Retired police sergeant denied concealed carry permit despite being attacked
Matt Speckman, a former Turlock police sergeant, used to be in charge of processing concealed gun permits. Now retired, he'd like one himself.
"I'm not a gun nut," Speckman said. "But I've been involved in investigations of people now getting paroled who have probably been throwing darts at my picture in their cells."
Speckman, 49, attended the FBI academy, trained at a nationally recognized firearms course, earned an MBA, is studying for a Ph.D, toted a gun for 30 years and screened gun permit applicants for seven years.
Yet Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton and Sheriff Adam Christianson, both of whom have approved gun permits for politicians and prominent businessmen, turned him down.
Speckman since has moved from Turlock and says he doesn't obsess about his safety. But reports about people who find favor with law enforcement executives despite relative lack of experience, he says, point up the arbitrary nature of concealed gun permits in California, where many agencies endure charges of political favoritism.
As commander of his former department's internal affairs, Speckman once investigated a former officer whose resignation was demanded in lieu of firing, he said. But Christianson approved a permit for the former officer two weeks before denying Speckman's, he said.
Having been on the other side, Speckman said he understands the heavy burden of determining good cause. What if someone granted a permit uses a gun recklessly? On the other hand, what if someone denied a permit later is harmed?
"I understand the need for case by case (discretion)," he said. "But the intent of the law is that someone who has more chance of being victimized should be given a permit.
"It's just gotten to the point where I wish there were something a little bit more standard."
He's experienced firsthand the threats that can follow people who work in the judicial system. That's one reason the list of people who have concealed weapons permits in Stanislaus County contains judges, deputy district attorneys and retired police officers. . . .
Thanks to Gus Cotey for the link.