Concealed Carry Corruption Probe Won’t be Complete if Demographics are Ignored

It’s fair to ask what Sheriff Laurie Smith is swearing these guys to, and what part of “shall not be infringed” she doesn’t understand. (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -( “Undersheriff ensnared in Santa Clara County concealed guns corruption probe,” The Mercury News reported Friday.  It was the latest installment in “[a] corruption investigation targeting the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office over a possible pay-to-play racket for concealed-handgun privileges…”

“[Sheriff Laurie] Smith’s office is being investigated over concealed-weapons permits issued by her office, particularly one to an executive security agent who made the biggest single donation to support her re-election bid last fall,” we are told.

For those who have been watching such outrages for years, the response might be “Again?” And why do such abuses always seem to be committed by doctrinaire gun-grabbing “Only Ones”?

Back at the turn of the century, I was raising flags about Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and his ridiculously offensive “celebrity reserve program,” which started to lose favor after one of the luminaries allegedly threatened a couple in their car with a laser-sighted gun while in his underpants. A second “Star Cop” was arrested in a money-laundering sting. I’m not making this stuff up.

“Those who’ve given the sheriff gifts or donated to his campaign are disproportionately represented on the roster of permit holders,” LA Weekly reported. “In fact, more than two dozen people who have given gifts or campaign contributions to the sheriff also have gun permits. More than one out of every 10 permits issued to civilians went to people on Baca’s gift list.”

Baca was hardly alone in enjoying the perks of power. While I can’t present a comprehensive list here, I can point to some representative cases that we could file under “You get the picture.”

“Sheriff Warren Rupf of Contra Costa County, California has financed his re-election efforts with selective issuance of both “CCW” (Carry Concealed Weapons) permits and a “quasi law enforcement status” totally illegal and improper in its own right,” activist Jim March wrote in 2002. In his report, he analyzed campaign contribution records, Public Records Act “raw data” on permit holders, and Sheriff’s Posse of Contra Costa County documents.

Prolific in his posts, it would again be impractical to synopsize all of March’s work in this column, but I will highlight another example to set a tone of consistency: This 2007 thread from The High Road gave props to March and linked to a Sacramento Bee story about an FBI investigation “that alleges former Sheriff Lou Blanas issued permits as political favors.”

Case in point:

“Documents filed Friday in the federal civil rights suit say FBI investigators have requested gun permit documents from the department, which include a permit Blanas issued to Sacramento businessman Edwin G. Gerber. Gerber gave $3,500 to Blanas’ election campaign, election records show, and bought a vacation home with Blanas in Reno in the fall of 2005, according to property records. The former sheriff signed Gerber’s gun permit a day before leaving office last summer.”

It’s fair to conclude that “may issue” more likely means “may not,” and that the citizens who do get granted permits are people of influence and means. That’s hardly equal protection.

But there’s one other factor that must not be overlooked in the investigation of not just the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, but of all permits issued by California’s top cops: Discrimination.

That’s something the Second Amendment Foundation warned against years ago:

“California DOJ sponsors bill to mask corruption and racism,” an SAF press release claimed. Charging “a deliberate effort to conceal massive wrongdoing in the handling of Concealed Weapons permit applications across California,” SAF further accused then-Attorney General Bill Lockyer of “violation of the California Public Records Act to mask the local misconduct.”

This is what appears to be missing in current probes of related corruption in the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, and may prove to be a way to expose violations of stater and federal equal opportunity laws.

How do the earnings and race/sex demographic rates for permit recipients compare to the general population there and in all counties throughout California? The Democrat-dominated government there makes a great noise of how “progressive” they are, but how does that work in practice for which citizens are “permitted” to bear arms?

It seems more a question for the Feds since the state and the counties have shown a historical propensity for being problematic in such matters. And it would go a long way toward demonstrating for all to see the corruption and tyranny that is inevitable when a group of political elites has a say over the rights of everybody else.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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Cali is a Shi*hole.


We are on the road to one answer and one answer only…The REASON the 2nd amendment was put there…. There are countless articles and commentators and pundits who fence and tangle, who tumble and roll the slogans and platitudes of gun control, civilian disarmament, public safety, gun violence epidemics, commonsense restrictions, loopholes, Second Amendment rights and other sophisticated and nuanced and ultimately irrelevant sophistries that dance around and completely avoid the blunt and brutally honest point of lethal, military grade weapons in the hands of civilians. They are in those hands for one purpose, and one purpose only. That purpose… Read more »


Sounds like menacing, unethical conduct, by elected servants, that were given the opportunity to “Serve”, but have decided that by attempting to “Rule”, that it is more profitable to exploit individuals for personal gain. The more that politicians are watched, the more it is understood how criminals think. Unacceptably sickening..


When the master (here, the citizen) becomes lazy and self-indulgent, the servant becomes the one who manages the master’s affairs and also the master. Many kings throughout history have become like children entertained and coddled in a palace filled with expensive toys, while the affairs of state, and even the activities of the king himself, are controlled by those supposedly under the king’s command. Citizen complacency and selfishness assures that the American citizen will be subject to his own “servants”.


Sound’s like MI old may issue… You could only get a CPL if you were a judge, politician, someone rich, or knew the right people who owed you a favor… yeah we fixed it…


This strikes me of what was once called; WAR LORDS. In maryland, it is considered a “may issue” state. However, IF you do not
1) Own a business,
2) Protect OTHER people’s money, or
3) Know a politician.
Otherwise the maryland state police will behave that maryland is a: MAY not ISSUE state.
When I asked a state policeman why these strict “regulations”, his response was: “If you do not like the laws – – change them.”


And some folks think anarchy would be worse because warlords would rise up. LOL! I’ve been saying for years we just have LEGALIZED VOTED IN WAR LORDS and the sheeple keep coming back for more robbing raping and pillaging by the ruling class.


Easy for him to say wasn’t it?,well he will be a Joe Six Pack soon, and he will be like the rest of us.Getting shafted.

jack mac

Ladyboy, the policeman knows he will not comply with the law even if you changed it.


Thec “pattern” for modern gun control began with the NYC Sullivan Law requiring a permit. THe public was told it was about crime AND IT WAS.
Tim Sullivan, a leader of the Irish Five Points Gag in NYC got elected [intimidation?] and wrote the law to promote his gang ad associates. Rival gangs and victims couldn’t get a permit.
See, it was about crime.


Many moons ago and in a land far away my Dad had his CCW in San Juaquin County, CA, his business address. In 2003 when he retired he moved to Contra Costa County and investigated getting his CCW there. He was told by a Deputy SGT it would cost him $6,000.00 donation to the Sheriff’s reelection campaign to be considered. That is how life works in progressive utopias like Kalifornia. The government suspends your rights by slight of hand and then tries to sell them back to you. When my Dad passed he asked to be interred OUT of the… Read more »


Thats one of many reasons I call it Kommiefornia. More rights for criminals than the people.
Now, Oregun is starting the same thing and Washington is already there.


No, in Wsshington the Mother May I Cards are SHALL ISSUE. The worst abuse of that I’ve heard of used to happen in King County (Seattle). The stinker of a sheriff there told his crew to go ahead and issue the Mother May I Cards, but to wait until the 29th day after the date of begging…. state law then mandated it be in the mail within thirty days. Just to be stinkers, just because “they can”. New sheriff, from what I’ve heard, now gets them out straightaway. My renewal in a different county took a whole five days from… Read more »

Greg K

So True…the only way mine could have shown up sooner, is if the Sheriff would have delivered it himself.


“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you…”


@Silk; The word you are understandably miss using is “can”. That word should be “WILL”.


And it damn sure will be used against you, NO talk to Cops without Attorney PERIOD.


@DZ – Must respectfully disagree. Need to tell them that you won’t speak to them without attorney – then shut up.
Seems for many (most?) that last step can be quite difficult. Cops have learned that most criminals will talk themselves into trouble. Given the morass our legislature has made, pretty much everyone breaks multiple laws daily – and are thus criminals.


I have lived many decades,over my long life I have found there to be two kinds of LE.

One,those that truly want to serve, and be respectful of the law,and the Oaths they take.

Second type, people that become cops to be thugs and think they can make you lick their boots.(Bully syndrome)

jack mac

Re: Doszap. There appears to be at least two kinds of officials given arrest authority. Peace officers, who are enforcer of the law, and those who are enforcers of lawmakers. Some law compliance agents disregard the law and lawmakers. These would make the best use of the “bully syndrome”.

I try to avoid using the term law enforcement, as it is not laws, but acts of oppression are being enforced.


@USA – Have heard that in most jurisdictions, simply remaining silent is treated as being hostile and uncooperative – and will be used against you in court, or as justification for violence by officers. It is important to tell them that you are claiming the fifth or that you won’t talk without your attorney present. I find it sad that we’ve come to a point where one must explicitly ‘request’ one’s rights in order to exercise them. It is important to know one’s rights and act (and communicate) accordingly – or occifers will walk all over you, and have their… Read more »


Great advice. However from all I’ve heard, in Texas it is better to present LTC with drivers license. Haven’t been stopped since well before getting LTC (~6 years) but from everyone I know who has – cops glance at the LTC and politely ask that you drive carefully instead of ticketing.
One of the good things about Texas is that generally cops are VERY supportive (and respectful) of legal carry.

American Patriot

Anyone who’s been around for a while knows it’s hard to distinguish Calif with Mexico. We all know what runs the state & individual counties!


“ I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Corporation of America and to the Police State for which it stands. One nation no longer under God, with no liberty and no justice for anyone but the elites and their cronies.”
The hippybiker 1998


@HB – shouldn’t that be “the Police State and the Corporations for which it stands”?


Corruption in California politics. WOW. Next they will say the sun rises in the east.

Get Out

An acquaintance that does business in the San Diego area applied for a pistol permit and was denied because it was determined he didn’t need one. He began to carry anyway.

Get Out

Only need to follow the money to see that their corruption scheme is donate and get rewarded with a gun permit. We also have to wonder what other favors people got when they donated big $$$ too?


I was hoping that Peruta would hit the SCOTUS as we have a vacation place in SD County and it would be nice to be able to carry when we’re out there. Sigh.


Many years ago, I worked for a Sheriff in Colorado Springs, CO who had a “celebrity reserve program” in his department. These “friends” were allowed to “carry” and have red emergency lights on their vehicles. They were called the “Sheriff’s Posse”.


When I moved to CA 25 years ago I had a valid CCW permit from the state from which I was moving. I went to the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Dept and requested application from the Officer on duty at the front desk. His first statement was, “you cannot get a CCW permit here!” I thought that maybe he thought I was some punk off the street, so I pulled out my wallet and started to lay out my current Picture ID CCW permit, my new CA Drivers license, my NRA instructors card, my NRA Life Membership ID. He then said,… Read more »


It would seem that once again, absolute power corrupts absolutely. California has a long history of corruption, whether political or legislative, where Sheriff Daryl Gates comes to mind, and the infamous LA riots of 1992 over the near beating death of Rodney King. The trick is in holding authority accountable. Challenge it at every turn. Fail this — your one essential task as an American citizen — then your rights will be stripped from you, if even only one at at time.