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General Officer Firearm Knowledge

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  • General Officer Firearm Knowledge

    I am curious to know if the majority of the officers you know or work with are lacking in their knowledge of firearms. I realize they have to qualify during the year, but is that where the majority stop with their contact with their sidearm? Just curious due to conversations I have had with friends who are officers and those with whom I'm in school.
    I would have posted this in Ask A Cop, however, I figured that this was a more appropriate place.

  • #2
    Not a very well formed question, in my opinion. Are they gun buffs? No. The interest in firearms varies, and is probably greater in departments that allow officers a choice of firearms.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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    • #3
      Most of LEOs that I hang out with are gun buffs and well educated when it comes to firearms. But then again, because I'm a firearms instructor, I hang out with LEOs that are certified firearms instructors.

      If you asked if regular street cops are well informed in guns, my answer would be no. For the most part, many LEOs' first encounter with firearms is at the academy.

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      • #4
        I think it depends on what part of the US you are from....

        LEOs I know out on the Coasts tend not to be real into guns.......while LEOs from the South/Soutwest and Midwest tend to be more into them.....

        I was taking apart guns and shooting them around 8-9 years old.....

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
          I think it depends on what part of the US you are from....

          LEOs I know out on the Coasts tend not to be real into guns.......while LEOs from the South/Soutwest and Midwest tend to be more into them.....

          I was taking apart guns and shooting them around 8-9 years old.....
          I would guestimate roughly 50% of the cops I know are gun buffs..............maybe a bit more, but not less.


          One in particular has to be ordered to put on a gun belt (she is a certified officer but is assigned to the jail). She simply doesn't like guns.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

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          • #6
            Im not even close to a gun buff. I know how to shoot it and clean it. That's about it.
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            • #7
              Best knowledge I've ever heard from my academy range instructor

              "If you keep your booger hook off the bang switch, it won't go bang"

              Safety rule #1
              "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

              "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by USMARINE View Post
                Best knowledge I've ever heard from my academy range instructor

                "If you keep your booger hook off the bang switch, it won't go bang"

                Safety rule #1
                OMG so funny, but true..
                GOD IS A NINJA WITH A SNIPER RIFLE, WAITING TO TAKE YOU OUT.

                "For weapons training they told me to play DOOM"

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                • #9
                  Most Officers I have come in contact with view their handgun with the same interest as a radio or radar gun.

                  I would say about 10-15% of my Department are interested in firearms with about half of those being really into them. You can even find guys on SWAT Teams who are extremely proficient with their issued weapons, but could care less about anything on the tables at a gunshow.
                  "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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                  • #10
                    Our best shot at the department could care less about the guns. He knows how to fire it and clean it... that's it, don't ask about the parts of the gun because he doesn't know the names.

                    However, he understands the importance of practicing, despite the fact I don't think he really enjoys shooting.

                    Like others have said, depends on the department and region of the country. As long as the cop can shoot (especially under stress), I could give a damn less how ate up they are about guns.

                    And once a year? We generally shoot 4-6 times a year and always seem to have to qualify in something.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the responses. Kind of confirmed my suspicions.

                      Has the lack of knowledge ever lead to any safety issues when a suspect's weapon needs to be cleared? Does the officer ask for help from another officer with more knowledge, or do they tough it out to figure it out because their pride gets in the way of asking? I am curious what to expect in a year or so when I finish school/academy and obtain employment.

                      Thanks again for the comments and insight.
                      Last edited by Tackleberry; 04-24-2011, 07:04 AM.

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                      • #12
                        More than once I have been asked to assist on a non-typical weapon. Thankfully most of the guns that we come across work just like a Glock or the old revolvers.

                        I haven't ever seen a safety issue. Usually if they can't figure it out, then they will call someone who can.
                        "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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                        • #13
                          A significant number of officers aren't gun buffs or gun owners (other than maybe an off duty pistol).

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                          • #14
                            I was a Firearms Instructor and once had to clear a Luger. Never handled one before but I figured it out. Most will ask for assistance if they are unfamiliar. They have all been trained enough to keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction
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                            • #15
                              I kinda see the same things that Bearcat mentions. I will go further and say that as a generalization more urban depts might have less gun knowledgeable people. More rural might have more knowledge. This I might also relate to how much the gun culture or hunting culture relates to a particular area. Places that don't have big hunting, or where firearms are not as much a part of the upbringing, then this translates into the general population and the cops are usually just a cross section of that same general population. As a whole cops are not necessarily gun people.

                              What I mention above can be seen using myself, my area and my dept as an example. This isn't a huge pro gun state. Very liberal here. Not a lot of hunting and most people growing up here never had interactions with firearms as kids, teens or even as adults. This is a direct representation of the population and that of course translates to the LE sector. While there are some top notch shooters, as a whole the local LE are not really "gun" people. On the other hand I am more the exception to that rule, however I was not raised here. I was raised in a "gun" culture and my family is a long line of generations of hunters / military and I grew up with a rifle in my hand. So again, I think a lot has to do with the area and how much firearms play a role in the local communities.
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