Concealing the Risk
Real-World Effects of Lax Concealed Weapons Laws
Section One: Crimes Committed After Licensure
|Name of License Holder
||Reason for Revocation
|Maria C. Atkins
|Richard M. Clavette
|Justin A. Nance
Maria C. AtkinsMaria C. Atkins was issued a concealed weapons license in December 1994. In August 1995 and September of 1991 Atkins was committed to a mental health institution. Police officials reported that she had been admitted in 1995 because she was depressed and suicidal. In a typewritten letter to the Division of Licensing Atkins stated that the first incident occurred when her husband, who she claimed was addicted to morphine, “came to choke me and I pushed 911. The police came and he ran on the golf course to hide and I got so mad at the police I threw a coffee pot, clean of course as they were called for him not me….And the other is a crummy one by apolice [sic] who seem to have it in for me….And The [sic] so called incident on or about August 12, 1995 was like a joke….I called one night to kid and say I’m tired of trying to please all so I think I’ll Kill myself, Well he was on duty and sure took advantage of that. He came and got me and my gun….” Upon learning that Atkins had a concealed weapons license, Lt. Ed Nathanson of the Lady Lake Police Department wrote to the Division of Licensing urging them to revoke Atkin’s license for safety reasons, stating that the department was “seriously concerned about the possibility of her hurting someone with her gun.” Lt. Nathanson reported that Atkins called the police department on a regular basis and that because of her “mood swings” the department had established a policy of sending two officers to her house. They reported that she was extremely protective of her gun and often reported it stolen. Atkins had been arrested at least twice for driving under the influence and submitted for evaluation under the Baker Act [which provides that law enforcement officials may submit people who commit certain public disruptions for up to one week of psychiatric evaluation]. Atkins’s license was revoked in March 1996 after possessing the license for one year and three months. Under Florida law Atkins will be eligible for licensure in August 2000 if she can be certified by a licensed psychiatrist as not having suffered from a mental disability since her institutional release.
Richard M. ClavetteRichard M. Clavette was issued a concealed weapons license in May 1994. In October 1994 Clavette was committed to Memorial Hospital following an alleged suicide attempt and discharge of a firearm. Clavette’s wife called the police informing them that her husband was distraught and was going to kill himself because she had learned of his extramarital affair. Clavette fired the gun once into the ground to show that he was serious before he was handcuffed for his protection and transported to Broward County Mental Health for evaluation. Clavette’s license was revoked in May 1995 after he had possessed it for a year.
Justin A. NanceThough Justin A. Nance has been ineligible for a driver’s license since 1983 and cannot read without a magnifying glass, he was issued a concealed weapons license in November 1993. Nance is legally blind. At last testing his vision was less than 20/400 in each eye. According to hearing documents, Nance stated that he could “see shapes and forms of persons, but cannot distinguish details such as what someone might have in their hand(s) in an adverse situation.” In explaining how he could safely carry and use a handgun, he argued that it was “logical to assume” that someone had a weapon and was directing it at him if he perceived the person raising his arm in a manner which resembled a “pointing stance” – even though Nance would not be able to discern whether there was actually anything in the person’s hand. Nance’s license was revoked in January 1996 – two years and two months after he received it.
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