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Santa Clara County, California Sheriff Laurie Smith seems to be running quite an operation. She has something that a lot of her wealthy Silicon Valley residents want…concealed carry permits. And judging by the attention her department has attracted from prosecutors, Sheriff Smith and her underlings know how to extract full value for the government permission slips…allegedly.

Let’s set the Wayback Machine for a year ago when the local DA uncovered a $45,000 “contribution” to the Sheriff’s reelection effort by AS Solutions, a firm that provides security services for the tech titans at Facebook. The allegation, according to the San Jose Mercury News, was that the Sheriff’s “second-in-command — Undersheriff Rick Sung — now is a subject of the wide-ranging probe into whether Smith rewarded political donors with the coveted permits.”

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The investigation chugged along for months until August of this year when four indictments were handed down against a “Santa Clara County Sheriff’s captain and three political supporters of Sheriff Laurie Smith for allegedly brokering a pay-for-play scheme in which campaign donations were exchanged for concealed-carry weapons permits.”

That didn’t look good at all. Soliciting campaign cash for carry permits would be, well, illegal.

Then, late last week, the stench indictments reached even higher up the ladder in the Sheriff’s Department, all the way to Smith’s number two, Undersheriff Rich Sung.

Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung
Santa Clara Undersheriff Rick Sung (Courtesy Santa Clara County)

From KPIX:

A grand jury has indicted Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung and added an additional indictment against a captain linked to a concealed weapons permit scandal that has rocked the Sheriff’s Office.

An official with the Sheriff’s Office told KPIX 5 Friday that Sung was formally indicted and has been placed on administrative leave. The office also confirmed the jury issued an additional indictment against former sheriff’s spokesperson Capt. James Jensen, who has been on administrative leave since August.

But wait…who had (allegedly) made the payoffs connected with this latest indictment? Well, shazam. It was someone connected with yet another tech giant, this time Apple.

From the Washington Post:

Apple’s head of global security was charged with bribery last week for allegedly promising to donate iPads to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in exchange for concealed-weapons permits, according to an indictment made public Monday.

The charges are part of a broader, two-year investigation into the sheriff’s office, according to a news release on the Santa Clara County district attorney’s website. The investigation explored an alleged scheme to trade concealed-weapons permits in exchange for goods, such as iPads and expensive sports tickets.

Thomas Moyer, who has run Apple’s security department since 2013, according to his LinkedIn page, had applied for concealed-weapons permits, according to the release. The sheriff’s office held up the application, the news release alleges, until Moyer agreed to get Apple to donate $70,000 worth of iPads.

Moyer’s attorney says this is all just a crazy mixup and the iPads had nothing to do with procuring the coveted carry permits.

Through his attorney, Ed Swanson, Moyer denied the allegations and said there was no quid pro quo. Moyer helped arrange a donation of iPads to a new education center for the sheriff’s office, Swanson said, but that donation was not connected with four concealed-carry permits issued to Apple employees.

Oh. The hardware was all just for…education. And the four permits being issued — going price now apparently about $17,500 in cash or trade — were just a coincidence.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith looking at what could be her future home. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Somehow, Sheriff Smith herself has yet to be touched by any of this. At least not so far. We’re apparently supposed to believe that one of her captains and her second-in-command (allegedly) sold the carry permits without her knowledge. And that she was completely unaware that the influx of funds in her reelection account had anything to do with that fact that her department is the sole arbiter of who can and can’t legally carry firearms in Santa Clara County.

From all appearances, the Sheriff has been running a dirty operation for years, taking full advantage of the corrupting temptation of having complete discretion over who can — and who can’t — exercise one particular constitutional right in the county (innocent until proven guilty, of course). We’ll see if and for how long the Sheriff herself can continue to dodge an indictment in the ongoing investigation.

Being the civic-minded individuals we are here at The Truth About Guns, we’d like to offer California Governor Gavin Newsom and the legislature an easy fix for this kind of corruption. Surely they’d like to do something to clean this up. Fortunately it’s a simple fix. California could join most of the rest of the country and make concealed carry permit issuance a shall-issue process. In other words, take public officials’ discretion — and the corresponding temptation to profit from it — out of the process.

Of course, removing a juicy opportunity for graft and personal enrichment would also remove most of the fun and benefit of holding public office, so we won’t hold our breath waiting for something like that to happen.

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  1. Maybe if they donated those iPads to a PAC who supports gun rights or a legal effort to fix the shit laws in CA, they wouldn’t have to spend $17,500 on a permit.

    • Election theft still underway;

      The results of how they stole the election is there, however, how do you find those fake ballots in numerous states with the very people who helped commit the fraud unwilling to assist, in a very limited time frame, is the question. (Oh and with a thoroughly corrupt and corrosive MSM media).

      In Michigan for example; The final numbers of mail-in ballots and rejected ballots in each of the six heaviest Biden counties?

      Allegheny: 340,719 mailed-in ballots received — 54 rejected.

      Bucks: 153,016 mailed-in ballots received — 0 rejected. <—–NOT A SINGLE BALLOT!!

      Chester: 138,813 mailed-in ballots received — 87 rejected.

      Delaware: 111,321 mailed-in ballots received — 71 rejected.

      Montgomery: 231,415 mailed-in ballots received — 0 rejected. <—NOT A SINGLE BALLOT!!

      Philadelphia : 346,196 mailed-in ballots received — 228 rejected.

      A total of 450 ballots were rejected out of approximately 1.3 million mailed-in ballots in those counties. That is a rejection rate of .0003%. The average rejection rate is anywhere between 1.0% and 6.0%.

      A nominal 3% would yield almost 40,000 ballots rejected, a far likelier number than 450.

      In Wisconsin since 1960 the average voter participation rate was approximately 66%. In this election there is an statistically impossible 92% total turnout. The five offending Biden counties; are Washington at 96.6%, St. Croix at 95.99%, Dane at 90.38%, Waukesha at 94.56% and, Ozaukee at 94.96%. (Minnesota has a similar pattern).

      We need to be looking at each of these counties with a magnifying glass. In totality, in those five counties, Biden beat Obama by 83,291 votes, in a state where Biden beat Trump by just 20,000 votes.

      There are to many moving parts to keep this silent, IF Biden manages to run out the clock, this will continue to surface and tarnish his "Presidency" …basically forever.

      Read more;

        • Joshua Treviño – former George W. Bush Administration speech writer

          Ben Domenech – married to Meghan McCain

          NeoCons? Sounds about right.

      • All Dominion voting machines must be tracked down and destroyed, not immediately, but just in time to keep them from being used in an election and without enough time for them to be replaced. Find the warehouses and prepare to destroy them before they are sent out to polling stations.

        • Just like the evidence that Obama, Hillary, Holder, Comey, etc are all going to jail. Just like evidence that Biden committed some kind of made up crime. Just like the Durham report was going to bury everyone.

          That sound you just heard was Bill and Hillary popping the cork on a nice Chardonnay.

          “Oh Bill, I heard a Ivanka is going to be starring in a remake of ‘Women in Cages’.

          “Really sweetie, well I heard that Eric and Don Junior have their own film deal for a reboot of ‘Deliverance’ this fall.”

        • “Just like the evidence that Obama, Hillary, Holder, Comey, etc are all going to jail.”

          It wasn’t for lack of evidence. Hillary and Comey weren’t prosecuted because of prosecutorial discretion. This is an objective reality which you apparently deny. Or is it ignorance?

      • Still looking for the evidence of voter fraud, hopefully some interested party will be able to supply actual evidence that’s admissible in a court of law.

        If your evidence is so solid, Sidney Powell is available and ready to hear your case.

        Apparently, those calling fraud have had more than 30 opportunities in open court to place their evidence before the judge.

        So far, they have failed to do so and their suits have been dismissed or voluntarily retracted.

        The constitution allows citizens to petition the government for a redress of grievances through the court system, not media events in the parking lot of landscaping companies.

        I think we’re to the phase in this matter where the next step would be to ‘put up or shut up’.

    • That’s how it’s BEEN in much of California for YEARS – “Pay for Play” – just like New York City! These corrupt Tyrants… sorry… “Politicians”, need to be prosecuted to the FULL extent of the law. Period.

    • Government bureaucrats and tech sector titans, the people who think they’re better than you. Smarter than you. More moral than you. More worthy than you. In control of you.

      I fear 2021. Bad things are coming, one way or another.

      • Civil war is coming, and worse, UN Peacekeeping Forces are coming.

        Russia will take Alaska and all the islands and fishing grounds of the North Pacific.

        China will take Hawaii, all the rest of the Pacific islands, and the Northwest states from Washington state to Idaho and south as far at Mexico allows.

        Mexico will take the Southwest, to realize “reconquista.”

        Cuba will take the Gulf states and all the Caribbean Islands they can lay claim to, with help from China.

        The Midwest will be taken by a coalition of -istans, sent to protect all the Muslims that have been spirited into our heartland.

        The European Union will have a coalition to take over the Original Thirteen Colony states and westward as far as the -istanic coalition allows.

        The U.S. will cease to exist, which may account for its lack of reference in Bible End Times prophecies. We’re toast, but not without a strong fight mounted by patriots.

      • I might encourage you to engage in a degree of introspection when nothing you write comes true. Nothing. And maybe get some psychiatric help. Really, said with care.

    • What I find amusing is that people think they need the permission of the sheriff to carry concealed weapons, it’s a constitutional right and the refusal to allow permits is a direct violation of the second, so hold up your middle finger and carry.

      • You can fight it… doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested, convicted of a felony, and have your life destroyed over it, though. It’s bull s**t but, unfortunately, that’s what “We The People” have allowed… We’ve allowed it by the choices we’ve made at the Ballot Box and the choices we’ve made to properly raise the next generation (or not).

      • I have no permit to carry concealed weapons for two reasons: (1) it’s my 2nd Amendment right to be armed, and (2) I will not be placed on the government’s short list, allowing local police to make early morning ballistic entry into my home to take my weapons. I want time to hide my weapons before the house-to-house confiscation begins.

        • Bwahahaha if you are hiding your weapons when they come for them why even own guns? You are never going to use them as intended. Just turn them in now and you got nothing to worry about. Where as when they eventually find them you will be in prison for years if not decades.

          The logic fail with so many of you is why gun rights are forever doomed.

      • Well, considering all these folks are under indictment now and it looks like there’s a trial ahead, it seems that the system is working just fine.

        The global head of Apple security doesn’t have the horsepower to get a concealed weapons permit in California, and now he is under indictment by the liberal prosecutor… System working just fine, remain calm, all is well.

  2. “Surely they’d like to do something to clean this up. Fortunately it’s a simple fix. California could join most of the rest of the country and make concealed carry permit issuance a shall-issue process.”

    Ha! The Democrats would happily eliminate CCWs if they thought they could, but recognize that after the Ninth Circuit gave them the green light to do so (ruling that a CCW is a privilege not a right and therefore subject to withdrawal), someone in Sacratomato was bright enough to recognize that without at least an opportunity to apply for a CCW, the exercise of the 2A right to bear arms would be banned in all urban areas because open carry has been banned for about 6 years now. And that would indeed raise a constitutional issue that they want to avoid.

    Right now, there have been a nuber of attempts to decrease the issuance of CCWs, particularly in areas such as Sacramento where the Sheriff has a “virtual shall issue” policy–as to most of the Sheriffs in the San Joaquin Valley and the North State. They tried to transfer the issuing authority to the State DOJ–but the sheriffs screamed bloody murder. Then they held an “audit” of the CCW programs in three different counties in an attempt to prove that the cost of issuance exceeded the income generated by fees so that they could raise the price tag. That backfired because one of the counties was LA, which is virtual no issue. They want to change the optional mental exam to a mandatory exam (cost $15), and they have raised all of the fees as much as they could, forcing gun owners to pay a portion of law enforcement activities in the state.

    Meanwhile we are waiting for a determination on a few cases, one challenging mag restrictions, another challenging the AR “ban,” and another challenging the refusal of Hawaii to issue open carry permits to residents other than police or security officers. (Hawaii does not issue CCWs except in extremely rare circumstances, and hasn’t issued an open carry permit–hasn’t even considered granting an open carry permit–in at least two decades. the last case, Young v. Hawaii, may present a vehicle for Supreme Court consideration of the “to bear” clause after it gets through the Ninth Circuit.

    • “the last case, Young v. Hawaii, may present a vehicle for Supreme Court consideration of the “to bear” clause after it gets through the Ninth Circuit.”

      How much longer do you estimate it will take the 9th to be rid of it and dropped into the SCOTUS in-basket for consideration of cert.?

      • There are no timelines for decisions in the US Courts of Appeals. Sometimes they are quick, others take a year or two. Some are held for any excuse the court can come up with–e.g. another case pending in the Supreme Court raising the same issue(s), particularly where it is a case they sincerely wish to avoid. Since the Ninth in Peruta concluded several years ago that there is no constitutional right to a CCW, that it is a privilege, the Court either has to concede that there is a constitutional right “to bear” arms outside the home, and that the only option available to exercise the right is open carry (which is currently illegal in California in all urban areas and illegal by a refusal to issue carry permits in Hawaii to the hoi poloi), or it must conclude that the 2A (a) does not provide a right to carry arms outside the home or (b) the right is subject to “reasonable regulation” in the interest of public safety (i.e., that the State has a veto over the right to bear arms outside the home). As to the latter, under the Ninth’s lame excuse for “intermediate scrutiny” that is really nothing but a rational basis analysis buried in fancy language, and which does not require any actual proof that the State’s laws will have the desired effect, the Hawaii statute would be upheld. If Hawaii wins, the road to the Supreme Court is cleared. If Hawaii loses, either Hawaii will seek review or will be leaned on to drop the matter to prevent Supreme Court review (such as was the case with the DC carry law).

    • No High Sheriffs here, just Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs. CCWs are issued/signed by the Sheriff or by the Chief of Police.

    • No, you’re thinking of carbon credits. It’s 5 carbon credits-= 5 sins/gallons of gas used, forgiven.
      This is more like protection. I give you $17,500. I get to protect myself from the felons you let out.
      Does the spouse have to give another $17,500?

  3. California could … make concealed carry permit issuance a shall-issue process. In other words, take public officials’ discretion — and the corresponding temptation to profit from it — out of the process.

    If only it were that simple!

    For example Michigan’s licensing authority (Michigan State Police) receives FAR MORE revenue in concealed carry license fees than the expenses which they incur to run the licensing program. In other words concealed carry licensing is a significant revenue generator for the Michigan State Police. Last I checked, there is not a single government department/agency in the nation that has refused to accept additional revenue. Remember, in the eyes of a government employee, a bigger budget is always a better budget.

    I will therefore argue that shall-issue concealed carry licensing programs may not actually reduce how much proverbial blood those licensing authorities try to squeeze out of the masses.

    • Yup, gun permits bring in lots and lots of money.

      Of course, I tend to think that’s the rationale for most licensing fees anyway…

    • uncommon_sense,
      I think you’re reinforcing rather than contradicting the author’s point.

      While the 18th Amendment aimed to prohibit booze categorically, in practice it created a framework similar to discretionary licensing. A local official could line his own pockets to make exceptions for a chosen few.

      The parallel isn’t perfect because the 21st cancelled Prohibition rather than enumerating a protected right, but “Shall Issue” is somewhat like the post-prohibition system: With modest fees, transparency, and objective criteria, the government has a $trong positive interest in the growth of the industry, negating petty tyrants’ ability to lord the law over legal brewers for personal profit.

  4. I carried concealed for years before it was legal for me to do so in Florida. Also did so in Georgia, S. & N. Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, W. Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri. May have left a couple of states out. Anyway, fuck the government.

    • Like Ol’ School tol my pappy during the strike, “I druther tha poleece ketch me widdit, than tha jitterbug ketch me widdoutit!” Carry it.

    • Gadsen, it was funny as hell back in 1987 (or so) when concealed carry was being debated down here in Polk county, the local paper was running letters to the editor of people freaking out that there would be gun battles for parking spaces since “anyone could carry a gun’. Literally, they were predicting the streets would run with rivers of blood.

      Then it passed, and what happened? Not a damn thing, except Florida’s violent crime rate tracked the nation’s decline of about 50 percent since then…

  5. You sure that’s a sherrif? Don’t dress like sherrif. Must be one those fancytype sherrifs. Kind whut sez, “If they ain’t no crime to fight, we goin’ ta commit one!” Or maybe she was undercovers. Don’t look too happy about things. Wonder if she’ll want to run agin. Thets all frum the stiks.

    • “Don’t look too happy about things.”

      Yeah, that’s a scrunched-up pissed-off look on her face that a whole lot of guys are familiar with…

      *snicker* 😉

  6. I read somewhere that Sheriff Smith was interviewed for the grand jury and took the fifth on virtually every question.

  7. Gun civil rights aren’t a priority in California. Butt sex, making it legal to do drugs in public are the priorities. Also making it easier to get away with petty theft. By raising the amount you can be charged as a felon. And still be a misdemeanor crime. And their favorite. Be able to get away with defecating and urinating in public.

  8. Well, when your governor is Newssolini, what more can one expect. Its especially refreshing to see the ones being extorted the subject of the indictments, rather than the corrupt she devil currently known as Sheriff of Santa Clara county. Expect to see more minions tossed under the bus. Santa Clara county has always been a pay for play county, just ask the nfl or any of a hundred 49ers in recent years.

  9. Well, they’ll probably discover that garbage like this has been going on all over the state, and at multiple levels of authority. Which may be why they have this system to begin with. A way to make money for yourself and your campaigns.

  10. There are some counties like Sacramento that act on a shall issue basis.
    These people are all wealthy enough to pay $17,500 for a carry permit from Santa Clara County.
    Why don’t they just rent a “vacation apartment” , in Sacramento County and get the permit in that county.
    Then they will be able to concealed carry in the entire state.

  11. Not surprising that this happened at Apple. Same outfit refused to help the FBI after a terror attack. That has to tell you something.

  12. Hmm, maybe someone can tell you something about automation on linkedin? As far as I understand, this is a very useful thing when searching for customers!


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