POLICE CHIEF STICKS TO HIS GUNS IN PERMIT FRAY\Lawman's 775 concealed weapon licenses scrutinized.
Byline: Michael J. Ybarra The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times
Eugene Byrd, the police chief of this town of 833 people in the Sacramento River Sacramento River
River, northern California, U.S. Rising near Mount Shasta, it flows 382 mi (615 km) southwest between the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges, through the northern Central Valley. Delta, has issued 775 permits to carry concealed weapons (Law) dangerous weapons so carried on the person as to be knowingly or willfully concealed from sight, - a practice forbidden by statute.<- in some states! ->
See under Concealed.
See also: Concealed Weapon over the last several years, generating a sizable part of the town's budget and a giant controversy.
Byrd said he issued almost 500 of the permits last year, at a cost of $150 each. In the same period, the city of Los Angeles
The chief's dedication to the right to carry hidden weapons has made him a folk hero A folk hero is type of hero, real or mythological. The single salient characteristic which makes a character a folk hero is the imprinting of the name, personality and deeds of the character in the popular consciousness. to gun enthusiasts while sharply dividing this struggling community. And it has put him in a yearlong battle with state Attorney General Daniel Lungren, who twice put a freeze on Isleton's right to issue weapons' permits.
The battle aside, Byrd has put thousands of names on an ever-growing waiting list for weapons permits. And a group of the chief's supporters sought a court order to force Lungren to process Isleton's weapons' applications. Lungren's office had refused to carry out background checks on applications from Isleton.
On Jan. 31, Lungren, a Republican, said he would again process the chief's applications but only if he cut the price to $3 from $150. Anything higher, Lungren said in a letter, "will not only subject the city of Isleton to possible liability for those excessive fees, but may also constitute a public offense." Lungren issued a similar directive to other agencies in the state, many of which charge more than $100 for the permits.
To Byrd, regaining the right to issue the permits is a vindication VINDICATION, civil law. The claim made to property by the owner of it. 1 Bell's Com. 281, 5th ed. See Revendication. , even if it might bankrupt the city.
"I still don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. that they've taken the Second Amendment away," he said, speaking of the constitutional right to carry arms To bear weapons.
To serve as a soldier.
See also: Carry Carry . "These people are being hurt out there, they're being robbed, raped, beaten. These people don't want guns just to shoot people, but to at least have a halfway chance to protect themselves."
On one side of the argument are those who view the permits as a way to stop a municipal slide into disincorporation dis·in·cor·po·rate
tr. & intr.v. dis·in·cor·po·rat·ed, dis·in·cor·po·rat·ing, dis·in·cor·po·rates
To remove or become removed from the status of a corporation. with an infusion of money and a ringing affirmation to the citizens of Sacramento County that they have the right to protect themselves. On the other side are those who regard the revenue as blood money and an unneeded embarrassment to the town.
"Eugene Byrd has created in Isleton a complete Wild West mentality," said Sandy Cooney, the Western regional director of Handgun Control Inc. "It makes absolutely no sense to reduce gun violence by arming more people. It truly is insane."
But the 65,000-member California Rifle and Pistol Association could not be more pleased with Byrd's position. On Feb. 17 the group is giving him its annual outstanding peace officer award, which he can place next to the "defender of freedom" plaque bestowed on him by the National Rifle Association National Rifle Association (NRA)
Governing organization for the sport of shooting with rifles and pistols. It was founded in Britain in 1860. The U.S. organization, formed in 1871, has a membership of some four million. Both the British and the U.S. .
"He's been doing an awful lot of work," said Jim Erdman, executive director of the pistol association. "Society is safer when criminals don't know who is armed."
People are certainly not very likely to be held up in Isleton. Last year there were no murders, shootings or armed robberies and only two muggings and four house burglaries.
Byrd's force consists of one other full-time officer and two cars, which are castoffs from another department. "We don't have any bars on our windows," the 57-year-old chief said recently in his small office, "our women don't get raped."
Still, this town 45 miles south of Sacramento is no stranger to disaster. It was a canning center with 3,000 residents early in the century before the canneries moved away, followed by two-thirds of the population. In 1972 it was mostly submerged by floods.
n. pl. in·dig·ni·ties
1. Humiliating, degrading, or abusive treatment.
2. A source of offense, as to a person's pride or sense of dignity; an affront.
3. followed calamity last September when a Sacramento County grand jury recommended that Isleton disincorporate dis·in·cor·po·rate
tr. & intr.v. dis·in·cor·po·rat·ed, dis·in·cor·po·rat·ing, dis·in·cor·po·rates
To remove or become removed from the status of a corporation. itself and let the county govern it because the city could not manage its affairs.
The report came on the heels of a vote by the City Council last August to increase its budget by 40 percent to $433,682, banking on a windfall windfall
An unexpected profit or gain. An investor holding a stock that increases greatly in price because of an unexpected takeover offer receives a windfall. that Byrd promised he could raise by selling gun permits.
In the last fiscal year, Byrd managed to collect $49,128 in weapons permit fees. When he predicted that gun revenue would hit $176,000 this year the City Council agreed to increase his department's budget by 80 percent. The chief is expecting two new squad cars any day now.
State law gives police chiefs and sheriffs the power to issue permits for concealed weapons to anyone in the county who is of good moral character, can pass a criminal background check and can demonstrate a reason for needing a gun.
Byrd requires an applicant to take a firearms This is an extensive list of small arms — pistol, machine gun, grenade launcher, anti-tank rifle — that includes variants.
: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
In January 1995, Lungren accused Byrd of abusing his authority by issuing permits to residents outside the county, and stopped processing In mathematics, a stopped process is a stochastic process that is forced to assume the same value after a prescribed (possibly random) time. Definition
The attorney general's office resumed processing his applications after saying he had promised to be more thorough.
Last October, however, the attorney general froze Isleton's applications again, saying that the city was charging too much. Lungren maintained that local officials could only charge $3 without passing a special voter-approved tax.
Byrd insisted the $150 charge was a processing fee, not an application fee, and a wide-spread practice by law-enforcement agencies.
Even in town the issue has been controversial, dividing the City Council, which has been split 3 to 2 on backing the chief, who was hired 1982. But one of Byrd's supporters is facing a recall election in March and the balance could easily tilt against the chief.
Photo Eugene Byrd, the police chief of Isleton, Calif., issued nearly 500 permits to carry weapons last year. The New York Times