This is exactly what we warned would happen and a former Marine has now paid the price.
In Florida, there was a ridiculous error, Jon Carpenter, a military veteran, sports fishermen, and law-abiding gun owner that lives in St. Cloud. Carpenter’s firearms license was suspended after the state mixed him up with another, Jon Carpenter who had recently threatened an elderly couple.
“He’s 110 pounds. I’m 200. He has brown eyes. I have hazel. He has black hair. I have no hair,” Carpenter said to local station WTVT, comparing himself to his namefellow.
However, the state and the police were unable to tell the difference between the two.
“[T]he veteran, fisherman, 200-pound Jon Carpenter was sent a certified letter from the state, suspending his firearms license. … He also received a notice that he had been reported to DCF for elder abuse and a state order to surrender any firearms,” WTVT reported on Feb. 4.
“I was just dumbfounded,” he said in exasperation. “I didn’t know what to do. I called the state and they basically said, ‘There’s an injunction against you.’ The state basically said, ‘If it’s not you, go to the courthouse. They’ll give you a letter and they’ll get you reinstated.’”
Now stuck in the bureaucracy, Carpenter went to the courthouse, the clerk told him to come back in two weeks.
“So I said, ‘I’m guilty until I prove myself innocent? That’s why I’m here, trying to show its not me.’ And [the clerk’s] like, ‘Since you‘re here, you’ve been served. Here’s your restraining order,’” he explained.
Carpenter ended up contacting the sheriff’s office “who helped him get the injunction dismissed and called the state to get his firearms license reinstated,” according to WTVT.
But that process was going to take some time.
“They said they process it in the order it was received and it takes 6-8 weeks. I was like, ‘So you can suspend it in one day, instantly, but for somebody else’s mistake, I’ve got to wait 6-8 weeks?’”
Carpenter pressed officials and was able to get his license back sooner but, he has a bitter taste in his mouth.
This is exactly what we were worried about and Mr. Carpenter will not be the last America to have his rights infringed.