# of rounds fired, LE vs. Civilian


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MachIVshooter
October 7, 2006, 01:03 AM
I was wondering if one of our members would have a better idea where to find such statistics than I do. Seems to me that whenever you hear/read a report of civilians using a firearm to defend themselves, the number of rounds discharged are usually between 1 and 4. However, when police end up firing, seems there are frequently dozens of rounds sprayed, often with few or none finding their mark. This would also seem to indicate that civilians shoot until the threat ceases, police often fire until they are 110% sure the perp is dead. Granted, the circumstances are not the same, but it is a valid point nonetheless.


This would make a good argument for those "only police should have guns" types.

FWIW, I do not mean to offend any LEO's here, just a trend that I've noticed.

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Robob4
October 7, 2006, 01:13 AM
Uh, I think the phrase "75% of statistics are made up on the spot" applies here. For one, until recently civilians were limited in how many rounds they could carry.

MachIVshooter
October 7, 2006, 01:22 AM
For one, until recently civilians were limited in how many rounds they could carry.

:confused:

Not here. Don't know what commy state you're in, but in most of the right to carry/shall issue states, you could pack 500 rounds if you felt like carrying the weight.

And restricted magazines have never really been an issue. I bought many, many full capacity magazines throughout the ban.

Uh, I think the phrase "75% of statistics are made up on the spot" applies here Hence the reason I asked for stats. In case you didn't read carefully, I clearly stated that this is a trend I have noticed.

In the future, please refrain from posting if you do not intend to contribute to the topic. I did not ask for opinions.

DRMMR02
October 7, 2006, 01:36 AM
Perhaps because police do not have to worry about being arrested for each shot they fire. When they are in a situation where they are facing an armed criminal, they are free to take whatever action they deem necessary as part of the job, whereas we face could limitless lawsuits now matter how we handle a threat. When a cop shoots a man with a gun, people(rightfully most of the time) assume he was just doing his job. But if a civilian shoots another civilian, it's a lot easier, and thus a lot more lucrative/opportunistic, for someone looking to make a lot of $$ to sue the pants off us.

Also, think about the kinds of criminals police face as opposed to us. The type of criminal a CCWer usually faces are either a home invader, or a mugger. Both kinds of criminals are usually looking to stay as fast/hidden as possible. They are usually not looking to add a few counts of murder to their rap, so when their "victim" turns it around and points a gun at them, surprise and self preservation usually take over. Police on the other hand voluntarily face all sorts of criminals. Imagine a traffic stop, like the article on THR a few days ago. That guy with the AK knew it was a cop walking up to his car, and he knows cops are armed. The fact he still fired shows he was of a different mindset than the normal mugger/burglar. The kind of people who willingly fire on cops(people they KNOW can and will return fire) tend to need a lot more force to be dealt with.

A mugger with a crowbar might only need the threat of a gun, or a few shots from a handgun to stop him. Whereas a man with an AK who starts a gun fight with police needs more decisive and deadly action.

blackhawk2000
October 7, 2006, 01:42 AM
Uh, I think the phrase "75% of statistics are made up on the spot" applies here. For one, until recently civilians were limited in how many rounds they could carry.

75% of facts are also appearantly made up.

DoubleTapDrew
October 7, 2006, 01:49 AM
Usually at those "XX shots fired" police stops there are more than one officer. I've never heard of officers dropping mags, reloading, and continuing firing but then again I haven't been in any of those. It would be interesting to see if they shoot to slide lock though. From what i've heard they keep shooting until the threat is gone because BG's have killed cops after being shot fatally before.

GregGry
October 7, 2006, 01:54 AM
The number of rounds that were fired is not important.

What is important is if the shoot was justified, and how well the officers were able to keep the rounds on target and not cause injuries to others. So what if 3 officers shot 60 rounds. If they nutralized the threat, thats what matters.

Also, most police shootings are over with in a few rounds. The major ones where 30+ rounds are fired are the ones that everyone hears about. Thoes account for no where near what the smaller ones account for. I have talked to 30+ officers that have fired their duty weapons, some killing a perp. for most of them it was over in 6 shots, which is the ammount of ammo they had in their revolvers. For a few that were either carrying a semi-auto or a backupgun/reloaded their revolver, 10 shots and under would be the normal.

Since the local news plays stories from around the country, it might seem like 100 big shootouts occur every day. Even if that was the case, there are so many police departments, that it would be unlikely that one close toy ou would even be involved.

KarlG
October 7, 2006, 02:38 AM
MachIV Shooter,

Please note that I do not have a good source for the data you asked about (sorry). Based on the information in the following article, it may be difficult to obtain the data that you seek: http://www.wesh.com/news/3340899/detail.html This article suggests that FBI data from before June of 2005 cannot be compared to that after June of 2005 because of changes in calculations: http://www.thetigerbeat.com/utilities/newsclip/pdf/2006/2006-08-13_DandC_policFindSolaceInDate_web.pdf#search=%22police%20shooting%20data%22

In order to be useful, the basis of the statistics must be well defined and well known (which most internet statistics are not). Some questions that need to be asked to ensure that you get the proper date are : Are you specificly looking for an average number of shots per LEO per shooting at a suspect? Does it count as a zero toward the avearge if the LEO draws but doesn't shoot? Are you just looking for pistol shots or are rifle and shotgun shots included in the averages? Are you looking for information by state? ? by county? by population density? by country? Do you count gang shootings ,criminals shooting at victims, or criminals shooting at LEO's as civillians shooting to defend themselves? Does shooting a dog or a mountain lion count as a civilian shooting to defend themself? From what time frame do you want data (1970's , 1990's, 2000's)? What needs to be done to account for the period between 1994 and 2004 when magazine capacities sold with new guns were limited in the US civilliam market?

FWIW, I have not noticed a trend of offending LEO's here. What data do you have to support this trend?

MachIVshooter
October 7, 2006, 01:08 PM
FWIW, I have not noticed a trend of offending LEO's here. What data do you have to support this trend?

Virtually none. That is why I posted this request. All I have to go on is what I have seen/heard/read over the years. Defensive shootings involving civilians seem to end in very few shots fired, and the perpetrators tend to have relatively few holes in them. On the other hand, I recall many reports of LEO involved shootings were dozens of rounds were fired and suspects were hit many, many times. I have a couple of friends that work for LE agencies. One of the more recent ones that really sticks out happened a few months ago. Perp drew a gun on two officers, and officers fired. 24 rounds later, the perp was hit 7 times. The other 17 rounds hit the building behind him. About the same time, there was a heavily publicized defensive shooting in which the victim fired only 4 shots to stop two attackers; all four rounds found their mark.

You asked for specific, so here is what I want. LE vs. Civilian, firearms lawfully discharged in defense of oneself or others against criminals in the USA, say the last 20 years. The summary I am looking for is how many shots fired per criminal threat, and how many hit or missed the target, and how often the criminal lived or died.

4 police officers engage 2 criminals and police fire 36 rounds, one suspect is hit 4 times, the other 2 times. One survived, on died. In this instance, there were 18 rounds fired per suspect with 17% accuracy, mortality rate is 50%. Since it would be impossible to break it down per officer, averages will have to do.

Civilian engages two attackers and fires 7 rounds, hitting one attacker twice and the other once. One attacker dies on the operating table, the other survives to be prosecuted. In this case, there were 3.5 rounds fired per attacker with 43% accuracy, mortality rate is 50%.

I am not looking to include offensive scenarios, such as raids.

Thus far, people seem to want to explain to me the difference between LE and civilian threats. Let me clarify: I am well aware of these differences.

I clearly stated from the beginning that I do not intend to offend LEO's here, so if one takes offense there is nothing more I can do.

It seems that we pro-RKBA folks get quite offended when the anti's suggest that only LE/Military should have arms. I am looking for this data to help support the argument that civilians who lawfully use firearms present no greater danger to society than LE.

If you cannot contribute DATA, don't bother posting. If you want to write why you think these differences exist, start a thread on that topic.

svtruth
October 7, 2006, 01:59 PM
IIRC was hit with slightly fewer than 50% of the 41 rounds fired by (I think) 4 NYPD officers, one of whom did reload. He was unarmed and some of the bullets entered the soles of his feet.

LanEvo`
October 7, 2006, 02:42 PM
I am looking for this data to help support the argument that civilians who lawfully use firearms present no greater danger to society than LE.Personally, I would be interested in these data as well. Anti-gun types are evidently not bothered by LEOs carrying 40+ rounds of "baby killing hollowpoints" on them. But the thought of a trained, motivated, law-abiding citizen carrying a 5-shot snubbie gives them fits. If you could show that licensed CCW holders were no more likely to harm "innocent bystanders" during defensive shooting, that would go some ways to deflate their argument.

Having said that, I suspect you'll find it difficult to pinpoint the data you're looking for. Good luck and keep us posted.

KarlG
October 8, 2006, 04:54 AM
"Breaking News" from 2001 suggests that such data has been difficult to obtain for several years. The linked article throws out a few
numbers but with no backup. I don't think that defensible numbers will come from the internet. Maybe check the bibliography from John Lott's books to point you toward some good data.
linked article (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0429-02.htm)

KarlG
October 8, 2006, 05:16 AM
Marshall, Evan P. and Edwin J. Sanow. Stopping Power: A Practical Analysis of the Latest Handgun Ammunition. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2001. Call Number: HV 8077 .M277 2001
Abstract: The culmination of a collection of 25 years of actual shooting data. The results of police and civilian shootings with all the major handgun calibers are provided in order to analyze ammunition types. Contains input from many individuals, organizations, and experts.

May have number of shots in it???

Trebor
October 8, 2006, 05:18 AM
You asked for specific, so here is what I want. LE vs. Civilian, firearms lawfully discharged in defense of oneself or others against criminals in the USA, say the last 20 years. The summary I am looking for is how many shots fired per criminal threat, and how many hit or missed the target, and how often the criminal lived or died.

You aren't going to find concrete data. Here's why:

No one tracks civilian shootings. There are no statistics available on the number of rounds fired by civilians in self defense, the number of attackers faced by civilians, or the percentage of attackers killed by civilians. That stuff just isn't recorded on an aggrerate basis. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about.

The idea that "most shootings involve three to five shots being fired," is derived from old information in the NYPD SOP 9 report. The SOP 9 tracks NYPD officer involved shootings and does include details on the number of attackers, number of rounds fired, and the outcome of the event. Until about the last 10 years, the NYPD used six shot revolvers. As a result, the majority of their shootings involved six shots or less. Since the NYPD has switched to Glock pistols, and the amount of rounds in the gun has increased, so has the average number of shots fired per incident. I don't know the current number though.

In short, what you are looking for doesn't exisit. The reason the NYPD tracks officer involved shootings is so they can look at the data to try to spot trends that might affect how they should train their officers. There is no similiar organization tracking civilian shootings.

The best you can do is look at news reports of shootings. That won't give you data though, just random information about the incidents that you happen to hear about. Even if you see an article about a defensive shooting, the facts are often wrong or incomplete.

Trebor
October 8, 2006, 05:25 AM
Marshall, Evan P. and Edwin J. Sanow. Stopping Power: A Practical Analysis of the Latest Handgun Ammunition. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press, 2001. Call Number: HV 8077 .M277 2001
Abstract: The culmination of a collection of 25 years of actual shooting data. The results of police and civilian shootings with all the major handgun calibers are provided in order to analyze ammunition types. Contains input from many individuals, organizations, and experts.

May have number of shots in it???

Don't bother. The incidents reported in the books are by no means comprehensive. Just what the authors were able to get enough info to use. It's not a valid sample.

That, and if you think there is a scientifically valid set of statistics presented in that book, I'll sell you a bridge in Broolkyn to go with it.

MachIVshooter
October 8, 2006, 03:49 PM
The best you can do is look at news reports of shootings. That won't give you data though, just random information about the incidents that you happen to hear about. Even if you see an article about a defensive shooting, the facts are often wrong or incomplete.

Exactly why I have been looking for credible stats, but there just doesn't seem to be any compiled data. Would have made a useful argument for the anti's, but I think I'll just have to abandon this idea.

KarlG-thanks for the links, but I think Trebor is right. Anything I can put together with available data will be inaccurate. Kinda like the automakers claiming that X-model is the longest lasting based solely on the numbers registered the last Y-number of years.

Facts tend to be useless against anti's anyway.

CornCod
October 8, 2006, 03:51 PM
There are two types of civilians who own guns, the folks who keep grandaddy's old Harrington and Richardson .38S&W in the nightable and firearms hobbyists. The hoobyists shoot more and more skillfully than the cops. Rural cops shoot more than Urban cops. Folks on the east coast think most cops are pretty knowledgeable about guns. But, as wacky old Al Jolsen used to sing "It ain't Necessarily so."

TexasRifleman
October 8, 2006, 03:57 PM
Not to nitpick, but I'm quite put off by the reference to LEO's as somehow being "non civilians".

LEO's are as "civilian" as anyone else. It's just a job. An important job, and I'm not bashing, but it's just a civilian job.

Non-Civilians are members of the Armed Services.

Harley Quinn
October 8, 2006, 04:10 PM
I have a request, about the term Commy etc..
Quit, I say Quit using it. I am about sick, of hearing from lack of intelligence on the part of that, disrespectful remark.:uhoh:

I am sure that in the state that gets called that, there are very few who are of that particular mind set, if they are, well it is a free country, Or not... :uhoh:

I am now going to go on a rampage and start reading the disrespectful slant that this board has allowed to continue. And I am going to comment on it till it gets to most of you slanted and opinionated people.:uhoh:

High road HMMM :what:

HQ:)

halfacop
October 8, 2006, 06:01 PM
Not to nitpick, but I'm quite put off by the reference to LEO's as somehow being "non civilians".

LEO's are as "civilian" as anyone else. It's just a job. An important job, and I'm not bashing, but it's just a civilian job.

Non-Civilians are members of the Armed Services.

Umm.. They are "sworn employees" of a governmental agency. The same as a sworn member of the Armed Forces. I wouldn't consider this a civilian job.

Checkman
October 8, 2006, 06:18 PM
There is a legal difference between sworn law enforcement personnel and private citizens, but you are correct in that cops are also civilians and not military. I usually call "civilians" Private Citizens or The Citizenry or just citizens. Of course I am also a citizen of the United States, but as a cop I work under some different rules. At least for my job.
l

Harley Quinn
October 8, 2006, 08:37 PM
Could be one of the reasons I have not posted at another location and got booted, :what: what an attack I went through being a Retired LEO and trying to explain that very thing, you are going to run into. Hopefully the mods here are not so mindless.

HQ:fire:

TexasRifleman
October 8, 2006, 08:43 PM
Umm.. They are "sworn employees" of a governmental agency. The same as a sworn member of the Armed Forces. I wouldn't consider this a civilian job.

So are Postal Workers, are they not civilians either? They take an oath too, and it's a governmental agency.

The legal definition is as pointed out above. When you enter the Armed Forces you temporarily FORFEIT some of your rights as a US Citizen, THAT makes you no longer a civilian. LEOs are subject to the law of the land, just like anyone else and are not without any of the rights guaranteed other civilians. Members of the Armed Forces are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is not nearly as kind as the US Constitution, which they are sworn to defend.

Vern Humphrey
October 8, 2006, 08:44 PM
Umm.. They are "sworn employees" of a governmental agency. The same as a sworn member of the Armed Forces. I wouldn't consider this a civilian job.

Members of Congress, members of state legislatures and state governors are all "sworn employees" as are judges, prosecuting attornies and other officials(See Article 6 of the Constitution). Would you deny that they are civilians?

MachIVshooter
October 8, 2006, 09:29 PM
Members of Congress, members of state legislatures and state governors are all "sworn employees" as are judges, prosecuting attornies and other officials(See Article 6 of the Constitution). Would you deny that they are civilians?

There is quite a difference in the amount of authority/power an LEO has in the real world vs. Private citizens or elected officials. In fact, they have more latitude individually to make life and death decisions than soldiers do. I feel that this places them in quite a different category than civilians (at least when they're on duty).

On that note, this thread has wandered way off topic, and the topic isn't getting anywhere either. I would request that the mods shut it down.

TexasRifleman
October 8, 2006, 09:33 PM
There is quite a difference in the amount of authority/power an LEO has in the real world vs. Private citizens

Now the truth comes out, and you said it first.

It's a power trip, nothing else. Which is why I took offense to the thing in the first place.
Judges exercise FAR more power than cops, heck so do game wardens in most states.
That kind of thinking is why you see so many anti-LEO posts and comments, and it's unfortunate.

As an LEO you only have "power" granted to you by us lowly private citizens. New Orleans is a good example of what you are talking about; that ego trip that somehow that badge sets LEOs apart from the "rest".

The amount of power one wields in his JOB should not give one rights or privileges over others and I'm disappointed that you feel it does.

halfacop
October 8, 2006, 10:44 PM
What I meant to explain but didn't take the time to was a simple difference in the fact that in a situation such as a person with a gun discharging rounds at the people, a regular citizen can feel free to run the other way where as a LEO has sworn to face the problem head on or answer to his actions for not doing so.

I'm not saying they are this above the law group of individuals that are to be separate from everyone else. They are however not in the same catagory as your average husband/wife leaving for work in the local factory or office.

They do an outstanding job everyday of trying to make sure the peace is kept and that you can sleep soundly at night - just like the wonderful men/woman in the military serving our country.

TexasRifleman
October 8, 2006, 11:11 PM
They do an outstanding job everyday of trying to make sure the peace is kept and that you can sleep soundly at night - just like the wonderful men/woman in the military serving our country.

Absolutely, won't even think about disagreeing with that.

2PAK
October 9, 2006, 12:24 AM
Yesterday, a nutcase outside the Westlake Mall in Seattle started beating the crap out of a guy minding his own business. However, this "guy" (our man in Seattle) happened to have a WA State Pistol permit and, he was carrying that day, thankfully.

As the smack down was in progress and our man was down for the count on the pavement (as best as I can determine from press accounts), he drew his little friend (whatever that was as no one knows at the moment what the ca. was). The point is, he fired once, the nutcase went down and our man ceased firing and sat down to wait for the Police. He did several other things right but that's not the point of this post.

Back to the original post: IMHO, its true. Generally speaking, civilians fire 1-4 shots and the Police, in general fire more rounds. Having said that, I have no evidence to back that up other than being former military, security and LEO myself and seeing it first hand. There are probably many reasons for LEO's firing more rounds but, I wont go into them here.

On the flip side, the bad guys (mostly the non professional BG's) usually hose down the world with worse consequences than whatever LEO's would do.

OH25shooter
October 9, 2006, 11:50 AM
When they are in a situation where they are facing an armed criminal, they are free to take whatever action they deem necessary as part of the job, whereas we face could limitless lawsuits now matter how we handle a threat.

I don't know here you live, but in my department (all as far as I know in Ohio) officers can and have been charged criminally in fatal shootings. An officer who fatally kills a suspect is automatically removed from duty. The case facts are presented to a grand jury while he/she awaits the outcome. And believe me, many are sued afterwards. Officer shootings are in a fishbowl more than a civilian taking armed action.

btsyshsbnd
October 9, 2006, 01:14 PM
my theory and it's only a theory is that ccw holders tend to practice more then officers who sometimes only have to qualify yearly by firing a couple of mags worth of ammo. I know this isn't the way every dept works but I know back in the day when I had a ccw I fired a min. of 200 rounds each month and the friends I have that ccw fire at least that many.

Harley Quinn
October 9, 2006, 02:03 PM
The dept I was with, every month.
Now I believe it is every 3 or ???:confused:

Depends what you are in and where you work. Most active guys shoot more,
People who carry guns should be able to hit what they are aiming at.:what:

My total disgust is people who talk the talk can not and do not walk the walk.
Gotten me into trouble big time.:cuss:

HQ:fire:

Rev. DeadCorpse
October 9, 2006, 04:07 PM
This would make a good argument for those "only police should have guns" types.

Case in point. Cop killer in Florida a couple weeks ago. Cops catch up with him, expend 110 rounds in his direction. Coronors report shows that only 68 round actually hit him.

Contrast:

Westlake Center Seattle. Random nut attacks CCW holder. One shot to the abdomen and random nut dies at the hospitol.

Draw your own conclusions.

Geronimo45
October 9, 2006, 04:18 PM
I think the reason the question is being asked could be for the revolver-vs-semi debate - which one is better for CCW? A lot of rounds, or a few powerful rounds in an extremely reliable package?

Maybe the key difference is distance and weapon. A CCW'er will usually draw and fire at a target very close to him/her.
A police officer who draws may be firing at a suspect at a longer distance from him... and usually has a larger weapon with greater capacity, since printing is not an issue for most cops. Cops are more likely to be in a gunfight than you are - and high capacity allows for suppressive fire.

Harley Quinn
October 9, 2006, 05:46 PM
Big thing when shooting at someone then being able to do it with out getting hit. The guy who decides to take on the copper is, dedicated.:uhoh:

Most of the shooting of a ccw is a surprise and usually they are unk at the time.:what:

HQ :)

Mannlicher
October 9, 2006, 07:24 PM
I am sure someone has already pointed out that we are all 'civilians', LEO and Citizens alike.
When cops shoot Citizens, they seem to use a LOT of ammo.

mpmarty
October 9, 2006, 08:06 PM
OK, first off, many of us who carry concealed are IN FACT LEOs so that may cloud the issue somewhat; nevertheless, here is a suggestion for you seekers of "statistics". Go to the GSSF website and review the Civilian vs tha Law Enforcment scores for the top twenty-five percent of both classes. End of discussion. Most LE folks don't go into that line of work so they can shoot. Most CCW folks are into firearms and shoot as often as they can and so have a higher level of ability when it comes to "close encounters".

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