interesting abstract of new FBI study


February 17, 2007, 12:48 AM
I just ran across this today, and haven't seen it pop up here yet.

"New findings on how offenders train with, carry and deploy the weapons they use to attack police officers have emerged in a just-published, 5-year study by the FBI.

Among other things, the data reveal that most would-be cop killers:

--show signs of being armed that officers miss;

--have more experience using deadly force in "street combat" than their intended victims;

--practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately;

--have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. "If you hesitate," one told the study's researchers, "you're dead. You have the instinct or you don't. If you don't, you're in trouble on the street...."

These and other weapons-related findings comprise one chapter in a 180-page research summary called "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers." The study is the third in a series of long investigations into fatal and nonfatal attacks on POs by the FBI team of Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto, clinical forensic psychologist, and Ed Davis, criminal investigative instructor, both with the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit, and Charles Miller III, coordinator of the LEOs Killed and Assaulted program."

One of the unsurprising tidbits...

"Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. What was available "was the overriding factor in weapon choice," the report says. Only 1 offender hand-picked a particular gun "because he felt it would do the most damage to a human being."

Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws.""

I found the abstract very interesting, and probably of interest to most THR memebers.

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February 17, 2007, 01:15 AM
. . . none of the attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws."

Must be a mistake. I clearly recall that stricter gun laws reduce crime.

Professor K
February 17, 2007, 01:18 AM
Heh, that's interesting stuff there.

They hate holsters according to this.

Also, 23 hours of range time. But how the hell do they get to practice in trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas." I mean, wouldnt everyone see them? Oh wait, if anyone saw them, they got guns and the person who saw them likely doesnt, yeah, nevermind...:(

You do gotta admit, that some criminals do know a lot about firearms (LA bank robbers).

I still dont get why none of them used holsters. They're like 10 dollars for cheapo ones, but I get the feeling that cops mostly ignore most of the suspects likely to do harm, and go after the ones least likely to do harm so they can say they accomplished stuff. At least that's what they do around here.

February 17, 2007, 01:30 AM
I'll update you all in about three to four weeks concerning more details of the report. Using my college-student privileges, I have requested a copy through inter-library loan. Should be delivered to campus in a couple of weeks, and give me time to read through it.

February 17, 2007, 01:41 AM
Thanks Matt, I'd love to know more about the full report.

Anecdotal evidence I've heard suggests that the aversion to holsters has to do with having one less piece of evidence to discard while running from the cops.

And "practicing" twice a month or so is way more than I would have expected on average, even if your definition of "practice" is random gunfire on the corner where they're slinging crack rock, or activities legitimate carriers would consider plinking. Kind of like how Elmer Keith just went out shooting rabbits from horseback with his percussion Colt Navy... on some level it translates and pays off?

I was really interested to note the one bad guy who said that he was motivated to practice by his belief that police officers practiced 2-3 times a week and were so good they could basically hit anything any time.

Gun culture wisdom does not embrace the idea that you can self teach yourself, via informal practice twice a month, with a weapon you didn't really choose, up to the level where you have any business confronting someone you think is at that level.

February 17, 2007, 02:05 AM
Also, 23 hours of range time. But how the hell do they get to practice in trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas." I mean, wouldnt everyone see them? Oh wait, if anyone saw them, they got guns and the person who saw them likely doesnt, yeah, nevermind...

Man, maybe THE WIRE ( is as real of an interpretation of the inner city as it proposes itself to be...

Reminds me of an episode of the last season where an up and coming corner boy was being trained to evade and attack in an urban environment, using a lifelike paintball pistol to actually show that not only could he evade a chase, but could successfully hide, ambush, and hit the people chasing him, knocking them down, then moving in closer to finish them w/ one to the head.

Well, here is the episode, read for yourself: Episode 49 (

Michael Lee runs down a back alley, looking over his shoulder, stumbling and regaining himself as he searches for an open door, somewhere to hide. Two shadowy figures chase him, pistols drawn, as he turns a corner, grabbing a rag so he can break a window, open a derelict warehouse door. The figures gain on him, and closer up they become clear - Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson and Chris Partlow. Inside the vacant and trashed warehouse, Michael tries to look for an exit on the other side. Trapped, he tries for a hiding spot instead. Chris and Snoop find the warehouse and catch up to him. Realizing there's only one place he can be, they corner him and take aim - firing several shots at the first sound. Michael ducks out and fires back, as Chris falls against a wall, holding his abdomen, red seeping out from his hand. Snoop screams a banshee wail as she drops to the ground next, also seemingly shot.

Michael steps over to Chris, who's drenched in sweat and bleeding red. "What's next?" Chris asks, breathing heavy. "One to the head. I keep it quick," his protege responds. "Not yet, motherf**ker," Snoop says, back up and smiling. "You shoot live rounds like paint, boy, you gon' be the ****," she tells him. Michael smiles back - he's earned his stripes.

If you haven't seen this HBO series, it's not for everyone, but I find it quite interesting. As well done as the Sopranos, and telling a common story from more unique angles, the good and bad kids' point of view, the gang leader's point of view, the teacher's point of view, the cops' point of view, the politician's point of view, very interesting...


February 17, 2007, 04:07 PM
Hey, Logan5, thanks for posting that. I might never have seen it otherwise. If not for information like this, some of us might go on believing that bad guys just rely on "spray and pray." :(

From the FSRC site, I checked out the AELE site for the first time in awhile, and read over some interesting court decisions.
Good stuff.

February 17, 2007, 04:47 PM
I clearly recall that stricter gun laws reduce crime.

Hee...hee...good one! :neener:

Thanks Logan5, that sounds like an interesting study.

Old Fuff
February 17, 2007, 06:00 PM
As a rule, urban street punks don't like, or use holsters - because if caught they can't ditch it quickly, and if one is found attached to their body they have to expalin it. :scrutiny:

February 17, 2007, 09:49 PM
Well, since this study seems to really heavily on interviewing offenders that are in prison, I hope it is sophisticated enough to determine when the offenders are lying. It should come as no surprise that criminals lie, frequently even when they have no reason to and can gain nothing from lying.

Blue .45
February 17, 2007, 10:03 PM
With all of this new training, can we expect to see fewer reports of innocent bystanders getting hit by stray bullets? :rolleyes:

February 17, 2007, 10:24 PM
Would there be any way to post this study in its entirety? It sounds very interesting. Of course it just confirms what we already know, but I'd still like to see it.

Gun laws didn't stop them? No way. :scrutiny: I bought a pistol today and I get to pick it up on Tuesday(IL three day wait). But if I had the cash and knew where to look I could have an "unregistered" handgun in my hands in less than an hour.

El Tejon
February 18, 2007, 02:07 PM
Old, exactly. The need to ditch a weapon outweighs the need to have a secure platform for the weapon.

Since I'm in the bidness, I can tell you that this report meres reiterates what is my experience. Gun laws have no impact on alleged criminals, whether US citizens or not. They laugh at them.

I'll never forget my Forensic Evidence class in grad skul where the professor (Professor Klink of Chicago-Kent if you watch A&E) invited a "reformed" gang member (Black Gangster Disciplines--the real deal, not wannabes) to speak to our class. One of my classmates asked him where he got his guns since Chicago had a handgun ban and layers of gun laws, he replied that there were over 150 guns hidden in his father's house and anything he needed he could have within an hour. He openly laughed at guns laws. My classmate's mouth fell open and everyone else looked at their shoes.

This experience has been verified in my own practice of 12 years now. The gun laws are passed to control the non-criminal element as the criminals are outside the box and beyond the control of the politicians. However, the politicians do not care about criminals, they care very deeply about disarming you.

March 19, 2007, 08:44 PM
Would there be any way to post this study in its entirety?

It's around 80 glossy, full-color pages. Posting it online is not practical.

I did take notes on the study, and scanned in some figures from it. The resulting .pdf is 18.2 MB due to the graphics. It's a beast, and if you want it I suggest that you save it--the file won't be there forever. Click here for the file ( (NOTE: limited to 400MB per hour, so it is limited to 20 viewings per hour--don't waste bandwidth by closing it and then reopening it in case others are waiting to view the file.)

If you just want the notes, text is below.


Examines 40 incidents with 43 offenders and 50 officers interviewed

Handguns were criminals’ “weapons of choice,” 9mm most common p9

Why chose weapon: 22 say weapon availability, 25 say ammo availability, 4 took weapons from officer p9-10

Weapon choice: availability over riding factor, familiarity second, other: 1 hand-loads to match available gun, 1 low cost, 1 “because he felt it would do the most damage to a human being” p45

41 of 50 officers assaulted with firearms: 36 handguns, 4 rifles, 1 shotgun; 4 officers assaulted with knives, 3 with vehicles, 3 with hands/fists/feet p10

4 cases where offenders were in residences, offenders did not summon officers and “all [of the offenders] viewed the presence of the officer as an intrusion” p10

10 of 43 offenders were enlisted personnel in the military prior to incident.

“‘I mean, the police officer don’t get as much work as I do. I mean, when it comes to shooting and stuff like that, I do every day so a police officer cannot intimidate me. I mean, look at them guys with a uniform on that’s sometimes, most of them are out of shape. You know, they got stomachs. You know, they can’t run. And, here I am a thug on the street been shooting and killing people all my life and why am I gonna let a guy that just went through the police academy and I’ve been out here in the war zone all my life, why am I gonna let him do something to me?’” p42

“To protect all Americans, the federal government has passed many laws to restrict and limit firearm purchases. The offenders in this research, however, stated that none of these laws are statutes deterred them. During interviews for the Killed in the Line of Duty study, one offender said ‘The weapon I used was stolen in an auto burglary. I didn’t worry about any laws. I sawed the stock and barrel off and had never fired the weapon until I shot and killed the officer.’ … ‘I stole the gun from a guy who stole the gun in a burglary in another jurisdiction… Guns are very easy to get on the street; you just have to know the right people.’” pp43-44

16 offenders had prior firearm instruction: 10 military, 2 high school program, 2 basic skills course, 1 family, 1 hunter-safety program p44

18 officers previously involved in shooting incidents; 18 offenders previous involvement, with 10 reporting involvement in 5 or more incidents p44

“It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available.” p45

50 officers average 14 hours/year; 28 practiced shooting outside requirements, of which 22 hunted by did not practice with handguns—only 6 practiced with handguns outside of requirements (2 weekly, 4 monthly) p46

Of 43 offenders, “most…who carried handguns stated that they practiced shooting their firearms,” 9 practiced on different types of firearms, only 2 shot at ranges, most practiced at informal areas, e.g. “rural areas, wooded terrain, trash dumps, and on street corners in known drug-trafficking areas where gunfire was commonplace.” 81% practiced regularly averaging 23 practice sessions per year p46

“26 of the offenders claimed to be instinctive shooters, which they described in various ways that involved the act of pointing and firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights.” p47

Illegal drug trafficking coincides with gun trafficking; criminals steal, trade, swap, rent, and barter guns; “Generally, they obtained the firearms by illegal street purchase, trade, swapping on the street, or as the proceeds of theft, such as burglaries and larcenies.” p50

None of the gang members (13) in the study obtained their guns legally p50

4 officers were assaulted with handguns taken from them p50

6 of 43 offenders practiced escape and disarming techniques, sometimes learning them during incarceration p 31

33 offenders used handguns: 32 were obtained illegally: 18 purchased or traded from other individuals, 6 from burglaries, 4 from victim officers, 2 from larcenies, 1 during a homicide, 1 illegally purchased from a firearms dealer in a store (straw purchase by a female associate); 1 legally purchased in a gun store p50-51

Handguns used: 18 semis, 14 revolvers, 1 derringer p51

Long guns used: 4 rifles (1 from a homicide, 1 from an illegal purchase or trade, 2 legally purchased from a dealer store), 1 shotgun (illegal purchase or trade) p51

“None of the rifles, shotguns or handguns connected with this study were obtained from gun shows or related activities.” p51

“When asked about the ease of obtaining firearms illegally, one offender in the current study said: ‘All these politicians are screaming about more gun laws, more gun laws. **** the gun laws. I never gave a **** about the gun laws that are on the books. And, the 8,000 new gun laws would have made absolutely, whatsoever, about me getting a gun. Why? Because I never went into a gun store or to a gun show or to a pawn shop or anyplace else where firearms are legally bought and sold and picked up a gun, ever. Because I’m a felon, and I couldn’t pass a background check, you know. And, that’s just common sense, and I think most felons know that. I’m not going to pass a background check, and I’m not even going to try. Why? Because I can break into Joe Blow’s house down the road here. And, if you do your burglaries in the right places, the chances are very good, I’d say 80 percent or better, that these people are going to have a handgun of one form or another. You can then take that handgun and sell it privately. Of course, it’s not a legal sale. Of course, it’s under the table because you’re probably selling it to another felon, you know, and make money off it or swap him for a better piece. But, that’s the most proficient way that I’ve found to do it, was just break into a house where it was relatively likely they were gonna have a piece and search the mother****er from top to bottom until you found your gun.’” p52

“The investigators asked another offender if he normally purchased handguns from a store. He stated: ‘No, we ain’t going to no store to buy them. I mean, you know, you got everybody out there doing their thing as far as being a criminal. You got guys our there that sell drugs. Guys out there that do burglaries and all that stuff. So, there is some gun sellers out there; so, when it comes down to getting the connect, it’s not difficult at all. I mean, there’s somebody selling guns. I mean, it’s easy. I want to say it’s almost easy as being able to find drugs. Somebody knows who sells guns.’ Such statements are representative of the offenders interviewed” p52

35 offenders regularly carried a handgun: 17 concealed in front belt/waistband area, 8 hid in groin area, 7 in small of back, 4 in pockets, 1 “outside of his clothing tucked in his armpit, making it easy to get to or dispose of as necessary (he exerted pressure on the handgun with his arm to keep it in place)”, none regularly used holsters, 11 sometimes gave their weapons to others, typically a female companion, to carry p45

92% of offenders who carried handguns regularly carried them in the middle torso area of their bodies – should be a focus of attention for body language p56

Beware of those who may carry firearms in hoods of jackets or sweat shirts—notice if someone does not have his or her hood up during raining or snowing weather p56

If an incident involves a vehicle, leave forensic evidence on it such as fingerprints by touching it with your hand p96

When alone in a close position with a drawn gun on you, stay calm and try to talk your way out—do not attempt a disarm maneuver without proper training; if sufficient distance, run for the nearest cover before attempting to address the threat p101

“‘Most shootings don’t occur while standing stationary and shooting at a stationary target…I could have used a lot more training in shooting from a ground position. I might have done better’” –officer who was shot p103

“‘I would have had time to employ a backup weapon if I had been carrying one that day’” –officer who was shot p105

Practice weapon retention, and use proper holsters p106

Do not engage in foot pursuits without formal training; several officers were shot during foot pursuits p119

March 19, 2007, 10:10 PM
Thanks for that very informative link.

I wonder if the antis will bother learning that criminals dont seem to care about gun laws. Imagine a criminal breaking the law?:rolleyes:

March 27, 2007, 08:53 AM
There is a copy posted on click here (

March 27, 2007, 09:01 AM
I still dont get why none of them used holsters. They're like 10 dollars for cheapo ones, but I get the feeling that cops mostly ignore most of the suspects likely to do harm, and go after the ones least likely to do harm so they can say they accomplished stuff. At least that's what they do around here. Its hard to convince a police officer that the gun you ditched and he just found isn't yours when your wearing and empty holster. ;)

April 1, 2007, 12:41 AM
The highlights alone deserve a sticky. At the very least a gold star:)

MAtt, I downloaded your copy but it doesn't seem to be complete. Is it just the summary? I got the B&W version from Calguns too, but the picture of the lady with the short skirt doesn't work the same without colours. I mean, I can't see the gun.:)

April 2, 2007, 01:50 AM
Awesome find, this report. Thanks for posting it up!

April 2, 2007, 02:32 AM
Ran into a guy a few years back. He's got a friend, one of the former 8-ball jacket guys, who has himself an uzi buried... Why? He wants to keep it, even tho he's pretty much now a citizen... Said he saw the guy shoot it into a dumpster, in a VERY urban area, just to prove it worked.

The guys train, and the successful groups keep to darn-near military standards - They may deal, but they don't use.

April 2, 2007, 02:33 AM
What's an 8-ball or a 1%?

April 2, 2007, 02:54 AM
Back in The Day, a fairly stylin' thing for an OG to be wearing was a leather jacket with a large 8-ball picture on it... Stylin' enough to be shot for it if you weren't ready to back it up.


One-percenters is a term that arose from a 1960s magazine article that claimed that only 1% of motorcyclists were "bad." Lotta the HAs, Outlaws, etc, sorta reveled in it...


April 2, 2007, 03:59 AM
What's an 8-ball or a 1%?

Biker terms.

The 1% comes from an AMA survey, in which they told the press that 99% of bike riders were law abiding....hence the Hells Angels dubbed themselves 1%'ers. Some just mean it to say "Biker lifestyle", but that's its origins.

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