Will Jim Cooper's firearm faux pas matter to voters this June?

California Assemblymember Jim Cooper (second left) at his recent press conference announcing his Sacramento County Sheriff's candidacy. ...

California Assemblymember Jim Cooper (second left) at his recent press conference announcing
his Sacramento County Sheriff's candidacy. | 

This week it was revealed California Assemblymember, and Sacramento County Sheriff candidate Jim Cooper made what could charitably be called a faux pas.

According to several local media and at least one national media source, Cooper unwittingly tried to bring a firearm on board an airline flight last week at Sacramento International Airport. Cooper, a retired Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff, reportedly forgot he had packed the firearm in a carry-on bag.

It's worth noting that as a retired law enforcement officer, Cooper is entitled to carry a concealed weapon. However, he is not allowed to take a firearm on an airliner.

Once the weapon was detected, it was taken by the airport sheriff's deputies and later returned to Cooper. The SFGate headline read, "TSA finds loaded gun in luggage of controversial Northern California lawmaker," while Politico was more benign, saying, "California lawmaker stopped at airport security after loaded gun found in bag."

While Cooper has not commented on the matter, Politico noted:

Cooper’s mistake could create a political vulnerability as he seeks to become Sacramento County’s top cop. He is one of law enforcement’s strongest allies among Democrats in the Legislature, but the incident could raise questions about his judgment given the longstanding prohibition against bringing weapons on airplanes and ongoing concerns about the proper securing and storage of firearms by law enforcement officers.

Undoubtedly it will not help Cooper, but a few things are worth noting.

Along with TSA, the Sacramento Sheriff's Department is responsible for law enforcement at the airport, and current Sheriff Scott Jones is a longtime Cooper political rival. Furthermore, Jones' hand-picked candidate to replace him in this June's primary is Deputy Sheriff Jim Barnes.

We don't pretend to know the protocols for similar violations by law enforcement officers, but we suspect the sheriff's department wouldn't have reported it. As one person with extensive experience dealing with the sheriff's department noted, chances are someone in the department leaked the story only to embarrass Cooper and bolster Barnes. 

Even if it was leaked to inflict harm, will Cooper's firearm faux pas matter come June? Admittedly, it will hurt Cooper in the short run, but we doubt it matters to most voters.

Many voters are suffering from Jones fatigue, and if Barnes is seen as his heir apparent, chances are voters will not buy what would be a fourth Jones term. And then there is the matter of campaign money and name recognition, both of which Cooper is amply supplied. 

So while Cooper may not be the ideal candidate for many voters, he represents a change and is someone different from Jones, which might be all that matters in this contest.  

You may not like us, but here you are!
Follow us on Twitter @ElkGroveNews
Follow us on YouTube
Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2022. All right reserved.


Regional News 8567452287834526299

Post a Comment Default Comments

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast