Thursday, May 11, 2017

Guns.com: How California’s ‘off-roster’ gun exemption for peace officers is causing problems

Mod: I ran across this one last night, and it is pretty good. The perspective is a little different from a lot of the newsier articles we have run here, but the analysis of the Vasken Gourdikian case rings realistic and true. If you are looking for an explanation of the "off roster" market, and how the latest California gun laws are affecting it, you could do far worse than what the Guns.com folks are pushing.

How California’s ‘off-roster’ gun exemption for peace officers is causing problems (Guns.com link): While a California law allows officers to buy and sell so-called ‘off-roster’ guns, a seizure of dozens of firearms from a Pasadena police lieutenant’s home earlier this year is shining a light on problems with the implementation of the law, which was recently expanded to include sworn peace officers who aren’t cops.

Of the 57 firearms seized from Pasadena Police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian’s Sierra Madre home, at least 18 of them were off-roster, according to an analysis from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

In California, there’s a roster of handguns that residents can legally buy. If you’re a police officer, you can buy guns that aren’t on that roster — thus ‘off-roster’ guns. Cops can sell off-roster weapons to civilians as long as they aren’t trying to turn a profit. They’d need a Federal Firearms License to do that. Gourdikian didn’t have one of those.

He hasn’t been charged with anything, and the ATF isn’t providing many details about the investigation. But the list of seized weapons includes duplicates of off-roster handguns, which experts say could signal intent to sell.

Expanding who can buy and sell off-roster firearms

In September, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that expanded the types of sworn peace officers that qualify for that off-roster exemption, so long as they pass a three-day firearms course.

Assembly Bill 2165 allows peace officers who work in 19 agencies, including officers in the Parks and Recreation Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles, state university and community college systems, and welfare fraud investigators and probation officers to buy and sell off-roster weapons exclusively to and from each other. They can’t sell to civilians the way police officers can.

Brandon Combs, the executive director of gun rights advocacy group The Calguns Foundation, said when peace officers go to sell the guns through a licensed dealer, the dealers are taking them at their word that the buyer is a peace officer who works for one of those 19 approved agencies. Without a database of such employees, dealers can’t verify whether they are following the letter of the law. That has dealers worried they could lose their license for unknowingly facilitating an illegal sale.

“The state doesn’t give any mechanism for dealers to understand … are you subjected to this exemption, are you bound to this limitation,” Combs told the San Diego Union Tribune.

A memo from the ATF

On March 31, just six weeks after Gourdikian’s home was raided, Eric Harden, the ATF’s special agent in charge in Los Angeles, issued a memo to police agencies throughout California. He warned law enforcement officers that they’d be violating federal law if they bought off-roster and crime scene guns and then tried to sell them for a profit without a license.

“In some instances, ATF has discovered officers who purchased more than 100 ‘off roster’ firearms that were subsequently transferred to non-law enforcement individuals,” Harden said, adding, “when presented with compelling evidence of flagrant violations of federal firearms laws, ATF is obligated to conduct a criminal investigation.”

Last July, former Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy Ryan McGowan was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a $7,000 fine for reselling off-roster weapons at a profit. McGowan bought 41 handguns and resold 25 of them within a year for more than $6,000. His co-defendant, Robert Snellings, a federal firearms licensee, was sentenced to a year in prison.

Still, Harden said the point of his memo to officers earlier this year was to “educate, not investigate, to ensure law enforcement officials comply with federal law in order to avoid unnecessary public embarrassment” to law enforcement agencies.

For Brandon Combs, the off-roster issue is an equality issue. “Every time you create a special exemption, and you say this one over here is better than this person over here because of who they work for, that is undermining equality in our society and it is inherently wrong,” he said.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

24 comments:

  1. Creating policemen as a separate category of individual with superior rights and privileges gives to them the status of nobility. Granting such status to individuals is an unconstitutional Title Grant of Nobility. Further, the right of the people to own firearms is a FEDERAL RIGHT a citizen holds as a citizen of the FEDERAL REPUBLIC, California may no more infringe on the federal right to own firearms than they may on say freedom of press, freedom of religion, free speech. They may no more crate special categories for firearms ownership than they may for voting. The Federal Government should not be investigating and arresting local police officers for selling federally legal firearms, but rather should be investigating and prosecuting California legislators for erecting an unconstitutional system of statutory law.

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  2. This basically gives cops a monopoly on certain guns, and the opportunity make a lot of money. Of course, you could buy your off roster semi-automatic pistol from someone who works for the local Parks & Recreation. I can only wonder what the reasoning behind that is. They belong to the same municipal employee union?

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    1. I have the piece. Meet me at the slide at 10.

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  3. "These Creeps
    Are Always The Same
    Because
    A Pig Is A Pig
    And That's That"

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  4. One could buy their off roster guns from local gangs, take Chicago for example. The "mean streets" are more heavily armed then the local law enforcement, you wanna talk about the privileged and superior society, you found them.
    Fast and Furious Federal Government off roster guns, sold covertly from the Obama Administration; that were then used in the killings of American Agents, those "sales" were never prosecuted. Cover ups rarely are.

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    1. Police who don't enforce the law, or live by the law, are little better than gangs.

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    2. 7:45am. Your so right, I glad to know that you support politicians and their legislation to keep "gangs" safe.
      In time of crisis, phone your local gangster.

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    3. In Pasadena that number would be 911.

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    4. Thinly veiled Obama hatred 7:22. Trumplites like to blame Obama for crime in Chicago and always blame him for Fast and Furious.

      Funny though how Trumplites never protest Operation Wide Receiver, the progenitor gunwalking program developed under Bush the Lesser that resulted in criminals getting firearms. Why is that 7:22?

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    5. I believe, 8:44am. that the Democratic Congress passed that, under Bush Administration.

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    6. Bush signed. I hear the democrats hid a bottle of scotch in the paperwork.

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    7. I know that believing something is the same as reality for many Trumplites today, but let me assure you 9:00, just because you "believe" something does not make it so.

      Kindly provide a citation or link to the bill you appear to "believe" passed the House and the Senate during Bush the Lesser's reign that resulted in Operation Wide Receiver. What's that you can't find one? That's because what you "believe" is not the same as reality.

      Op Wide Receiver was an ATF gun walking sting that began in early 2006 under the Lesser, whose DOJ did not arrest or indict anyone due to incompetence. It took a competent president's DOJ to prosecute crimes uncovered by OWR beginning in 2010.

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    8. The word is Dubya was a bit of a wide receiver himself. By nature, not choice.

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  5. Of course, police have greater rights, including greater rights to privacy and a greatly enhanced right to self defense.

    Could you imagine a private citizen succeeding in not getting prosecuted by claiming self defense and "fear for safety" after shooting an unarmed person, perhaps even in the back when the person is running away? Why does a certain class of citizen get away with such cowardly acts?

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    Replies
    1. The law shields officers like Gourdikian from public inquiry. Any civilian arrested for something like this would have made national news. Terrorism inquiries would have been launched. Instead this guy is sitting at home, collecting fat checks, and nobody knows what is going on.

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    2. George Zimmerman can tell you about that.

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  6. 9:54am. Just like the Democrats to hid things.
    Democrats claim to be for on going Health Care with substance abuse etc. then they "hide that bottle of scotch " in the paperwork and then whimper in front of the press creating more fake news and not owning up to their misdeed. Sounds about right, thanks.

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    Replies
    1. They also hid a pack of "Little Snouty" deep smoked sausage links in there as well.

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    2. OK thanks 10:50 I didn't know that.

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    3. 10:50 ongoing is one word in English unlike you native language Russian where Na khodu is two words. Thank You

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    4. Comrade needs Google Translator.

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. i hate crooked cops

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