Question from a disabled weapon carrier.
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Thread: Question from a disabled weapon carrier.

  1. Question from a disabled weapon carrier.

    I am a 30 year old, ex-police officer and I live in Northwest Georgia. I left law enforcement years ago after getting injured on-duty to pursue a college education and a different career. I recovered from my injuries, but about three years ago the pain from the injuries came back and I ended up disabled. I never had obtained my GFL for various reasons, but I have decided that I am going to obtain a license so that I can carry my firearm legally. The issue is that I a concerned about my status and the law.

    The amount and type of pain I have requires me to take opiate-based medication, though I have no adverse effects from taking the medication. I operate at the same level I have my whole life, aside from the fact that I walk with a cane and cannot walk or stand for more than minutes at a time. While I am not "under the influence", I am concerned that a police officer might arrest me for use or possession of narcotics while also possessing a firearm(that is not the actual charge, I am just referring to the actions he or she might observe).

    I do carry my instant-release narcotic with me, when I am out in public, as pain does not schedule its public appearance during the times I am at home. Have any of you had issues with something similar to this? The only medication that I have on me is in the proper bottles that has my name on each and every bottle. I drive safely, I make high marks in college, and I function great in general, aside from severe bouts of pain.

    I do know a lot about the law, and I am aimed towards attending law school, but I do not know everything. Any information would be helpful. I just want to make sure that I will not run into problems down the road and I want to make sure that I will not have any trouble obtaining my GFL being disabled and on medication.

    I have had no mental health issues, not ever convicted of a felony, or arrest or convicted of a DV charge.

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  3. Well first of all I'm not an expert, but from my understanding you would be entitled to obtain a permit reguardless as to whether or not your are taking a legally prescribed prescription medication. As long as you are not under the influence of any illegal drugs you should not be breaking the law, by carrying if you have a permit that is.

    It is illegal to be intoxicated while you carry. However, I am not sure whether or not you would be considered intoxicated by the law, this is really a question that you need to ask a lawer. It's best not to take any chances when it comes to this sort of thing. Also I thought that retired Police were permited to carry anywhere in the USA for life. I would have assumed that this would apply in your case, since you were disharged for health reasons. Does it not?

  4. Quote Originally Posted by kingofthedemo View Post
    Well first of all I'm not an expert, but from my understanding you would be entitled to obtain a permit reguardless as to whether or not your are taking a legally prescribed prescription medication. As long as you are not under the influence of any illegal drugs you should not be breaking the law, by carrying if you have a permit that is.

    It is illegal to be intoxicated while you carry. However, I am not sure whether or not you would be considered intoxicated by the law, this is really a question that you need to ask a lawer. It's best not to take any chances when it comes to this sort of thing. Also I thought that retired Police were permited to carry anywhere in the USA for life. I would have assumed that this would apply in your case, since you were disharged for health reasons. Does it not?
    The law says that you cannot be under the influence of any drug or alcohol. The "under the influence" portion is what is the be debated. You can consume alcohol and not be considered "under the influence", but drugs(legal or not legal) tend to have a greater stigma attached to them.

    I am looking for people who have had experience with this type of matter, more than looking for legal advice. I have law books and law resources, but experience trumps education 99 percent of the time.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kingofthedemo View Post
    Well first of all I'm not an expert, but from my understanding you would be entitled to obtain a permit reguardless as to whether or not your are taking a legally prescribed prescription medication. As long as you are not under the influence of any illegal drugs you should not be breaking the law, by carrying if you have a permit that is.

    It is illegal to be intoxicated while you carry. However, I am not sure whether or not you would be considered intoxicated by the law, this is really a question that you need to ask a lawer. It's best not to take any chances when it comes to this sort of thing. Also I thought that retired Police were permited to carry anywhere in the USA for life. I would have assumed that this would apply in your case, since you were disharged for health reasons. Does it not?
    check into the Sullivan Act. Good luck.

  6. #5

    Tell the truth!

    I am in a similar situation to you montezuma. Disabled and taking prescribed medication, and the stigma attached to people in our situation really sucks. HOWEVER I was honest with my local LE at my interview, and provided them with all necessary info about my situation, and gave my Drs. info. also. My situation has been like this for many years and I have NEVER abused or taken my meds in a way not prescribed. I assume that like myself you are monitored by a Dr. In the end all they cared about was that there was never an abuse situation. My interview was face to face, in my home, 2 officers...NO PROBLEMS! It pays as you must well know, to be a good person. That is all that matters in the end! AS IT SHOULD BE!

  7. #6
    Montezuma,

    There are a couple of suggestions I can make. First, I do share your concern that the law seems sufficiently vague as to make me question whether using your meds while carrying violates the law.

    I didn't see any opinions from the AG's office on the issue, and as a private citizen he isn't going to respond to you with one. Were I you, I would pay a visit to my Georgia State Representative and Georgia State Senator. Try if you can to meet directly with them rather than a staffer. Plead out your case, so to speak, and ask if they would inquire of the AG's office for an Official AG Opinion clarifying 16-11-134. Also ask them if they would consider introducing legislation to clarify the issue.

    If you served as an LEO there in Georgia, that's going to carry a lot more weight with them. However, even if you were a cop in another state, and retired to Georgia, I would still try some of these. Speak from the heart. It's your home state, it's the community you served, relatives and family there, etc.

    Finally, you might want to consider talking with an attorney. Call the Second Amendment Foundation. Tell them your situation and that you want to find a local Georgia attorney in private practice who specializes in gun related/R2KBA issues. It will probably cost you something to get a legal opinion from them, but a few hundred dollars for an attorney before the fact is a lot cheaper than thousands of dollars for an attorney after the fact.

    Georgia Gun Laws In Plain English
    O.C.G.A. 16-11-134
    Georgia AG Opinions
    Georgia Legislature
    Second Amendment Foundation
    Ken Grubb
    Puyallup, WA

  8. #7
    I can't forsee you having any issues obtaining a permit, it's the what-if's that would be a bigger issue. Say you have a permit, and are put into a position that warrants the use of a firearm. Could the effects of your medication be used against you in court? Could a well-paid lawyer or DA come back and say that you weren't in a sober and lucid state, and therefore are in the wrong for pulling the trigger, regardless of past LEO training? For that alone, it would be worth my time and a few bucks for a well-informed lawyer's time, and possibly a visit or phone call with my doctor, just to be on the safe side. I would hate to hear about something like that blowing up in your face after the fact because of a biased jury being swayed by someone who doesn't care that you had to do the right thing.

    Good luck with it, and I hope that it works out for you.

  9. #8
    I take pain medication (probably the same thing you take). There is no avenue to be denied a permit or charged with anything if you are taking your meds as prescribed. I know this for a fact, as I have family in the medical profession AND law enforcement; and it doesn't matter where you are. There is a federal law called HIPPA that states that NOONE has the right to know your medical information except you and your doctor. As far as being "under the influence", with opiates they stay in your system for a few days if you were to stop taking them, so a drug test will always show useage. The only thing you would have to worry about is if you were pulled over and acted strangely or if a LEO happened to see your bottle. Any reason that could be construed as probable cause to search. Then if you just got your meds filled yesterday (probably 90 pills for a month) and only had a few left, they could administer a field sobriety test and determine "suspicion of intoxication", which you are not likely to fail or even get that far, so keep your bottle in your pocket or console, don't act crazy, blah, blah, blah. Offer no information about your situation that isn't relevent. That being said, local LEO's here are pretty unprofessional and ill informed of what your rights are so like I said, just act normal and keep everything covered. Extreme case is you could be detained and forced into a blood test (the only way to tell levels of opiates in the bloodstream), which takes days to get results from in most cases. Like the other guy said, you are ex LEO, so not likely to happen, right? If you are acting strange, they are probably going to instead think something is wrong and try to help you instead. Sorry so long, I tend to ramble and give more information than is sometimes needed.

  10. #9

    218 ex LEO

    If you were a sworn and active LEO and forced to retire due to on the job injuries you may qualify for retired LEO status and can be qualified under federal law to carry in all 50 states.

    This is a summary used by the local Kansas sheriff, you should check with the department from which you retired.
    Sedgwick County, Kansas Retired Deputy Carry Concealed Qualifications Standards - Sedgwick County, Kansas Sheriff's Office
    The people think the Second Amendment protects their rights;
    Government sees an obstacle to be over-come.
    NRA Life since 1966

  11. Like the previous poster said you are probably already eligable for the program he metioned above, here is an exerpt from that ammendment-

    `(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified retired law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection (b).

    `(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that--

    `(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

    `(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.

    `(c) As used in this section, the term `qualified retired law enforcement officer' means an individual who--

    `(1) retired in good standing from service with a public agency as a law enforcement officer, other than for reasons of mental instability;

    `(2) before such retirement, was authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and had statutory powers of arrest;

    `(3)(A) before such retirement, was regularly employed as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of 15 years or more; or

    `(B) retired from service with such agency, after completing any applicable probationary period of such service, due to a service-connected disability, as determined by such agency;

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