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NV5J
11-11-2006, 10:24 AM
I'm wondering if a convicted felon can receive, or keep a ham license? Our club is located in a city where a state prison is located. A convict is wanting to take the tech. test. Also if a licensed ham is convicted of a felony, can they keep their license? I would appreciate any answers or opinions. E-mail me please. Dennis http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

W0UZR
11-11-2006, 10:42 AM
Quote[/b] (ke5eib @ Nov. 11 2006,04:24)]Can a convicted felon have a license?
yup.

NV5J
11-11-2006, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the information.

W0UZR
11-11-2006, 10:45 AM
No Problem

W0UZR
11-11-2006, 10:48 AM
hahahaha

OK, all kidding aside, I would tell you who I know that is a felon that's a ham, but I don't think he wants me to tell everyone

W6GQ
11-11-2006, 01:11 PM
I would tell your club to type up a letter and send it to him telling him he is not welcome because of his record.

You should get "SOME" kind of response. http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

W7KKK
11-11-2006, 01:26 PM
Very poor attitude my friend.
Many have paid their debt and such and gone on to better things in life.
And I would not be a member a club that sent any such letter to an individual.

W6GQ
11-11-2006, 01:45 PM
Quote[/b] (W7WV @ Nov. 11 2006,06:26)]Very poor attitude my friend.
Many have paid their debt and such and gone on to better things in life.
And I would not be a member a club that sent any such letter to an individual.
Do not get me wrong, I agree with you 100%.

That is why I encourage the letter, because if it were me I would take said letter directly to an attorney and of course the press!

Ham police indeed!

W4SE
11-11-2006, 01:50 PM
Quote[/b] (W7WV @ Nov. 11 2006,06:26)]Very poor attitude my friend.
Many have paid their debt and such and gone on to better things in life.
And I would not be a member a club that sent any such letter to an individual.
Very well said. I feel the same way. I have a close family member who was convicted of murder and spent 15 years in prison. Now he's about one of greatest people you could ever meet. Remember...WWJD! 73, Sam

N0IU
11-11-2006, 02:04 PM
The answer is definitely maybe. The FCC does not run criminal background checks on amateur radio applications (unlike the American Red Cross!), but if one has a criminal record, it can cause a license to be revoked or not granted in the first place if someone makes an issue out of it to the FCC.

You should treat this like gays in the military. They are not under any obligation to tell you if they have a criminal record and you certainly have no business asking.

You say a convict is wanting to take the Technician test? Are you actually going to the Oklahoma State Prison to give the test? You might, however, want to tell them that if they give their return address as PO Box 97 in McAlester, OK, this might send up a red flag!

Scott NŘIU

W5HTW
11-11-2006, 02:04 PM
At one time the FCC application for a ham license included the question "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" I do not recall any disclaimer that indicated, as is the case with many applications today, that a "yes" answer would automatically preclude you from consideration. So a yes answer could prevent you from becoming a ham, and it was presumed by most that it WOULD prevent you from becoming one.

Maybe two decades ago that was removed entirely. However, the FCC can still refuse or revoke ham licenses on an individual basis, and do so now and then. We have no way of knowing when a license is refused. But we do see the reports of revocations based on the FCC's decision that "you aren't worthy of being a ham."

The answer, though, is generally yes. Being a felon does not automatically prevent one from having a ham license. Nor are licenses "normally" revoked based on that. But they can be, apparently.

My guess, and it is only that, is that someone who has served his/her time, and has has rights restored, and is now a free person, would be eligible for an amateur radio license. Someone still serving time might not be.

Some organizations, such as ARES, will not accept someone with a criminal record. That is definitely true if that someone happenes to have been convicted of a crime involving children. But that is not an FCC decision.

Ed

N2RJ
11-11-2006, 02:09 PM
The original question, if I am reading it right, is whether someone currently in prison can obtain an amateur radio license.

What would they do with a ham license in jail anyway?

WA2ZDY
11-11-2006, 02:40 PM
FCC will not issue a license to anyone currently incarcerated.

Do you see much opportunity for getting RF out of THIS place?! (No, that's not me but yes I worked in this very spot, as did WS2L.)

WD0CT
11-11-2006, 09:20 PM
The management of qrz had no problem with having a convicted felon as their editor and super moderator for several years.

W6GQ
11-11-2006, 09:24 PM
Quote[/b] (wd0ct @ Nov. 11 2006,14:20)]The management of qrz had no problem with having a convicted felon as their editor and super moderator for several years.
ooooooooooooooooooooo that ones gonna leave a mark

http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

W4HWD
11-12-2006, 12:22 AM
Based on past FCC enforcement actions, amateurs who have been convicted of felonies while in possession of a valid amateur radio license have had their licenses cancelled. When a ham gets convicted of a felony, and the FCC gets wind of the conviction, they call the licensees character into question, since a felon, in their eyes, does not have the requisite character to be a licensed amateur. It looks like to me that if one gets a felony conviction while a ham, they will get to keep their license until the FCC finds out about the conviction. Also, if a felon applies for a fresh license, it will be granted unless the FCC knows about the conviction, in which case most likely the license won't be issued.

There have quite a few recent examples of this; if you look in QST under the enforcement news you'll see some.

W0JBC
11-12-2006, 01:51 AM
What is this world coming to ?

If you were ( are ) a convicted felon, why not issue you a Federally Regulated Service license ?

I might be wrong but a convicted felon cannot VOTE ....

I am not a lawyer so I can't say if you can have a felony expunged from your record or not.... It is a good question ......

I have read of a few felons who have turned their lives around for the better ..... I read about their born again lives in the newspapers.....

Why worry about this subject ?? If, while incarcerated, they can attain a law degree, why not then an amateur radio license ??

The inmates have a lot of TIME to do something.....

They even might have the TIME to learn the dreaded morse code ....

Just my opinion......

Who REALLY cares http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif


JB,

N2RJ
11-12-2006, 03:04 AM
Quote[/b] (w4hwd @ Nov. 11 2006,19:22)]Based on past FCC enforcement actions, amateurs who have been convicted of felonies while in possession of a valid amateur radio license have had their licenses cancelled. When a ham gets convicted of a felony, and the FCC gets wind of the conviction, they call the licensees character into question, since a felon, in their eyes, does not have the requisite character to be a licensed amateur. It looks like to me that if one gets a felony conviction while a ham, they will get to keep their license until the FCC finds out about the conviction. Also, if a felon applies for a fresh license, it will be granted unless the FCC knows about the conviction, in which case most likely the license won't be issued.

There have quite a few recent examples of this; if you look in QST under the enforcement news you'll see some.
Well there are cases of ex-con amateurs suing in court and getting back their licenses.

Does the name Kevin Mitnick (N6NHG) ring a bell?

Personally I think that only serious crimes of moral turpitude (armed robbery, murder, terrorism etc.) or radio related offenses should bar you from holding a license, subject to something like a three strikes rule.

I am all for giving someone a second chance in life if they committed a minor crime, even if it's a felony. After all, it's just radio. It's not like someone committing a crime will think "OMG now the FCC will yank my license, maybe I shouldn't do this..."

KA0GKT
11-12-2006, 05:31 AM
All which has been stated, including amateurs sueing to get back their licenses is true; however, recently, the Federal Communications Commission has, on several occasions, denied renewal or questioned the qualifications of amateurs who have been convicted of offenses which have nothing to do with the Federal Communications Act as amended.

It is possible that a letter worded similarly to this will be received by licensed amateurs caught by the long-arm of the law:



Quote[/b] ]The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has referred your application for renewal, File #xxxxxxxxxxx, to the Enforcement Bureau for review. Your application was referred as a result a recent proceeding in the Podunk Hollow County Superior Court in which you received a sentence for harassment relating.

As a result, we are referring the issue of renewal of your Amateur license for designation of a hearing to be held before an Administrative Law Judge. As an applicant, you will have to appear in Washington, DC and you will have the burden of proof in showing that you are qualified to hold an Amateur license. Under separate cover you will be sent further information about the hearing.


Yes, convicted felons have and probably do hold amateur radio licenses, however the commission retains the right to review the circumstances of the conviction and the particular violations for which the applicant received the conviction.

Non-communications based felonies which have received scrutiny in the past have been sexual offenders, child molestors and perpetrators of fraud.

73 DE KAŘGKT/7

--Steve

N3BIF
11-12-2006, 07:38 AM
All those bars would make a great counterpoise !

AB6ND
11-12-2006, 08:31 AM
Why stop him? Members of Congress are allowed to become Hams.

AB6ND

KA7RRA
11-12-2006, 07:50 PM
Quote[/b] (W0JBC @ Nov. 11 2006,18:51)]I might be wrong but a convicted felon cannot VOTE .... #
Are you sure on that? look at the election in 2004 and also the king county election,In Washington State

Every body gets to vote dead people even voted..

WS2L
11-12-2006, 08:24 PM
As far as I recall as long as the person does not use amateur radio during the commission of a crime they can keep their licenses. As far as I am concerned as long as it wasn't used to commit a crime what difference does it make if a felon is allowed to keep his license or not. Once they pay their debt to society why take away his/her license as it has nothing to do with whatever crime was committed.

ZDY, thanks for the trip down memory lane. It was 9 years ago yesterday (11/11) that I got assaulted which was followed by the accidental disability pension. As sick as it sounds, I miss that place once in a while.

KD8Z
11-12-2006, 10:08 PM
Members of Congress get their records wiped clean for statutory rape by Bill Clinton at the end of his second term, can you say Representative Mel Reynolds (possible spelling error), a democrat from Chicago.

KD8Z
11-12-2006, 10:10 PM
Members of Congress get their records wiped clean for statutory rape by Bill Clinton at the end of his second term, can you say Representative Mel Reynolds (possible spelling error), a democrat from Chicago.

Don't no where the dup came from but I'll accept my punishment!!

WA2ZDY
11-13-2006, 12:04 AM
Wow Q, I didn't realise it was that long ago. #Hard to believe it's been almost two years since I worked. # 7Nov was 19 years since I first got promoted and started at good old RSP and May will be 14 since I was there last. # Time flies.

And don't feel bad, I miss the job every day. #Hey, you and I both started there as near-kids. #I spent my entire adult life in the business. #Maybe worse for me, I keep in touch with a lot of guys still working. # I hear the stories constantly. #

Maybe that's part of why I moved so far away.

I found more old pics of the place by the way. #Salvaged from the tunnel under the rotunda. # I'll scan them and put them on my website for ya. And by the way, as far as I can figure, that pic I posted is 4up 8 tier. It's on the front side of 4w and if it was 4dn 4 tier, the shower on the flats would be visible below. The glass tier was in back on 5 tier, so . . . yeah, memories.

W4HWD
11-13-2006, 12:35 AM
Quote[/b] (AB2MH @ Nov. 11 2006,22:04)]There have quite a few recent examples of this; if you look in QST under the enforcement news you'll see some.
Well there are cases of ex-con amateurs suing in court and getting back their licenses.

Does the name Kevin Mitnick (N6NHG) ring a bell?[/QUOTE]
I guess I should have been more specific. When the FCC finds out you've been convicted of a felony, they do not automatically cancel your license; they designate your license for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, with the basis for the hearing being your "character qualifications"; since you did something bad and were convicted for it, you no longer have the "character" to be a licensee. Most subjected amateurs don't even attend the hearing, so due to their lack of attendance the ALJ rules in favor of the FCC and the license goes bye-bye. If the designee shows up and convinces the judge he should retain his license, the judge may let him keep it.

WA2ZDY
11-13-2006, 01:00 AM
Kinda tough to appear in DC when you're rotting in the hole in Rahway, NJ though.

N7RJD
11-13-2006, 01:01 AM
Funny how we call our penal system rehabilitation and say that we are trying to turn people back into productive members of society. The fact is we use a conviction as an excuse to take away the things that can help a person feel productive. Feeling productive can go a long way toward being productive.

Personally I feel the FCC's right to deny or revoke a license based solely on a person having a felony conviction should not hold up. I feel they gave that right up when they stopped asking on the application for license grant if a person carried such a conviction. Of course it would be hard to gain backing of any elected official or political appointee once a person's right to vote is taken away. Why waste time making things right for those who can't vote you in or out of office.

It would be nice to be able to judge such issues on a case by case basis but in reality this isn't going to happen.

Arguing your case in front of an administrative law judge would require the ability to travel to and stay in Washington DC until your case had been heard. In some cases this may require multiple trips. I don't know about others but this is not something I would be able to afford and wouldn't expect a person who is working to rebuild their life to be able to afford.

I am not one who believes in the pampering of prisoners but do believe that the hard life should be left on the inside and people be allowed to rebuild their life once released. The outside world should be more comfortable than the inside so as to help discourage repeat offenses and a return to the inside.

With all that being said I do believe there are some offenses vile enough to exclude people from obtaining or holding a license. I just don't believe every crime should carry such forfeiture of right and privilege.

N2RJ
11-13-2006, 05:34 AM
Quote[/b] (WS2L @ Nov. 12 2006,15:24)]As far as I recall as long as the person does not use amateur radio during the commission of a crime they can keep their licenses.
That's not correct.

The commission tried to take away Mitnick's license based on the probability that he would violate the rules in the future, not based on any past action involving amateur radio.

See here (http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-01-359A1.pdf)

From the document:

9. Pursuant to Section 309(e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,15 if a
substantial and material question of fact is presented or the Commission for any reason is unable to
determine that grant of an application would serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity, the
Commission is required to designate the application for an evidentiary hearing. In the instant case,
Mr. Mitnick was convicted as recently as 1999 after pleading guilty to four counts of wire fraud, two
counts of computer fraud, and one count of illegally intercepting a wire communication. The
offenses for which he was convicted constitute felonies and involved fraudulent activities. In
addition, the misconduct for which he was convicted involved, in part, the telecommunications industry over which the Commission has regulatory authority. Mr. Mitnick’s criminal background
raises a substantial and material question of fact as to whether he possesses the requisite character
qualifications to be and remain a Commission licensee. <u>Given his propensity to engage in criminal
activities, particularly those involving fraud, we have serious reservations about Mr. Mitnick’s ability
to comply with our rules and regulations in the future.</u> The fact of Mr. Mitnick’s criminal
convictions is res judicata and will not be retried in this hearing.


Of course Kevin did get back his ham license, eventually, but he had to fight the FCC and basically beg for it back and promise not to do anything bad again.

But do understand that he didn&#39;t even have to do anything bad involving amateur radio in order to have the FCC attempt to revoke his license.

If you are convicted of a crime, and the FCC feels as though you&#39;re going to violate the rules in the future, even if you haven&#39;t done so in the past, they can try to revoke your license, and in many cases succeed. It&#39;s very scary the kind of power and discretion they are allowed to exercise.

Of course what helped here was that Kevin committed his crimes through the PSTN, which is regulated by the FCC. So if any crime you did was conducted using FCC regulated technology, they will have cause to review and possibly revoke your license.

N2RJ
11-13-2006, 05:37 AM
Quote[/b] (w4hwd @ Nov. 12 2006,19:35)]
Quote[/b] (AB2MH @ Nov. 11 2006,22:04)]There have quite a few recent examples of this; if you look in QST under the enforcement news you&#39;ll see some.
Well there are cases of ex-con amateurs suing in court and getting back their licenses.

Does the name Kevin Mitnick (N6NHG) ring a bell?
I guess I should have been more specific. When the FCC finds out you&#39;ve been convicted of a felony, they do not automatically cancel your license; they designate your license for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, with the basis for the hearing being your &quot;character qualifications&quot;; since you did something bad and were convicted for it, you no longer have the &quot;character&quot; to be a licensee. Most subjected amateurs don&#39;t even attend the hearing, so due to their lack of attendance the ALJ rules in favor of the FCC and the license goes bye-bye. If the designee shows up and convinces the judge he should retain his license, the judge may let him keep it.[/QUOTE]
Much better.

So basically the FCC will try to yank your license, but if you fight them for it, you have a chance of getting it back.

That definitely sounds more like it.

g0gdg
11-13-2006, 07:05 AM
how does ANYONE of you know you havnt been conversing with a conviced person, does it realy matter ?, but then i live in a civalized country http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif

N2RJ
11-13-2006, 02:25 PM
Quote[/b] (g0gdg @ Nov. 13 2006,02:05)]how does ANYONE of you know you havnt been conversing with a conviced person, does it realy matter ?
I don&#39;t care.

W5HTW
11-13-2006, 03:27 PM
Quote[/b] (AB2MH @ Nov. 13 2006,07:25)]
Quote[/b] (g0gdg @ Nov. 13 2006,02:05)]how does ANYONE of you know you havnt been conversing with a conviced person, does it realy matter ?
I don&#39;t care.
I agree with that. It isn&#39;t up to me to further (or at all) penalize someone for past offenses. I leave that up to the judicial system. If I choose not to talk with someone on the air, it will be for other reasons, most likely personal ones, such as how that individual deals specifically with me. Sure, if I know a crime is being committed, and the person is getting away with it, it is indeed my obligation to report it, whether it involves radio or not. That is called citizenship. I have no part in the penal system.

I agree with someone else here who said once that question about being convicted of a felony was removed from the FCC application form, they should have a far more difficult time yanking someone&#39;s license for non-communications related crimes. I do think, though, if the crime is communications related, it falls in their playground, whether it is ham radio or cell phones. There, it should be decided on a case by case basis.

With Mitnick, it was alleged his license was refused for crimes he might commit in the future, not only for what he had already done. That is the same system we use for child molestors. We convict them for crimes they may do in the future, after we have convicted them for crimes they have done in the past. If the &#39;future crimes&#39; principle holds true for one type of felon, it should hold true for all.

However, our judicial system is based on punishment for what one has done, not for what one may do in the future. If a ham does get his ticket revoked on &#39;questionable character,&#39; if he can prove his character is no longer questionable, that is, he will not commit another crime of that nature, should he then be able to get his license back?

And thinking of future crimes, does anyone remember just a few years back when women, I believe at some university in the Carolinas, &quot;convicted&quot; all men of being rapists, because they are &quot;potential&quot; rapists? Now that&#39;s what we need&#33; Heck we are ALL potential criminals&#33; We could ALL go to jail&#33; Ah, such stupidity&#33; Of course no one was actually &#39;convicted&#39; in that women&#39;s thing, but it points out how extremely silly we can get if we aren&#39;t careful.

For example, ALL citizens are potential child molesters. Hmmm. ALL hams are potential radio criminals.

Yeah. Right&#33; The &quot;future crimes&quot; thing is a scary thought, huh?

Ed

WN4M
11-13-2006, 03:32 PM
It doesnt have to be a felony. check this out.
http://www.qrz.com/ib-bin....=137200 (http://www.qrz.com/ib-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=7;t=137200)

N4AUD
11-13-2006, 05:08 PM
Quote[/b] (g0gdg @ Nov. 13 2006,03:05)]how does ANYONE of you know you havnt been conversing with a conviced person, does it realy matter ?, but then i live in a civalized country http://www.qrz.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif
And yet not civilized enough to have spell checking or observe the rules of grammar.

I couldn&#39;t care less if someone here is a convicted felon, and I converse with felons on a daily basis. I believe the FCC can and should be able to investigate IF a person is likely to be able to observe the rules that govern our license. Some convicted felons have no other criminal history and may have simply made a poor decision once, while others are lifelong criminals who will not obey any rules and even take delight in breaking the law. It would have to be looked at on a case by case basis. Simply having a felony conviction is not in itself enough to deny a license, and multiple misdemeanor convictions may show a pattern of behavior that would make someone undesirable as a licensee.

WA2ZDY
11-14-2006, 02:14 AM
The UK is indeed a civilised place. They don&#39;t generally shoot each other there as guns are not as readily available in the UK. Instead they blow each other up, and quite often over matters as who&#39;s better, this religion or that.

Plenty of convicts over there too.

Yep, civilised, just like the US.

W6TMI
11-14-2006, 04:10 AM
Quote[/b] (WA2ZDY @ Nov. 13 2006,18:14)]The UK is indeed a civilised place. They don&#39;t generally shoot each other there as guns are not as readily available in the UK. Instead they blow each other up, and quite often over matters as who&#39;s better, this religion or that.

Plenty of convicts over there too.

Yep, civilised, just like the US.
Heck, religion nothing, they kill each other over a soccer match.

WS2L
11-14-2006, 02:26 PM
Quote[/b] (AB2MH @ Nov. 12 2006,17:34)]
Quote[/b] (WS2L @ Nov. 12 2006,15:24)]As far as I recall as long as the person does not use amateur radio during the commission of a crime they can keep their licenses.
That&#39;s not correct.

The commission tried to take away Mitnick&#39;s license based on the probability that he would violate the rules in the future, not based on any past action involving amateur radio.

See here (http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-01-359A1.pdf)
In this case I probably would not renew the license either. What I was trying to say that your everyday run of the mill convict who robbed a gas station, goes to jail and does his time and is released. If he was a licensed ham at the time he robbed the gas station I don&#39;t see any reason to pull his license away from him so long as the radio was not used in the commission of the crime. Not all cases are the same and there are exceptional cases such as the one you pointed out, this person does pose a threat in the future.

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