Former Probation Officer With Concealed Permit Denied Gun Purchase Over 1978 Misdemeanor

FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2012 file photo, a small handgun is seen under a vest in High Point
Sonny Hedgecock/The Enterprise via AP

A former probation officer with a concealed carry permit is suing the federal government over the fact that he is being denied a gun purchase because of a 1978 misdemeanor.

The former probation officer–Robert Earl Rowe–was sentenced to “six months of probation” in 1978 for “possession of a deadly weapon in San Bernardino, California.” After three months the probation was waived and his guilty plea withdrawn.

He can now legally carry a gun in all 50 states–because of his status as retired law enforcement–but NICS will not allow him to purchase a gun. reports that Rowe was denied the gun purchase “in October 2015.” He appealed the denial, but his appeal came as the FBI announced it was suspending appeals of background check denials. Breitbart News reported the FBI arbitrarily halted the appeals process on January 20. This left “7,100” Americans in limbo, as they had appealed their denials and were waiting to hear back.

According to USA TodayFBI Assistant Director Stephen Morris said the halt in processing appeals, which went into effect on January 20, became necessary because the record-breaking number of background checks was overwhelming FBI background check examiners.

This stalled Rowe’s appeal, so he has now taken his case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Rowe’s attorney–Stephen D. Stamboulieh– said, “Regardless of whether NICS is processing appeals or not, Plaintiff has a statutory right … to file this suit to force Defendant to correct its records and transfer the firearm.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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