Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez today 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 ﬁ rearm 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 ﬁ rearms 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.