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  • Handgun Tactical Lights

    I'm sure this issue has been covered before, but since I'm new here I'll bring it up. My agency is considering allowing patrol officers to use handgun mounted tactical lights. Right now the only personnel allowed to use them are SWAT boys and K-9 Handlers. I'm looking for stats, figures, articles, and input. Does your angency authorize the use of handgun mounted tactical lights? Why or why not? What does you policy say? I'm looking for hard data and stats (positive and negative). I'd really appreciate being pointed in the right direction. Thanks for eveyone's help....Matt

  • #2
    My department no longer allows us to use handgun mounted tactical lights. Indeed some "brilliant" officers used to use their handgun with a taclight mounted in place of a flashlight when checking out ID cards while controlling individuals, if you see what I mean. This is obviously dangerous and may create incidents and even worse, cause severe injuries.
    Personnally, as a weapon instructor I still use a weapon light with my duty gun. I think that with proper training and education, the use of a handgun mounted taclight can make be a great advantage during a fight.

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    • #3
      My department allows them for all officers but doesnt issue them, and knock on wood, we've never had any incidents like the ones described, I can't tell you if it will help you prevail in a gunfight, never been in one, but it will stop a few from ever happening, most of the people ive cleared leather on figured out that there was a glock 22 somewhere above that light and desisted their actions, plus it just makes life a lot simpler with a little training

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      • #4
        Yes our Dept. Authorizes them, it is much more effective to use a gun mounted light than to try to hold a gun and flashlight at the same time. You need to go to the range and qual with the gun and light attached . I got a Streamlight either TL-2 or TL-3.

        To prevent incidents like the above poster described, the F.I's make it very clear that the light is to immuminate a potential DEALDY THREAT, and not for checking I.D.'s searching under car seats, etc...

        Our dept. authorizes it becaue .... Heah we may have to search a dark building, or when working at night, etc.

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        • #5
          Our dept. allows us to us them, but will not provide them. I had one before, my choice don't like them and don't have one on my duty weapon now and they allow for dangerous situations when used improperly. Such as checking the ID's, searching a vehicle for contraband, exc... using the light while affixed to the gun. Not a safe situation.

          Others like them. Good luck
          I trust my life with J. M. Browning's design, the 1911.

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          • #6
            White light on a weapon is always a good thing and never a bad thing. Opposite thinking is outdated.

            Weapons lights have been proven beyond any doubt to be a benefit. Misuse is a training and discipline issue.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chris227 View Post
              My department no longer allows us to use handgun mounted tactical lights. Indeed some "brilliant" officers used to use their handgun with a taclight mounted in place of a flashlight when checking out ID cards while controlling individuals, if you see what I mean. This is obviously dangerous and may create incidents and even worse, cause severe injuries.
              Personnally, as a weapon instructor I still use a weapon light with my duty gun. I think that with proper training and education, the use of a handgun mounted taclight can make be a great advantage during a fight.
              Why is it EVERYONE is punished for the actions of our "Brilliant" Officers??? We need to bring back departmental blanket parties for guys like that.
              Conduct every traffic stop extending the olive branch of peace; while having a tactical plan to kill everyone inside the vehicle

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              • #8
                Yes, at my department all officers are authorized to use weapon mounted lights and encouraged to do so. However we must purchase the light and holster ourselves.

                SWAT Officers are issued holsters that accept lights.

                Officers misusing a weapon light is a training and common sense issue. A weapon light IS NOT a replacement for a hand held light. A weapon light should only be used when you would normally be searching at gunpoint or covering a suspect.

                I will not go into covering with the muzzle on target or covering with the muzzle depressed other than to say follow your department's SOP.

                Officers misusing a weapon light should be corrected and re-trained. If this does not solve the problem then THEY should be disallowed to carry a weapon light (and possibly a weapon). It really is that simple.
                "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blackdog F4i View Post
                  Officers misusing a weapon light should be...disallowed to carry a weapon....
                  You had a few editing mistakes. Never fear, I fixed it for ya!

                  Seriously, that shows poor judgment. When its all been said, law enforcement officers are paid for using GOOD judgment. If an officer in our ranks shows that he cannot use good judgment, he should leave our ranks...
                  J. Wise

                  AR-15 - AK-47 - NFA Trusts - My Pick - Carry Guns - 1911s

                  "Some say you can tell how the world stands by the prices of AK-47s...." Chit2001

                  Any comments contained herein regarding the legality of firearms, or the application of law, are strictly applicable to Texas. If you live in CA, NY, IL, MA, D.C., etc., the above comments will probably shock you, and should be read for educational purposes only. Most likely nothing I write will apply to you.

                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    I am not going to talk about advantages or disadvantages to operating a weapon mounted light, but the reality of the matter for an agency, it comes down to cost, time and cost of training and finally and often most importantly potential for liability / litigation.

                    As far as training goes, for an agency to provide proper training in the use of weapon mounted lights, many agencies are barely meeting the bare bones needs when it comes to firearms related training. Adding anything extra, can lead to more money and time, which in the real world is a big problem. As Officers we know what is "the right thing" is not always reality for us.

                    There is already enough information and precedence set, that if a PD does allow use of weapon mounted lights, whether issued or allowed to be an individual Officer purchase does not matter. If an agency is going to allow its use then that agency has an obligation to provide proper documented, continuing and ongoing training in its use. Failure to do so would in essence add up to deliberate indifference on behalf of the agencies administration and open them up to some serious liability issues in the event of the misuse of this type of system. Again placing right and wrong aside, many agencies don't want to spend the money or allot the training hours to it. Also agencies look at weapon mounted lights as a potential risk to benefit side of things only as far as liability goes. If an Officer is issued a flashlight or trained in the use of a flashlight in conjunction with a weapon, they often see no benefit as far as liability is concerned with allowing weapon mounted lights. Even though they may be more efficient, the potential risk of only 1 misuse that ends up in litigation is not worth it in the eyes of many agencies.
                    The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

                    Surfs Up on youtube!

                    Specialized Services Group on Facebook!

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                    • #11
                      I see where you are coming from Surf, but the argument I make is that Departments already have a responsibility to provide low-light firearms training. If an officer chooses to use a weapon mounted light, then allow him to supplant his flashlight with the weapon light during the training.

                      That is pretty much what we do now. When it's time for low light training officers with weapon lights use those. Officer without use their flashlights.
                      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                      8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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                      • #12
                        IMO, I am under the 2 is 1 and 1 is none concept with lights and electronics and I am pretty sure there is no disagreement here, as that is low light 101. However, IMO low light training MUST incorporate the use of a handheld light as well as any other weapon mounted light system. The courts have also already defined this and taken the same stance. Regardless of the courts opinions, low light training is so critical Officers need to be proficient and ongoing training should be conducted with both types if both are in use. Also, there are situations where we may not always use our weapon light in replacement of a hand held light. Therefore as an electronic device we need to be proficient and trained (documented and ongoing) in the use of both types if both are issued or in duty use. Again IMO in regards to this topic, it is a mistake to "supplant" one training for another. In this instance adding to our toolbox is good, but lets not being proficient with one tool, just because we added another.

                        In other words, departments are obligated to dedicate enough training time and actually provide that type of training in both light systems (hand held and weapon mount). The reality is that departments don't want to dedicated the time and resources to provide adequate training in the multiple systems, so they stick with the tried and true handheld light. For the agency this automatically discounts potential liability issues by nixing the use of weapon mounted lights. Again, I am not saying I like this, but it is reality.

                        Having said the above, we need to differentiate between training and qualification. The courts have already deemed that qualifications do not and will not be accepted as training. Qualifications are only a validation of training. So you can chose what light system you chose to use during the qual, but the training obligations must remain separate from quals. This is not my opinion, buy one that the courts have already stated. Doing contrary to what the courts have already ruled, is a big mistake on behalf of any agency. I know of few progressive agencies that would do otherwise.
                        The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

                        Surfs Up on youtube!

                        Specialized Services Group on Facebook!

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the feedback fellas. For those of you that have the lights I'd like to see some quick blurbs from your policy/SOP about when/wher/how you can use them. You can e-mail me if it's easier...Thanks

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                          • #14
                            The department I retired from issued weapons lights for the standard duty pistol and holsters to carry them.

                            While useful, not all encounters requiring the use of weapons should include the use of a mounted light. In my personal experience, I deliberately avoided using a weapon mounted light because doing so would expose my otherwise concealed position to an armed suspect. I had to weigh the benefit (better sighting) vs the risk (having fire directed my way). Though useful, over reliance on a weapon mounted light can add risk to an already dangerous situation.
                            "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                              While useful, not all encounters requiring the use of weapons should include the use of a mounted light. In my personal experience, I deliberately avoided using a weapon mounted light because doing so would expose my otherwise concealed position to an armed suspect.
                              Having it mounted doesn't mean you need to turn it on.

                              Since we are LE not SPECOPS at some point we have to reveal our location to contact the suspect and effect the arrest. I like to light them up and keep them lit. It makes it very hard for them to see me if it goes south and I have to power off and move.

                              I need to put in for Surefire's School sometime soon. I would really like to get some better night training. Especially since that is when I work and we are getting back into the shorter daylight hours.

                              SURF - Do you have any particular case law cites regarding training vs. qualification. I think our firearms training section may have forgotten that since we have not had any "training" for regular officers in the last year. It was all quals and they seem to feel that is adequate. It would be nice to wake them up with court findings.
                              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                              8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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