The rich and celebrities bypassing the law? I'm
Perhaps there is a solution out there for the law abiding, rich and poor alike, to be able to defend themselves against crime if needed, across the entire U.S? Something perhaps that would make this and the abuses of "shall issue" CHL's irrelevent?
“These are pretty serious benefits that you get, and they’re to support the public,” said Cunningham, who resigned from Congress in 2005 after admitting to taking bribes and served time in prison. “You don’t just hand these things out like candy.”
But that’s pretty much what happened in Lake Arthur, a town of 433 in southeast New Mexico that appointed Smith and more than 300 men from across the country as volunteer reserve officers. The department was disbanded last month after Bloomberg Businessweek reported on its practices and a local TV station made inquiries. State and federal authorities are investigating.
Similar scenarios have played out in Oakley, Michigan, and Hudspeth County in West Texas. In Oakley, a village of about 300, the police department charged $1,200 to become a cop. It tried to keep the names of some 150 volunteers confidential by saying they could be targeted by Islamic State jihadis. When a list of applicants became public a few years ago, it included out-of-town lawyers and businessmen, a pro football player and the musician Kid Rock.
Action-movie star Steven Seagal got a badge from Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West. So did at least five people linked to a civilian Navy unit in Virginia that became the focus of an unrelated corruption investigation, the Washington Post reported. According to 2016 testimony in the case, members of the Navy unit helped direct $14,000 worth of radio equipment to the sheriff’s office and used their shields to travel the country armed, including on commercial airlines.
To qualify for the concealed-carry perk, known as H.R. 218 after the House version of the bill, officers must be authorized to make arrests and carry a gun on duty. An unarmed dispatcher or records clerk doesn’t meet that standard. But in some states, volunteers can carry weapons and make arrests without completing the rigorous certification process required of most full-time cops. In these states, police chiefs and sheriffs can award the privileges to pretty much anyone they want.
That’s partly why nobody knows how big the badge market is. There’s little state or federal oversight, and some localities keep their volunteer rosters secret.