Pasadena Police Chief suspends waiting period waivers for officers

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez announced Thursday his department will suspend the issuance of waiting period waivers for officers looking to purchase firearms.

Sanchez says he wants to thoroughly review the department’s practices, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

There’s a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases in California. Last week, it was reported that Sanchez signed off on at least four waivers for Lt. Vasken Gourdikian, who had 57 guns seized from his home earlier this year. Several of those guns were ‘off-roster’ — weapons available almost exclusively to law enforcement.

In California, there’s a roster of handguns that residents can legally buy. If you’re a police officer, however, you can buy guns that aren’t on that roster. Cops can sell these 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.

But he did get seven total waivers from the Pasadena Police Department so that he could bypass the 10-day waiting period. Five guns associated with those waivers were recovered during the federal raid in February, but the whereabouts of two other guns are unknown. Six of the waivers were for off-duty use and weren’t intended for resale.

“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,” said Sanchez in a statement Thursday.

He didn’t offer a timeline for the review but said it will not affect weapons or equipment officers use to protect the community.

As for Gourdikian, he remains on paid leave pending an internal investigation. He hasn’t been charged with anything.