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For Immediate Release
August 5, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

MAN CONVICTED OF SUBMITTING FALSE APPLICATION
TO PURCHASE HANDGUN

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that the Firearms Trafficking Unit has obtained a conviction against a man for submitting a false application to purchase a handgun to the Maryland State Police.

James Otis Blann, 30365 Harris Range Road, Cordova, pled guilty to False Application to Purchase a Regulated Firearm before the Honorable Diane O. Leasure, sitting for the Circuit Court for Howard County. Blann was sentenced to two years of incarceration, with all of that time being suspended, and he was placed on two years of supervised probation. He was also ordered not to have any adverse contact with the petitioner in the protective order during the period of probation.

On September 20, 2002, a woman who had lived with Blann and had a child in common with him, filed a Petition for Protective Order claiming that on different occasions he had assaulted her and a new boyfriend in her home, kept her confined against her will in a car, and made threats on her life and their child's life. The District Court for Maryland in Queen Anne's County issued an Ex-Parte Protective Order that day, and held a Protective Order hearing on September 27, 2002. The Defendant did not appear for that hearing, and the Court granted a Protective Order that would last until September 1, 2003.

On that same day, Blann filed a Petition to Rescind the Protective Order, claiming that he was mistakenly in the wrong courtroom. After filing that motion, he called the petitioner and began angrily yelling at her. She informed him that he was violating the protective order, and then called the police. After an Easton police officer contacted Blann, he stopped any further contact. On September 30, 2002, the District Court ordered that a hearing be scheduled in order to hear the defendant's Petition to Rescind Protective Order.

On October 5, 2002, the defendant went to Chesapeake Guns in Stevensville, and applied to purchase a Rock Island, .45 caliber pistol. When filling out a Maryland State Police Application to Purchase a Regulated Firearm, the defendant responded ‘no' to the question, "Are you a respondent against whom a current non ex-parte civil protective order has been entered under Section 4-506 of the Family Law Article?" He then swore under the penalty of perjury that his answers were truthful. Additionally, when filling out the Federal Form 4473 that must also be completed, he responded ‘no' to the question, "Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner?" That application was then forwarded to the Maryland State Police, and they determined that he was still subject to an active protective order that was in effect until September 1, 2003. His application to buy a gun was then denied, and the Maryland State Police Firearms Enforcement Section began an investigation of Blann. On October 8, 2002, the District Court in Queen Anne's County did grant his request for a new trial. Once again, the court made a finding that reasonable grounds existed to believe an assault had occurred, and issued a new Protective Order that is in effect until September 1, 2003.

This case was investigated by the Firearms Enforcement Section of the Maryland State Police and was prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Firearms Trafficking Unit, Criminal Investigations Division. Funding for the Firearms Trafficking Unit comes from grants received from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.

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