Republican governor candidate fires borrowed guns despite probation

Tim Donnelly aimed a Glock 19 at a gun range last week. The weapon was borrowed from the range.
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO -- Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Republican candidate for governor and outspoken gun-rights advocate, appears to have violated his probation agreement while firing borrowed weapons at an indoor gun range last week.

The San Bernardino County lawmaker was placed on probation for three years after taking a loaded gun to Ontario International Airport in his carry-on briefcase in 2012.

The terms of his plea deal say Donnelly cannot “personally use, own or possess any firearm that is not registered to him,” according to court records.


However, Donnelly used two borrowed handguns and a rifle while practicing shooting on a campaign stop in Santa Cruz County last Thursday.

A Glock 19 handgun was borrowed from the gun range, and other shooters gave him the second handgun and the rifle.

“We supplied the [Glock] 19,” said Chris Gillespie, the range’s owner.

Asked in a phone interview whether he violated his probation, Donnelly said, “I don’t see it,” and called the questions “much ado about nothing.”

“I didn’t do anything other than exercise my 2nd Amendment rights as a free American,” he said.

Chris Condon, a spokesman for the Sen Bernardino County Probation Department, said it would be up to a judge to determine whether Donnelly’s actions violated the terms of his probation.

The district attorney’s office would need to file a new charge to bring him back to court, he said.

Condon’s department supervises only people on probation for felonies, and Donnelly’s legal infractions -- carrying a loaded firearm in public without a concealed weapons permit and possessing a gun in an airport -- were misdemeanors.

The maximum penalty in the case that led to Donnelly’s probation was 18 months in jail. Donnelly pleaded no contest and was fined $2,215 in addition to being placed on probation.


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Twitter: @chrismegerian

Times staff writer Seema Mehta contributed to this report.