Police Oppose Gun Control, Support Armed Citizens
Russ Chastain 04.28.15
We are all too familiar with the opposition to private firearms ownership and public attacks made on it. Far too often, some police chief or sheriff will stand up in front of cameras and denounce gun ownership, so-called assault weapons, standard-capacity magazines, or whatever the current hot-button gun control issue may be. This gives the impression that police are in favor of gun control and against private gun ownership.
According to a 2013 survey by PoliceOne, nothing could be further from the truth.
More than 15,000 people participated in the survey, all of whom were “verified law enforcement professionals.” 70% of them were field-level officers, who spend their days on the streets where the bad guys (and the good guys) live.
I’ll cut right to the chase: Survey results show that most participants oppose the notions of folks who call for gun and magazine bans, and most of them believe that the proposed anti-gun measures (thrust into the limelight in the wake of the highly publicized Newtown crime) would have either no effect on violent crime and officer safety or would negatively affect violent crime and officer safety.
When asked what would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public, respondents favored more permissive firearms carry policies for civilians, and 86% of them believe that the presence of a legally-armed citizen would be likely to reduce casualties in an “active-shooter incident.”
More than 80% are in favor of armed, trained teachers and administrators as a means of increasing school security.
81.5% say that so-called gun “buyback” programs are not effective in reducing gun violence.
Almost all police officers questioned (95.7%) said that a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would not reduce violent crime.
71% said that a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of so-called “assault weapons” would fail to reduce violent crime, and 20.5% said that such a ban would actually make violent crime worse.
Perhaps most encouraging is that most officers are not only opposed to restrictive gun laws, they are in favor of refusing to enforce such laws.
I could go on, but the bottom line is that most police officers support the inherent right of self defense in all people and are not in favor of increased restrictions on guns, magazines, and ammunition.