What do police officers think about gun control?
One of the most common themes you see in the mainstream media is that police are strongly behind strict control of firearm ownership. But where is the evidence?
PoliceOne, a news source catering to the law enforcement community, recently reported on the most comprehensive police survey ever conducted on the topics of gun control, gun violence, and gun rights. The results were eye-opening.
To quote the PoliceOne article: "Contrary to what the mainstream media and certain politicians would have us believe, police overwhelmingly favor an armed citizenry, would like to see more guns in the hands of responsible people, and are skeptical of any greater restrictions placed on gun purchase, ownership, or accessibility."
Here are a few of the topline results form this study:
- Virtually all respondents (95 percent) say that a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would not reduce violent crime.
- The majority of respondents — 71 percent — say a federal ban on the manufacture and sale of some semi-automatics would have no effect on reducing violent crime.
- More than 28 percent of officers say having more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public, followed by more aggressive institutionalization for mentally ill persons (about 19 percent) and more armed guards/paid security personnel (about 15 percent).
- The overwhelming majority (almost 90 percent) of officers believe that casualties would be decreased if armed citizens were present at the onset of an active-shooter incident.
- More than 80 percent of respondents support arming school teachers and administrators who willingly volunteer to train with firearms and carry one in the course of the job.
- More than four in five respondents (81 percent) say that gun-buyback programs are ineffective in reducing gun violence.
- When asked whether citizens should be required to complete a safety training class before being allowed to buy a gun, about 43 percent of officers say it should not be required. About 42 percent say it should be required for all weapons, with the remainder favoring training classes for certain weapons.
And here's another result from the survey reported in a related article:
In addition, the survey asked, “On a scale of one to five — one being low and five being high — how important do you think legally-armed citizens are to reducing crime rates overall?”
Three quarters of you (75 percent) answered either four or five, with more than 50 percent answering five.
This tells you pretty much everything you need to know about what law enforcement thinks about gun control. The men and women on the front lines of crime are basically saying, "We see crime up close and politically-motivated restrictions on the Second Amendment won't reduce crime."
There are plenty of ways gun owners can get into serious legal trouble in the aftermath of a shooting, but in most cases it won't be because responding officers think you shouldn't have a gun.
So the next time you see a reporter or gun control advocate claim that American law enforcement supports stricter gun control laws, refer them to this study. Police are clearly NOT the enemy of gun rights.