(CN) – Records of the “investigation, suspension or revocation” of permits to carry concealed guns in Nevada are public, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled, reversing and remanding a case in which a county sheriff denied information to the Reno Gazette-Journal involving the suspension or revocation of Gov. Jim Gibbons’ concealed weapons permit.
Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley denied the Gazette-Journal’s request for information on whether the sheriff had “suspended or revoked a concealed firearms permit issued to Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons,” Judge Hardesty wrote for a unanimous Nevada Supreme Court.
Applications for concealed firearms permits “and the sheriff’s related investigation of the applicant” are confidential under Nevada law (NRS 202.3662), the court ruled, but it added, “any post-permit records of investigation, suspension, or revocation are not declared explicitly to be confidential under BRS 202.3662 and are, therefore, public records under NRS 239.010 [the state’s open records law].
The court said the post-permit records must be released, though any information considered confidential under the open records law may be redacted.
The newspaper requested the information after getting a tip about the governor in March 2008. In its request for records, the Gazette-Journal made the same distinction the supreme court did: it sought only post-permit records, not records of Gibbons’ application.
Sheriff Haley refused, citing the open records law, and the district court refused the Gazette-Journal’s petition for a writ of mandamus.
The state Supreme Court reversed and remanded.
The 14-page ruling gives no indication why Gibbons’ permit may have been suspended or revoked.
Gibbons has been dogged with accusations of personal and professional scandals, including allegations that he plagiarized a speech; employed an undocumented housekeeper; tried to sexually assault a waitress – her civil lawsuit is pending; nepotism, bribery – the prosecutor in that case was one of seven U.S. attorneys forced out of his job by the Bush administration in December 2006; and other shenanigans.
He sought re-election this year but lost the Republican primary in June.
In April, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Gibbons one of the nation’s worst governors.