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FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted Felon:

from The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 48 on December 8, 2006
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FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted Felon:

The FCC has ordered that David Edward Cox, W5OER, of Pride, Louisiana, be stripped of his Technician class Amateur Radio license. In October 2005, the FCC sent Cox an Order to Show Cause to initiate a hearing proceeding to determine if Cox, who's serving time on several felony convictions, possessed the requisite character to remain an FCC licensee or should face license revocation. The FCC says Cox failed to respond to the show-cause order. A Commission administrative law judge subsequently concluded that Cox had waived his right to a hearing, terminated the proceeding and released an Order of Revocation December 4 The revocation order is effective 40 days after that date, unless Cox appeals. A few years ago, the FCC began applying its so-called "1990 Character Order," initially intended to apply to Broadcast Service licensees, to Amateur Radio licensees and applicants.

"The Commission's character policies provide that any felony conviction is a matter predictive of licensee behavior and is directly relevant to the functioning of the Commission's regulatory mission," the FCC revocation order said. "The serious convictions described above mandate the conclusion that Mr. Cox does not possess the requisite qualifications to be or remain a Commission licensee."

An Amateur Radio licensee since 1995, Cox has a clean record in terms of obeying FCC rules and regulations, the Commission said. The revocation order recounts that a Louisiana court in January 2004 convicted Cox on two counts of simple burglary, a felony, and sentenced him to five years in prison. The judge suspended the sentence, however, and placed Cox on supervised probation instead. He was arrested on federal firearms charges in September 2004 and has been incarcerated ever since, the FCC Order said. Following a plea agreement, a US District Court judge sentenced Cox to concurrent terms of 41 months for felony firearms-related violations. The court also ordered him to pay $3000 in restitution to a firearms dealer and shooting range.

"We find that such egregious criminal misconduct justifies a finding that Mr. Cox will obey the law only when it suits him," the FCC Order said. "Mr. Cox's record as an amateur licensee and his assertions regarding his character and his crimes are insufficient to overcome the impact of the crimes. Thus, we find that Mr. Cox does not possess the character qualifications required by this Commission to be or remain a licensee." The FCC order noted that in September 2004, Cox had written James W. Shook of the FCC Enforcement Bureau's Investigations and Hearing Division.

In footnotes, the Commission cited several cases in which it has applied its character standards to Amateur Radio licensees. Two of the cases involved radio-related violations, while one stemmed from a felony conviction for indecent assault upon and corruption of minors and another from a felony conviction for computer fraud and lack of candor regarding that conviction in representations to the FCC.


The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 48 December 8, 2006

Member Comments:
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FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted Fel  
by K4RAF on December 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Gee, I feel so much safer that they have this guy off the air.

Reminds me that radio can be to rehab as a driver's license is essential to not being a deadbeat dad. Yet the authorities take both to "punish" people.

How many hams have beat their wives? They should go too!
RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by KC9HOZ on December 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
As a matter of fact, hams SHOULD lose their license if they beat their wives.

I consider that kind of behavior significantly worse than simple burglary.

What do you think?

What does your wife think?
FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted Fel  
by KT0DD on December 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Watch out, we're regressing to the 1950-1960's...The moral mental police know whats best for you! They're even talking about another moon rocket again! The dumbing down of America has just shifted into overdrive. Just remember, Uncle Sam control you!
RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by AE6RO on December 9, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I used to worry about mind control, mind reading, etc.
Not any more! I learned about the tinfoil helmut. Always wear it, even to bed.
With proper adjustments, you can even tune in WWV!
No need to wear a watch! AE6RO
RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by KI6FTS on December 10, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Seems wrong for the FCC to decide on its own to apply a "character" standard applicable to broadcast radio, to ham radio--where broadcasting to the public specifically is not allowed. Perhaps this person will appeal, to test the ruling. Perhaps the ARRL should sponsor the appeal.
RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by W9WHE-II on December 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
If K7VO is convicted.....her license should also be revoked.
RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by KA7EKW on December 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
RAF, you've finally said something that I can agree with.

If you look at this guy's convictions, they are for nonviolent crimes. Anytime you see a conviction on "Federal gun crimes" which isn't accompanied by conviction on other crimes, it's for a violation of the Gun Control Act of 1968, usually "convicted felon in possession of a firearm." That's right, this wasn't a Federal crime for the first 193 years of this country's existence.

It's been proven that someone who commits minor crimes is more likely to commit greater crimes when he feels that things are stacked against him. To start locking him out of legal activities because of his "character" only gives him more reason to resent society -- and more time in which to commit further crimes.

After all, very few burglars break into a house while carrying on a QSO.

Regarding the "deadbeat dads" issue, remember, it's not about the kids, it's about CONTROL. Wouldn't it be nice if malevolent moms got their licenses taken away for poisoning their kids' minds about their fathers?

Heck, my ex would have to ride her BROOM to work!

RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by KI6FTS on December 11, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Courts should decide on the punishment appropriate to the crime--and that should be that. Nothing is served by vindictively making it impossible for persons "who have paid their debt to society" to ever lead normal lives again. As for amateur radio, it might even be a good thing for prisons to permit trusted inmates to practice the art. If inmates can earn university degrees while behind bars, why not a ham radio license?

FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted Fel  
by KB1PMW on December 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
It is a bit of a two sided sword, in my view. I do think that a operator that is convicted of a felony should have his/her operating privileges suspended, until their sentence is served.

After that, unless there is some reason that the FCC feels that the operator is commiting additional illegal activity, the privilages should be restored.

And like an drivers licence, it is a privilage, not a entitlement or right.
RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by KB3LSR on December 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I don't really see the connection between his crimes (burglary and a weapons violation) and revoking his amateur radio license. What he did has absolutely nothing to do with radio use whatsoever (if he had a police scanner on him while committing the crimes, that'd be different, but it didn't say that he did, so we can't assume so). While I do not condone his activities, nor prisons educating prisoners at taxpayer expense, I don't think that going after his ham license is within the punishment he should receive. I have an FFL (Federal Firearms License) and obviously a ham license, I would expect to have my FFL revoked if I committed a burglary and had a weapons violation, but I wouldn't expect my ham license to be revoked. On the other hand, it is a federal license, and the federal government is picky about who it licenses to perform certain functions (like how doctors have a DEA registration number). Why they went after his license for this when there are numerous other, much more important, law enforcement/punishment things to worry about is beyond me. How about having the FCC put some good effort toward illegal CB operation or maybe throw the book at jammers (if you are unlucky enough to live in an area with one). Well, that's my $0.02.

73 de KB3LSR
RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by W9WHE-II on December 14, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Why would you want convicted criminals in our midst?

RE: FCC Revokes Amateur Radio License of Convicted  
by KB3LSR on December 14, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Convicted felons are always in our midst. A felon cannot purchase or own a firearm. Why should being a felon bar him from ham radio? We all make bad mistakes, just some of us get caught for it. If you get caught for a DUI (which is bad, I'm not saying it isn't) should they take away your ham license? What the guy did had absolutely nothing to do with radios, radio transmissions, or RFI, so why take that away from him? When he gets out of jail (and pays his debt to society) why should we further punish him? I'm not a bleeding-heart liberal, but I feel at the very least he should be able to retest to get his license. If they do not allow him to participate in ARES or RACES (which I highly doubt they would just because he is a convicted felon) then that is a different story. Don't you feel the FCC should involve themselves in other matters like enforcing the CB laws or revoking licenes of jammers and those that intentionally disrupt communications?

Let's face it, we ALL know a convicted felon (maybe it was that guy in high school who was always in suspension or maybe it was the guy at the hardware store who did something stupid when he was younger). Would you like to take the convicted felon you know and strip him of all his freedoms when he is integrated back into society? Don't forget that re-integration into society does make them free (except for some things like professional licenes or gun ownership), so why take it away from a free person? At least let him retest after he gets out.

Those are my thoughts anyways, I'm sure many would disagree.

73 de KB3LSR
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