A bounty hunter accused of kicking in his wife’s door and dragging her out, a pawnbroker who left a loaded gun tucked between seats of his unlocked car, and a drywall company owner who donated to the sheriff’s campaign and owns a vacation house with him all got permission from the Sacramento County Sheriff to carry a concealed gun, reports the Sacramento Bee. With a lawsuit pending that accuses former Sheriff Lou Blanas of favoring campaign contributors in decisions on concealed weapon permits, the Bee examined public records on more than 550 permits issued since 1996, all but 37 of them under Blanas.
Permit holders included people with past criminal convictions, not always reported on their permit applications, a well as those with drunken driving arrests, which disqualify applicants in many counties. The department’s files were in disarray, with documents often incomplete or missing, making a comprehensive review impossible. The department does not track such basic statistics as a percentage of applications approved and denied. Shown the Bee’s findings, current Sheriff John McGinness, who took office on Blanas’ retirement in July 2006, said he plans to clean things up.