The Rhode Island Attorney General issues concealed carry permits on a “may issue” basis. An applicant must write an essay justifying their desire to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Ocean State cities and town also issue concealed carry permits (valid throughout the state) on a “shall issue” basis. The city or town must establish just cause for denying a resident a permit.
East Providence Police Chief Christopher J. Parella (above) figures the law doesn’t apply to him. Ignoring clear instructions from the RI Supreme Court, he refused to issue a concealed handgun permit to applicants, without providing a reason. From providencejournal.com:
“It’s very frustrating that citizens have to hire a lawyer just to obtain compliance with the Supreme Court ruling,” said David J. Strachman, who represents the three applicants. The law is not discretionary, as the city has argued, but mandatory if an applicant shows a proper reason to carry, he said.
Strachman criticized East Providence police in court papers for their “troubling history” of “flagrantly ignoring” the high court’s mandate and refusal to comply with state law.
Strachman is referring to the court’s 2015 ruling in the case of Norman Gadomski, a National Rifle Association instructor and gun collector who sought to carry a weapon for self-defense. The court found that the police chief, Joseph Tavares, had wrongly denied him a license by requiring that he show need. At the time, the city had not issued such a permit for 10 years.
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that “a proper showing of need is not a component of the law,” The Providence Journal felt obliged to share the denied applicants’ reasons for applying.
The three applicants now seeking licenses to carry are Jessica de la Cruz, a stay-at-home mother of three who collects rents; Fernando Brasil, an information-technology engineer who grew up handling guns; and Brian K. Turgeon, a 52-year-old man who wants to protect himself and his wife.
The mother of three children younger than 6, de la Cruz, 35, wrote in her application that she is a landlord who often collects rent money. “Standing my ground to defend myself and my children would be the only option to ensure their survival,” she wrote.
Brasil, 34, told police that he had owned firearms since age 21 and that he wanted a license for self-defense.
“With the alarming rate of violent acts around the United States, it has become abundantly clear that my number one priority is to keep myself, my family, and my property safe from anyone seeking to do harm,” Brasil wrote.
Turgeon wrote in his application about being threatened less than a mile from his home by a man who had been recently released from prison and was friends with a career criminal. Turgeon has bad knees and lower back problems. He fears that he won’t be able to protect himself or his wife, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a cane.
The Court didn’t impose any penalty on the errant Chief Panrella, who has been willfully disobeying their previous ruling for a little more than a year. The Court ordered the Chief to explain his refusal to grant three permits. In writing. He has 90 days to do so.
It seems strange that RI’s highest court has to repeat itself less than eight months after their first finding. The applicants have already gone through months of process. During this entire period, the government has deprived them of their Second Amendment rights.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch