Here’s one our friends at the Violence Policy Center will love: The Minneapolis Star
Tribune reports that a Minnesota permit holder, Joseph Kadlec, shot a motorcyclist in a case of road rage last week. According to the story, “Despite knowing about a string of recent road-rage incidents involving a 71-year-old man, the Isanti County sheriff said Wednesday that he was legally obligated to issue a permit to carry a gun to the man who is now charged with shooting a motorcyclist in the face after a cat-and-mouse highway incident over the weekend.” There’s one problem with the sheriff’s claim that he had a legal obligation to issue a permit . . .
It’s not true. Since I would never accuse an elected official of being too stupid or inept to know how to do his job, the sheriff must just be lying.
“The reason he was issued a permit is because there was no indication in the required background check that indicated [Kadlec] was a danger to himself or others or was not allowed, by statute, to be issued a permit,” Sheriff Russ Monson said in response to an inquiry Tuesday from the Star Tribune.
No indication Kadlec was a danger?
The sheriff admits that he knew about five earlier road rage incidents that were serious to involve the police:
Monson then went on to explain that in each of the five earlier cases, “we have on record [Kadlec] was angry at someone for their driving conduct but never used any weapons, never assaulted anyone, never made threats and was never arrested.”
So the police were called to five road rage incidents involving Kadlec, but they never arrested him and apparently never cited him.
This tells me that Joe Kadlec is 1) someone’s brother-in-law or 2) has donated big bucks to someone’s re-election campaign or 3) done something that gives him some hefty political clout. The kind of clout that would have ensured that if Joe had applied for a PTC under the old “may issue” system, he would have gotten it — road rage incidents notwithstanding.
Minnesota Statute 624.714 Subdivision 6(a)(3) clearly states that the Sheriff may “deny the application on the grounds that there exists a substantial likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public if authorized to carry a pistol under a permit.” The denied applicant can appeal, but no judge would have looked at a history of five road-rage incidents in four years and given this guy a permit.
Let’s be clear: this shooting wasn’t a breakdown of the “shall-issue” system. It was just a sheriff abrogating his responsibilities, probably due to some good old political cronyism, and trying to lay the blame on a law he doesn’t like. And claiming his hands were tied is a transparent case of CYA in the extreme. Period.