mercurynews.com reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires) is investigating California cops who are reselling weapons banned for civilian sale. Yup, you heard right: Golden State po-po can buy any “off-list” handgun or long gun just by flashing their badge. And they don’t have to wait seven days to take it/them home or submit to an instant FBI background check . . .
Officers need only show their law enforcement credentials to buy ammunition clips that exceed the usual 10-round limit and handguns that are not available to others. Their police chief or sheriff can give them permission to buy an assault weapon or avoid the standard 10-day waiting period for buying a gun and undergoing a background check.
There is no statewide data available to show the extent of the practice, what weapons officers are buying or why they need them. Further, policies on applying the law vary widely among law enforcement agencies . . .
Federal agents served search warrants, but no one has been arrested or charged. Authorities have not disclosed what weapons were being sold or to whom, but officers and deputies have access to plenty of weapons that are prohibited to others.
The double standard realized by this practice—cops purchasing weapons for personal use that are denied law abiding citizens—is stunning. The revelation that “some” CA police are re-selling the weapons illegally is not the worst part. It’s the fact that some of them are reselling the weapons legally that really sticks in my craw.
And it’s not just a left coast phenom. Over in Massachusetts, civilians can’t buy any Glock semi-automatic pistol or Glock ammunition magazine manufactured past Gen II. But they can buy next gen ex-police Glocks. You might think it’s a loophole designed to pad the pockets of police officers but I couldn’t possibly comment.
In any case, here’s the 411 on the CA scam, complete with cod justification.
Sacramento sheriff’s spokesman Jason Ramos said his department has an informal practice of letting deputies buy one assault rifle during their career, with the approval of the sheriff and the captain in charge of weapons and training.
“A guy can’t be in the habit of every year or two buying another one,” Ramos said. “You can’t just be out buying these cool weapons.”
On the other hand, the department provides its own assault weapons for qualified deputies, so Ramos said the department’s 1,245 deputies have no need to buy the guns for official reasons.
“It’s more really for personal interest,” Ramos said.
The department has permitted 25 to 30 assault weapon purchases so far this year.
Roseville Police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said her department gets two or three such requests each year. Every Roseville officer is also issued a semiautomatic assault-style rifle for use on duty, and Gunther said her 121-officer department doesn’t track why officers need to own assault weapons beyond those provided by the department.
Sacramento Police spokeswoman Officer Laura Peck said her department has no policy on waivers to purchase assault weapons or off-list handguns by its 678 officers. She would not say how many such requests the department’s chief receives or whether it tracks why officers want the nonstandard firearms.
Gun control. One rule for them, a hypocristy of bogus rules for us. As for the CA scam, expect nothing in the way of prosecution here—unless a spree killer uses a police-sourced modern home defense sporting black rifle. And probably not even then.
[Click here for CA’s list of “de-certified” handguns, including the above Smith & Wesson 342.]