The FBI is looking into concealed-gun permits issued by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, says the Sacramento Bee. A lawsuit that alleges former Sheriff Lou Blanas issued permits as political favors. FBI agents reportedly have requested gun permit documents from the department, which include a permit Blanas issued to Sacramento businessman Edwin 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. The former sheriff signed Gerber’s gun permit a day before leaving office last summer. He issued the approval without following the department’s usual procedure, which calls for a three-person committee to review applications from people asking to carry a loaded gun in public.
State law says sheriffs and police chiefs can award concealed-weapon permits based on “good cause” to people of “good moral character.”The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department sets the bar higher. Applicants typically are interviewed by a deputy and required to take a gun safety class in addition to facing the review panel. The department revoked Gerber’s permit in December — five months after it was issued. About 250 civilians hold gun-carry permits issued by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. While it is legal to have a gun in one’s house or business, it is a crime to walk around with a loaded gun without a permit. “It’s about political influence, power and money,” said the attorney for two men whose applications for permits were denied. “Anyone who gives money to the sheriff and applies for a (permit), gets a (permit). There are a lot of people who apply for one and need one but don’t get one.”