Why Isn’t the DC Police Chief in Jail for not Issuing Gun Permits?
Kim Davis, the Democrat Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses because of religious objections, was ordered to jail for contempt of court last Thursday. She suggested a compromise of removing her name from the licenses, but Federal District Court Judge David Bunning wouldn’t even grant that reasonable compromise.
Contrast this with Cathy Lanier, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, refusing to issue concealed weapons permits to people unless they can arbitrarily show a “good reason,” nothing required by law. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in May stopping her from denying the permits, although notably he did not send Lanier to jail for contempt.
Similarly, county sheriffs in California had been denying concealed weapons permits to applicants who failed to show a need beyond self-defense. Last November, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the sheriffs were violating the law. None of those sheriffs were sent to jail, despite the fact that people around the country have died unable to obtain a permit to carry concealed.
Or contrast it with the irony of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordering clerks to issue same-sex marriage licenses in 2004, contrary to state law. The California Attorney General sued him and the California Supreme Court ultimately put an end to the practice, but Newsom was never sent to jail.