I am a certified firearms instructor who has taught CCW classes in Arizona since the beginning of the CCW program there in 1994. As we are on the border with California, I watch the developments there with some interest. Unfortunately, nearly everything that I have read and heard about the LAPD and guns has lead me to distrust them.
I had numerous students who had dealings with the LAPD. I started hearing stories about how guns were seized, even if there were no crime involved. If an officer came across a gun, it was seized, and it would not be returned until the LAPD received a court order demanding that it be returned. As hiring a lawyer to obtain a court order could easily cost thousands of dollars, very few people even tried, as the cost was far more than the firearms were worth. This is legalized theft.
The practice has finally been challenged in court, and the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the under the fourth amendment, LAPD cannot simply steal firearms that are lawfully owned. The government is appealing the decision in Messerschmidt v. Millender.
I have also heard of California police who stop someone that has a firearm in their vehicle, who may have violated one of the many arcane firearms laws of the State. If the officer is being charitable, he may allow the individual to simply give the gun to him, rather than face felony charges.
The crowning moment came for me when I was describing the practice to a class of students, and one of them said "My brother is an LAPD police officer, and he has an amazing collection of firearms. Citizens just gave them to him to dispose of."
This is the stuff of third world dictatorships.
The other practice that made me distrust the LAPD has been their scofflaw attitude toward court orders to administer the California CCW program as the law requires. They have failed to do this for 17 years, even though ordered to do so by the court. The Court order was originally obtained by a legal action won by the Second Amendment Foundation. In the intervening years two more amended judgements of declaratory relief were signed. A current appeal to enforce the court order is in the works from the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle and Pistol Association.
When the LAPD engages in systematic legalized theft, and refuses to follow court orders to uphold the law, when they routinely fail to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, even though they have taken an oath to do so, they have lost my trust.