Gun Control Graft: 4 Indicted in Santa Clara County Sheriff's Concealed Carry Permit Corruption

Gun Control Graft: 4 Indicted in Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Concealed Carry Permit Corruption


Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith

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

Gun management isn’t simply racist, classist, expensive, and wildly ineffective. It’s additionally an exquisite alternative for some good outdated vogue graft. In jurisdictions what place your proper to maintain and bear arms depends on the say-so of a authorities functionary — somewhat than, say, the Constitution — loads of public servants see that discretion as a chance to pay for a brand new boat, pad their retirement account or hold themselves in workplace.

The finest instance, as at all times, is New York City what place there have been serial scandals over time and only the rich and famous can get a carry allow. Is there anyplace else within the U.S. what place the job title “gun license broker” is a factor?

The newest tough-on-guns locale what place cops have used their dominion over the allowing course of profitably is Silicon Valley. The stink emanating from Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith’s operation has been talked about for years. It lastly bought to the purpose final fall what place warrants had been issued and her places of work had been searched.

From the San Francisco Chronicle . . .

Prosecutors in Santa Clara County have served at the very least three search warrants whereas investigating whether or not Sheriff Laurie Smith’s workplace gave out coveted concealed-gun permits in change for marketing campaign cash, sources accustomed to the investigation instructed The Chronicle.

The Santa Clara County district legal professional’s workplace raided the sheriff’s San Jose headquarters Aug. 2, seizing proof via a search warrant that continues to be sealed. About every week earlier than that, sources mentioned, prosecutors served search warrants on two of the sheriff’s higher-ranking supervisors.

You know these expansive Silicon Valley tech companies which can be so keen on defunding and deplatforming firearms-related corporations and content material creators? It appears the Sheriff was — allegedly — trading carry permits for their security goons for fat campaign donations.

Yesterday, the Santa Clara County DA introduced that indictments have lastly been handed down.

From the San Jose Mercury News . . .

A grand jury has indicted a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s captain and three political supporters of Sheriff Laurie Smith for allegedly brokering a pay-for-play scheme wherein marketing campaign donations had been exchanged for concealed-carry weapons permits. The sheriff herself averted indictment, however prosecutors mentioned Friday that their corruption probe is much from over.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen introduced felony fees together with conspiracy and bribery in opposition to Capt. James Jensen; Christopher Schumb, an officer for a sheriff reelection committee and a distinguished South Bay litigator; legal professional Harpaul Nahal; and Milpitas gun-parts maker Michael Nichols. All 4 are accused of plotting to illegally safe concealed-gun permits for workers of Seattle-based govt safety contractor AS Solution.

AS Solution supplied safety for Facebook masters of the universe like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. You know, individuals who have been wholly (and financially) supportive of gun control measures…so long as their safety particulars have the instruments they should present ample safety for themselves and their households.

The indictment marks the primary legal case to come back out of a decade’s value of complaints concerning political favoritism in Smith’s issuing of the hard-to-get concealed-carry permits. Rosen mentioned Friday that an 18-month investigation uncovered a two-tiered coverage for the hid gun permits: a course of for normal residents whose functions had been destined for a submitting cupboard, and one other for VIPs whose functions had been fast-tracked for approval.

Imagine that. It seems that giving public staff sole discretion over who’s and isn’t allowed to train certainly one of their civil rights tends to tempt a few of them to make use of that energy for their very own profit.

What about Sheriff Smith? Wasn’t she the last word beneficiary of the cash-for-carry rip-off?

A legal grand jury was impaneled in July and started convening about two weeks in the past. When requested whether or not Smith or different high commanders had been concerned within the pay to play scheme, Rosen declined to remark, citing the lively investigation.

“We are not done,” he added.

Our crystal ball reveals bigger authorized payments within the Sheriff’s future. But the allowing “irregularities” didn’t cease with the tech giants’ safety agency.

Jensen has additionally been charged with falsifying firearms proficiency varieties for seven allow recipients: Nielsen and 6 folks unrelated to the alleged AS Solution conspiracy, together with sitting county supervisor Mike Wasserman, whose workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark Friday. The indictment didn’t element the circumstances of these allegations, however prosecutors mentioned the recipients’ permits had been issued or renewed with out having to finish the re-qualification necessities.

Do you assume Supervisor Wasserman paid for his carry allow? Did he ever undergo the qualifying course of? Inquiring minds wish to know.

Then there’s the therapy the typical Santa Clara County residents bought. What occurred when Joe or Jane Blow determined they’d like a allow so as to train their proper to maintain and bear arms?

Multiple sources accustomed to the CCW evaluation course of have instructed this group the one qualification that accredited functions had in frequent was a directive from Smith or certainly one of her high commanders. Rejected or non-processed functions, sources mentioned, usually went right into a drawer and weren’t checked out once more.

So, similar to in New York, in the event you don’t know somebody, have political pull, or are inclined to assist the Sheriff hold her job, your carry allow utility was more likely to find yourself within the round file.

Rev. Jethroe Moore, president of the San Jose-Silicon Valley NAACP chapter, mentioned he was denied a allow renewal after he refused to assist Smith’s 2018 reelection bid. Moore has referred to as for Smith to step down.

“If you don’t play in her court, you don’t get one,” he mentioned Friday. “This is a continued pattern of misleadership under her. It’s time for change at the top.”

Strange, however you don’t encounter these issues in shall-issue jurisdictions. But don’t count on any of this to vary any minds in Sacramento concerning the state’s famously restrictive gun management legal guidelines. The present system is working precisely the best way they intend it to.



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