Police guns explained in simple terms
February 28, 2012
Law enforcement guns are often the subject of controversy among communities and public safety officials, especially when suspects are or bystanders are killed by law enforcement gunfire. The fact of the matter is that most law enforcement officers never fire their gun at a suspect in the course of their careers.
When it comes to law enforcement guns, some people question whether law enforcement should even carry firearms. But given the fact that there’s such a high rate of violent crime involving guns, it’s unlikely that law enforcement are going to be able to do their job without being armed.
Police guns are further necessitated by these facts: statistics gathered by the 2008 National Crime Victimization Survey show that 303,880 victims of violent crimes said that their offender possessed a firearm during the assault. Furthermore, in 2008, crimes involving a firearm represented 7% of the over five million violent crimes of rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault. According to FBI statistics, about 68% of the 16,929 murders in 2007 were committed with firearms.
The kind of guns used by law enforcement personnel depend on the type of law enforcement. Patrol law enforcement are generally equipped with semiautomatic pistols made by Smith and Wesson, SIG Sauer, Glock and Beretta. Officers used to carry revolvers, but the advent of semiautomatic handguns which are carried by many criminals, means that law enforcement guns need to at least match their firepower in order to protect themselves and the public.
Many people don’t know that law enforcement guns are required to be carried by officers even when they’re off duty. This is so an officer can curtail a crime or make an arrest should they encounter illegal activity when they’re off duty.
Firing a law enforcement gun is something an officer never wants to do and only does as a last resort, but if they need to, they need to make sure they have the most effective weapon possible. In fact, a law enforcement officer generally only fires his gun once while on duty during their entire career.
Specialty law enforcement guns such as shotguns and semiautomatic rifles are carried by officers in high crime areas where the extreme use of force might be necessary to maintain public safety, stop gun-wielding criminals and defend themselves from gun violence.
Law enforcement guns for SWAT team members include sniper rifles, submachine guns, combat shotguns, semiautomatic rifles, as well as handguns. These specialized weapons are called for in crisis situations where there are either hostages, multiple victims or more than one assailant.