Do the police carry FULL AUTO weapons?


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elano
May 10, 2011, 04:10 AM
Since us regular citizens have to jump through hoops to own a full auto firearm, I was wondering if cops have the same restrictions? I occasionally see m16s, etc in their patrol cars. Just curious if they are full auto or not.

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Jenrick
May 10, 2011, 04:26 AM
Depends on the department. At mine, the rank and file patrol officers don't. To my knowledge only SWAT officers at my department are authorized to carry class 3 firearms.

-Jenrick

Shadow 7D
May 10, 2011, 05:02 AM
Um
For a cop to carry a FA, he is issued one from his DEPARTMENT
as a cop, he's not special, and would have to undergo the same process to purchase a legal FA for PERSONAL use.

BUT, his department gets surplus FA and Burst M-16's and M4 from the DOD at the outrageous price of---- about $25 each.

GRIZ22
May 10, 2011, 05:54 AM
Most agencies will require a officer to use a department issued FA firearm due to tarining and liability issues. I'm sure there are some that allow personally owned FA weapons. Generally the larger the agency the more rules.

BUT, his department gets surplus FA and Burst M-16's and M4 from the DOD at the outrageous price of---- about $25 each.


I think its been some time since agencies were offered FA weapons for $25. I do know refurbished M16s were being sold for about $125 in the mid 90s. Many agencies acquiring these modified them to fire semi only.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 10, 2011, 05:56 AM
I have reason to believe the sheriff's department where I live has a full-auto weapon or more.

rc109a
May 10, 2011, 06:26 AM
The agency owns them, but they issue them to their officers. I am sure there are some officers who own FA, but most would never think about carrying their own in case it was seized as evidence after a shooting.

Peakbagger46
May 10, 2011, 06:43 AM
Where I work, FA is restricted to the SWAT guys. Us common folk are issued a semi-auto M4.

I am aware of a very small agency in a mountain town near here that issues fully auto M16 rifles. For most situations, I believe this is a really bad idea.

Carl N. Brown
May 10, 2011, 06:52 AM
In the US, full auto arms are usually seen only in unusual situations: hostage stand-off, etc. The only time I have seen a full auto in police hands on the street was when the police had a local desperado holed up in the attic of a house on the other block; that was fifty years ago and the weapons were Thompsons.

What's amusing is to read the reaction of US travelers to the UK to seeing British police carrying submachineguns at security checkpoints.

Carl N. Brown
May 10, 2011, 07:33 AM
Since us regular citizens have to jump through hoops to own a full auto firearm, I was wondering if cops have the same restrictions? I occasionally see m16s, etc in their patrol cars. Just curious if they are full auto or not.

At one time, police had exemptions from the NFA. In fact, an acquintance of my stepdad was a civilian bank guard who bought a Thompson under an exemption. Years later, after he retired, the feds showed up and told him we noted you had a Thompson, where is it? Apparently when he retired, the exemption no longer applied, and they took the gun.

NFA rules on law enforcement use of Title II firearms have tightened up considerably since the 1950s. (The story I heard was that a properties clerk somewhere was using Form 10s to sell confiscated MGs to collectors out of a department's evidence locker when they were still needed for evidence, so tighter rules were imposed on everyone.) Today cops are probably expected to account for their full-autos as much if not more so than anyone. No off-paper MGs. Law enforcement departments may be exempt from transfer taxes, but the records keeping is strict.

I have seen more semi-auto "assault weapons" in police hands (AR15, Commando Mark III semi-auto "tommy gun", etc) than full-auto assault rifles or submachineguns, and that has not been many at all. Departments tend to not approve of official use of privately owned weapons on patrol duty, other than an approved backup handgun.

Sebastian the Ibis
May 10, 2011, 08:24 AM
I don't see it. Suppose there was a tiny rural PD where all the officers were gun nut buddies who wanted to carry all sorts of crazy stuff. Why would they buy registered MG's for $10k plus, when they could buy brand new post 86 weapons for 1/10 the price through the department.

Sam1911
May 10, 2011, 08:42 AM
Since us regular citizens have to jump through hoops to own a full auto firearm, I was wondering if cops have the same restrictions?
As others have explained, it is no easier for an individual police officer to purchase/own a machine gun than it is for you or I. A law enforcement department or agency may own full-auto weapons, and may issue them to their officers, but those belong to the agency.

I occasionally see m16s, etc in their patrol cars. Just curious if they are full auto or not. Certainly there are instances of small-town agencies staffed and chiefed by gun nuts (or just nuts ;)) who do carry around full-auto weapons. But those are pretty rare. Also, there are police special weapons teams (SWAT) that can be issued submachine guns or assault rifles for certain situations.

But the average officer issued a patrol carbine is not carrying a full-auto weapon. (The guns may be surplussed M-16s/M-4s but with the full-auto fire controls removed.) One reason is training: Most departments have very little time and money for training their officers with their daily-carried handguns, and a relatively small portion of that already small allotment goes to instructing them on using a rifle or shotgun. There is nowhere near the sufficient time and money to instruct the average officer on the effective use of a full-auto weapon -- nor the understanding of when or under what conditions it might be appropriate to use that capability.

The other reason is lack of need: Remember that even in a "North Hollywood" situation where the killer/robber is firing a fully automatic weapon, the appropriate response from law enforcement does NOT warrant firing back at him with full-auto fire. While a bad guy can spray the street with stray rounds without concern, a law enforcement officer needs to take precise single shots to maximize their effect and minimize collateral damage. Military use of full-auto fire on the battlefield has almost no legitimate analogies in the civilian world, and the few instances where it may tend to be the sort of high-profile and exceedingly rare instances where specially trained teams are called in to handle an especially dangerous situation.

Carl N. Brown
May 10, 2011, 08:44 AM
To Post #10. The 1986 Hughes Amendment that froze the civilian registry drove registered MG prices into the $10,000s range.

In 1985, you could find registered Stens or Reisings at prices ($150 to $200) close the tax stamp required to transfer registration ($200).

lemaymiami
May 10, 2011, 08:45 AM
Full auto weapons for special units (hopefully with serious training and use rules...) have been around for lots of years. The SRT unit for my old department (max size for us was just under 100 officers) was equipped with HK Mp5's. Any Chief of Police has to be very cautious about this kind of gear since the potential for a career ending incident (for the Chief, if no one else..) is very high. Many outfits have their swat or srt units handling hazardous warrant service and as back up during dope deals since while reducing risk to ordinary officers, it also provides a regular workout and augments their training regimen. Not much use having a unit that never gets used until that "once in a lifetime" event....

That said, it can very, very easily get out of hand.... my outfit had srt on scene for a dope deal that was set to go in a shopping center parking lot (it was the kind of thing that's my absolute Miami favorite --- no one brought dope, no one brought money.... both sides brought guns. The supposed dealers were actually rippers, heavily armed.

I was called out that night after things went badly, to do an on-site inspection and report. Briefly, what happened is that the good guys watched the "dealers" approach after dropping off two extra guys a half block away. As everyone approached the deal site on foot, weapons were drawn and a serious shoot out ensued, fortunately no one hit anything other than cars and buildings while ordinary folks ran for their lives... Good guys and bad guys ran for cover while uniformed srt guys pursued on foot with full auto weapons...

I quit counting after more than 100 casings were found along the trail through the parking lot (it was about 11Pm by that point, most civilian cars had left and finding shell casings wasn't hard.... I can't remember the number of bullet holes in buildings (particularly the front facade of a night club)... The bad guys were caught, the good guys had lots to talk about (and hours of paperwork...).

My recommendations to my Chief were simple. We had to make sure that the rules forbid full auto while running.... and in any other than very, very controlled circumstances. Automatic weapons are great for an assault, great to defeat an armed opponent in close quarters circumstances, not very good while running and shooting, period. Can't say I miss that sort of stuff, but every now and then it did get exciting in my area....

hso
May 10, 2011, 09:01 AM
I was wondering if cops have the same restrictions?

Yes, when a LEO purchases any NFA firearm for personal use they have to follow the same process as anyone else. They're not purchasing as an officer, just another citizen.

I occasionally see m16s, etc in their patrol cars.

How do you know that you're looking at an M16 or a semiauto AR-15? Selective fire weapons belong to the department/agency and are not normally issued as a patrol rifle for the rank and file uniformed officer to carry in their vehicles. They have little value to LE since their needs are different than that of a soldier.

Selective fire weapons may be in the departmental armory, but they are usually issued to specially trained personnel.

Robert
May 10, 2011, 09:05 AM
I had an M16 and a M14, yes a real M14, in the trunk of my car when I was a State Trooper. But those belonged to the state. As hso said if I wanted to buy them I would have had to jump trough the same hoops as everyone else.

Usmc-1
May 10, 2011, 09:29 AM
My experience tells me only Special Ops groups inside the department usually carry FA , theres really no need to carry FA either not on regular duty!

Tirod
May 10, 2011, 09:34 AM
Full auto isn't an answer even on a covert mission. A recent event seems to support the idea that inside buildings, spray and pray may endanger the other team members more than the bad guys.

Specifically, one female shot in the leg, and the primary target shot once COM and twice in the head.

How much more in America where the survivors can sue the department for "collateral damage," meaning dead citizens - YOU - shot and killed getting off work after closing the store at the Mall, or looking out the window at your neighbor getting busted five houses down?

Full auto is effective in open combat, against trained adversaries operating as an organized team. More bullets equals more hits equals less fighting ability to resist. In a police setting, not so much.

It's not wrong to mention the LA shootout, even if the police officers had full auto, it would have significantly complicated crossfire issues and exponentially increased unintentional deaths due to the number of civilians trapped in vehicles or in the zone during the initial moments.

"I see M16's" is exactly the point of the AWB - a kneejerk reaction to thinking something is a full auto weapon. In reality, they are a liability and can't be used in a lot of situations.

There are also substantial Constitutional issues. The police derive their powers from OUR rights, therefore, if we can't have it, they personally can't have it - because we could then litigate relief from a unequal loss of our rights. That leaves the issue to whether the "State," meaning government, can have the right, which is really going off topic.

Point being, the current view is cops can have full auto issued to them, just like soldiers, but not own one any easier than you or I. And what someone thinks they see isn't necessarily an informed view, as the AWB has so conveniently proven.

atomchaser
May 10, 2011, 09:58 AM
I can't see were full auto weapons would be useful to regular patrol officers in almost all conceviable situations. Full auto is useful in a military situation for suppressive fire on a battle field. Even in the LA case, the issue was that the responding officers didn't have any rifles at all. I don't think the fact that the bad guys had full auto made that much of a difference. It was really a rifle vs handgun/shotgun problem the cops faced.

Jonah71
May 10, 2011, 10:05 AM
It's just my opinion, but I think a LEO should have very few limitations on what they carry. I understand the wisdom of "standard issue", but if they want to carry something else they are more comfortable with and can afford it....why not?

Sam1911
May 10, 2011, 10:30 AM
why not?

I can think of a few reasons why not:

1) Standardization of equipment. The department generally provides or specifies the gear the officers will wear/carry and provide armorer's services on that standard gear. But what about Officer Joe's 1911 that doesn't get through two mags without a stove-pipe jam? And do we have a spare mainspring for Officer George's Star in 9mm Largo? And who's going to check that the holster Officer Dave bought for his Model 66 meets the retention requirements for the department? Etc.

2) The gun is part of the uniform. Why can't the officer wear whatever kind of tie he wants or hat or belt? There are very legitimate reasons why the visual presence of a peace officer is standardized. One black handgun might look just like any other to some people, but a 6" chrome revolver won't, and that detracts from the uniform.

3) Training. The average officer might not get a whole lot of training compared to some civilian shooters, but the department is responsible for ensuring some level of competency in every officer. If that's all with one model of gun, that's a whole lot easier than if this guy has trouble making his P7 squeeze-cocker go, and that guy can't get off a revolver reload in under 20 seconds, and the other fellow doesn't always get the grip safety depressed on his Custom Carry 1911, and on and on. There are so few training dollars and hours, the only hope of achieving baseline universal competence is through standardization.

4) Liability. This is the big one. Law officers repeatedly and even routinely will be in court over use of force. That use of force has to closely follow the department's guidelines for the officer to be indemnified against personal liability for his actions. That means being able to testify before the judge that Officer Bill used the standard-issue gun, with the standard-issue ammo, in a manner that followed the department's rules of engagement. Further, the officer's account will be challenged and may be subject to testing to establish whether what he said happened is borne out by the evidence and by the results of tests simulating the encounter. That means, again, using the department's gun and the department's ammo to gather comparative gunshot residue or other critical data. Further, while such concerns may be overblown for the defense-minded civilian, an officer who chooses to carry a personal firearm that does not meet or conform to the standards of the department is immediately opening himself to being placed in an extremely negative light in a hearing. When the department issues every officer a .40 caliber Glock sidearm, but Officer Calahan chooses to carry a .44 Magnum, he's going to be fighting a completely unnecessary uphill legal battle every time he clears leather.

Owen Sparks
May 10, 2011, 10:36 AM
In my town only the SWAT team does.

eye5600
May 10, 2011, 11:36 AM
Sorry, don't get it. The military does their best to teach infantry that FA is not the best way to go. I just don't see any situation in which FA fire is appropriate for a LEO.

Robert
May 10, 2011, 11:52 AM
The only reason I had an M14 in my trunk was because it would penetrate a windshield better than the M16. The M16 was for everything the shotgun couldn't do. We were instructed to never use the weapons in FA mode.

Shadow 7D
May 10, 2011, 12:58 PM
Right, and on the other hand, buying from the FEDs, a FA M16 is like 25 dollars (surplus, supposedly) when a new LE contract gun will cost hundreds, that was one excuse that has been used, they carry FA, cause it's SO MUCH CHEAPER...

Robert
May 10, 2011, 01:03 PM
The state of CO traded 3 Thompsons for 1 M16 back in the 80's. Talk about a bad deal...

WNTFW
May 10, 2011, 01:11 PM
At one of the local PD's the full auto guy's have to requalify 4 times a year. I have shot the same weapons and can see why. I am all for the police having adequate firepower.

avs11054
May 10, 2011, 01:16 PM
my dept only authorizes FAs for our SWAT team. Our K9 officers carry 14 in shotguns. Other than that, no other dept employee has class 3 weapons. I do know of several other depts in az that issue FA weapons to officers other than those who are on the SWAT teams.

I did also take the glock armorers course a few years back. The instructor told us there are several depts throughout the us that issue the glock 18 as their standard issue handgun

Jim Watson
May 10, 2011, 01:39 PM
A deputy friend had a Thompson obtained by telling the Sheriff that he would pay for it if the department would order it on a county purchase order and issue it exclusively back to him. The Sheriff was agreeable so my friend had a lot of fun for $250. That was over 20 years ago. We are more restrictive, now.

ny32182
May 10, 2011, 03:17 PM
I'll go out on a limb and say that I can't think of any situation in civilian life where full auto is needed, or even makes a good first choice, to solve any self defense scenario.

What is the most insane domestic law enforcement situation anyone can think of? LA bank robbery? Even there, would it have been a good idea for the police to return full auto fire? Not likely. If it is not useful even in a once-in-a-generation scenario like that, what is it, other than a liability? (I think I know the answer)

txhoghunter
May 10, 2011, 03:45 PM
The only time I could understand the use of a FA weapon from a LE perspective would be in the hands of a SWAT entry team. Going into what could quickly turn into a close quarters battle, a FA weapon is necessary. For longer range engagements, like the North Hollywood shootout, even those trained with a FA weapon would know to keep it on semi.

trol79
May 10, 2011, 04:37 PM
Well, in germany Policeofficers are issuet with a FA MP-5 per car. But I heard that they are not trained very well with ( shooting them selfs with it due wrong handling). Also the police's budget is getting cut down constantly. Maybe our LEO's will get limitet to pistols only (exept SWAT).

avs11054
May 10, 2011, 04:43 PM
I'll go out on a limb and say that I can't think of any situation in civilian life where full auto is needed, or even makes a good first choice, to solve any self defense scenario.

What is the most insane domestic law enforcement situation anyone can think of? LA bank robbery? Even there, would it have been a good idea for the police to return full auto fire? Not likely. If it is not useful even in a once-in-a-generation scenario like that, what is it, other than a liability? (I think I know the answer)
100% agreed. Even in LE when needing to go into a CQB situation, there are too many liabilities using FA.

txhoghunter
May 10, 2011, 04:44 PM
Maybe our LEO's will get limitet to pistols only (exept SWAT).

I don't see this happening. The North Hollywood shootout is a big reason that officers began being issued rifles. Being in a gunfight against a high powered rifle with a pistol is not a good way to protect themselves or the public. However, many departments instead of providing the rifle, will give the officers guidelines that they must follow in buying one for themselves (I believe Dallas PD is Colt and Rock River).

And then the officers must qualify with their provided rifles of course.

HorseSoldier
May 10, 2011, 07:37 PM
My department's SWAT guys have full auto, department issue weapons. Carbine qualified officers can carry semi auto ARs or other semi auto black rifles off an approved list, subject to armorer inspection and certification -- this can include SBRs if the officer does the usual NFA paperwork same as everyone else. Patrol officers do have department issued SBS's that belong to the department not individual.

I'm not an expert on the totality of SWAT and tac unit operations but suspect that full auto is almost never used in actual operations. Besides risk of litigation from stray rounds and such, there's just limited need for it in competently done surgical CQB/CQC whether it is by the military or LE.

As for general issue of full auto weapons to all patrol officers, I think I can hear a supervisor in the city's legal or risk management department setting down his coffee cup and stating, "I just sensed a grave disturbance in the force, as if the entire municipal budget just cried out in litigious terror."

Vaarok
May 10, 2011, 08:24 PM
I don't see it. Suppose there was a tiny rural PD where all the officers were gun nut buddies who wanted to carry all sorts of crazy stuff. Why would they buy registered MG's for $10k plus, when they could buy brand new post 86 weapons for 1/10 the price through the department.

That happened in Albany NY a few years ago. There were several cops using a 01 FFL to transfer in fullauto stuff to and for themselves under the auspices of the department.

hapidogbreath
May 10, 2011, 08:44 PM
LEO for going on 17 Years....Started with the 92F and an 870 in the trunk. Now have a PXStorm in 40. as a sidearm and a .40 Storm (Beretta) in the trunk. Why bring a pistol caliber "rifle" to a gun fight??? Most of the guys I work with have trouble qualifying with the duty pistol the 2 times we go to the range. SRT ( SWAT )goes once a month. Some of them can"t shoot either. Give me a SIG 220 or my old USMC issue 1911 and a semi auto .223 or M1A and I'll be fine. No need for FA JMHO.

Erik
May 11, 2011, 01:04 AM
"Do the police carry FULL AUTO weapons?"

As noted, some do.

dacavasi
May 11, 2011, 01:19 AM
I have to agree with the mantra that 'less is more', particularly with regard to the application of FA in anything but a battlefield, suppressing fire situation. It is a proven fact that well-placed, single shot fire has much greater lethal economy than FA, in most any circumstance that is not battlefield 'en masse'. For local LE to apply FA in virtually any circumstance except the most extreme would be an ethical and likely legal headache of major proportions.

JohnBiltz
May 11, 2011, 04:16 AM
I could see an entry team wanting 3 round burst capability.

Whiskey11
May 11, 2011, 08:33 AM
Local SWAT team is issued Colt Commandos with Full Auto. I have seen one, and was not impressed by the fit and finish for a "Colt." When this officer is on patrol he has to have it with him, so he leaves his Bushmaster at home.

Not sure as to why other than an intimidation thing. It doesn't take long for word to get around that the SWAT team has full auto and I'm sure it sends shivers down the spines of the ill informed thugs and dirt bags that see Police on a daily basis. I guess my buddy did mention that in a close quarters engagement full auto is nice since you can put down a fairly heavy volume of fire if a threat needs to be eliminated quickly but beyond that he said "It's really not that great, it's one of those things that you do once or twice for the sheer grin of it, but beyond that it's a waste of money."

He did mention that the Mp5 is fun to shoot in Full Auto. He even said it was "like watering the lawn, you just point and pull the trigger and a ton of rounds go down range and you are empty."

paramedic70002
May 11, 2011, 10:14 AM
Back almost 25 years ago I was a brand new Deputy Sheriff, process server, for my County. One day, our eldest road Deputy (in his 60s) was involved in a car crash. One of the other Deputies was bringing his trunk stuff in the squad room as I was preparing my papers for the day's work. I saw a personally owned very old full auto Thompson with a 100 round drum.

On another occasion, and another 'old' Deputy, I saw a 12 inch double barreled 12 gauge shotgun that the Deputy used as a 'persuader' in some situations.

mljdeckard
May 11, 2011, 10:21 AM
Look at it this way.

Even if they are allowed to have them, when is it a good idea for them to actually use FA fire? They are much more concerned with unintended innocent bystanders getting hit and what is on the other side of walls. They will focus much more on making sure that every shot counts. As was mentioned before, even in the North Hollywood shootout, FA would have been a bad idea, even when they were under fire from sustained FA.

Even my soldiers, I tell them to leave the happy switch alone most of the time. I want them to learn to place shots correctly. If they need to use burst or auto for suppressive fire, that is a different task that LE or civilians are highly unlikely to encounter. (It's not all that common in a war either.)

JDBoardman
May 11, 2011, 10:39 AM
I don't understand why ANY domestic police agency should have, carry or use full automatic weapons. I suppose it is the desire to have bigger and badder toys than the other side. How about we start issuing area fire weapons (grenade launchers, mortars, howitzers, Reaper drones with Hellfire missles, etc) so the cops will be able to outgun the bad guys.

From what I have seen, frankly most LEO's would have a hard time hitting the broad side of a barn from the inside3. Maybe they "qualify" annually, but it seems that the occurence of "we fired 40 rounds and hit the miscreat twice (too bad about the 2-year old child we hit three blocks away, but we got the baed guy)" is more and more common. Even when I was an infantry office in the 'Nam, the best and most effective use for full auto fire was as supression fire to make the other guys keep their heads down. Single round aimed fire is far more effective than "pray and spray".

Frankly, I think the idea of police marksmanship became an oxymoron with the advent of the "wondernine" high cap plastic pistol. When the officer had a 6-round revolver with a pouch of speedloaders, he had to make his shots count.

The worst firearms discipline I regularly see is by LEO's; they ignore the four rules, do not control the muzzle, and get the fur up on their backs (and look for payback opportunities) if their failings are brought to their attention. Obviously, this does not apply to ALL LEO's, but you all know the offenders in your own agencies.

And along the same rant - why do tax collectors feel they deserve to be armed? What earthly justification is there for the IRS, BATF, Customs, etc to be armed? Isn't that what the federal police agencies (FBI, Federal Marshals Service, Postal Inspectors) are for?

RockyMtnTactical
May 11, 2011, 10:46 AM
They don't have restrictions if the dept approves it. However, most cops don't use full auto weapons. It seems that full auto stuff is usually reserved for SWAT team members, if at all.

It doesn't bother me at all that they have access to select fire weapons. I wish it werent so difficult for people like me to get a hold of them...

vita
May 11, 2011, 10:52 AM
I know most Dept. by me issue the base option AR15. Actually, every department Ive talked to (well, the guys in the black n' white) all claim that they have a into bushmaster locked up next to them.


FA? no way.

Madcap_Magician
May 11, 2011, 12:57 PM
Really there's not much need for law enforcement to have full auto weapons. The only thing that full auto does better than semi is sheer volume of fire, usually suppressive in nature, which for obvious reasons is a no-go for a police officer.

hso
May 11, 2011, 03:19 PM
Folks, the original question was whether LE had to jump though the same hoops as other folks and the answer is 1) Yes for personally owned weapons 2) No for departmental weapons.

Whether LE departments should or should not have or use FA weapons is a different discussion.

Cop Bob
May 11, 2011, 03:50 PM
My neck of the woods it has been for many many years, a few members of the SWAT team only... Individual officers have been banned from carrying even their own personal NFA weapons.. Carbines are welcome, with training and qualification..

Chiefs in our area banned together over 30years ago and agreed to NOT sign letter for even their officers, much less regular citizens to obtain NFA guns for personal use..

armoredman
May 11, 2011, 04:34 PM
I know Maricopa County Sheriffs have an M2HB with tripod, saw it deployed once, publicity stunt. Whether or not it's FUNCTIONAL is a good question.
My Dept has two American 180s somewhere, 22 top feed drum magazine puppies, used for crowd control. Popular legend has it that the one time one was used, the shooter managed to knock out every AC in a unit with it. Never seen since. NOT transferable, so they sit in the darkness forever.

HorseSoldier
May 11, 2011, 05:25 PM
I don't see it. Suppose there was a tiny rural PD where all the officers were gun nut buddies who wanted to carry all sorts of crazy stuff. Why would they buy registered MG's for $10k plus, when they could buy brand new post 86 weapons for 1/10 the price through the department.

Keith Baranski/Magua Industries got in some serious trouble for that dealing with some three-officer small town PD or sheriff's department (the ATF wondering why said department needed to import PK machineguns and some other super fun toys). Guys who are into NFA stuff may know more about his story, I only read up on it a bit after I realized the full auto Polish AKMs my last .mil unit had in our foreign weapons training/familiarization inventory all had US importation markings on them from Magua Industries. Apparently the ATF turned over his confiscated inventory to US military for training use.

henschman
May 11, 2011, 05:48 PM
There is an exception in the NFA for individuals who possess restricted items which are issued to them by a city, state, or local government or law enforcement agency, and an exception for transfers of restricted items to such governments and law enforcement agencies.

I've had the thought that a good way around the NFA would be for a pro 2A sheriff to deputize individuals, and allow the individuals to pay the department to purchase whatever restricted items they want, to be issued it to the individual. The department could call those individuals "special deputies" or whatever it wanted... basically they would not have any duties or salary, and it would be purely for the purpose of issuing them a restricted item.

The LE exception in the NFA is worded fairly broadly. The only possible issue would be that the ATF might try to go after such individuals for participating in a "straw purchase" under the Brady Act. I am actually not sure whether the Brady Act exempts government issued firearms from this. I will have to check -- but I've been doing a bunch of legal research at work all week and don't really feel like any more right now! But seems to me that I have heard of departments allowing officers to pay for the department to buy them a firearm, and then issuing it to them.

HorseSoldier
May 11, 2011, 07:06 PM
If the persons in question actually functioned as reserve peace officers that would probably pass muster, legally, as long as "their" weapons actually belonged to the department and reverted to it if they ever stopped functioning in that capacity. If they weren't sworn peace officers with some training, some enforcement authority and some recognition by state credentialing committees, I could see the ATF going to town on that one in a big way.

GRIZ22
May 11, 2011, 09:32 PM
I've had the thought that a good way around the NFA would be for a pro 2A sheriff to deputize individuals, and allow the individuals to pay the department to purchase whatever restricted items they want, to be issued it to the individual. The department could call those individuals "special deputies" or whatever it wanted... basically they would not have any duties or salary, and it would be purely for the purpose of issuing them a restricted item.


So then we would gave this sheriff decide who he wants to deputize and "issue" NFA items. I suppose a "campaign contribution" would help him make the decision on who gets and who doesn't. Doing what you propose would be very illegal as "they would not have any duties or salary, and it would be purely for the purpose of issuing them a restricted item..

A sheriff who would do as you propose would be obviously abusing his or her position. It would be misfeasance at the least.

henschman
May 12, 2011, 11:47 AM
The idea is that the sheriff in question would deputize anyone who is interested in participating -- not form some kind of good ol boys' club. As far as the language of the NFA goes, the exceptions for gov't/LE do not require any minimum level of training or duties. If the sheriff wanted to give such deputies any duties, it could be something like a duty to defend the liberties of the people of the state.

What laws do you believe would be violated by this scheme?

I believe providing for the protection and defense of the liberty of the citizens of his State and County would be within the authority and duties of any Sheriff. I am unaware of any laws, at least in my state, that would prevent such a scheme.

rscalzo
May 12, 2011, 12:35 PM
While we have them, the use and issuing is restricted. Training requirements are higher for anyone certified and cost has become a big factor. In the case of our AR15's, they are all semi-auto. The need for FA is not there. FA is limited to our MP5's.

Ownership of FA for personal use is no different than private citizen's regulations.

I've had the thought that a good way around the NFA would be for a pro 2A sheriff to deputize individuals, and allow the individuals to pay the department to purchase whatever restricted items they want

the exceptions for gov't/LE do not require any minimum level of training

Not going to work out that way. No doubt most states are the same as NJ requiring attenande and passing of a state police academy training course. I've never seen a department approved, privately owned FA firearm. The NFA does not address training. State law does. That would be a great way to get one's self jammed up.

GRIZ22
May 12, 2011, 02:29 PM
The idea is that the sheriff in question would deputize anyone who is interested in participating -- not form some kind of good ol boys' club.

So this sheriff would deputize anyone who wants to get a NFA item? This would include people who really can't qualify as LEOs (can't pass a written test, can't pass a psychological test, etc). It wouldn't be seen as vote for Sheriff Jones he'll give you a machine gun?

As far as the language of the NFA goes, the exceptions for gov't/LE do not require any minimum level of training or duties. If the sheriff wanted to give such deputies any duties, it could be something like a duty to defend the liberties of the people of the state.


But as has been said states have minmum levels of training to be a LEO. Are all of these people going to attend an academy and get the firearms training required by your state? Defend liberties of the people of the state? What would that mean they do?

What laws do you believe would be violated by this scheme?

How about fraud for starters? You said this would be for the purpose of them acquiring a NFA item and really for nothing else. This scheme is designed to get people "issued" NFA items that would really not be LEOs. Deputy would then be only a bogus title.

I believe providing for the protection and defense of the liberty of the citizens of his State and County would be within the authority and duties of any Sheriff. I am unaware of any laws, at least in my state, that would prevent such a scheme.

Please explain how the liberty of citizens are better protected and defended buy this scheme? If you found a sheriff who would do this I wouldn't think very much of his honesty and integrity.

henschman
May 12, 2011, 03:51 PM
How would the liberty of the citizens be better protected and defended by an armed populace? I suppose for the same reason that the Second Amendment was written.

Upon a little resarch, I found that in my state (Oklahoma), we have laws mandating the amount of training of peace officers. For reserve officers, 240 hours of training in a Basic Police course certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training is required, plus a mental health test and background check. If a Sheriff required the "special deputies" pay for and take this training, he would be free to hire them as "reserve peace officers" and give them whatever duties he sees fit.

However, Sheriff's offices employ jailers, etc. that do not undergo this training and are still employees of the agency, yet are issued equipment for their job (handcuffs, uniforms, rubber gloves, etc.). I know of no law that would prevent a Sheriff's department from issuing weapons as well as any other equipment to non-peace-officer employees. Even if they don't satisfy the State's definition of a "peace officer," the NFA is only concerned with whether the firearm is in fact owned by a law enforcement agency.

Another way to accomplish this same thing that would probably be a little more air-tight would require a State's government to go along with it. They would simply have to pass a law providing for the issuance of firearms to citizens. They could create an agency to procure and issue the weapons or they could put it under the duties of an existing agency. All costs could be paid by the citizens who wish to arm themselves pursuant to this law. Since we have States who are apparently fed up with federal law enough to pass things like the Firearms Freedom Acts that several states have passed, which purport to nullify the NFA, it may be feasible for a pro-2A state to pass something like this. They could even provide for the issuance of weapons to non-residents, much like a non-resident CCL. Once again, the NFA is satisfied as long as a governmental unit owns and issues the firearms.

22-rimfire
May 12, 2011, 05:54 PM
Only the SWAT and narcotics officers have full autos on a regular basis based on what I have been told. A full auto may be issued for a bust to narcotics but they don't carry them routinely.

GRIZ22
May 12, 2011, 07:10 PM
How would the liberty of the citizens be better protected and defended by an armed populace? I suppose for the same reason that the Second Amendment was written.


I have no problem with people owning NFA stuff and think current laws are too restrictive but you really need to develop some solid reasons this would work if you want to gain support from anyone who doesn't really care for this idea. You need to give specific examples of how liberty will be better protected and defended if

I know of no law that would prevent a Sheriff's department from issuing weapons as well as any other equipment to non-peace-officer employees.

No law but there are too many liability issues associated with issuing firearms of any type to people without proper training. There will be liability issues if you indiscriminately issue firearms through an agency. I doubt you would be able to get any liability insurance.

For reserve officers, 240 hours of training in a Basic Police course certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training is required, plus a mental health test and background check. If a Sheriff required the "special deputies" pay for and take this training, he would be free to hire them as "reserve peace officers" and give them whatever duties he sees fit.


Just how many people are willing to go through this time and expense. The expense part means if you can afford it you can get a NFA weapon, pretty much the way it is now. You're saying poor people need not apply. The training would be interesting with Joe having a M2 carbine, Charlie's got a MP5, and Frank's got a BAR.

Even if they don't satisfy the State's definition of a "peace officer," the NFA is only concerned with whether the firearm is in fact owned by a law enforcement agency.


If your plan were to happen I'm sure the sheriff would hear from ATF on this. Remember a lot depends on ATFs interpretation and application of the law. A LEO is someone who enforces the law not someone who is deputized so they can have a DA weapon.

Another way to accomplish this same thing that would probably be a little more air-tight would require a State's government to go along with it. They would simply have to pass a law providing for the issuance of firearms to citizens

The state doesn't provide me with a PC to exercise my freedom of speech or makes sure the church roof isn't leaking I sure don't want them issuing firearms so I can exercise the 2A. The government is way too involved with our lives I'm sure don't want them in the business of issuing firearms.

All costs could be paid by the citizens who wish to arm themselves pursuant to this law. Since we have States who are apparently fed up with federal law enough to pass things like the Firearms Freedom Acts that several states have passed, which purport to nullify the NFA, it may be feasible for a pro-2A state to pass something like this.

Once again only the ones who can afford it need apply. Yes several states have passed Firearms Freedom Acts and I believe it is a way to let the Feds know how you feel. Don't count on any one of these laws to pass muster by the Feds because they won't. I don't see anyone rushing to build full auto weapons in Montana or anywhere else these laws have been passed. I don't expect anyone who doesn't have 10 or 20 years to spare in a Federal prison.

Unkei
May 12, 2011, 08:09 PM
As a retired LEO of 34 years, and this from a large metropolitan Sheriff's Office, I can tell you that while the Office had full auto weaponry, it was issued only to SWAT and other special units. These officers trained constantly with those weapons and were very proficient with them.
Regular officers were issued only handguns and shotguns. In my experience, the regular officers simply didn't train often enough to be safe with FA weapons. Besides, the street officer, may never draw his weapon on duty during his entire career. When he does, enough firepower can usually be brought to bear in a given situation.
For the most part, FA weapons just aren't necessary on a day to day basis. On the other hand all officers were issued Biological Warfare Gear, and to me, that seems a bit ludicrous.
Unkei

FIVETWOSEVEN
May 12, 2011, 08:34 PM
My local PD has some Full auto M14s I believe in their weapons locker.

lizziedog1
May 12, 2011, 08:46 PM
No one here is bothered by regular "beat" officers being armed with full automatic weapons?

GRIZ22
May 12, 2011, 09:05 PM
No one here is bothered by regular "beat" officers being armed with full automatic weapons?


The need for FA weapons by LE is so limited I see no reason for them to be issued on a widespread basis. I say this being a LEO for over 30 years and a firearms instructor for longer than that. I also spent some time with the military going on active duty in 1967 and retiring from the reserves in 2009.

To be certified as a FA instructor by my agency took about 60 hrs of training with each different weapon. That's after I thought I knew how to use a M16 or M4 FA. Regardless of what many think (including those who own FA hand held weapons) these are not easy weapons to use properly. Not only knowing how to shoot FA but knowing when FA fire is appropriate.

HorseSoldier
May 13, 2011, 03:40 AM
However, Sheriff's offices employ jailers, etc. that do not undergo this training and are still employees of the agency, yet are issued equipment for their job (handcuffs, uniforms, rubber gloves, etc.). I know of no law that would prevent a Sheriff's department from issuing weapons as well as any other equipment to non-peace-officer employees. Even if they don't satisfy the State's definition of a "peace officer," the NFA is only concerned with whether the firearm is in fact owned by a law enforcement agency.

This is seriously a plan for a litigious citizen in some way harmed by such a policy to become the first citizen in American history to privately own a county sheriff's department and the rest of the county government.

There is a pretty good body of case law finding departments liable for use of force by reserve officers who were not properly trained, which is where things like the 240 hours training requirement you reference come from. No department run by anyone remotely sane is going risk the liability of issuing non-sworn pseudo-employees weapons that have nothing to do with their duties. It's a recipe for financial destruction, and possible criminal prosecution as well. (Though after the recent Detroit shooting incident, I'm pretty sure every clerk, dispatcher, evidence technician and janitor with Detroit PD is feeling like they should also be issued body armor and weapons . . .)

Jonah71
May 15, 2011, 09:31 AM
I wasn't neccessarily advocating FA carry. I was thinking more in the line of Glock or Sig? .40 vs .45....etc. Again, I do understand the reasons for standard issue and I agree that it's practical. But if someone wants to carry the G 23 as opposed to the G 19 because they are more efficient, (alothough this may not be a good or likely example/ lol) then they sould be able to do so imo. But of course the argument could be made that they simply need to practice more with standard issue. In the case of a bug...that should definately be left up to the person carrying it.

hso
May 15, 2011, 09:36 AM
No one here is bothered by regular "beat" officers being armed with full automatic weapons?


Because regular "beat" officers are NOT issued selective fire weapons and being bothered by something that doesn't take place is pointless. There are also sound economic reasons this doesn't happen.

Selective fire weapons require specialized training, additional training costs money and takes time, money and training time isn't something that most police departments have excess budget to work on.

Regulare patrol officers are not issued selective fire weapons and being concerned about something that doesn't happen and there are sound reasons for not happening is a waste of effort.

Kevin Rohrer
May 15, 2011, 02:40 PM
Depends on the agency, but, "Yes" is the short answer.

SWAT people carry their MP5s and M4s; Patrol carry M4s or AS-15s. Shotguns have disappeared due to the lack of range and ammo capacity.

henschman
May 16, 2011, 11:52 AM
I wouldn't have a problem with any policeman carrying a fully automatic weapon as part of his duties, as long as all citizens have equal access to such weapons.

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