LAPD Effort to Curb Proliferation of Illegal Weapons, Pays Off

December 27, 2000

Wednesday, December 27, 2000

" LAPD Effort to Curb Proliferation of
Illegal Weapons, Pays Off"

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Gun Unit is responsible for the inspection of gun stores in the City of Los Angeles, to ensure compliance with Federal, State and local regulations. Additionally, the unit investigates illegal arms sales and purchases by individuals and/or entities. The Los Angeles Police Department is the only local law enforcement agency in the State of California, that has a unit specifically dedicated to this cause.

On May 18, 2000, Police Officer II Esther Mya Pe of the Gun Unit, during a routine review of pawn slips, noticed that United Pawn II, located in Van Nuys, had illegally purchased an assault weapon. Mya Pe, under the direction of her supervisor, conducted an investigation into the purchase. This investigation included the service of a search warrant at the location. Two assault weapons and 15 high capacity magazines were seized. The investigation revealed that the owner of the pawnshop, and his manager, were illegally purchasing assault weapons in California and then illegally selling them out-of-state. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against the owner and the manager.

On November 17, 2000, as part of a felony plea agreement, the owner of United Pawn II surrendered his Los Angeles City permit to operate a gun store, along with his Federal Firearms License. The owner also surrendered 21 additional firearms for destruction, including two assault type weapons and seven "Saturday Night Specials". This is a major victory for the Department and the Los Angeles community in our on-going efforts to combat illegal gun sales and possession.

For further information regarding this media event, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

For Release 11:10 am PST
December 27, 2000