Posted 10 months ago on April 22, 2013, 5:55 p.m. EST by mideast
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Rep. Darrell Issa, the driving force behind the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis, was carrying a loaded .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol, 44 bullets and a tear gas gun when he was arrested on a weapons charge in 1972, public records show.
A police report regarding Issa's arrest in Adrian, Mich., claims Issa was more heavily armed than he has said since The Chronicle first reported the incident in a story July 2.
In one recent interview, the San Diego County Republican dismissed the gun case as involving only an "unloaded . . . little teeny pistol."
The police report and an interview with the arresting officer also undercut Issa's claims that the gun in the case wasn't his.
Issa "took responsibility" for the loaded handgun and never denied he owned it, said retired Adrian police officer Don Payne, who made the arrest after a traffic stop near the campus of Siena Heights College, where Issa, then 19, was a student.
"He said he was carrying it for his protection and for the protection of his car," said Payne, who recalled the case after reviewing the report he wrote at the time.
Payne remembered Issa as "a young kid going to college and doing something stupid" who had been booked on a felony but allowed to plea bargain to a misdemeanor.
Issa, 49, is a millionaire manufacturer of car alarms who was elected to Congress in 2000 after an unsuccessful bid for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in 1998. His youthful weapons arrests have come under scrutiny since he emerged as the key financial backer of the Davis recall drive. Issa has donated more than $1 million to the recall effort and has said he will run for governor if it qualifies for the ballot.