Federal authorities are cautioning Southern California law enforcement officers not to sell their firearms illegally.
In a March 31 memo sent out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, local sheriffs and police chiefs were warned of a growing trend in which officers are purchasing guns – in some cases guns meant only for law enforcement — and then reselling for a profit.
According to the Union-Tribune, the ATF discovered that some officers bought more than 100 firearms, some of which were recovered at crime scenes.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told CBS2 Friday he is taking the warning seriously.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Union-Tribune reports that the memo focused on what are known as “off roster” firearms, which are not approved for sale to the public. California law has an exemption that allows off roster guns to be sold to law enforcement officer, the Union-Tribune reports. A second exemption allows for the resale of those guns.