Pasadena police chief suspends officer firearm waivers
Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez today announced Thursday through a spokesman that he is temporarily suspending the issuance of waiver or authorization letters to officers for their use in firearm purchases.
The move comes after reports in the Pasadena Weekly and Pasadena Star-News that Lt. Vasken Gourdikian received waivers from Sanchez and used them to buy and possibly sell firearms online. Gourdikian’s home in Sierra Madre was raided by ATF agents in Feburary. Several guns were seized in the raid.
“I am suspending the practice of issuing these letters until I have a chance to more thoroughly review our process,” Sanchez said in a statement released by city spokesman William Boyer. “The Pasadena Police Department is among the finest law enforcement agencies in the country precisely because we continually assess our practices and make operational improvements to better serve our community.”
Up until now, Pasadena police officers—similar to other sworn law enforcement officials throughout California—have been able to request such letters from their employer as allowed by California law, Boyer’s statement said.
Sanchez’s order does not limit officers’ access to firearms or any related equipment while on duty, the statement said. Additionally officers still have the option of using personal firearms approved by the department, Boyer’s statement said.
–Information for this story came from a press release issued by the City of Pasadena.