ATF Worries California Officers Illegally Selling Guns

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is concerned that California police officers are acquiring “off-roster” guns, then “illegally” selling them.

Officers can take advantage of an exemption allowing them to purchase guns that law-abiding citizens are not allowed to buy–“if they passed a three-day basic firearms training course [to be] covered under the exemption.” On the other hand, law-abiding citizens are limited to a roster of California-approved handguns.

The ATF is concerned that officers are acquiring the “off-roster” weapons, then selling them for profit.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the ATF’s concern came to the forefront with the recent seizure of two truckloads of guns from Pasadena Police Department Lt. Vasken Gourdikian. Although Gourdikian has not been charged, “federal records show investigators seized 57 firearms from the home, including pistols, rifles and shotguns.” The Los Angeles Times reports the weapons were “worth tens of thousands of dollars.”

The Union-Tribune reports the ATF views the possibility of California police officers acquiring “off-roster” guns to sell on the side as an “emerging problem.” The agency worries that this is part of a “growing trend of law enforcement officials engaging in the business of unlicensed firearms dealing.”

Democrat lawmakers are now pushing to place new limits on officers so they can only sell guns to other members of law enforcement. But Calguns Foundation’s Brandon Combs suggests the new law is unenforceable because “there is no database or any other method available for dealers to verify” those to whom an officer can sell a gun. In other words, the new legislation makes demands that cannot be verified.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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