Monday, August 19, 2019

Red Flag Laws and Mistaken Identity - Happens in Florida

This story didn't make the two local papers or any other local source I see, so we go to the AmmoLand newsletter today.  A St. Cloud (Florida) man had his firearms confiscated and his rights revoked because he has the same name as someone else.
Last Wednesday, Jonathan Carpenter of Osceola County, Florida was sitting at home when a mail carrier knocked on his front door.

The postal carrier had Carpenter signed for a certified letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Carpenter signed for it, but he was confused because he was not expecting anything from the state. He quickly opened it and was floored.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was notifying him that they have suspended his concealed handgun permit.
“On or about August 12th, 2019 in Osceola County, Florida, an injunction was entered restraining you from acts of domestic violence or acts of repeat violations,” the notice read.
Carpenter was shocked and confused.  What seems to have happened next is he dove right into the hornet's nest.  An innocent man who believes in the goodness and fairness of the system would do that.
Figuring it was a mistake, Carpenter called the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to clear things up since he has never committed domestic violence against anyone. The representative told him he had to get a form from the Clerk of the Courts saying that there weren't any actions against him.
Of course they did.  When he went to the Clerk of the Courts, he was told there was an injunction against a Jonathon Edward Carpenter - a resident of a different address.  Carpenter told the agent he was not that person, had never lived at that address and had never been accused of any domestic violence.  That person directed him to the Osceola County Sheriff's office to clear things up.  Still thinking the state was just confused rather than malevolent, he went to the Sheriff's office.  He thought he could clear things up.

Not quite.
The Sheriff’s office supplied Carpenter with a copy of the injunction. In the statement, the plaintiff stated that she rented a room out to a “Jonathan Edward Carpenter” and his girlfriend. She alleged that this Carpenter was a drug dealer who broke her furniture and sold her belongings without her permission. He had a gun, and she feared for her life. She was not sure if the firearm was legal or not.

Carpenter had never met the woman in question and never lived at the address listed in the restraining order. Moreover, other than being white, he looked nothing like the man the terrorized the woman.

The man in question is 5'8. Carpenter is 5'11. The alleged drug dealer is 110lbs. Carpenter is over 200. The man has black hair. Carpenter is completely bald. Last but not least, the man in question is covered in tattoos, and Carpenter only has a few.

It was apparent that the police had the wrong man, but Carpenter was in for his biggest shock yet. The Sheriff’s office told Carpenter he had to surrender his guns. Carpenter never even had as much as a hearing, yet he was losing his rights.
And this is where the system springs its "trap"; more accurately, this is where the system shows it  doesn't care the least little bit that they have the right person, they just "got someone".   It's where the reputation for putting innocent people in jail (or worse) comes from.  The Osceola County Sheriff's Office doesn't think the obvious differences in appearances and histories between the man in front of them and the accused is enough for them to say, "oops, they sent the letter to the wrong dude.  Sorry.  No hard feelings."  They should be saying, "here's a few bucks for your trouble"; instead, this is going to cost Carpenter a lot of money to get back property and a life he should have never been deprived of.

And this is why we hate Red Flag Laws, aka Extreme Protection Orders. Guilty until proven innocent.  No due process.  No protections.  Just a stupid mistake causes innocent people financial ruin to put their lives back.

How did it come to be? According to the AmmoLand news,
A police officer I spoke to off the record thinks that the courts ran a check for a Jonathan Edward Carpenter with a concealed carry permit. Although he could not tell me for sure, he thinks that is what happened in this particular case. He did say that this is a common practice.
Seems very plausible that the abomination passed last year would automate this.  A warrant for someone on domestic abuse gets filed and it automatically generates a check to see if that name is associated with a CWFL; if it is, the Red Flag is automatically thrown.  

Meanwhile, Carpenter has to wait until August 27th to begin the legal proceedings to get his guns back. 


  1. Such "good faith" mistakes should subject the clerk of any court and any sheriff responsible for enforcing same so implicated to full civil liability and penalties.

    If any injury to defendant results, they should be subject to criminal penalties as felony conspirators to the deprivation of civil rights, and that criminal prosecution should be automatic and mandatory, or else the district attorney deficient be added to the list of defendants.

    In any case where resistance is offered because TPTB are in the wrong, full immunity from prosecution should be guaranteed.

    When they have skin in the game, it will be a fair contest.

    A moot law is no law at all, and one's original, natural rights take full precedence, and it's going to start costing them cops' lives to find this out. Since that's the only way they pay attention, I say "Game on".

    They dealt the cards, let them play that hand, and see how long before their officers getting shot simply for getting out of the car at the wrong house is common occurrence, and they decide that lemon ain't worth the squeezin'.

    "Just following orders", as a legal strategy, pretty much ran out of gas in 1946 at Nuremburg.

    1. Let's list all the recent times where Americans acted to, rather than talked about, doing that: Battle of Athens. MLK's Deacons for Defense and Justice. Bundy ranch standoff. Any I've missed? 99% of Americans don't believe successful armed disobedience, where the actors get away with it, is proper even in theory. Removing the monkey at the top of the heap goes contrary to their great ape political instincts, and scares them.

    2. Apparently Common Core has left out all that business around 1775ff.

      We are a nation of non-conformists. It's literally in our DNA. Social engineers and would-be overlords ignore that reality to their peril.

    3. In 177x a newly-formed aristocracy in the colonies seized the title to the debt slaves from the British aristocracy, but kept an identical form of government. This suceeded because the Atlantic ocean was too expensive to make war across given the transport of the time.

      Since 177x, the power of the British government titular figurehead has decreased, while the power of the American government titular figurehead has increased.

      What percentage of today's "non-conformists" will rat out tax cheating to the IRS for a small monetary reward and a huge boost to their envy? You could do an experiment where you cheat on your taxes, then tell all your friends.

  2. I wonder how many people are still dumb enough to think that the traitors with badges are going to be on their side if the balloon goes up.

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  4. Remember...when you read these types of stories about the wrong person being victimized, about someone being murdered by the badgemonkeys at O'Dark thirty during a 'kick in the door raid' looking for guns, when someone is bankrupted and
    driven to homelessness or suicide due to such specious abuses of the legal system the following aphorism is to be applied.....IN SPADES. "It's a FEATURE not a BUG".

  5. The Left has already stated that they intend to use this sort of law for their own nefarious ends. It is designed to be abused.

  6. The lesson here : Don't go to the cops but go to a lawyer. [ preferably the biggest loudest jack*ss ambulance chaser in the state who will announce in the papers and twitter multi-million law suites against several government agencies claiming irreparable damage, harm and injury know like the left does it]

  7. I loved the President's tweet... "That guy is crazy! He doesn't need to have ANY access to guns!" Thus demonstrating in one tweet both who & how the law will be abused. Genius!

  8. Coming soon to a disarmed country near you:

    Common-sense language laws.
    Weapons of wealth.

    I could go on. And they will, if we let them.