Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nebraska vet wins appeal of permit denial

From the Cornhusker State:
OMAHA, Neb. -- Tim Mechaley trained fellow Marines to fire .50-caliber machine guns. He qualified as a marksman. He fought in the battle for Fallujah and received a combat medal with a "V" for valor.

Back home, he uses a rifle for target shooting.

Yet, when Mechaley sought to buy a 9-mm Ruger pistol for protection at his midtown apartment, the Omaha Police Department rejected his application for a gun permit.

"I was trusted by the {federal} government to carry a loaded weapon, but now I am not allowed to purchase one by my local government," he said.

Mechaley, 32, has received counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder related to his service in Iraq. While completing an application for a gun permit, he responded "yes" to a question that asked whether he was being treated for a mental disorder.
Mechaley compiled his gun-permit research into an appeal. He took a vacation day recently from his job as a computer technician to present his case to the city's administrative board of appeals. He documented his claims of weapon proficiency, military service and valor.

If he had it to do over again, Mechaley told the appeals board, he would not have circled yes in reply to the question about being treated for a mental disorder.

"Some of our brave police officers also suffer from PTSD as a result of trauma in the line of duty, and they are allowed to carry a weapon," Mechaley wrote in a letter to the board.

Police department representatives who attended the hearing did not oppose Mechaley's appeal.
The department handled more than 4,500 gun registration applications in 2008. Of those, 39 were rejected. Twenty-three rejections were appealed, and nine of those were reversed.

The appeals board needed fewer than 10 minutes before voting 5-0 to grant Mechaley a gun permit. ...

Article here.

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