Engineer Arrested on Felony Charges Due to Confusing Carry Permit Regulations in Two States
Jeremy Preston is a smart guy. A career engineer working in the nuclear industry, Preston knew he had to make sure to cross his t’s and dot his i’s in every aspect of his life in order to maintain his career in the highly competitive and highly regulated nuclear industry.
That’s why when Preston decided to begin carrying a gun for self defense, he made sure he understood all of the laws, went through the correct processes, and obtained the correct permits to make sure he was doing everything by the letter.
Preston obtained a concealed carry permit in his home state of Tennessee. He even made sure the permit was good in other states where he worked. When Preston was transferred to an assignment in Delaware, he went onto the Delaware Attorney General’s website to make sure the state honored his permit. They did.
According to USA Today, the trouble began when Preston wanted to register a new car in Delaware, rather than have to drive it all the way to Tennessee and back in order to register it there. Preston was told he would need a Delaware driver’s license in order to register his vehicle there. Always doing things by the books, Preston obtained the Delaware license. At this point it should be noted that Preston still maintained a residence in Tennessee and still paid taxes there, making him, legally, still a resident there. Preston also maintained a residence and pays taxes in Delaware.
Jump forward a few weeks and Preston is pulled over for speeding in Delaware. He advises the officer about his .40 caliber Glock handgun in his glovebox and hands the officer his Tennessee carry permit. The officer takes down the gun’s information and the permit information and sends Preston on his way.
Some time later, when the officer began checking out the validity of the carry permit, he was told the permit expired as soon as Preston obtained a Delaware driver’s license, even though Preston was still a resident of Tennessee.
On instructions from the Attorney General’s Office, the officer was forced to arrest Preston on felony firearms charges. If convicted, Preston will lose his ability to work in nuclear power plants and with that, his six figure job.
Preston is hoping the charges are dropped and the incident written off as a misunderstanding. However, Delaware officials are giving conflicting information on the next steps of the case. According to USA Today, state Prosecutor Kathleen M. Jennings has indicated she is inclined to drop the case, but a spokesman for Attorney General Beau Biden (son of anti-gun Vice President Joe Biden), Jason Miller, defended the decision to press charges. According to USA Today,
“There was a good-faith basis for the police to make an arrest in this case,” Miller said in a written statement.
“As with every gun case, following an arrest prosecutors conduct a thorough review of all the evidence and carefully consider the facts and circumstances in order to reach the most appropriate resolution in the interest of justice.”
Besides getting the charges dropped so he can put his life back together, Preston is also hoping states will be more clear about carry permit reciprocity, when permits expire and residential requirements for permits. He says nothing he found online would indicate his Tennessee permit would instantly become worthless when he got a Delaware driver’s license. He also said no one ever notified him that his license had expired.