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Crime Guns and Assault Weapons

Uncle links to the top 10 crime guns.  I’m glad to see criminals are still buying American!  There’s not a foreign gun on the list.  Damn patriotic fellows they are eh?

Seriously though, another interesting tidbit was commented on by  PN NJ, which is the caliber officers were shot with.  Rifles by nature will be overrepresented out of proportion to their prevalence in crime because police body armor will typically stop most pistol rounds, but won’t stop rounds fired from a rifle.

In 2006, 46 police officers were killed in the line of duty.  Thirty six of them were murdered with pistols.  It’s interesting that the .40 S&W is the largest category.  Are criminals carrying this more or do .40 S&W rounds have more likelihood to penetrate soft body armor?

The number of officers killed with a rifle were eight.  Of those, four were with what would normally be classified as an “assault weapon” caliber.  That’s about 8.6% of officer killings.  We’ve all heard the VPC/Brady statistics that claimed 20% officers were killed with an assault weapon.  Even if you look at 1997 through 2006, the number still only rises to 13%, with rifles in total being the 20% figure.  Overall, handguns were 73% of all casualty figures.  Prior to the expiration of the assault weapons ban expiration, 14% of officers were shot with calibers that would normally be classified as assault weapon calibers.  Since the ban has expired in 2004, that number has dropped to 11%.

So it would appear from that data that the best way to protect our nation’s police officers is ensure police departments have sufficient funding for body armor, proper armament and training.  If the VPC or Brady Campaign want to claim the assault weapons ban mattered, the statistics sure don’t seem to be bear it out.

21 Responses to “Crime Guns and Assault Weapons”

  1. Justin Buist says:

    Don’t forget that the Brady Bunch is likely including any pistol that can accept a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds in their definition of assault weapons. That might be how they get that 20% figure.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Probably not. Unless they are making up that statistics out of thin air, which is certainly possible :) But there isn’t any stats collected about magazines in crime. It was just something that sounded good to legislators and GFWs.

  3. kaveman says:

    It would be nice to see a comparison table showing how many LEO’s died in traffic accidents.

  4. Linoge says:

    Of course the statistics do not bear out their claptrap. But the trick is to utter/write their screes with such emotion and passionate strength that people buy their words at face value, and never bother to do the research themselves.

    Such a heinous and obviously unsafe activity as doing your homework would cause all manner of problems for people like them…

  5. PN NJ says:

    Kaveman —

    More LEOs are killed by traffic accidents than guns:

    http://www.nleomf.org/TheMemorial/Facts/causes.htm

    Sebastian —

    In addition to your point about police body armor, it’s also possible that anyone crazy enough to shoot a cop is more heavily armed than the average criminal. The average firepower of most criminals is probably lower and involves more handguns than any extrapolation based on the FBI LEO death stats.

  6. RE: the .40–that’s probably the most common LEO round these days, having displaced 9mm and .38 pretty well. More cops are killed by their own weapon than by rifles and shotguns put together (something like 25% of LEOs murdered, last I checked). So that’s why the .40 seems overrated.

    .40 isn’t any more likely to penetrate soft armour than 9mm, .357/.38, .45, etc.

  7. Jurjen S. says:

    I had the same thought regarding the .40 thing as Sebastian-PGP.

    Regarding the number of LEOs shot with “assault weapons,” those stats probably include “assault pistols” like the TEC(-DC)-9, Cobray M11 et al. so that would include a number of pistol calibers (9mm Short, 9mm Para), though obviously not all killings using those calibers. It would kind of figure, too; I dug up an NIJ report a while back that said the overwhelming majority of “assault weapons” used in crimes prior to the 1994 AWB were “assault pistols.” I’ll see if I can find that again.

  8. The Duck says:

    Well for details on Officers down:
    http://policespecial.com/inthelineofduty/All-Years-index/index-2006.htm

    Death by gunshot appears about equal to auto accidents, & 2-3 on avg per year are shot to death in training accidents.

  9. illspirit says:

    But of the four killed with 7.62x 39 rounds, how many of those involved an SKS?

  10. Rob K says:

    I’d also like to see the stats for how many officers shot with hand-guns would have died if they hadn’t been wearing body armor.

  11. Gringo_Malo says:

    Over on the Carnaby Fudge blog, poster BobG has reproduced a 1999 Chicago Tribune story about the shooting of a police officer with a “bolt-action assault rifle.”

  12. Sebastian says:

    Read it. That’s really nutty. So a Mauser is now an assault weapon?

  13. Rabbit says:

    I’m curious to see the statistics on how many died as a result of non-emergent medical or dental procedures.

    Ban medicine to save lives!

    Regards,
    Rabbit.

  14. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    I think New York used to count bolt action rifles as “assault weapons” if they had bayonets.

  15. Lyle says:

    I suppose of it’s a weapon and someone uses it in comitting an assault, it’s an “assault weapon”. That’s the great thing about meaningless terms– they’re completely flexible.

  16. Gunstar1 says:

    You missed Ted Kennedy’s favorite chart. The dreaded armor piercing bullet deaths. Otherwise known as rifle amunition.

    1 in 2005 – a 9mm handgun
    1 in 2006 – a .30-06 rifle

    Table 39
    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/killed/2006/table39.html

  17. Mell Bishop says:

    Other info on officers KLD can be found @ http://odmp.org/year.php.

  18. Bigwolf says:

    I’m surprised that a 9mm penetrated body armor. Maybe the officer wasn’t wearing it properly. But why are all rifle rounds are considered “armor piercing bullets?” With a little spin, any bullet seems special.

    Standard Name Alternate Name
    Jacketed Hollow Point Man Stopper Bullet
    Full Metal Jacket Armor-Piercing, Cop Killer Bullet

  19. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    As far as I can remember, high-speed 9 mm will penetrate low level vests.

  20. Harry Schell says:

    Interesting that the “black rifle” (AR15 and similar) firing 5.56mm could only muster one casualty over the 10 years. For such a vilified weapon, it sure seems ineffective. And 5.56 is the same as .223 Remington, which is fired in various bolt-rifles. So the one death may not be to an AR15/clone.

    The 7.62×39 is the AK 47 round. Almost no bolt actions use that round AFAIK. It is not that useful a round. Those deaths likely occurred due to AK47/clones use, and represent about 9.6% of total casualties over the 10 years.

  21. Sebastian says:

    AR-15s will fire .223 just fine, and most shooters use that in their AR-15s. Chances are they used the shell casing, which means only one recovered rounds was a 5.56×45 NATO round.

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