L.A. County Gives Gun Permits To Buddies And Donors

It’s next to impossible to get a concealed carry permit in L.A. County. Out of a population of about 10 million, only 341 permits were issued as of May 2012. Compare that with Kern County, which has a population of about 800,000 and which has 3,564 permit holders. They say you have to have a legitimate death threat against you in order to obtain a permit, and that “self-defense” is not a good enough reason. As a result, 123 L.A. County residents were refused permits last year even though many of them probably had their lives threatened.

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca is apparently really stingy with handing out those gun permits. He must be really concerned about public safety. That is, unless you’re a buddy of his or have made donations to his campaign in the form of gifts or money. While most gun permits are handed out to judges and reserve deputies, they’re not the only lucky recipients:

“[T]here is another group that seems to have better luck than most in obtaining permits: friends of Lee Baca. Those who’ve given the sheriff gifts or donated to his campaign are disproportionately represented on the roster of permit holders. …LA Weekly filed a public records request for all 341 active concealed-weapons permits granted by the Sheriff’s Department — as well as a list of the 123 people who applied for concealed weapons over an 18-month period but were denied. …Those lists contain many of the same names that appear on Baca’s gift reports and contribution records.”

More than 2 dozen people who contributed to Baca also have gun permits, and about 1 out of every 10 civilians that were issued permits were also on Baca’s contribution records. Out of all the 123 applications that were denied, only 1 applicant contributed to Baca’s campaign. In fact, he gave $1,000. But he says he’s not one of Baca’s friends, and the more the sheriff displays favoritism and cronyism, the harder it is to support him:

 “I don’t have Lee Baca on my speed dial. The more he gives to his friends without good cause, the harder it is for people like me. A couple months ago, I had a death threat. It would be nice to have the security of having a weapon handy. But I can’t because people abuse it.”

And the sheriff is the one abusing his power to issue permits to people to carry a concealed weapon. He wants his employees and his buddies to be safe, but no one else.

This shows that if your county or city issues restrictions such that you can’t obtain a CCW, just buddy up to your sheriff, give him some gifts, maybe some money, and maybe he’ll come around. Then again, the very thought of giving money to an anti-gun politician can make you vomit in your own mouth.