ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Recently released documents show a Florida law enforcement official accessed secret files on gun permit holders in an effort to lobby against gun legislation.
Orange County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Fewless handed out the photos of eight motorcycle gang members with concealed-weapons permits, in an effort to dissuade lawmakers from passing a bill that would allow guns to be carried openly, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.
"I actually stopped by everyone of you guy's office this morning and dropped off ... photographs of some biker outlaw gang guys that have concealed firearm permits. Those are the ones we're worried about carrying," Fewless told the state Senate Judiciary Committee in April, with the idea that the men, if carrying unconcealed weapons, would scare tourists.
The photos came from the secret files of the Orange sheriff's Intelligence Squad, which investigates motorcycle gangs, the newspaper said.
The identity of permit-holders is supposed to be confidential under Florida state law. The State Attorney's Office cleared Fewless of any wrongdoing in May.
Attorney Jerry Theophilopoulos represents the eight motorcyclists and says it's clear that something improper occurred, stating, "the only way to police the police when they break the law is to file a lawsuit."