City Government

Ferdinand Plea Bargains Out Of Gun Charge

Canyon Commish who got caught at the Boise Airport packing heat in the security area copped a plea this week in what both sides describe as a “Negotiated Resolution.”

The GUARDIAN is headed to watch the Poinsetia Bowl, so here is the entire text of the 2008-12-23-joint-media-statement_final2. This is the same Boise City attorney that went after Laird Maxwell for dirty campaign tricks in the city Mayor’s election.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The Boise Picayune
    Dec 23, 2008, 8:22 pm

    What a load!

    If that were you or I (with even a Water Pistol), we’d be making little rocks out of big rocks for a long, long time.

  2. One of my favorite childhood books was “Ferdinand: The Bull with the Delicate Ego.” Does anybody else remember that one?

    Mr. Guardian, and/or informed readers… does anybody know if the Honorable Mr. Ferdinand got his gun back? (Typically a gun is confiscated; also typically, I don’t believe the perp gets it back. But this case is obviously not typical. Just wonderin’, because the loss of his firearm would definitely add to the out-of-pocket sting. As would Mr. Leroy’s fee, I’m sure, unless he did it pro bono for a Republican Brother.)

  3. So…….in order to extract an additional albeit modest pound of flesh from Ferdinand over the original weapon-related incident (didn’t he already pay $1,500.00?), the City of Bozo uses the threat of massive legal expenses to extract a plea of guilty to a charge totally unrelated to a firearm?

    And three of the four people mentioned in the release (this counts the judge) draw their salary from the public purse?


    How much court and attorney time was consumed by this debacle and how much did it cost the citizens of Boise? Did Ferdinand’s $1,500.00 cover it? Did any of that even go to the city or did the Feds get it?

    Illinois/Chicago/Blago have no corner on governmental arrogance, corruption or kiester-covering ineptitude.

  4. The Boise Picayune
    Dec 24, 2008, 10:35 am

    Unless TSA confiscated it, the Police are bound by the Idaho State Constitution to return Mr. Ferdinand’s firearm(s) to him.

    any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.”

    Open Carry… Because a right unexercised is a right lost!

  5. One has to ask, did the horrible crime actually result in any danger at all to anyone at all? The answer is, of course, no. We invented a crime to create an illusion of security while refusing to do the things that would result in actual security, like profiling.

  6. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 24, 2008, 12:43 pm

    “Negotiated Resolution”???? Excuse me?? What the ____?? Why does the government feel that it’s necessary to negotiate with law breakers? I don’t get it. They don’t seem to be “negotiating” with Plaxico Burress.

    On the other hand, it should be legal for concealed carry permit holders to carry anywhere. Yes, anywhere, even on a plane. Concealed carry licenses of any state should be honored by all states and the federal government.

  7. The Boise Picayune
    Dec 24, 2008, 12:55 pm

    A loaded firearm carried by someone so foolish as to “not realize” they had it, AND tried to board a plane with it…

    Yeah, I’d say people were (are?!) in danger as a result of this gentleman’s absence of judgment and indifference.

    To suggest otherwise is unfathomable.

  8. Tom Anderson
    Dec 24, 2008, 2:47 pm

    When I get busted, gimmee that rich man justice please!

  9. Mr/Mrs/Ms Picayune…exactly how is an inanimate object a threat to anyone at all ever anywhere? Are you not really saying that the owner/carrier is the threat as he will suddenly leap up and wildly shoot about. Of course, no one has offered any proof of this state but it must be so for we all know anyone actually carrying the evil talisman MUST be ready to flip his lid…

    Of course, the folk who are an actual threat might object. After all, the evil of profiling is far more serious than simply ignoring ones constitutional right to defend themselves.

  10. I made the same mistake Ferdinand did earlier this year, a few weeks after his incident, so this case is of some personal interest to me as it probably affected the outcome of my case.

    Just like Ferdinand, I unwittingly walked through airport security with a pistol in my bag. Unlike Ferdinand, mine was not loaded, I didn’t have a concealed carry permit, and I’m not a public official or person of note.

    Muck Raker – the $1500 fine is a federal, civil penalty brought on by the TSA (I was charged with the same amount). And no, none of it went to the City of Boise – to me this is the most aggravating part of the ordeal, I’d’ve much rather that the city in which I incurred the offense benefited from my fine rather than some federal entity whose sole involvement in the case consisted of a 10 minute phone call from a TSA agent.

    I received a letter from the TSA a couple weeks after the incident. It was worded like something from a collection agency – basically, “you owe $3000, but if you don’t make a fuss and pay in the next 30 days, we will consider the case closed for a one-time low price of $1500”. I paid the $1500 since it was the most expedient and inexpensive choice.

    The city attorneys were reluctant to let me off easy because Ferdinand and his attorney were making a lot of noise in the media. My attorney advised me to waive my right to speedy trial in order to see the outcome of Ferdinand’s first trial. After the mistrial, I copped a plea and plead guilty to a misdemeanor concealed weapons charge, which I thought was fair since it accurately reflects my crime but doesn’t carry the stigma of “gun in the airport”.

    At no time did I consider going to trial – I was obviously guilty (I didn’t know I was committing a crime because I didn’t realize I had a gun in the bag, but I figure that didn’t absolve me of the crime, at least not completely).

    My goal was to be able to plea to a less inflammatory charge, so that it would not affect me as greatly for the rest of my life (I travel quite a bit, and often have to submit to background checks). I did not wish to waste the city’s time and man power with a pointless jury trial, and I certainly didn’t have the resources or the clout to be able to antagonize the City Attorney’s office or take the case ‘public’. I thought my final charge was fair, but wished it was something more innocuous, like “disorderly conduct” or, hey, maybe “obstructing a public way”.

    Tom Anderson – I don’t think I was treated unfairly at all. But yeah, I second your notion.

    I tell ya, this is the most expensive mistake I’ve made in a long time. I double- and triple-check my bags when I travel now, so the penalties definitely has the desired effect…

  11. JimV, the point is that anyone who is too stupid to “remember” he is carrying a concealed weapon, is also way too stupid to be allowed to carry one!
    When a person shows that level of ineptitude, they are indeed a danger to the public. Who knows what the hell they would do if they ever decided to use that weapon!

  12. There are certain areas and places you can’t carry a weapon. Like it or not three of them are Schools, churches and commercial airplanes.

    Mr. Ferdinand has a conceal carry permit vis a vis his status as an elected official. He broke the law as well as the provisions of his conceal carry permit status. He took the deal for a guilty plea and the taxpayers saved some money. It is, however, the wrong signal about equal justice under the law. Judges have wide powers of descretion and this is just one example.

    Frankly, I think the skies would be safer if all law enforcement officers carried gun on aircraft. The charade we call airport security is a multi-billion dollar charade that makes us all feel better. The incremental increase in actual security is pretty small in reality. If someone wants to bring down a plane and is up for the suicide efforts I am not certain all the security we now have can prevent it.

    I would add Israeli arilines seem to have figured out how to manage airport and airline security. We have a ways to go to achieve that level of security.

  13. The Boise Picayune
    Dec 25, 2008, 10:35 am


    An inanimate object capable of explosively decompressing an aircraft!

    Had Mr. Ferdinand “Known” he was conveying a loaded firearm onto an aircraft, I would be less concerned.

    And your allusion that perhaps I am somehow anti-gun (“…evil talisman…”) is perhaps the most absurd label to try to apply here.

    It’s strictly a question of safety.

    And in my (and many others) book, a person who doesn’t even realize he is carrying a loaded weapon onto an aircraft – post 9-11 no less! – is an exceptionally unsafe person.

    Mr. Ferdinand may otherwise be the Salt-of-the-Earth.

  14. I think the interesting question here would be, in the aftermath of all this broo-haha, Mr. Ferdinand has violated the conditions of his concealed weapons license. Is he still licensed to carry concealed?
    If so, the FIX is really in!!

  15. TKC, I may be wrong BUT I believe your misdemeanor gun conviction precludes you from gun ownership, or at least a concealed carry license. Does not the federal form to buy a handgun ask that question?

  16. Cyclops, the idea of a concealed carry license is to ALWAYS carry. By ‘always’ I mean just that. I have to make special provision to go to a post office, I avoid schools and never, ever go to the airport unless I do the strip down to insure I am as helpless as possible so as to insure the places most likely to be attacked have me the most vulnerable in them.

    Let me ask you a serious question or so. Let’s speak of Post Offices, the first place to have a wide spread gun free zones. Can you think of a time when the folk in a post office were ever attacked by a patron? I cannot. The reason Post Offices became gun free zones is because Postal Employees started shooting each other and the patrons. Instead of protecting patrons, they disarmed us from the threat, a crazy employee.

    Next lets speak of schools. We have seen a rise in school shootings over the last few decades yet, schools have been federal gun free zones since the early 90’s, way before Columbine. Just what effect has this law had on shootings? Ask the folk who do them, the survivors or the perps records, they almost all note the absolute lack of real security at schools and the ability to shoot folk without fear of being stopped.

    Airports….has this ban stopped a single terror incident. Has the government ever stopped anyone in the act? Nope, the bad guys all ignore the law, the folk that get caught under it are poor fools who made simple mistakes but had no intention of doing any crime.

    What does work? What actually stops terror or crime before it happens or in the act…a host of things we cannot do. Profiling, arming potential victims and not simply inept government come to mind.

    If folk could, as they did for the first 80 years of passenger air, simply carry if they have a license, would we be better or worse off?

  17. “An inanimate object capable of explosively decompressing an aircraft!”

    BP, you have seen Goldfinger too many times.

    “Rapid decompression of commercial aircraft is a rare, but dangerous event with American Airlines Flight 96 being an example. People seated close to a very large hole may be forced out by explosive decompression or injured by exiting debris and unsecured cabin objects that may become projectiles. However contrary to Hollywood myth, as in the James Bond film Goldfinger, people just a few feet from the hole are more at risk from hypoxia or hypothermia than from being forced out. Floors and internal panels have deformed in previous incidents, consequently all modern commercial jets now have blow-out panels between pressurized compartments of the ‘plane, such as between the passenger and cargo spaces, to equalize destructive internal pressure differentials.”

    In fact, I have been unable to find a single incident of a gun ever causing explosive decompression. It takes a door falling off to have that effect.

  18. JimV, just as you, I always carry as well. As I am also sure that, just like you, I always know the exact location and status of every weapon I own. I know how many rounds are in the magazine, or cylinder, and whether there is one in the chamber, or if the hammer is resting on an empty cylinder. To do so is the ONLY way to responsibly carry a weapon. That is my problem with people like Ferdinand.
    I have never “brandished” a weapon either. If I remove my weapon from it’s holster, I have already decided to use it! I doubt that Ferdinand is of that mind set because the stories told of him bragging about carrying.
    There is no basis in logic for the “weapon free zones” that you have mentioned. In fact, as you point out, there is a logical reason for being able to carry in those particular areas. The time I don’t carry is when there is a “pat-down” or a wand being used. The majority of times, I just avoid those places. As you do, when I can’t avoid them , I strip down.
    I am no longer sure that we will continue to have the right to self protection, as I am sure the new administration will move to take those rights away. Whether or not they will be successful remains to be seen.

  19. The Boise Picayune
    Dec 25, 2008, 6:51 pm

    Goldfinger, Smoldfinger…

    Explosive decompression is indeed rare. However, I wouldn’t want to be on any aircraft where a firearm was accidentally discharged, regardless of my seat placement.

    I tip my hat to you Sir, as you are apparently far braver and more trusting than I.

    Regardless, all of this detracts from the conundrum(s) presented herein by the good and diligent Mr. Frazier.

  20. Can you find an example of an accidental discharge on a plane? I looked and couldn’t. If such things simply do not happen, why prohibit?

  21. JIMV – my misdemeanor conviction does not bar me from gun ownership – I was able to reclaim my pistol after the sentencing.

    My understanding is that the charge is not firearm specific – someone who carries a knife with a too-long blade can be charged similarly, for example.

    The form firearm purchasers fill out (ATF 4473, asks about felonies, not misdemeanors, so I should be able to buy a gun in the future.

    I’m not sure about concealed carry permits. Not a big deal for me though, since I wouldn’t be able to carry most of the time and I think if you’re going to carry, you should make a habit of doing it as often as possible.

    Having a concealed carry permit used to expedite NCIC checks when purchasing firearms, so that was a good reason to have one even if you don’t plan to carry regularly. I don’t know if that’s the case anymore, and the few times I’ve purchased firearms in Idaho have been fast and trouble-free so I don’t see a pressing need to apply for one.

    Somewhat related topic – my attorney told me that in Idaho, it is legal to have a firearm in plain view inside the car without any permits. However, if the gun is in the glove compartment or center console, for example, then it is considered ‘concealed’, and you would need a concealed carry permit.

  22. Cyclops – just read your comment from 12/24 11:31pm…

    Let me say first of all that my mistake was monumentally stupid, and should be (and was) heavily penalized. But I’d like to explain my circumstances in a bit more detail, (hopefully) to show that this was a one-time boo-boo and not the actions of someone for whom a lackadaisical attitude is the norm in regards to firearms.

    I travel quite a bit. I make sure my laptop bag’s contents are security checkpoint friendly and make it a point to never modify said contents without some scrutiny. The idea is that if I’m in a hurry, I can pick up the bag containing all the things I need for work without checking, and be reasonably assured that I can walk through airport security without incident.

    This process served me in good stead for some time, and I became less vigilant – more often than not, I would pick up the bag and run without checking.

    A few weeks prior to the incident, I went on vacation and stayed in a remote cabin. I brought a large bore revolver with me for a bit of extra protection from the worse case scenario (encounters with hostile people or animals, many minutes or hours from nearest law enforcement response). I also brought my laptop on the trip. The gun was in a separate bag.

    When I left, the bag that I’d originally had the gun in was full of wet clothes, so I unloaded the gun, wrapped up the loose ammo, put both inside a gun rug and jammed it in a deep inner pocket of my laptop bag. In the back of my mind I remember thinking that I’d just violated my own rule, but I was in a hurry and figured that I’d remember. I did not.

    On the day of the incident, I left the house in a hurry and picked up the laptop bag without checking, just like I’d done many times in the past. The oversight cost me months of angst and nearly $5000 in fines and legal fees.

    You guys tell me whether something similar could possibly happen to you. I like to think that I’m not generally inept – I know I’m often in a hurry and prone to laziness, I made provisions to offset this, and it backfired on me because I failed to follow my own procedures.

  23. TKC, In a previous life, I spent many years in Mountain Rescue. I have pulled way more body parts from airplane accidents in the mountains than I care to remember.
    It became evident after a few years, that the deceased all had one thing in common. They, almost without exception, all were pilots with between 500 and 1000 hours.
    It seems that between student and 500 hours, they were extremely careful due to fear. After 1000 hours, they were extremely careful due to respect. It was that “magic” number between 500 and 1000 when they became lazy and got burned.
    I see no difference between flying an airplane and carrying concealed. There are no, nor should there be, any “do-overs”
    I have to admit that I must give you credit for, #1 being an elected official that openly admits he reads the Guardian! #2 Having a certain level of “cajones” to state your defense in this forum.
    We ALL make mistakes! Having said that, if I were to “forget” I was carrying concealed, I would fully expect to forfeit my right to carry in the future. If the courts didn’t take that right from me, I would take the “privelege” away from myself! Simply because I would have proven to myself that I was not capable of safely performing that “right”.
    I wish you well in the future, and I appreciate your response.
    Jim Monihan
    Boise, Idaho

  24. TKC, I owe you an apology! I misread your comment and attributed the post to Ferdinand. So, in the place of #1 please insert, “at least your not dumb enough to seek elected office”.
    Happy Holidays!

  25. Are you guys finished yet? One of those guys was dumb and one guy was dumber.

  26. And Dog, the law in question is dumber than either as it has no effect on security but does lead to nice crimes to prosecute. The only folk safer are the lawyers and legal professionals who make money on the process.

  27. You people who seem to be so afraid you’re going to be “attacked” next time you go shopping at Dillards really, really, really need to move to a nice little cabin way up in the Canadian Rockies. Take all of the Dirty Harry movies with you and enjoy all that is left of your pathetic, paranoid lives.
    I’ve lived more than 60 years in the USA and I’ve never felt threatened. Anywhere. Bush/Cheney have done an excellent job on people like you and I’m sure you worried sick that Obama is going to open the floodgates to all his terrorist brothers any day now. I think I’ll let you do the worrying. Tomorrow morning I’m going to Dillards to buy some new socks and then I’m going skiing. I fully expect to make it home alive.

  28. Chet, if you had ever lived any of that 60 years in NYC and taken a subway at 1AM you would either feel threatened or be so unaware as to be a danger to yourself and your fellow man.

    Society’s dangers are vastly older than folk suffering from BDS admit. Bush/Cheney had nothing to do with New York, Washington or Detroit murder rates in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They had no effect on Florida’s out of control homicide and violent crime rates in the mid 1980’s. The solution also had nothing to do with either politician but with cities and states deciding enough was enough and with the public demanding carry licenses. Do your history. Look at Florida before and after must issue concealed carry. Look at the UK before and after their absolute gun ban in 1997….their gun crime rate doubles and violent crime shot up several hundred percent.

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