Virginia is a “shall issue” state, meaning that if you meet the qualifications for a Concealed Handgun Permit (“CHP”), one will be issued to you. However, every now and then, someone who thinks they should be eligible to possess firearms or eligible to carry a firearm is denied the right. Sometimes this denial happens when they are purchasing a firearm, and other times it occurs when applying for a CHP.
In fact, certain unique situations exist (such as multiple misdemeanor convictions within a five-year time period with at least one conviction for a Class 1 misdemeanor) where an individual can own guns but is ineligible for a CHP. So, if someone is denied a CHP, we first need to learn about the nature of the denial.
What to Do If Denied
When this happens, we always start with an intensive discussion about the client’s background. We need to know about anything that could affect their rights. At times, this means launching a full investigation into their criminal background. I have dealt with cases where someone was able to pass background checks for years, even though they had a felony from another state on their record. All of a sudden, the background system worked and caught the individual.
Assuming the individual’s record is clean, we next look at other possibilities. Perhaps they had an issue pop up that is affecting them but should not be affecting them. This could be as simple as a temporary protective order against them which expired or was denied. I have dealt with situations where a protective order which was filed against a client was denied, meaning the court found no merit in it, and yet the county clerk failed to enter the proper paperwork. As a result, a CHP was initially denied for my client.
Other Reasons For Denial
The most common reasons people are denied Concealed Handgun Permits are legitimate. These range from prior felonies and prior recent drug convictions, to prior mental health commitments. Sometimes, we can restore the individual’s right to possess firearms and obtain a CHP, but the restoration has to happen before the application for the permit occurs.
If you are denied a CHP and it was not a valid denial, then you are allowed to appeal the decision.
Typically when an application for a CHP or application to renew a CHP is denied, it can be set for a hearing in the appropriate Circuit Court in the county in which the applicant resides. If you receive a notice of denial, it will state the reason or the grounds for the denial. This will allow us to go into court knowing exactly what needs to be contested, and evidence can be submitted to show why you were wrongly denied a CHP.
If you have any other questions about appealing a CHP denial, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to an Independent Program Attorney.