” The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is known in gun-rights circles for being stingy with concealed-weapons permits. Sheriff Lee Baca has total discretion over who is allowed to get a permit, and he hasn’t given out many.
As of May 2012, only 341 people had been granted them, according to sheriff’s records. Compare that with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which had 1,754 permit holders in 2011, despite a population of just 2 million people to L.A.’s 10 million. The Kern County Sheriff granted even more, with 3,564 permit holders in a population of 800,000 people.
In L.A. County, records show, most of the permits go to judges and reserve deputies. But there 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.
Michel had not looked in depth at L.A. County’s practices, but the Weekly did. Last year, the 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. (You can see the complete list of permit holders we obtained from the Sheriff’s Department here.)
Those lists contain many of the same names that appear on Baca’s gift reports and contribution records.
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. The permit holders include Michael R. Yamaki, an attorney and reserve deputy who is among Baca’s best friends, as well as several people who attended Baca’s 1999 wedding.”
- You: Long Beach police chief mulls challenge to Baca (latimes.com)
- Sheriff Lee Baca to stop taking political donations from deputies (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- L.A. County Sheriff’s Department intends to fire seven deputies (latimes.com)
- More gun owners seek to conceal carry (newsnet5.com)
- L.A. County Sheriff’s Department intends to fire seven deputies for belonging to a secret law enforcement clique (blacklistednews.com)
- Long Beach police chief considers run against Baca for sheriff’s job (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Audit Shows Sheriff’s Response Time Longer In Unincorporated Areas (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- L.A. County sheriff’s area homicides fall; serious crime up overall (latimes.com)