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Police Officers - Firearms Knowledge

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Rockrivr1, Mar 13, 2003.

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  1. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    This post is basically a continuation of the "Overheard at Dinner" post. It made me think of the following situation. I'd like to know what you all think.

    My wife has a good friend whose husband is a Police Officer for a local town. While out to dinner one night I brought up the conversation about firearms. He talked with me about it, but I could tell he was unsure about some of the stuff he was talking about. First off, he indicated that his primary carry weapon was a Sig 229. Well later on that night we were back at his house and he showed me it. To my surprise, he's carrying a Sig 2340. It states the model number right on it. Not to mention the old Metal vs Plastic controversy it leads to. That was the first surprise. The second was that he indicated that they carry a shotgun in each cruiser, but couldn't tell me what make, model or caliber. He described it and it sounded like a Marine Magnum to me. He also indicated they have a sniper rifle, which he shoots often. Again absolutely no idea of the make, model, caliber or scope on it. The best part was when he indicated he wanted to get his own AR-14. Conversation over!!

    Now I'm not saying he's a bad police officer. From what I hear, he's very good at his job. I'm also not taking pot shots at our uniformed officers, as I'm a Deputy Sheriff in my county as well. It just makes me wonder what, if anything, some of these officers are being taught about firearms in general.
     
  2. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    John Lawson once wrote up a column in American Handgunner on his experience when, as a trainer, hisdept. brought a group of probationary officers in to the range for familarization with revolvers. The dept. issued Berettas, but for the class, laid out some older M10s that were still in the arsenal. One alibied right off the bat. Each firing position had a revolver and speedloaders. The officer in question could not figure outhow to get the speedloader to release the cartridges into the cylinder. He shut down the line with a second alibi to ask what he should do to "charge his weapon", to get the first round chambered. Range commands have changed with the generations. I hadn't been on a range under full commands for years and years. When I heard "charge your weapons" I hesitated, too. Maybe it's like the old Willy and Joe cartoon. One of us ain't old enough,and the other is too damned old :D
     
  3. BigG

    BigG Member

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    My informal investigations indicate that there is no correlation between job category and familiarity/liking for firearms. Police and military have the same ratio of doofuses to gunnuts as every other occupation.
     
  4. mjustice

    mjustice Member

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    I concur. Even in New York City, firearms knowledge among police officers seems to fit the bell-curve - 10-15% gun nuts, 70% know just enough to do the job competently, and about 10-15% know almost nothing.

    MJ
     
  5. Quantrill

    Quantrill Member

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    I must have met the bad 10% exclusively. Most are complete ignoramuses. Quantrill
     
  6. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Member

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    Cops and firearms knowledge has changed over my 12 years.
    Fewer and fewer cops being hired today have experience with firearms.
    It is a reflection of our urban based society and that my agency is asking about hobbies and showing bias against gun nuts.

    So asking most cops about firearms is pretty pointless, since most don't have much firearms knowledge.
     
  7. mjustice

    mjustice Member

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    The 10% you and I are referring to should not be carrying guns as part of their job function(s). These clowns barely qualify each year, and I would not trust them to back me up on the firing line, much less the street. Their ignorance is scary.

    MJ
     
  8. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    SO deputys here are mostly gun nuts and knowledgeable.

    DPS officers are split 50 - 50 (amongst the ones I know)

    Local Police ...."we have a gun?"
     
  9. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Guys, the gun owning public knows more about firearms than most cops. Most cops aren't into guns.
     
  10. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Heck, I know more about guns that many folks that work in or even OWN gun stores. It's a tool of the trade with officers. He doesn't need to know the finer points of Mag Lights vs Sure Fires. Doesn't need to know how much horsepower his cruiser puts out. I would expect them to know what caliber thier carry gun is and how many rounds it holds.

    I think there was a time when many in law enforcement pondered the difference between the 38 Special, 357 Magnum or 44 Special. Or those that carried pistols said they'd never give up their 1911 for a S&W 59. Today, I think many officers are issued the gun, given some ammo and qualify. If they get more than four hours training with the shotgun, they're in the upper 5%. :(
     
  11. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    I've never even touched a speedloader in my life! :eek:

    One of the questions I got wrong on the CA handgun safety cert test is how to empty a revolver. Like heck I know what that thingy is called that releases the cylinder!

    That's like asking how I change gears on a bike when I'm buying a sedan with an automatic transmission.
     
  12. Spackler

    Spackler Member

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    Most of the cops I know aren't gun enthusiasts. They regard the pistol as just another tool of the trade.

    When you see a cop carrying a 1911, chances are they are at least fairly knowledgeable.
     
  13. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    The direction the point of all this is....

    that the public and government think the cops are the most expert and knowledgable of firearms and only want the cops to have guns and be the authority in gun issues. Most of the AD's I have heard about at gun shows were from inspected guns that were inspected by a cop. Being a former Police Chief of a small department, it is scary how little cops know about firearms. For most cops, it is just a job and no amout of training will change this. Even more scary is the gestapo image that cops are trying to cultivate with thier swat teams and military image. Take a look at a police officer in the upper ranks and I laugh when I see the police with 3 and 4 stars indicating their rank. Military wannabe
    s I guess.....chris3
     
  14. beckrodgers

    beckrodgers Guest

    cops

    Please dont git started on cops. It would take me all night to get my uther haaff off the topic .
     
  15. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Member

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    Yanno, the longer I am a cop, the more I a wondering just what cops do know. :scrutiny:

    I have read everything and shot everything that I could get my hands on for over 20 years, that is how I have compiled what limited knowledge I do have.
    Being a cop and being a gun nut have nothing common for me, except if I had chosen another career, I would have more money to spend on guns. :what:
    What the heck was I thinking?:what: :banghead:
     
  16. carp killer

    carp killer Member

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    That is a broad generalization. If you like guns, there must be something wrong with you.:confused:
     
  17. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Member

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    My step-brother is closing in on the end of his first year as a deputy sheriff. He has a good knowledge of the firearms he was issued. He knows very little about any other type firearms and has very little knowledge of the state and federal firearms laws. He knows that someone carrying a concealed firearm without a license is illegal. He cannot tell you the difference between a machinegun and a "semi-automatic assault weapon."

    His lack of firearms knowledge is due to the fact he isn't "into" guns, so doesn't read the assorted books/magazines/online-forums relating to guns. The department only teaches the basics needed to get him in a patrol car. He's only 21, so he grew up with the AW ban, waiting periods and other idiotic laws. He was a schoolboy when these laws went into effect, so he can't relate to a world where you could buy guns in a department store or when black, plastic rifles were not considered more dangerous than any other rifle.

    Now that firearms are a part of his life, he is showing some interest in learning about them. Perhaps he will become a staunch RKBA LEO in a couple of years.

    Yep. That is a commonly held opinion of many people in this country.
     
  18. Cal4D4

    Cal4D4 Member

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    quoted:
    "The 10% you and I are referring to should not be carrying guns as part of their job function(s)."

    In a broader view of their job, isn't the gun a peripheral tool for them well behind people skills and general knowledge of laws? When did it change from most officers NEVER drawing their weapon to being a central part of their job. I know the perception is that most officers present their weapons on a regular basis, but what are the stats in reality? Not challenging the perception, just don't know the facts personally. Ten or twenty years ago the statement of never having to draw their weapon seemed common. Any LEO insight beyond hearsay?
     
  19. cool45auto

    cool45auto Member

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    "Police Officers-Firearms Knowledge"

    I'snt that an oxymoron?

    Just kiddin'!:D
     
  20. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Member

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    That is the inference by the depts actions.
    I want more gun nuts on the dept, I tire of having to clear guns for people that can't figure it out themselves.
     
  21. M1911

    M1911 Member

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    I'm sure it varies greatly from department to department. In the bad sections of Boston, it wouldn't surprise me if a beat cop draws his gun on a fairly regular basis (though fires it little). Here in the bedroom suburbs, most cops probably retire without drawing their guns, but I do know one Lt. here in the burbs who had to use his in anger.
     
  22. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Years ago when I was still a competitive bullseye shooter, I was on a sportsmen's team. We did reasonably well in matches with other sportsmen's teams. We invariably clobbered the socks off nearby police and sheriff's department teams, except for one team we declined to shoot against, since its members tended to drink beer while shooting.

    Pretty good, eh?

    Yeah, well, we consistently lost to the local prison team—and I mean seriously lost.

    There's probably a moral in there somewhere.
     
  23. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    During a traffic stop last year in Miami, the motor cop noticed I had a CCW. He insisted I hand over my pistol while he called in my dl. I noticed the first thing he did was call in my handgun, because I could see the *** reading the serial number into his mic. I tried t tell him about the CZ, that it was loaded, but he brushed me off saying that as a cop, he was a weapons expert.

    When he brought it back, he had removed and emptied the magazine. "Officer safety is paramount", of course

    I almost had apoplexy when I noticed the hammer back on the CZ 75D, and the LOADED CHAMBER INDICATOR STICKING UP. He tried to hand it to me with his hand on the BUTT. I screamed at him that he was a freaking moron, and demanded that he put the CZ into the holster first.

    He handed me the holster full of 124gr HyrdoShocks and the empty mag, the Compact stuffed just inside the holster. when I took the CZ, I pointed out to him that he had handed me a loaded pistol, with the hammer back.

    He told me I did not know what I was talkiing about, and seconds later browned his jodhpurs when after obtaining his permission, I racked the slide and ejected the loaded round.

    He left quickly, almost white, despite his dark natural 'tan'

    I phoned his office, and reported his behvior and poor gun handling skills.
     
  24. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    Good job, Mannlicher. I, too, would have called the department and reported his actions - after all, he DID endager the both of you needlessly.

    The only time a police officer has handled my weapon was during a traffic stop, and he was apparently somewhat knowledgeable about weapons. I say somewhat because he knew that it was a 1911. I italicized the word because when he handed it back to me he said, "Sir, you may want to find a safer weapon than a cocked and locked 1911." I had already noticed during the ordeal that he was carrying a Glock, which has one less safety than my Pro Carry (right?).

    Anyway, I think it is good for people to report improper/idiotic behavior on the part of police, even if the deparment ignores it.
     
  25. Slotback

    Slotback Member

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    I like to think that I know a little bit about guns. But I also know that I am not an "expert" either. When I stop someone with a CHL, I always want to know about there gun(s) for 2 reasons: my safety, and the chance to learn something about a different gun.
     
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