Police Chief Taking Heat for Denying Gun Permits
State Supreme Court admonishes East Providence police chief for denying gun permits
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For the second time in just over a year, the state Supreme Court has rebuked the East Providence police for improperly denying residents licenses to carry concealed weapons.
The high court recently issued an order faulting Chief Christopher J. Parella for failing to abide by the court’s previous directive.
The court in April 2015 ordered the city to back up any denial of a license to carry a concealed weapon with findings of fact. It also said at that time that the city was incorrectly applying the law by requiring that applicants demonstrate a “a proper and true need” to carry.
The law reads that a city or town’s licensing authority “shall” issue a license when it appears that the applicant has a good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property or has “any other proper reason” to carry. A proper showing of need is not a component of the law, the court said.
In the court’s recent ruling, issued on Oct. 25, the justices threw out Parella’s denial of concealed permits to three residents and directed that new decisions be issued within 90 days that include the chief’s reasoning.
“It’s very frustrating that citizens have to hire a lawyer just to obtain compliance with the Supreme Court ruling,” said David J. Strachman, who represents the three applicants. The law is not discretionary, as the city has argued, but mandatory if an applicant shows a proper reason to carry, he said.