Former Official Gets Maximum Sentence For Lying On Gun Application

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Far too often, those who have connections seem to get away with too much. They can push for gun control laws, have an illegal firearm in their home, and still walk away with a charge being filed.

It’s honestly sickening. It makes it pretty clear that there are two sets of laws in this country, one set for the powerful and another set for the rest of us.

That’s why it felt so good reading about an official who got the maximum sentence for breaking the law.

A former South Carolina county councilman has been given the maximum 18-month sentence for lying about an indictment on child sex charges when he tried to buy a gun.

“If I could give you more, I probably would,” federal district Judge Mary Geiger Lewis told Kerry Trent Kinard when she sentenced him Wednesday for falsifying the gun purchase application.

With credit for time served, he will spend eight months in federal prison, news agencies reported. Lewis also ordered Kinard to pay a $5,000 fine and undergo a mental evaluation.

During a bond hearing just before the sentencing, Kinard’s wife, who had obtained a court order to keep him away, testified that the retired state trooper and former Bamberg County Council chairman had repeatedly threatened to kill her.

Kinard, 50, faces trial next month on charges that accuse him of — among other things — molesting a boy and trying to rape a girl. He was indicted in September 2020 and has pleaded not guilty.

And that is probably why he got hammered, to be fair.

After all, anyone publicly accused of doing such heinous things is going to find he doesn’t have as many friends as he otherwise might. Especially when it reaches the indictment level.

I suspect the judge allowed the accusations against Kinard to influence her decision, but that’s just a gut feeling. Frankly, I’m not sure how she would be unable to not have them impact her in some way.

Kinard is accused of some of the most awful things a person can do. If he did indeed do them, then he’s a scumbag of the highest order.

Yet he also knew he was indicted for those crimes when he tried to buy a gun. That’s illegal.

Now, whether it should be or not is certainly a discussion we can have. After all, an indictment isn’t a conviction and since we’re supposed to assume one is innocent until proven guilty–at least from a legal standpoint–barring someone who is indicted of a crime from buying a gun is problematic from a Second Amendment standpoint.

Until the courts overturn such a law or until the legislature changes it, it’s still the law, though, and Kinard violated it.

It’s just too bad for him he didn’t have the connections to let this one get swept under the rug. I can’t really feel bad for him, either, and not just because of the other accusations against him. In fact, I kind of wonder if the judge was familiar with Lovely Warren and wanted to send a signal about how she felt about disgraced public officials getting a walk.

If so, I can definitely respect that.

Nov 29, 2021 4:30 PM ET