Over the years I have known or met and discussed firearms with a dozen or so LE officers from Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma and New Mexico and, for the most part, they have not been quick to support new or existing concealed carry laws, no waiting periods and the ability for private citizens to purcase firearms via the newspaper or face-to-face transactions. The primary reason seems to be this: they want to be the only person(s) with a firearm when the situation calls for force to be applied. Part of me can uderstand this but another part of me thinks that this is an unaccpetable attitude and they are the front-line shepards of the constitution.
Granted, evidence for this is strictly anecdotal and I don't claim to have disussed this issue with anything approaching a large enough population of LEO to claim to have a representative sample. So I ask you: have you received the same sort of responses from LEO that you have talked to regarding the right to keep and carry arms?
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May 3, 2003, 10:40 AM
"round here it seems a 50/50 split.Both side are "rabid" on it also
May 3, 2003, 10:56 AM
From all my reads here, on TFL and other sites it would seem to often to break down along urban/rural lines (like so much in our society).
A broad brush is that those in the country seem to have little issue with "regular citizens" owning/carrying. Those from socialist dominated states and the big cities have the "people don't need guns" mindset (or at least a huge dose of suspicion about "ordinary citizens" that own guns).
It would seem as the population is conditioned to be anti-self defense/anti-gun that cops drawn from that pool will also become more anti as well.
May 3, 2003, 12:23 PM
Administrative/political LE positions tend to tote the PC line and are anti. The line officer who patrols tends to be pro-gun.
May 3, 2003, 12:26 PM
I think that along with the rural/urban explanation, so goes the department's perception of the public it "serves." If the officers look upon the public as their allies, then they will be more disposed towards supporting private citizens owning and carrying CCW. If the officers look upon the public as something to be herded and controlled, then they will be more disposed to restrictive gun laws.
Asking officers directly what they think can be frustrating. They often will try to straddle the fence until they can figure out what you want to hear. A roundabout method of finding out their sympathies is ask them if they saw the video clip of Rodney King being beaten by LAPD officers. If they say they have, ask them what they think should have happened to the person filming the incident if he had said, "Enough is enough, they are killing that poor man," and picked up a rifle and shot the officer who was power stroking Rodney with his side handle baton?
The answers you get to that question will be interesting to say the least. I asked the same question to a number of brother officers and they were surprised that anyone would ever think the citizen would be acquitted of murdering a police officer. Many officers believe there is no such thing as justified killing of a police officer, even if he is committing a murder.
May 3, 2003, 01:37 PM
Susan and I get a grin at that one: all our friends are in emergency services! We shoot with LEO's regularly (though not as often as I'd like - due primarily to schedules & shifts), both from the flatlands (greater Denver) and up here.
It follows the politically ambitious demarcation: street cops/agents are delighted to get to know & shoot with you if you have a CCW (you've joined the club) and are at least as good with firearms as they are (it really gets fun when you're better!). The office-bound suits tend to be more in step with whatever the current politics espouse (at least in public) - though we've both heard the line, "But everybody that knows about you two, well, your situation is different!"
I only know of one LEO who's rabidly anti-gun, and he's teased mercilessly about being a self-important, self-serving brown-noser.
Want to know what "they" think? (shrugging) They're family - treat them like that, and you'll probably end up with good friends!
May 3, 2003, 02:04 PM
The police in my town(Leeds, AL) are pretty pro-gun. They aren't the greatest cops around but they are very pro-gun and nice as well.
May 3, 2003, 02:24 PM
The indoor range I belong to is owned and operated by a group of current and former LEOs. It's nice range. They sell guns, holsters, lights, safes etc... and will order things they don't have on hand.
They provide the classes required for CCW in Michigan. The classes are a little more expensive but they are 12 hours instead of the bare minimum 8 like most places. They seem pretty in favor of CCW and are great source of information about it. The fact they provide more than minimum shows they are concerned about people getting good training not just getting a certificate.
I'd have to say this is one fairly large group that is in favor of CCW.
May 3, 2003, 02:56 PM
If I have to generalize and use my small informal polling, city cops don't think citizens need guns, country cops don't care one way or the other. But in my anti-gun state, all the police want to retire to pro-gun states like Montana, Idaho or the Dakota's! ***!:banghead:
May 3, 2003, 03:48 PM
Of course their not anti-gun! They love their guns! They just don't like the idea of anyone else haveing any. Hell an Airport Police officer just discharged his 870 in the vehicle and they have to replace the roof. The thing that gets me is that I heard him bragging about all the special training leo's get over civilians. Thats good. I would hate to have to take any training that requires me to blow a hole in my roof!
May 3, 2003, 03:51 PM
It really depends on where they are at. The rural ones usually arent but the urban ones usually are. You also meet the type that are very anti because they like being the only ones with a gun for a power trip reason.
THE WORST ONES are the anti gunners who think individuals shouldnt be trusted with guns because they arent trained but they cant shoot worth a crap themselves. That always kills me. They think the public should rely on the police but the police like them are poorly trained.
May 3, 2003, 05:51 PM
Speaking as a LEO, I can tell you that many cops in this area are NOT gun people and do not particularly like guns or shooting. I can think of one guy I used to work with where the safest place to be when he was shooting was directly in front of him. I conclude from this that police officers are not the best source of information regarding firearms generally.
Our rights to bear firearms is not dependant upon what the police think about it, and it's a good thing, in my opinion. The police do not get to be the arbiters of rights in this country, unlike Iraq, China, Russia and France. Like the other folks described above, I have law enforcement friends and co-workers who are VERY pro-gun for themselves and for citizens and also several who are against private ownership of firearms, except for themselves.
Bottom line: Who cares what LEOs think about private ownership of firearms? I think we worry about this way too much.
May 3, 2003, 06:45 PM
"Bottom line: Who cares what LEOs think about private ownership of firearms? I think we worry about this way too much.
LEO's are the front-line enforcers of the law and constitution of the USA. That's why it concerns me.
May 3, 2003, 07:16 PM
My observation has been that LEOs seem to mirror the population from which they derive. Here in Nazi Jersey the LEOs I have encountered seem to be primarily a bunch of PAMF anti-gun a**holes.
May 3, 2003, 07:32 PM
euclid-I understand your concern, but I think we're talking about two different things here....
First, let me state that I am not a lawyer and am not dispensing legal advice.
If your question is whether an anti-gun cop will hassle you for legally carrying a firearm, then your concern is applicable, because that is where your Constitutional right to bear arms "rubber meets the road". In such a case, regardless of what the officer's opinion about private ownership of firearms may be, he or she is constrained by state law and case law about what he or she may do in your particular situation. Assuming that you are carrying legally, if the officer violates state law or case law with regard to your firearm, then the firearm cannot be used to support prosecution and the case will most likely not be filed. Now don't misunderstand-I'm not saying that this process will not be a hassle to you-I'm simply saying that regardless of an officer's personal opinion about private firearms ownership, he or she is constrained by the law about how you and your firearm are handled. If the officer allows his negative opinion about private firearms ownership to affect the way he does his job to the point that he acts unlawfully, then he is opening himself up for a complaint, an internal affairs investigation and/or a lawsuit. Most officers don't want that kind of hassle and will operate lawfully regardless of their personal opinion.
I would also point out that officers often have negative opinions about certain law and case law (for example, be required to contact the parole agent prior to searching a parolee even though the criminal records system shows the parolee is on searchable parole), but must enforce those and other laws with which they disagree equally. It's part of the oath we swear. If I, as a citizen, am operating within the law, it is the officers' job to enforce the law legally and equally.
If that was your question, that's the response I would provide. If your question was generally whether LEOs support or do not support private firearms ownership, my last response stands-I don't care if they do or not. My rights do not come from police officers, police organizations, chiefs of police or politicians. They come from the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and are regulated by state and local law.
May 3, 2003, 08:15 PM
My experience with LEO's here in Texas has been very positive in this area. Positive enough (along with some other things) that I became a Life Member of Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA). http://leaa.org/ (http://)
This organization has been at the vanguard of backing national legislation that would allow LEO's-active and retired-the right to concealed carry in all states (HR 218). My concern now is that if enacted, LEAA would have what they want, and not back a national reciprocal concealed carry law for all Americans who now carry legally in their state. It's all speculation on my part (and perhaps displays a little paranoia), but that more than anything would really show me what the rank and file LEO thinks about the average citizen carrying concealed. We'll see. geegee
May 3, 2003, 08:56 PM
My uncle is a sgt in the city police force back home. His son is a detective in the county sherifs department in the same place. Seems like parts of my family got into the LEO thing for some reason. But I know for a fact my uncle is not anti gun, nor is most the department he is in. The cousin and the county department Im not sure about. But my uncle runs a gun shop as well, used to teach the class for your permit and such. Dad bought his Bursa off my uncle at his store.
From what ive heard from him it really is a department and local thing. here in the south a good part of the LEO's arent anti gun. Then espcialy if a LEO gets in the department while they are young, their opinions are shaped by the rest of the department, naturaly. So they rarely have a chance to really develop their indvidual opinions fully
May 4, 2003, 10:40 PM
In my 23 years of LEO experience, most line troops and Sergeants are good with CCW. All of our Lts. are good too from what I can gather as well as our patrol Captain.
The brass that has been brainwashed by the drivel from the Intl. Asso. of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum can be problematic. This is also due to their need to kowtow to liberal politicians in many cities. I am way too politically incorrect to ever go beyond my three stripes, nor do I care to.
May 4, 2003, 11:13 PM
My best friend's family has a relative who's husband is a police officer.
Anyway, I asked him whether he would rather carry a revolver or a semi-auto. (Because here they are still stuck with antiquated .357 Magnum revolvers from the 70's/80's, and there is no choice in what you carry, but hopefully this should be changing very soon.)
Sure enough, I got the reply "I'd rather not carry anything at all. It would be much better and safer if police carried no guns." :scrutiny:
And in a ensuing heated discussion, he came up with every lame liberal anti-gun argument one could think of, using appeals to emotion and other bleeding hearts excuses. :barf:
It was also clear he had very little knowledge of firearms, crime rates and (as with all police in this country) very limited firearms training. :rolleyes:
So out of fear of turning this conversation into a flaming argument and out of realisation that this guy had very little ability to reason with and refused to accept logic, I kept my mouth shut for the remainder of the afternoon about anything relating to guns.
May 4, 2003, 11:59 PM
I've read a statement on this thread twice that I think is reflective of why our rights, (and on this forum, gun rights), are in such a sad state. That statement, "Police are the front line defenders of the law and the Constitution...", is flawed thinking, and wrong. The Law, yes. The Constitution, no, they are not.
YOU and I are the front line defenders of our Constitutional Rights. Not somebody else. What do you think " A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free State..." means? Who is the Militia? You and I, not the police. The Second Ammendment is what puts the 'teeth' in the whole thing.
I've read so many studies of how many don't take the time to even go vote it makes me ashamed. Not to mention how many never write, or call their elected representatives to make their views known. I'm not suggesting anyone here doesn't, being on this board means you are more involved in the issues than most of the sheeple out there. (But if the shoe fits...)
Just don't delegate the safeguarding of your rights to others. That's the best way to loose them.
May 5, 2003, 11:07 AM
Are LEO's anti-gun?
No, they are people.
May 5, 2003, 11:40 AM
The primary reason seems to be this: they want to be the only person(s) with a firearm when the situation calls for force to be applied.
Those were my thoughts exactly on the anti-gunnies. They want to feel like they are the only ones that should be "qualified" to use firearms when the occasion arises. People like that are a real thrill to have conversations with. :banghead:
May 6, 2003, 09:35 PM
"I've read a statement on this thread twice that I think is reflective of why our rights, (and on this forum, gun rights), are in such a sad state. That statement, "Police are the front line defenders of the law and the Constitution...", is flawed thinking, and wrong. The Law, yes. The Constitution, no, they are not."
BB93YJ also wrote:
YOU and I are the front line defenders of our Constitutional Rights. Not somebody else. What do you think " A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free State..." means? Who is the Militia? You and I, not the police. The Second Ammendment is what puts the 'teeth' in the whole thing. "
My resonse is:
First, I think YOU may actually be mistaken. What are police officers supposed to uphold? THE LAW. In this country each and every law must pass constitutional muster (i.e. the Supreme Court can challenge ANY law that is deemed "unconstitutional"). Therefore they are, literally, upholding the constitutional rights of the citizens their job is to protect. Period.
Secondly, this whole militia business may make you feel all warm and fuzzy but where in the hell are they? Are YOU a member of some militia? I know they exist but their role in today's society is irrevalent unless we have a "Red Dawn" (the movie) scenerio. I didn't see or read about some militia rising up when McCarthy was trampling on the consitutional rights of innocent American citizens by labeling them "communists" and getting them fired from their jobs (no, I am not a communist so don't even go there). What stopped McCarthy was our 1st amendment right to free speech and freedom of the press that presented McCarthy as the farce he was, not some militia. The same applies for the Sedition Act employed by Woodrow Wilson which snuffed free speech and the same can also be said of the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. As a matter of fact, when in the 20th century has the milita EVER needed to be employed to defend the constitution?
Finally, I do vote and agree that others should too but it hasn't done a bit of good for those living within the Chicago city limits who are pro-2nd amendment. No amount of voting will correct the outright gun ban that exist in Chicago and our nation's capitol. As far as I 'm concerned it's unconstitutional and should be challenged in a court of law. It's a sham.
What I am trying to write is that, to me, the roll of the LEO is VERY FRIGGIN IMPORTANT so what they think about our 2nd amendment rights should NOT be trivialized or labeled as "flawed thinking". It should be considered as a proxy for our nations ability to defend our constitutional rights.
May 6, 2003, 10:52 PM
as a criminal justice student i came into contact with many cops who are pro gun rights, and some who are not.....and one who i tried to get to join this forum
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