Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fletcher's Follies redux

Ramsey County, Minnesota Sheriff Bob Fletcher, whom we've already documented seemingly thinks that he can do pretty much whatever he wishes regarding handgun carry permit applicants who reside in his jurisdiction (regardless of what the law in that state actually allows him to do), is apparently once again up to his old tricks, this time as part of a craven attempt to suck up to the very people he's spent so much time and public money antagonizing for no justified reason:

"In early December, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher sent a fund-raising letter to Ramsey County carry permit holders... The letter invited carry permit holders in Ramsey County to a shoot in a private outing at the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office indoor firearms range."
Even if one believes that Fletcher is just extending a heartfelt olive branch to the carry community out of the goodness of his heart (and we don't), the use of permit holder data for any purpose other than issuing or denying permits (much less a blatant money-raising attempt) is specifically illegal:

"Subd. 14. Records. (a) A sheriff must not maintain records or data collected, made, or held under this section concerning any applicant or permit holder that are not necessary under this section to support a permit that is outstanding or eligible for renewal under subdivision 7"

We submit that an appeal for charitable contributions in exchange for access to law-enforcement facilities, no matter how noble the stated causes may be, most definitely falls under the category of "not necessary to support" the issuing of carry permits by county sheriffs such as Fletcher.

Not surprisingly, local gun-rights groups such as GOCRA, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (the ones who put out this press release) and MADFI, the premier organization that certifies carry permit instructors in Minnesota, are hopping mad over the situation. GOCRA has gone so far as to file a criminal complaint about Fletcher’s activities with the St. Paul Police Department, and urges any county resident who received such an illegal letter to also file their own addendum to the complaint. The relevant case number is CN 09273/732.

We fervently hope that this latest naked disregard for the law on the part of Sheriff Fletcher is the event that finally brings his autocratic reign in Ramsey County to its deserved ignoble end.


jdege said...

I'd question whether MDFI rates the adjective "premier". They're certainly well-thought-of, but so are several other organizations.

Ken Hood said...

I hope the criminal complaint is able to stand... I get very tired of elected officials thinking that they are above the law. Thanks for the reporting.

Steve said...

Steve said:
I made a complaint against the sheriff at the MN Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.

They sent my complaint to the sheriff himself. The problem is that I am complaining about the sheriff, so she should NOT send a complaint about the sheriff to the sheriff.

Another law enforcement group needs to investigate instead of the sheriff investigating himself or the sheriff assigning a subordinate to investigate the subordinate's boss.

Conflict of Interest.

See my complaint: