Pasadena Police Chief Suspends Issuing Firearm Waiver Letters

Posted on June 12, 2017 in

PASADENA, Calif.—Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez today (Thursday, June 8, 2017) announced he is temporarily suspending the Police Department’s issuance of waiver or authorization letters to officers for their use in firearm purchases.

“I am suspending the practice of issuing these letters until I have a chance to more thoroughly review our process,” Chief Sanchez said.  “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.  The letters can be used by officers to seek a waiver of the 10-day waiting period for personal firearm purchases or other authorization to purchase rifles not available to the public.

More than 40 law enforcement agencies throughout the Southern California area recently contacted by the Department indicated those departments also issue similar waiver letters.  Of the same agencies surveyed, 15 also issue authorization letters for rifle purchases, Sanchez said.

Out of an abundance of caution, however, Sanchez said he has ordered the Department to proactively re-evaluate its program on issuing these letters.

The Chief’s action today does not limit officers’ access to firearms or any related equipment to protect and serve the community.  The department continues to issue all necessary on-duty equipment to its officers although officers still have the option of using personal firearms approved by the Department.

Officers also can purchase, or sell, handguns just like any eligible member of the public as allowed by applicable state and federal laws.

Chief Sanchez said there is no timeline for the review process by his Command Staff.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  June 8, 2017  #029-17

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:  William H. Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager’s Office, (626) 744-4755,