Peace officers buying and selling assault weapons

December 22, 2011

California peace officers have bought more than 7,600 assault weapons that are outlawed for civilians in the decade since state lawmakers allowed the practice, according to data obtained by the Associated Press after it was revealed that federal authorities are investigating illegal gun sales by law enforcement. [SanFranciscoChronicle]

The AP filed a California Public Records Act request after federal authorities served search warrants in November as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of illegal weapons sales by several Sacramento-area law enforcement officers.

A 2001 law, allows peace officers to buy assault weapons “for law enforcement purposes, whether on or off duty.”
Locally, some top law enforcement officials have been operating under different licensing expectations than the general public.

In 2009, Paso Robles Police Chief Lisa Solomon was found to have not properly licensed a gun that allegedly came from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office. The lack of registration became public after a man stole Solomon’s loaded semi-automatic gun from her unlocked car.

Even though the gun was not properly licensed, then Atascadero Police Chief Jim Mulhall returned it to Solomon and did not take action against her for the failure to register her privately owned firearm even though he is in the business of gun distributing.

Mulhall, who resigned earlier this year, started dealing guns for profit in 1989. Through his home based gun dealership, Mulhall earns between $100,000 and $170,000 a year, according to Mantra.

The federal investigation and the AP’s discoveries prompted one state lawmaker to revisit the law to ensure that the guns can be bought only for police purposes.

“I think it’s much more questionable whether we should allow peace officers to have access to weapons or firearms that a private citizen wouldn’t have access to if the use is strictly personal,” said Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento to the Chronicle.


Loading...

47 Comments

  1. almostgone says:

    To say this article is lacking is gross understatement.Not even going into the tabloid like title.If these officers paid for these out of their own check and were allowed to do so why should they turn them in for nothing?It would be logical to assume that many are based on the Ar to which the simple addition of the bullet button would remove their status as assault weapons, california gun laws being as fubar as they are.If they are on a receiver that is not banned then they are not an issue.Any one who is not a felon and has a clean record can buy one if they have a deep enough pocket-they are not cheap.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • Jack L says:

      I already have so many firearms I can’t shoot them all. I have a .223 and I personally find anything more than a three round burst is a waste of ammo and loss of accuracy. I carry concealed and I do not think I’d be any safer with a full auto that holds 20 – 30 round mags. So I’m just chilling on this article’s subject and will use my time and energy to vote for less restrictions on firearms for law abiding citizens. At least for now, in California, we all have our practical opinion on such issues and can vote our interests.

      http://calguns.net/calgunforum/index.php

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • danika says:

      Because…upon retirement those who purchased those assault weapons TO DO THEIR JOBS no longer have jobs requiring those specific “tools”. They should not be allowed to follow different laws than you and I simply because they used to enforce the law. You might want to live in the world of special laws for special people, but I certainly don’t.

      (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
      • almostgone says:

        If the bullet botton is installed and they have the same 10 round magazines used by everyone else (which in this state they will have at least in public) there is absolutely no difference.Are we going to rush out and buy one now or argue for arguements sake-count me out I can think of other way to send the money then keeping up with the Jones or in this case ex LEOs.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. fromohio says:

    we need to build a fence around ca socialist republic and give it back to mexico

    (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down
  3. mkaney says:

    OF COURSE, how could we be so daft? There is more to this story than meets the eye! A statewide lobbying group for law enforcement officers is trying to get the legislature to pass a law allowing the officers to keep these guns when they retire, stating that not letting them do that is “unduly punishing” them. Of course it is, because the master class should be allowed to do things us mundanes should not. This just never stops…

    (14) 28 Total Votes - 21 up - 7 down
    • Jack L says:

      My take on this is….. I would like to be equal and have the same rifles as retired LE are allowed, or may be allowed to keep. But right now that is not possible. Just because I am not allowed, I still do not begrudge LE to keep theirs. I do not want them to be without just because I can’t have mine yet.

      (8) 18 Total Votes - 13 up - 5 down
      • mkaney says:

        I feel exactly the opposite of you, I believe the public should always have a healthy fear of a police force which is better equipped. To me an armed populace is the best check and balance for tyranny. It does not matter whether we believe that tyrrany does not exist or is not likely to exist in the foreseeable future, that is why it is considered a principle significant enough for the constitution, as opposed to a guideline.

        (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
        • Dogpound says:

          ” To me an armed populace is the best check and balance for tyranny”. Really?? Maybe in the 1700’s when the USA was starting out, but now?? USA has the highest murder rate involving firearms. USA #1, woo hoo!! Police get killed more in the USA than anywhere in the world, up 13% from 2010 for a total of 173. 68 by gunfire alone, which is one Police Officer per week. Assaults against Police are in the thousands. Damn right the Police should be better armed than those trying to kill them.

          http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/28/9775223-police-deaths-rise-sharply-again

          (-4) 8 Total Votes - 2 up - 6 down
          • mkaney says:

            Statistics misused. We have the 34th highest murder rate, so is it guns that are making the difference? Hardly. We also have the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, much of it due to laws which are lobbied for by law enforcement organizations to fatten their wallets.

            (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.