is I shouldn't need to have an interview or speak to someone specific for an application. I understand a detective might run my record and compile all this info but why do I need to even sit with him just to get an application and NO ONE but this one detective can give it to me? Let alone the fact that my application has to get approved by him prior to going to the chief to get approved just seems like its to make the process even more drawn out.
 
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Yeah, they are playing games. The typical process in the state is you pick up the form at the department THEN the detective in charge starts to bust your balls. Woonsocket seems to have taken it to a whole new level. Another approach is to contact the Mayor's office and make a complaint. Explain that they won't even give you the form, effectively preventing you from even beginning the process. The mayor is in charge of the PD. They answer to him. Or you could get a lawyer. The FOIA filing may take more time than either.
 
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Yeah, they are playing games. The typical process in the state is you pick up the form at the department THEN the detective in charge starts to bust your balls. Woonsocket seems to have taken it to a whole new level. Another approach is to contact the Mayor's office and make a complaint. Explain that they won't even give you the form, effectively preventing you from even beginning the process. The mayor is in charge of the PD. They answer to him. Or you could get a lawyer. The FOIA filing may take more time than either.

I called today and left him a voice mail. Then I called the records office and asked how I go about getting this record pulled. The lady in the records office told me "due to public safety we don't give out those applications only Det. Calauro does after he's interviewed you".

Ummmm why do I need to be interviewed for a permit.

Guess its time to call the police chief to request an application (again) and if still a 'no' I'll be calling the mayor's office to file a complaint about the police department.
 

n1bsbri

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In Rhode Island, the Access to Public Records Act is what you want to understand:

State of Rhode Island: Office of the Attorney General: Open Government / Access To Public Records

It just requires that you ask for the records, and they must supply them. My thinking is if they are busting your balls this much to just get the application, they have only just begun. Once you get an application and try to submit it, they will think of a bunch of new things to screw you up.

It's what they do here in RI. My advise would be to move to a free state (not Mass. [rofl])

ETA, here's a sample APRA request letter courtesy of the RI AG's office:

SAMPLE REQUEST LETTER
Dear (Records Custodian):
Pursuant to the Access to Public Records Act, R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-1 et seq., I am requesting
access to records, which I believe are public documents. Specifically, I am requesting records
relating to (be as specific as possible about your request).
In accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-7, (name of public body) has ten (10) business days
to provide the requested documents or to notify me in writing the specific reasons for denying
me access to the requested records. If the exemption you are claiming applies only to a portion
of the records that I seek, please delete that portion and provide photocopies of the remainder of
the records. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 38-2-3(b). I understand that for “good cause” the ten (10)
business day time period may be extended for an additional twenty (20) business days, provided
that I am notified of the “good cause” in writing within the original ten (10) business days of my
request.
I also agree to pay a maximum of $.15 per page for the cost of photocopying and a maximum of
$15.00 per hour for search and retrieval, with the first hour being free. Please notify me at the
following phone number or address when the requested records are available for pickup.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Sincerely,
Name, address, and telephone number (optional)
 
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Wow. That's BS. You know who you really need to talk to? The Town Solicitor. If the guy has half a brain he'll realize that you've got a slam dunk lawsuit and you'll at least get the application.

You will be interviewed for the permit. No way around that. But there should be no interview for an application. I have been told that my town has stopped issuing until the current slate of bills in the legislature is sorted out. Maybe Woonsocket is playing that game? However, all those bills are now dead but that will not be "semi-official" until the legislature wraps up in July.
 
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First the notation about moving to a "free state" don't worry I've been trying to move to Maine for years. Its not the FREE-est state but its alot more free than here. Plus VT has too many hippies.

With that said: I talked to the Detective:
Well I figured I'd try one last time this AM right at 8:30 and give him a shot before I call the Mayor's office to figure out how to file a complaint about the police department's blatant refusal to disscuss the matter...its like he KNEW I was thinking about the whole situation and decided to pick up the phone.

The conversation lasted about 20 mins and was very disheartening.

He came out saying "just wanted to let you know Woonsocket is broke, and we've lost a bunch of guys and so now we're all doing double and triple duties and I was in the wrong chair in the meeting...yadda yadda yadda and at this time we are suggesting everyone go to the AG for permits."

I said "I have the right to go through the town and I wish to exercise that right and its been proven in court that the town HAS to accept the application." His response was "you can sue us, but everyone who has sued a town eventually was denied for a permit so it will only hurt your case" (although I beg to differ with that information but kept my opinion to myself).

He then went on to interrogate me as to WHY I wanted a permit and WHY I wanted a town permit. I disscussed the Shall/May issue as well as the fact that it has been proven that AGs in the past can use their political agenda as a reasoning for denial - he said "no AG would ever do that." I just responded "well I don't want to take that chance and would much rather have my merits/history/need decide rather than someone who may or may not feel like "there are enough guns already".

His response was "well the town can still deny you" and I said
"yes, but they can not if I prove need; which I can, and pass all other qualification then the town HAS to issue the AG can still say No"
He didn't really have a response and started to talk about how he felt every American should have the right to carry a gun openly and it would make his job easier especially in Woonsocket but he doesn't set the laws. He then said how there is an active bill that could become law and he didn't want to start a permit process only to waste time if it was passed (he was referencing the bill to make the AG sole issuer I believe).

I then outright asked, "does Woonsocket have a permit application on file somewhere?"

he said 'No'. I asked if I could use the previous one - he said "we don't have it anymore" then went into detail about how Woonsocket is days away from receivership and how since the application also has a fee assocaited that then the solicitor has to sign off on everything and that there is no application to give me if he WANTED to give me on.

I said "well that is going against rulings in many cases that judges have ordered chiefs to not only supply an application but also accept it and review it" he said "well I guess you'll have to talk to the judge then"

He started to get a little hostile about the situation so I just said "well its concerning as a woonsocket resident that this is all happening but I do appreciate your time and service and I would much rather see it a situation where I or anyone could walk in to the department grab the form and leave and until then I guess we'll have to figure things out as we go." He said to call back in 2 weeks and i said "we'll see what happens in the mean time" thanked him for his service and his time and that was the end of the conversation.




After all that: I'm sure if I file a request for access to public records it would be denied on the fact that there is NO application on file. And then at that point I've already pissed him off which won't help my case. I'm thinking I'll call the town solicitor requesting an application be made up even if they are stalling to see if the AG bill gets passed - since clearly there isn't one on file for any records clerk to give me and even the Detective claimed he saw it not going anywhere but "had to put other things first".
 
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A good firearms attorney is just what the doctor ordered. There are a number of soild attorneys on NES, from what I understand. Good luck with your situation. There is no doubt they're giving you the run-around.
p.s. Consider going green! [grin]
 
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I just checked and wow, Woonsocket is on the verge of receivership! I suspect your biggest problem is that everyone in the town is pissed off an angry because they are facing layoffs and your permit is just not a priority. I'd follow up with the solicitor. The cop could have obliged you but he's probably getting crap from the chief and overworked and the only way to become a priority to to make yourself one.
 
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Wow, that detective is so full of you know what...

Did you ever request an application under APRA, and if so, did you get it?

Just because the town is broke does not mean you have to give up your rights.
I also believe he lied when he said everyone that has sued their town over a permit has lost, since I am not aware of any cases like that. If you speak with him again, maybe you can ask him to give the case(s) he was referring to.

At least he admitted that they used to have an application, so you could ask him if they filed their policy change (that they no longer have an application) with the Secretary of State as they are required to do by law.

If the detective is so concerned about the financial situation in Woonsocket, then maybe he should be worried about an expensive lawsuit.
According to the Chief there were 49 active permits in 2009, and since you are "entitled" to a permit once it has been issued, I wonder how they handle renewals? I assume they are denying them to and I hope someone takes legal actions against them.

PS, there are only days left of the session and when it is over and the bills he was referring to didn't pass you should request the application again.
I also find it interesting that there is a lapse in your "rights" when a bill is introduced...
 

mark056

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Since police officers are notoriously uninformed about firearms laws here in the northeast he may be telling you what he believes or not, he could just as easily be blowing smoke up your arse but of what he says about Woonsocket is true, you have much bigger problems there than CCW licenses and this is just another indicator that the Great Implosion may happen and happen more quickly than anticipated. The question is how many Chelsea, Ma, Lawrence, Ma, Central Falls, RI, Woonsocket, RI and Detroits can we continue to sustain?

Will we make it to the next presidential election in 2016?
 
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You could also ask the detective if they stopped running background checks when residents purchase firearms as they are supposed to do per 11-47-35.
 
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Update:

I have not filed an FOIA request or really any other request with anyone at this moment.

I sent an email to the chief requesting an application and that I had talked with the detective and was informed that there was no application on file and requesting information on how they will process an application when there is no application to be had. I as of yet have not received an application.

I decided to take these weeks and work on getting my certification done first that way I can push hard - last thing I want is to give them a means to put a stop on the process just because I'm waiting to get my live fire test done. Plus I figured calling the day AFTER the legislature is done and the bill is officially dead will only prove that I gave the detective time and the benefit of the doubt.

By next week I should have something going one way or the other.
 
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I to went through the same crap as you, spoke to the same detective and got the same response. He referred me to the AG's office as well. I have a old Woonsocket application from 2009 that is still on my desk that I did not have the time to fill it in. I have the time now and I am getting the runaround now. I have my gun qualifying paper filled out and now I see the AG's permit process and it looks like they want to make almost impossible the get a permit now.
 
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