Sacramento Sheriff cracking down on gun permits


PDA






wuluf
January 14, 2008, 10:59 PM
http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/631894.html

Sheriff cracking down on gun permits
Two officials arrested in DUI cases lose authorization to carry concealed weapons.
By Christina Jewett and Andrew Mcintosh - cjewett@sacbee.com

Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness has revoked concealed weapon permits of a gubernatorial appointee and a state parole official while also vowing to overhaul permit record keeping, both in the wake of a Bee investigation.

The Bee reported that at least 30 of the 550 people issued local carry permits from 1996 to 2007 had records of criminal convictions and at least seven had failed to disclose them in their concealed weapon applications. Most of those permits were granted by McGinness' predecessor, former Sheriff Lou Blanas.

McGinness said he revoked the permit of Julie Motamedi, whom Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and one of the permit holders profiled in The Bee's story.

Motamedi was arrested Sept. 1, 2005, on suspicion of drunken driving and cited by a California Highway Patrol officer for having a gun with her in the car. Under Sheriff's Department policy, drinking alcohol while carrying a loaded gun invalidates the permit.

The Sacramento District Attorney's Office chose not to file the gun charge and Motamedi pleaded no contest to the DUI charge in 2005.

McGinness said he had not previously known about the incident and subsequently sent Motamedi who had held a concealed weapon permit since 1999 a letter revoking her permit. He also said he plans to more rigorously screen permit renewal requests, required every two years. No section of the current renewal form asks for details about intervening arrests.

Motamedi said late in December that she was not angry about the sheriff's decision.

"I don't mind losing the permit because I injured a finger a few years ago," she said, making it harder for her to fire a gun.

Motamedi has resigned from her position as chair of the TRPA governing board but did not return calls seeking comment about that resignation.

McGinness also revoked the permit of Robert T. "Bobby" Rodriguez, the state Board of Parole Hearing's associate chief deputy commissioner, who was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Merced.

Merced police said Rodriguez's blood alcohol level at the time of the November arrest was 0.16 twice the legal limit.

Rodriguez, reached at his Elk Grove home, declined to comment.

McGinness said he canceled both permits because the holders displayed questionable judgment.

"Generally, a DUI conviction on your record should be presumed to be a disqualifier," for a concealed gun permit, he said.

The Sheriff's Department can allow people to carry a loaded gun if they have "good moral character" and prove they have "good cause" for needing a gun, according to state law. But the state grants leeway to local law enforcement in determining which applicants fit those definitions.

Despite that, The Bee's investigation found a number of questionable calls, including permits granted for such needs as carrying a lot of money or wearing expensive jewelry. A bounty hunter received a concealed weapon permit even though he had been accused of domestic violence and had been subject to a temporary restraining order although he was never convicted of a crime.

A federal lawsuit that the county so far has spent nearly $180,000 defending accuses former Sheriff Blanas of favoring campaign contributors who apply for permits.

The Bee's review found that Blanas had issued a concealed weapon permit to a campaign contributor who bought a vacation home with him and to a couple who contributed cash and liquor to his campaigns, who were allowed to complete their gun training at the department's officer-only range.

Blanas has declined to comment his attorney says he cannot because of the pending legal action but in sworn statements he firmly denied the allegations.

The Bee found that among people granted permits to carry a loaded gun, more than 70 past and current permit holders collectively contributed at least $200,000 to Blanas' campaigns. Past and current permit holders, it reported, contributed $25,000 to McGinness' campaign for the office he took over in July 2006.

California permit holders are subject to a criminal records check by the state Department of Justice, screening out anyone convicted of any of a long list of felonies or other violent or gun-related misdemeanors. None of the Sacramento permit holders cited by The Bee had been convicted of a listed offense.

However, the state urges law enforcement agencies to go beyond those checks in determining moral character and good cause. McGinness said that some of The Bee's findings including people with multiple drunken driving convictions raised questions about his department's own screening process.

The sheriff said he has established veto power over permit decisions, typically made by a committee of high-ranking deputies.

"I think the result of this will probably be a better system as it relates to (concealed weapon permit) standards and issuance," McGinness said.

Permit records need to be overhauled, he said, adding that he is considering a computerized data system funded with permit application fees.

While The Bee's concealed gun permit story revealed some irregularities in the system locally, it also drew questions from readers about statewide policies.

California is one of 11 states where police chiefs or sheriffs "may issue" concealed weapon permits to applicants who do not fall in certain categories, such as mental instability or drug addiction.

In 37 other states, legislators have ruled that law enforcement "shall issue" the permits to anyone who meets qualifications.

John Fields, executive director of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, said the 60,000-member organization favors standardizing practices across the state.

"We think it's absurd that in California the law differs so dramatically county by county," Fields said.

According to Department of Justice records, eight people held concealed gun permits in San Francisco County in 2006, while 4,006 held them in Kern County.

Giving local law enforcement discretion is crucial, countered Brian Malte, director of state legislation for the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.

"We feel local law enforcement officials know best what's best for public safety in their jurisdiction," Malte said.

In the mid-90s, Isleton Police Chief Eugene Byrd began issuing permits to anyone who could pass the background check and pay the application fee until the attorney general stopped him.

In essence Byrd created a "shall issue" enclave, which UC Davis Medical Center researchers used to examine how the approach might look in California.

Tracking 691 people who got permits in Isleton for three years, the researchers found their arrest rate for violent crimes nearly three times that of a control group of statewide applicants.

The Isleton sample was too small for concrete conclusions. But Garen Wintemute, director of the Center for Violence Prevention Research at the medical center, said it hints that guns in a "shall issue" state might land in the wrong hands.
And my response:

First, let me thank the Bee for exposing corruption and malfeasance regarding issuance of concealed carry permits in the past. This practice was unfair and should be exposed, stopped and corrected. However, at the end of your article, you point to a study of 691 permit holders and the research that shows that that group has three times the arrest record than that of the control group, and you quote the Center for Violence Prevention Research Center that this "hints that guns in a shall issue state might get into the wrong hands".. Instead of hints from a statistically insignificant group, why not use the evidence of 22 years in 37 states that are shall issue? In none of these states is the permit holders arrest record significantly higher than the population at large, nor is the crime rate higher (in fact it's often lower) after shall issue is passed. These facts are in evidence to any who honestly investigate the issue. Thanks, Wuluf

If you enjoyed reading about "Sacramento Sheriff cracking down on gun permits" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Pilgrim
January 14, 2008, 11:42 PM
First, let me thank the Bee for exposing corruption and malfeasance regarding issuance of concealed carry permits in the past.
You're being too kind. The Sac Bee has had years to investigate favoritism in the issuance of CCW permits by the previous Sheriff and chose not to do so.
Pilgrim

Gunnerpalace
January 14, 2008, 11:51 PM
I don't mind losing the permit because I injured a finger a few years ago,"

Why would you even say something like that?

That could be compared to a construction worker saying "I don't need heath insurance as I don't were a hard hat"

CountGlockula
January 15, 2008, 12:55 PM
Let's see...

I'm a law-abiding citizen, no DUIs, no criminal record, passed an LEO background test, own legal firearms, practice self-defense, have a stable job, great wife, responsible:neener:...AND again...why can't I get an CCW?

Oh yeah I forgot: I don't have a spare $25,000 to contribute to those that can issue a CCW, nor am I a political or famous figure.

It's very sad when "self-defense" or "2nd Amendment right" doesn't apply as a good cause.

RANT is now OFF.

TAB
January 15, 2008, 01:06 PM
Living in sac most of my life, CCW will never be issued here unless one of two things happen:

1 CA pass a "shall issuse law"(yeah thats going to happen)

2 complete removal of all of the "old guard" in the sherriffs deptment.(might happen, but I doubt it)

chris in va
January 15, 2008, 01:32 PM
Oh yeah I forgot: I don't have a spare $25,000 to contribute to those that can issue a CCW, nor am I a political or famous figure

Hey, you never know. There's 30 new slots available!:D

MakAttak
January 15, 2008, 01:57 PM
Tracking 691 people who got permits in Isleton for three years, the researchers found their arrest rate for violent crimes nearly three times that of a control group of statewide applicants.

The Isleton sample was too small for concrete conclusions. But Garen Wintemute, director of the Center for Violence Prevention Research at the medical center, said it hints that guns in a "shall issue" state might land in the wrong hands.

Notice here what the control group is (aside from being a poor statistical study to begin with).

They were compared to statewide Conceal Carry APPLICANTS.

Not to statewide data for citizens in general.

Another thing to note is, those who apply for a concealed carry permit statewide in California are EXTREMELY unlikely to be arrested for violent crime.

What they say in the study is not as important as what they (I will guess intentionally) ignore.

Standing Wolf
January 15, 2008, 02:09 PM
Living in sac most of my life, CCW will never be issued here unless one of two things happen:
1 CA pass a "shall issuse law"(yeah thats going to happen)
2 complete removal of all of the "old guard" in the sherriffs deptment.(might happen, but I doubt it)

My response to that predicament was to return to the United States. I applied for my Colorado permit 31 days after moving here, and received it about three weeks later. I haven't left the house without a gun since then. Life is much safer.

TAB
January 15, 2008, 02:13 PM
My response to that predicament was to return to the United States. I applied for my Colorado permit 31 days after moving here, and received it about three weeks later. I haven't left the house without a gun since then. Life is much safer.



Already have that planed out... infact friday I got plan approval to start construction on a house. When my grandparents pass I will move out of state.

FourTeeFive
January 15, 2008, 02:18 PM
Tracking 691 people who got permits in Isleton for three years, the researchers found their arrest rate for violent crimes nearly three times that of a control group of statewide applicants.

Checking online, I found this tidbit:

The 2007 Isleton, CA, population is 803.

Something doesn't compute...

CWL
January 15, 2008, 04:35 PM
FourTeeFive,
Makes sense when you are selling permits in return for money/favors to non-residents.

What doesn't make sense is how Sean Penn lives in super-ultra-liberal-antigun Marin County, has battery arrests on his record and has been issued a pistol permit.

Valkman
January 15, 2008, 04:58 PM
The Bee found that among people granted permits to carry a loaded gun, more than 70 past and current permit holders collectively contributed at least $200,000 to Blanas' campaigns. Past and current permit holders, it reported, contributed $25,000 to McGinness' campaign for the office he took over in July 2006.

That is how permits have always been granted in Sac Co., well ever since they changed the law that said any sheriff in the county could issue permits. When I lived in Elk Grove I had a permit out of Isleton but when I went to renew through Sac Co Sheriff's Office I knew I had no chance - the application is long and the questions designed to find some reason to deny you. It takes a hefty campaign donation to get one.

Soybomb
January 15, 2008, 08:47 PM
Hmm so a corrupt licensing system leads to you have licensed people who tend to not be the cream of the crop of society. For some reason this isn't shocking. Shame on the sheriff for going along with that system to begin with.

Gunnerpalace
January 15, 2008, 09:41 PM
What doesn't make sense is how Sean Penn lives in super-ultra-liberal-antigun Marin County, has battery arrests on his record and has been issued a pistol permit

Well, he has always bragged about his generous donations.

Now I know why. :rolleyes:

TAB
January 15, 2008, 09:45 PM
What doesn't make sense is how Sean Penn lives in super-ultra-liberal-antigun Marin County, has battery arrests on his record and has been issued a pistol permit.



its called the golden rule... who ever has the gold makes the rules...

thorn726
January 15, 2008, 10:01 PM
In the mid-90s, Isleton Police Chief Eugene Byrd began issuing permits to anyone who could pass the background check and pay the application fee – until the attorney general stopped him.

In essence Byrd created a "shall issue" enclave, which UC Davis Medical Center researchers used to examine how the approach might look in California.

Tracking 691 people who got permits in Isleton for three years, the researchers found their arrest rate for violent crimes nearly three times that of a control group of statewide applicants.


so that is a bit odd- i am going to guess since Isleton is not a county, the sheriff was issuing over a wider area..yeah, take a look at the map, it's in
Sacramento County

Valkman
January 15, 2008, 10:33 PM
Back then any police chief in the county could issue permits and it became well known that Chief Byrd was "shall issue". I got a permit through him but it was only good for one year. I did get to renew it once before they changed the law and ran him out of office.

Isleton is a teeny town on the Sacramento River, home of the Crawdad Festival!

TAB
January 15, 2008, 10:37 PM
Don't forget about he police cheif in west sac( for the life of me can't remember his name) all you need was a PO box in yolo county.

Lonestar49
January 15, 2008, 10:55 PM
Quote: Tracking 691 people who got permits in Isleton for three years, the researchers found their arrest rate for violent crimes nearly three times that of a control group of statewide applicants.

Checking online, I found this tidbit:


Quote:
The 2007 Isleton, CA, population is 803.

Something doesn't compute...
------------
...

In a few (political correct) kind words.. Day Laborers

Should go up every month if ya check..


Ls

jrfoxx
January 17, 2008, 05:43 AM
Let's see...

I'm a law-abiding citizen, no DUIs, no criminal record, passed an LEO background test, own legal firearms, practice self-defense, have a stable job, great wife, responsible...AND again...why can't I get an CCW?

Oh yeah I forgot: I don't have a spare $25,000 to contribute to those that can issue a CCW, nor am I a political or famous figure.

It's very sad when "self-defense" or "2nd Amendment right" doesn't apply as a good cause.


Well, at least you have finally relized that your life is not NEARLY as important as that of someone who's rich, famous, or in politics.Glad you finally understand your place and worth in the world.....(<--- this is heavy sarcasm for those who may be sarcastically impaired)

If you enjoyed reading about "Sacramento Sheriff cracking down on gun permits" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!