Saturday, October 02, 2004

In a story in today's LA TIMES, we get some more details on LA's anti-terror point man, JOHN MILLER and his remedial gun carrying problem. It appears that the gun Miller left in his carry-on luggage was NOT one of the guns on his carry permit. One important piece of information that the Times left out was that California carry permits will only allow the permit holder to list THREE guns on the permit. Some states have no restrictions on this point. You can carry any type of handgun that can be concealed. When the permit is issued, the Make, Model and serial number are typed righ on the permit by the folks on the 5th floor, LAPD's Gun Detail. And you can only carry what's on the permit.

What Miller had on his Bratton-issued permit were two .45 ACP Glocks and what the Times describes as a .38 caliber Beretta. We don't think Beretta makes a .38 caliber handgun. The .38 is a revolver round and Beretta does not produce revolvers. What the article probably meant to say that it was a .380, a entirely different type of round despite the similarity in nomenclature. Beretta does make handguns chambered for the diminutive .380 semi-auto cartridge.

The gun in question was apparently a Smith & Wesson chambered for the .38 caliber round, a revolver round. This gun was apparently issued to Miller by the LAPD. Or so the article says. We're wondering what the hell the LAPD is doing by issuing civilians handguns. From what we know of the law, police agencies do not issue guns to civilians, even if they're department employees.

If this is the case, then Miller was illegally carrying a loaded concealed weapon because according to the laws covering concealed carry, you can only carry one of the three guns spelled out on the permit itself.

If Miller had been a plain old civilian, chances are his permit would have been pulled immediately and he would probably never be issued another one. But he's not. He's in the privileged tier of the two-tiered system that governs concealed carry permits. Chances are, he'll keep his permit and get away with nothing more than a cool glance from his sponsor and friend, Chief Bratton.

Did Miller commit a crime? It sure looks like it. If not the crime of intentionally trying to carry a gun aboard an aircraft, then at least that of illegally carrying a loaded concealed weapon -- that S&W .38 that was NOT on his permit. We're looking forward to how this turns out.

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