Close X

Rhode Island Bar Journal Article

Firearms License Review Board's Obstructionism Rebuked by Suffolk Superior Court

Posted by Keith G. Langer | Jan 30, 2021 | 2 Comments

For over half a decade, the FLRB has abandoned its role as a statutorily-created board of relief, claiming it had to do by a mere memo from the BATFE. It originally refused to even hold the mandated hearings, until that refusal was challenged in court.  
It then conducted charade hearings, finding appellants suitable, but denying each on the grounds it had no authority to grant relief, citing that same mere memo from the ATF.
The Suffolk Superior court has, correctly, held otherwise, declaring:
"...the Board that has effectively deferred to a federal agency's cramped construction of its authority. Such a somersault of logic turns the clear intent of Congress on its head, and frustrates the very purpose that animates Section 921(a)(20). It is the considered judgment of the Court, therefore, that the right to bear arms is a civil right within the ambit of Section 921(a)(20); and a decision by the Board pursuant to G.L.c. 140, §130B that a convicted person who lost such a right is now suitable to be an LTC holder constitutes a restoration of that person's civil rights under this statute."
Kudos to the two plaintiffs, Christian Capano and Ian Sisson, and their counsel for bringing an obstructionistic board to heel.
The FLRB was fully aware of its excuse being rejected by the courts. It consistently lost cases in which it refused to renew existing licenses, yet continued its conduct. This court certainly noted the board's losses:
" At least nineteen Massachusetts District Courts and two courts outside of Massachusetts have considered this issue and reached a similar conclusion. See DuPont v. Nashua Police Dept., 113 A.3d 239, 247 (N.H. 2015) (it is “unlikely that Congress intended to credit the restoration of ‘core rights' as indicative of trustworthiness, but  exclude the restoration of the very right at issue—the right to possess firearms—from the trustworthiness  calculus.”)"

 Let us hope those now appearing before the board will be treated properly, as before the board's adoption of the ATF's aberrant position.

About the Author

Keith G. Langer

Keith G. Langer, Attorney at Law SERVING NORFOLK COUNTY, MA, AND SURROUNDING AREAS Solo practitioner concentrating in civil litigation, collections, family law and administrative law, particularly firearms licensing.Professional Qualifications: One of the longest-serving member of the Firear...


Keith G. Langer Reply

Posted Feb 11, 2021 at 09:11:27


However, that decision will be made by the attorney on the case, Jason Guida, and Comm2A.

Keith G. Langer Reply

Posted Feb 24, 2021 at 11:54:18

The EOPSS and the FLRB have little to lose, and are playing with taxpayer money. The anti-gun AG, also using taxpayer funds, will be happy to appeal on behalf of EOPSS and her own agenda.

This is far from over.

Leave a Comment

Your Time May Be Limited!

If you are a defendant in a civil suit, you have a specific period of time in which to file an answer. Failure to do so can result in a default judgment being issued against you. Failure to timely submit responses to discovery requests can also negatively affect your case. Those named as defendants in criminal cases via clerk magistrate or “show cause” hearings must appear, or the complaint will issue against them. Those seeking to appeal a negative action, such as a firearms license denial or revocation, denial of a permit, or losing a case at trial, all have specific time periods in which to act. Do not lose your rights by inertia or delay.

Act Now!

The law is an area in which inertia can have very negative consequences: The loss of rights and remedies. It is unlikely that your problem will just “go away” - act now to protect yourself and preserve your options.