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Boston man says his passport should be good enough ID to get a gun license

A Boston resident who says he was denied a gun permit when he tried to use a US passport as proof of citizenship wants a federal judge to order Police Commissioner William Evans to issue him a license to carry post haste.

In a lawsuit filed this week in US District Court along with Commonwealth Second Amendment, Phuong Ngo argues he's being deprived of his rights under both the Second and Fourteenth amendments. Ngo is seeking an immediate temporary restraining order that would let him get a license to carry before the case is tried.

Ngo claims police would only accept a birth certificate or naturalization papers as proof of citizenship, but that he does not have a birth certificate because he was born in another country and doesn't have proof of naturalization because he became a US citizen when he was a minor through his father - who was naturalized after coming here.

Ngo argues Evans is depriving him of his Second Amendment right to carry a gun and his Fourteenth amendment rights to equal treatment because he is being discriminated against because of his national origin. Ngo also invokes the supremacy clause of Article VI of the constitution because, he says, federal law says a US passport is good enough proof of citizenship.

Under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must to afford its citizens the right to bear arms and to protect themselves. Since the Defendant refused to accept Mr. Ngo's valid proof of citizenship, a U.S. Passport, the Defendant infringed upon the Mr. Ngo's right, as a U.S. citizen, the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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AttachmentSize
PDF icon Ngo's complaint76.49 KB
PDF icon Memorandum by Ngo's lawyers101.9 KB

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Comments

Sounds like racist cops on a power trip wasting public funds

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How?

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Because we know what Bill Evans looks like, he's white.

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Reading the headline, my first thought was that the issue was proof of Massachusetts residency-- I ran into that problem myself when I applied for a MA ID replacement after losing a lot of my stuff in a flood. I assumed a few bills & a passport would do the trick. It didn't, and not only did I have to bring more secondary proof of residency but I also had to get my replacement Social Security card. In short, it was harder to replace my MA ID than it had been to replace my passport.

Mr. Ngo's experience could be racism. It also could be stupid regulations. After my experience, I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that they require a document no one would normally have.

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After all, its more than likely stupid bureaucratic red-tape bullshit. Everything is over regulated in this state.

You're not allowed to shoot at targets that resemble the figure/silhouette of a human in MA.

"Such club shall not permit shooting at targets that depict human figures, human effigies, human silhouettes or any human images thereof, except by public safety personnel performing in line with their official duties."

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXX/Chapter140/Sect...

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that only applies to CLUBS with a class A license, not citizens. That's one of the most commonly misinterpreted parts of Ch140.

As a citizen with a class A, you can shoot at all the silhouette targets you want.

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Some things which are legal are technically illegal the way they are enforced in this state.

Try getting a clarification/interpretation of the of the obtuse laws from the legislature or the AG. You will be advised that "they don't give legal advice" despite being the ones whom developed the regulations. You won't know if you are breaking the law until charged for breaking it based on a local authority's interpretation.

This isn't just confined to firearms but to many of Massachusetts' poorly written laws in general.

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it's actually quite black and white.

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There are very few places you could fire a gun at a target other than a club - especially in the eastern part of the state.

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only applies to clubs with Class A licenses. I can't actually name a club that has a class A license anymore although I believe there are a couple.

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When I needed to switch from a MA to an RI license 15 years ago, all I needed to do was trade in my MA license for one from RI. When I needed to go from MA to RI, post 9/11, I needed to show the MA license, a pay stub (to prove residency,) and my Social Security Card. I'm not sure the SSN requirement is a MA-centric one, but rather one that's nation-wide.

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That's so laughable. They would take my son's passport as proof of birth, only. They demanded a school transcript for residence (his college ID wasn't good there) and "some proof of signature" like his SS card.

Fortunately, we never signed his SS card when he was tiny, because he was an infant, and so he signed it 5 minutes before he went in. Real secure, that. And, no, his Passport wasn't good for that IF it was used as proof of citizenship.

(HEADDESK)

So, in essence, they rejected a solid form of photo id in favor of a paper card.

MA is pretty stupid like that. Passports are a pretty definitive form of ID in the rest of the world, but MA has all these bizarre superstitions about them I guess.

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What they're doing is asking for three separate items to prove the three elements (proof of MA residence, proof of date of birth, proof of signature). They also require your social security number, but it's not clear from the website if they require the card (although that can be used for signature).

It's harder to get three fake documents than one so that may be why they require individual sources even if one document could be used for different proofs.

http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/license/Id_chart.pdf

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They wouldn't take his Lesley U ID with address, signature and photo, but a paper printout from Medford high school that he could fake in ten minutes is aok.

Also, they wouldn't take the college photo id as a signature, preferring a paper card that was printed in 1996.

When they could have checked the passport for signature ...

If ONLY they put anywhere NEAR this level of obtusely duplicitous scrutiny into judging who is and isn't fit to drive ....

NOTE: this is for an 18 year old getting a state ID. Not a driver's license, and not a liquor ID!

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... in my first post was that I also had a photo ID from my federal job-- so, I had 2 federal photo IDs that each required extensive documentation and, in the case of my work ID, a background check and security clearances. Both had my signature.

I don't think the guy at the Chinatown RMV was busting me-- he was actually quite pleasant-- but I think he was given a this-and-no-other list.

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Mine doesn't have any proof of where I live. It mentions where I was born.

Even if it did, who's to say where you lived up to 10 years ago is current.

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It should, however, verify both citizenship AND signature!

They want three pieces of ID, stupidity and ridiculousness be damned! They can't seem to grasp that a paper card that most people get in their first year of life isn't as secure as a college ID or a freaking passport.

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Misread your original post. You said school ID as residency. My bad.

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I had the exact same issue.

I brought in my US passport, my foreign passport, my foreign birth certificate (with notarized translation), my ss card, and my proof of residency when getting a state ID card.

It wasnt enough.

They needed proof of signature. Yes, my passport was signed, but I had "used" it to prove citizenship. My foreign passport? Not accepted.

After 4 hours at the DMV, a supervisor made me sign my college ID with a sharpie right in front of him...and suddenly that was valid proof of signature.

Carnival of idiots.

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Strange that they want all this additional ID, yet MA has opted out of the Real ID nonsense from the feds...

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Good for him. Every time the city gets sued, we are closer to ending this willy nilly town-by-town discretion and implementing a statewide standard that actually makes sense.

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Is there any reason this cat can't get copies of his naturalization papers from DHS/CIS or whomever does that stuff now? If you have to prove naturalization, it would seem they'd be able to help with that.

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It sounds like the police want a "certificate of naturalization" which I (think) is what you get when you naturalize as an adult.

Instead: Plaintiff learned that he could apply for a Certificate of Citizenship from the United States State Department, and requested assurances from the Boston Police Department that this document would be accepted. 32. The application via USCIA Form N-600 is required to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship with the fee in the amount of Six Hundred Dollars ($600). 33. The Boston Police Department refused to provide the assurances to the
Plaintiff whether it would or would not accept a Certificate of Citizenship as proof of United States Citizenship.

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Ngo automatically became a citizen when his father naturalized before Ngo turned 18. Ngo would have never had his own naturalization ceremony, thus there is no replacement naturalization paperwork available from USCIS.

His only option would be to apply for a "Certificate of Citizenship" (Form N-600)- however, that document costs $600 and takes several months to obtain. According to the complaint, BPD has refused to say whether they would even accept this type of proof of citizenship.

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States do issue them for foreign-born citizens - they state the place, date, etc. and all the important info. My friends who adopted from China and Cambodia needed them before their kids started school.

I'm wondering how he ever even got a passport without this stuff, though.

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Yeah but a birth certificate that says he was born outside the U.S. wouldn't work as proof that he is now a U.S. citizen.

He (or a parent on his behalf) probably applied for the passport using a combination of Secondary Identification without having to apply for the Certificate of Citizenship.

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This is the same reason people fight voting restrictions. You are basically forcing somebody to pay for something in order to obtain a constitutional right. Which is unconstitutional.

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I believe all voter-id states offer a free-of-charge option for getting a photo ID if you don't have one. Poll taxes have been illegal everywhere for a long time.

Also there is no actual right-to-vote guaranteed in the Constitution. you have things like the 19th amendment saying you can't abridge the right to vote based on gender, but there's no absolute right to vote written like the 1st/2nd amendment. That's why people in prison can't vote, and how Florida was been able to purge so many registered votes under the guise of removing clearing out felons.

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I believe all voter-id states offer a free-of-charge option for getting a photo ID if you don't have one. Poll taxes have been illegal everywhere for a long time.

You have to know the secret word, then leave and come back, and twenty-seven other types of rigamarole.

Furthermore, many older voters in the shitheel states don't have birth certificates because they were born at home and weren't considered important enough to register. Add to that the cost of getting duplicate birth certificates, etc. and travelling 50 or more miles to the DMV and other hurdles and you have a big problem.

Here's a good list of reasons why the PA law was shot down in the courts: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/politics/pennsylvania-voter-id-law-...

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A quick trip to the right offices to get the required documents is probably all that is needed. I looks like a couple of lawyers are taking another patsy for a ride. BPD has changed it's stripe over the years and would never discriminate as alleged.

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Clearly you did not read the complaint. This is bungling bureaucracy and "it's not-my-problemism" typical of public employees with a little dash of antagonism because his name doesn't start with Mc.

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I'd wager a bet that either Comm2A is footing the bill or that those two attorneys have worked with the organization before. This is a bigger issue than one guy's papers, and bringing this to U.S. District Court is the kind of thing that builds momentum to change crappy laws.

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BPD has changed it's stripe over the years and would never discriminate as alleged.

I know, right? LOL. Good one.

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...appreciate your trusting nature.

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Commission Evan's just said on Boston Public Radio that he first read about this situation on UHub.

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He learned about from Universal Hub and not is own lawyers? No wonder they're having communication problems.

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