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May-Issue Profiteering: When Government Officials Decide Who Can Carry, Corruption Inevitably Follows

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

It’s funny how public corruption and bribery scandals tend to crop up where the right to bear arms is turned into a privilege that’s only granted by local law enforcement officers and elected officials. One of the most prominent examples of this is, of course, the gun control nirvana that is New York City.

Now, however, the Bay Area finds itself the focus of a criminal probe into how concealed carry permits are “granted” there, with subpoenas and accusations of large “donations” and quids pro quo beginning to fly.

Go figure.

A focal point of the DA investigation continues to be a single $45,000 donation by Martin Nielsen, executive protection operations and executive projects manager for Seattle-based AS Solution. Records show Nielsen made the donation in October 2018 to the Santa Clara County Public Safety Alliance, an independent-expenditure committee that backed [Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie] Smith’s bid for a sixth term, and he and multiple colleagues in the firm received concealed-carry weapon permits this past March. …

The county has been long criticized for its lack of public transparency on how many applications are received and rejected and is the target of at least one active civil lawsuit over how the privilege is granted. CCW permits in California are issued at the sole discretion of the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs, and their sensibilities range widely. Santa Clara County tends to issue fewer permits than most of the state’s 58 counties, particularly those outside of the Bay Area.

Currently, only about 150 such permits have been issued or renewed in Santa Clara County since 2014. San Bernardino County, which has a similar population albeit stretched over a far larger geographical area, has over 3,000 active permits. And Sacramento County, which has 20 percent fewer people than Santa Clara County but is similar in its urban and suburban mix, has over 5,000 such permits issued to residents.

– Robert Salonga in Undersheriff ensnared in Santa Clara County concealed guns corruption probe

Source: The Truth About Guns

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