The Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights filed suit against the Newport Chief of Police seeking to vindicate the right of Newport resident David Eikeland to apply for a gun carry permit.
"Law abiding citizens should not be forced to obtain expensive legal representation and seek a court order just to apply for a permit to exercise their fundamental constitutional rights." said Hopkins Center General Counsel and President Matthew Fabisch. The Rhode Island Supreme Court has previously declared that police chiefs have an obligation under Rhode Island law to accept and fairly process carry permit applications. "Every court to have considered this question has reached the same conclusion," continued Fabisch. "The rights protected by the Second Amendment are exercised in Rhode Island by permits issued by the local police chief. The failure to accept and process a permit application is a violation of due process."
Eikeland had originally asked for a permit application from the Newport police department in April of 2010. Despite promises that he would be allowed to apply, after more than two years Eikeland has consistently been denied an application. "That a police department who we rely upon to protect our rights and liberties would, for more than two years, deny a citizen the right to apply for a permit to exercise his fundamental constitutional rights is simply inexcusable. We are confident we will win this suit and put an end to this blatant disregard for the Second Amendment rights of Newport's residents."
The mission of the Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights is to protect the rights that Americans recognize as fundamental. The center litigates in such areas as fiscal responsibility and transparency, school choice, free speech, and property rights to assist individuals the government has harmed, and ensure all Rhode Islanders enjoy their constitutional rights.
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