Zimmerman: Did defendant have a valid license to carry

May 14, 2013

Good afternoon:

I am featuring two excellent comments today by Towerflower regarding the validity of the defendant’s CCW license. I thought it wasn’t, but Toweflower has presented a strong argument that it was valid.

Towerflower ought to know since he or she is licensed to teach the course on firearm safety.

I am working on a post about the State’s motions in limine and should have it up in a couple of hours.


Comment 1

Jun, I have read it and gone through the process. His charges were downgraded to resisting arrest without violence. It is a misdemeanor, only a charge of violence would have prevented him. It was dismissed after his diversion program and it would have not prevented him. Only a felony conviction would have. 4 years passed from the time of the arrest to his CCW.

His restraining order did have a expiration date, 1 year, and it was never renewed by either party. This was also in 2005 and 4 yrs passed.

This is the “short” printed list from the State of Florida for disqualifiers:
*The physical inability to handle a firearm safely.
*A FELONY conviction (unless civil and firearm rights have been restored by the convicting authority).
*Having adjudication withheld or sentence suspended on a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence unless 3 years have elapsed since probation or other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled.
*A conviction for a violent crime in the last 3 years, either misdemeanor or felony.
*A conviction for violation of controlled substance laws or multiple arrests for such offenses.
*A record of drug or alcohol abuse.
*2 or more DUI convictions within the previous 3 yrs.
*Being committed to a mental institution or adjudged incompetent or mentally defective.
*Failing to provide proof of proficiency with a firearm.
*Having been issued a domestic violence injunction or an injunction against repeat violence that is CURRENTLY IN FORCE.
*Renunciation of US citizenship.
*A dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
*Being a fugitive from justice.

I can teach the training class. Taking the class is not a guarantee that the state will pass you. They do not issue the CCW, they only provide a certificate of safety training which is part of the application process given to the state. The certificate of training is a 8 1/2 x 11″ certificate that one could frame and in no way can be confused for a CCW. A safety class would never refund their time or cost of materials if someone didn’t pass the State’s process. Classes SHOULD include a shooting session so that the Instructor can verify that the person can safely handle and shoot a gun, the only thing I can think of is that they didn’t charge him for ammo and refunded that portion. The cost of the written material is about $11 and he paid $90 for the course, with the Instructor pocketing the rest.

More importantly the State would never, never, never, issue someone the CCW and then investigate the file. I said in the previous comments I had an issue come up in mine where they said I was lacking in the file. When I called they wanted the NRA Instructor number of my lead trainer which they said should be on the certificate of training. My training was not in the run of the mill safety class that most take. I took the Instructor training in which I now have the credentials to teach the CCW safety classes. Those certificates did not have a place for the instructor to put his License # where the safety classes do. In the end all I needed to do was send them a copy of my Instructor credentials, that had my Instructor # on it, and they THEN issued my CCW.

There is nothing in his file saying they sent him any notifications at a later date. His file also contains inquiries from the Sanford PD and the Florida Dept. of Civil Rights that happened after the shooting of Trayvon and the State’s response to them. This can be found in the previous thread where I say how to find the FDLE inquiry and what was in his file. There is no mention that he received a refund from the State or that his CCW was suspended or revoked.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Fogen any more than the rest of you do but I researched this early on and there was nothing that we know about him that would have prevented him from obtaining the license.

Comment 2

Xena, One of the things told to me when I took the training for the Instructor credentials was to make sure that I kept all information on the people that I train. One Instructor said he scanned the information to reduce paperwork space. They explained that LE always comes back to the Instructor of the class to see what they can find out or remember about the student, there is no time limit on when they will go back. This is a common practice when the shooter is a CCW holder, once again their investigation into it isn’t unusual and I was told this a couple of years before the TM shooting. If an Instructor gave a certificate to a student they felt was not ready it will cost the Instructor their credentials.

On the statement of the Instructor he said he purges his records every 2 years and didn’t have fogen’s information anymore. Since he took the class in 2009 it sounds like the paper shredders were working overtime.

Also that pdf I referenced people to look at is his CCW file. In it they also place inquiries about a holder. There have been 3, first was by the Sanford PD, then Florida’s Civil Rights Division, and the last one was from the FDLE. All of them were after the shooting of Trayvon, not one was a federal agency….unless it was after the FDLE request.

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