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 AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff 
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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:18 pm 
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IncaKola,

This is a reprint of the letter I sent to Gunndy after he failed to issue my permit within the statutory 30 days. It highlights my specific situation and one particular department employee's unprofessional behavior. Hope this helps.

"June 24, 2008

VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
Sheriff Don Gudmundson
Law Enforcement Center
1580 Highway 55
Hastings MN 55033-2343



Dear Sheriff Gudmundson:


I submitted my renewal application for a permit to carry a firearm to your office on May 16, 2008 (see attached receipt of application). To date, I have received no response from your department on my application. As I am sure you are well aware, your department’s non-response to my application is a de jure approval of my application.

As you have not responded to my application, I am sending you this letter via certified mail. If, for some reason, you have denied my application and have proof of sending me a denial letter, I kindly request that you notify me immediately so that I can retain counsel and begin proceedings to appeal your denial. Otherwise, I request that you comply with state law and issue my permit card immediately.

Additionally, I wish to express my displeasure in recent dealings with one of your department members, Captain Steve Theriault. When I contacted Captain Theriault on June 20 to inquire on the status of my permit, Captain Theriault advised me that I had not been denied a permit, but that he could not comment on when a permit card would be mailed to me. The Captain inquired about my anxiousness to receive my permit card and asked whether I required it for my job. I explained to Captain Theriault that I did not need a permit for my job but that my concern related to the county’s noncompliance with state law and disregard for my civil rights. Captain Theriault laughed upon hearing my response and accused me of being argumentative. As you might suspect, Dakota county’s 700+ permit holders would likely find such a disregard for Second Amendment civil rights, as expressed by Captain Theriault, to be highly distasteful.

In my conversation with Captain Theriault he mentioned that your department has received a large number of renewal applications in recent months, as the first round of permits from 2003 have expired or soon will expire and that this was the reason behind the county’s noncompliance with state statute. While I fail to see how this surge of renewal applications could be unanticipated, I wonder if I could employ the same excuse in delaying the payment of my property taxes? What would the county’s response be to my disregard to the county’s imposed deadlines?

Sheriff, your department’s unresponsiveness to recent permit holder’s renewal applications has left me (and others) concerned with your leadership and support of all Dakota county residents’ civil rights. If, in my interactions with your department, I have misunderstood your position on issuing carry permits within the 30 day statutory timeline, or your department’s apparent disregard for Second Amendment civil rights, I’d be happy to be corrected. Please feel free to contact me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or the address listed on the attached receipt.



Sincerely,"

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Did you ever get a response to that?

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:46 am 
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kecker wrote:
Did you ever get a response to that?


Or, for that matter, your permit? (Or a denial?)


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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:05 am 
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i have heard of people passing the background check and the approval being on the desk of the sargent(?) in charge. But that he had stated that he would not sign the approval until the 29 or 30th day. this sounded like his standard method of operation.

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Bellows has announced his candidacy.

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:56 pm 
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Okay I got squirrely last night after hearing about Bellows also running and all that. I sent both candidates Joel's questions.

joelr wrote:
Here's a few:

1. As you know, in many cases, carry permits have been issued in more than the 30 days allowed by law, and the DCSO has been very unresponsive to demands that they follow the law -- what, if elected, do you intend to do about this?

2. As you also know, Dakota County charges $100 for a new permit and $75 for a renewal -- for more than the "actual costs" allowed by law. Under your administration, what changes in permit fees will you institute, if any, the day you are sworn in?

3. Many LEOs in Dakota County are unfamiliar with some of the basics of the carry law -- thinking, for example, that concealment is required. As the leader of the Dakota County LEO community, will you set an example by requiring all of your officers to attend at least a short in-service on the requirements of the law?

How's that for a start?


I just got the following response from Bellows:

Quote:
Mr. Ecker,
Thank you for the questions and I will do my best to answer them completely. Let me start out by saying I support the 2nd Amendment and over the past several years have personally signed all the permits to carry for the Sheriff's Office.

#1 - In 2008 I know we had some trouble with meeting the 30 day rule but it was not due to indifference on the part of the Sheriff's Office. As we prepared for the 2008 budget we were aware of two things. First, 2008 was going to be the first year for the renewal process since the Personal Protection Act was passed. The Sheriff's Office issued 1,174 permits the first year and we estimated a renewal rate of between 70 to 85%. Secondly, this was in addition to steady annual increase for first time permit requests that was projected to reach 750 to 800 in 2008. We projected approximately 1,800 permit request (new and renewal) for 2008. We requested as part of the budget process a second full-time staff member to work exclusively gun permits. As part of the budget presentation to the County Board I provided a graph reflecting the growth of permit applications combined with those as part of the renewal process(our 2008 budget request are a matter of record). We fought very hard for this full-time position but ultimately it was not included in the County Administrators budget recommendation to the Board and we knew this was going to be a problem for us. When 2008 rolled around everything we predicted happened in terms of renewals and new permits. We dedicated a great deal of staff overtime to keep up but there were times we fell behind. I shared the concern of exceeding the 30 day requirement since it meant someone that should legally be disqualified could end up getting one as a result of not meeting the 30 day requirement. That is not good for anyone. The good news is we have as part of the 2009 budget acquired the second full-time position for handling permit to carry applications. I do not believe we have had similar issues for most of 2009 that we did in 2008. I have been committed to getting these applications completed within the 30 day period and we have been meeting that requirement since getting the additional full-time employee.

#2 - All fees are approved by the Board of Commissioners but with that said the current fees are used to support both staff positons assigned to our gun permits and by law that is all they can be used for. The $100 fee for first time permits is not just for processing the permit the law also requires annual checks for the length of the permit (5 years) to see the permit holder is still in compliance. The renewal cost is $75 but covers the annual checks too. If fees were reduced it could impact the current staffing we have to handle new permits, renewals, permits to purchase, change of addresses. I would not be in favor of reducing the permit fees.

#3 - All officers attend annual training in a class called "Laws Update" provided by County Attorney Jim Backstroms office. The purpose is to instruct on new laws and a refresher on existing ones. Officers know that the Personal Protection Act does not require that weapons be concealed. If you know of a deputy that is unaware contact me directly and we will address it with the deputy. If this is the case with a municipal officer I would suggest you contact the Chief of Police and speak with them directly. We all want our law enforcement officers to be aware of the laws.

I hope I was able to answer your questions fully, if not let me know what additional information you need.

Dave Bellows

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:43 am 
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About as good as one would expect. No Sheriff is going to voluntarily reduce permit fees- it violates the first law of bureaucracy, which is to protect and expand the bureaucracy...

As to the others- sure, unexpected issues occur. How the office responds to them is the issue. If, as the man says, he's committed to ensuring permits go out in a timely fashion, and that his deputies know and enforce the law as written, that's about all folks can ask. Hold him to it.

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:45 am 
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The bureaucracy is expanding to serve the needs of the expanding bureaucracy

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:31 pm 
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Mitch Scott has replied :

Quote:
Mr. Ecker;

I appreciate you emailing me with your questions and concerns. I believe our constitution has been set in place to protect each individuals rights and I believe the 2nd Amendment is a great example of this. I want to let you know that I am the type of person that will not hold back and I will tell you exactly what I think.

1. The past couple of years the changes with the concealment and carry law have had a huge impact on law enforcement. Many Sheriff Offices were not prepared to handle the influx with regards to the amount of applications. This by no means justifies an agency not complying with the law. If the Sheriff’s Office failed to process an application for a permit to carry from 30 days once they received the application, then they are required by law to issue the permit. First, let me say I believe there is no excuse for this to happen however, if it does then the Sheriff’s Office has no choice but to issue the permit. Minnesota State Statute 624.714 Sub 6 clearly defines the law. Once I take office I will ensure the Sheriff’s Office complies with the State Statute.

2. The Sheriff may charge a new application processing fee in an amount not to exceed the actual and reasonable cost of processing the application or $100.00 which ever is the least amount. The Sheriff may also charge a renewal processing fee in an amount not to exceed the actual and reasonable cost of processing the application or $75.00 which ever is less. In saying that, it is my understanding the Sheriff’s Office is currently charging the $100.00 for the initial application and $75.00 for the renewal. It would not be realistic for me to say the day I am sworn in I would change this practice. I am the type of person that believes the Sheriff’s Office should evaluate the process with hard numbers, look at the actual process and break it down. Once this has been completed I will make my decision regarding the cost. However, I am not the type of person that will just say this is the cost; I will be willing to show you and anyone else how the process is broken down and why we came to the amount for the processing fees.

3. Your concern with many law enforcement officers in Dakota County being unfamiliar with some of the basics concerning the concealment and carry law is a big issue. Deputies and Police Officers are afforded the opportunity to attend a class that is hosted by the County Attorney on a yearly basis that focuses on laws that have been updated. When the permit to carry law had been changed this was addressed. The issue is that this was done in 2008, and we are now fast approaching 2010. I believe most agencies in Dakota County conduct in-service training for their officers. This would be an excellent time to give deputies and officers a refresher in this area. I am currently working with a retired Captain from Baxter who teaches permit to carry classes for the public, and has reached out wanting to conduct refresher training for south metro law enforcement agencies. This is in its early stages and the dates and times have not been finalized. As the Sheriff I believe it is important to ensure not only you are up to date with the laws, but your staff is as well.

I hope I have answered all of your questions to your satisfaction. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me again.

Mitch Scott


His answers seem to confirm some of what Bellows responded with.

So which of you is the retired Captain instructor from Baxter??

Comparing the two sets of answers on our issues, assuming we can take them at their word, I don't see a huge difference between the two. However, I can't help but Scott tends to respond in a manner that indicates he hopes things can improve. Whereas Bellows seems to answer that "heh this is the way it is". A cynic could chalk those differences up to stubborness on behalf of Bellows, or naivety on the part of Scott, or a little of both.

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Yeah, I'm not impressed with either of their answers. #2 actually is a softball, as a written interrogatory. It'd take about ten minutes for anybody in the know to get a ballpark cost per permit -- probably under $30, perhaps well under that -- and then say, Hey, I can't be sure how much we can reduce them eventually, but I'm drafting an order reducing new permit fees to $75, and renewals to $50 the day I'm sworn in -- and I'll see if we can do better, once I'm settled in.

Neither one of them, as far as I can tell, made any significant specific commitment. Did I miss one?

That said, Scott's answer is the slightly better one. It's still pretty wussy.

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:04 pm 
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When did Mn get a concealment and carry law?


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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:04 am 
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I think my Sheriff said he can do the background check in less than 2 minutes. They can issue a permit on the spot. Of course it's a small county (16,000) He would know all the specially dangerous folks who might not have a record. A new resident or a non-resident might take some additional time unless they just rely on the computer record.

Nonetheless, they charge $100. I was the first renewal, they were disappointed when i told them they had to drop to $75.

Some Sheriffs also have "special" rates for buddies. (like, free). I've seen one year permits like this. No class, no fees. (The "old" discretionary law is apparently still alive, the MPPA is not the only game in town.) But if you're not special, (I'm not), then you go to class and pay for a five year permit like most people.

I'd bet lots of judges, spouses, and jailers or unsworn employees still get this deal......that'd be something to ask....


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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:56 am 
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Just so you guys know, I left a message Monday for Sgt. Scott requesting an interview. No response so far.

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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:06 am 
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Rem700 wrote:
When did Mn get a concealment and carry law?

I notice a lot of people nit-pick over this one. It doesn't bother me, but to illustrate why I think it's nit-picking, I'll see your bet and raise. "Concealed Carry" implies that you must conceal. Minnesota doesn't have that. "Conceal and Carry" implies that you may conceal, but either way you can carry. That seems to describe Minnesota pretty well.


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 Post subject: Re: AV Sergeant Challenging Gudmundson for Dakota County Sheriff
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:20 am 
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Onesimus wrote:
Rem700 wrote:
When did Mn get a concealment and carry law?

I notice a lot of people nit-pick over this one. It doesn't bother me, but to illustrate why I think it's nit-picking, I'll see your bet and raise. "Concealed Carry" implies that you must conceal. Minnesota doesn't have that. "Conceal and Carry" implies that you may conceal, but either way you can carry. That seems to describe Minnesota pretty well.


Right, which is why so many cops are confused over the requirement to conceal. :roll: Sorry -- you're demonstrably wrong.

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