Judge shoots down request to return sheriff's guns

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich was indicted last year on public corruption charges (Photo: NWI Times)

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich, indicted last year on public corruption charges (Photo: NWI Times)

A federal judge Wednesday denied Sheriff John Buncich’s request to have his guns returned.

Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry ruled that Buncich, indicted in November for public corruption charges, could not alter the conditions of his release to have his firearms returned.

The Chicago Tribune reports Buncich’s attorneys had argued that Buncich, a sheriff in Lake County, Indiana, needed his firearms while on duty. The U.S. Attorney’s office disagreed, saying agents had never seen Buncich carrying a firearm.

Buncich’s attorney Bryan Truitt said the government’s argument was completely false and that his client always carried a gun while on duty.

“This is false. Buncich wore a firearm continually throughout his service as sheriff,” Truitt argued in his response. “He kept a gun in his pocket as well as his sock. He always was armed with a service weapon.”

When Buncich was released on bond in November, federal authorities took his firearms away, and the U.S. Attorney’s office has argued that federal law prohibits Buncich from possessing guns since he is under indictment.

Truitt responded that the government has not taken into account the fact that the sheriff is not charged with a violent crime and argued Buncich does not pose a dangerous threat to himself or the community.

Buncich was charged with wire fraud and bribery last year for allegedly taking thousands of dollars of bribes into his campaign fund, Bunchich’s Boosters. Former Chief of Police Timothy Downs and William Szarmach, of CSA Towing in Lake Station, were also named in the multicount indictment.

Latest Reviews

  • Tuck & Carry: CCW in a Skirt

    Aimed at those who want the comfort and convenience of a skirt but with the protection of a holstered gun, the Tuck & Carry occupies what I term apparel holsters -- that is clothing/holster duos.

    Read More
  • The Marlin Dark in .45-70 is Stealthy and Modern

    Flash forward the lever gun of Western lore to the 2020s, where Marlin has taken that classic design and given it a modern upgrade. Meet the Marlin Dark.

    Read More
  • Gear Review: Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

    Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, so it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig filled out its repertoire with its own optics line. Today, we’re looking at the Tango 6T, a 1-6 low power variable optic.

    Read More
  • First Look: Hornady 6mm ARC

    Hornady brought another impressive project to the shooting public in 2020 with the introduction of the 6mm Advanced Rifle Cartridge.

    Read More