Thursday, April 10, 2008 | 2 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Gov. Jim Gibbons admitted Wednesday that he misspoke last month when he described to a Sun reporter how he had renewed his concealed weapon permit.
Asked by the Sun on March 31 whether he had completed all required testing when his permit was renewed in December, Gibbons said: “I shot every weapon with a licensed instructor there.”
But Gibbons’ press secretary, Ben Kieckhefer, issued a statement Wednesday saying the governor had qualified for only seven of his nine weapons required for testing in December, even though a license was issued for all nine.
Both Gibbons and a certified gun instructor signed an application stating that requirements had been met for nine weapons, according to a story Wednesday in the Reno Gazette-Journal.
If that’s the case, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department may have improperly issued the renewal to Gibbons. According to Nevada law, an application shall be denied if the applicant “has made a false statement on any application for a permit or for the renewal of a permit.”
Gibbons said when he went to the December test, he forgot two of his guns and promised to return with them in a few days. His schedule filled up and he failed to do so.
About four weeks later, “I heard a question about it and I remembered, ‘Oh darn, I was going to do that,’ ” he told the Gazette-Journal.
Gibbons then surrendered the permit he had received in December and returned to be tested on all nine weapons, Kieckhefer said.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office would not release the name of Gibbons’ instructor or say whether any disciplinary action has been taken.
Erik Johnson, a firearms instructor in Carson City, said “preapproval” on the two weapons was inappropriate.
Such an act would be “grounds to suspend the permit and reprimand the instructor,” Johnson said.
Gibbons, who is generally accompanied by armed law enforcement officers, said he usually does not carry weapons. He said the permit made buying firearms easier because it eliminated the need for any further fingerprinting or background checks.
On Wednesday the same Sun reporter who had questioned Gibbons about the matter last month told the governor he felt he had been misled by Gibbons’ earlier statements.
“I’m sorry,” Gibbons said.
Sun reporter David McGrath Schwartz contributed to this story.