Somehow I’m still going strong. It’s been a bit of an odd week for me, but I’m hoping to make up for my slow-feeling days this weekend.
Elias smirked and sat up at last. There was crick in his back, but he didn’t mind. “That was a pretty good yarn,” he admitted. “I’ll definitely have to come up with a song for it. Something to go down in history for ya, Eral Mageslayer.”
Thank you all for sending in prompts and I hope you enjoyed the large quantities of ficlets that came out of this lovely holiday celebration! If you’d like to visit the tag where all the fics live, it’s here. ♥
Story Time: The worst firearms denial I’ve had to handle.
Following up on my blurb about Denials I just posted I wanted to share this story.
Disclaimer:To honor and protect our customers privacy I won’t be using his name or branch of service, and have no intentions of telling them to anyone, please do not ask. If anyone does any sleuthing and figures it out don’t post it, keep the info to yourself.
This happened back in early April. It was an average day at the shop with nothing special to note. The phone rang and I answered, it was a young man who asked about getting his first handgun and was wondering if we could walk him through some options. I said sure thing, and he said he would be over soon.
Some time later he showed up with his brother who had wanted to tag along. Both were very polite young gentlemen who seemed nice, dressed well, etc. He asked all the right questions and seemed like an average guy who wanted his first handgun. If someone had told me what was going to happen next I’d have called bullshit. After a coworker and myself had walked them through some options he chose to purchase a Smith & Wesson M&P…I can’t recall if it was a 9mm or 45acp. He was also going to get extra mags, a holster, cleaning supplies, etc. It was a good sizes sale and I was pretty happy. I grabbed his driver’s license (and noticed it said Veteran on it), gave him the 4473 and put in all the info on OSP FICS system once he was done filling it out.
After a few minutes of being in the queue he went under review, and then the first thing that set off a warning bell happened - he got a Delay without a date on it. That usually means we’re about to get a phone call and sure enough, the phone rang a few seconds later. One of my coworkers picked it up, then after a few short words passed it off to me. I’ll never forget what the OSP operator said to me (and not in a reassuring tone) once I picked up and identified myself:
“Is Mr. ***** still in the shop and does he appear to be armed?”
I replied yes he is, and no I do not believe so. She said to hang tight, officers were on the way. After 3 years of doing this I can more or less tell when someone was going to be a problem customer, and none of this was adding up. The guy was a Veteran and even though I’d only known him for maybe 35 minutes at this point I felt completely comfortable being straight forward with him and I made the call to just tell him what happened.
I told him - and this is paraphrasing “Hey *****, you got a Denial and OSP is sending someone to talk to you. It can be for a number of reasons but here’s the important part - you are free to go right now, I’m not a cop and not going to make you stay here and wait - but I do advise that you stay and talk to them”. Thankfully he was completely calm and understanding - he said he wasn’t sure what was going on but would stay to find out.
About 5 minutes later (the FASTEST response we’ve ever gotten BTW) 3 PD officers were in the shop. They were polite and just asked our customer if they could talk to him outside - he agreed and they went out into the parking to talk. His brother just hung around in the shop, looking concerned. One of the officers stayed inside and asked some basic questions, and got copies of the 4473. That was all pretty standard. I should note that in this time a LOT of officers (uniformed and plainclothes) pretty much flooded the parking lot of the complex we’re in. At one point one of my coworkers stepped out and counted 9 total.
About 30 minutes later our customer shook hands with the cop he’d been talking with, and all the PD left. He came back inside, told me he was sorry and if he knew it would be such a hassle he wouldn’t have tried. I told him it’s alright and everything was good on our end - I did ask that he pay the $10.00 for the background check since we were getting billed for it no matter what and he was fine with that. We shook hands, and he left with his brother.
The entire thing still wasn’t sitting well with me though, especially after how many officers showed up and he just walked away? We’ve had 2-3 cops show up to arrest dangerous guys, 9 cops (maybe more if we missed some of the plainclothes guys) and the chat with the OSP operator just told me something was weird about this case, so when I got home that night and thought about it some more I did some sleuthing.
The guy had a very common name so I didn’t think an internet search would turn up anything useful but it did - very quickly and from multiple sources.
The abridged version: He was a service member who was sexually abused by a superior and when he reported it and attempted to get help, it was swept under the rug. His doctors also said that he had trauma, PTSD, personality disorders, and was not fit for service and moved to have him discharged. Physicians outside the armed forces had the complete opposite diagnosis and it appears (from multiple sources) that the entire thing was his command just trying to make the problem go away. Whatever the reason, due to the medical reports filed on him from his time in the service the background check bounced back as a Denial.
Am I a doctor or any type of medical professional? No. But from my brief time with him, coupled with what I found online about him, I firmly believe that he was completely ok to purchase a firearm and had no mental health issues barring him from owning one. He’s one of the nicest customers I’d ever dealt with, was smart, asked all the right questions, and showed no signs of being a danger to anyone or himself. I believe he legitimately wanted a firearm for either personal protection (I can’t blame him) or simply as part of a hobby like so many other firearms owners.
In my opinion a veteran was abused, tossed aside by his command, and as a result of the entire ordeal now he cannot own a firearm. Every system that should protect him has failed him and he has also lost a constitutional right.
It’s not ok and there’s nothing I can do about it.