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Mass Police Strapping Some Serious Firepower

Apparently 82 police departments in Massachusetts have been accepting surplus M16s and M4s from the military.  I don’t have a problem with the police having AR-15s, but I don’t think automatic weapons should have any place in ordinary police work.  We’re told that machine guns and assault rifles are not needed for self-defense, but if that’s so why are the police arming themselves with them?  Either they are useful for self-defense purposes, in which case my ownership is constitutionally protected, or they aren’t, in which case the police don’t need them either.

19 Responses to “Mass Police Strapping Some Serious Firepower”

  1. JB says:

    It’s ironic that the state(s) which most suppress ownership of firearms by private citizens should be the states that arm themselves with military issue hardware. The very definition of a police state or totalitarian government.

  2. Bitter says:

    I’m more disturbed by the blatant disregard for the law illustrated by the interviews in that article. There were far too many police chiefs willing to confess to a newspaper that they willfully ignore the requirements of the program and use the firearms against those guidelines. Even worse, the State Police who are legally responsible for the program admit they don’t audit anything and didn’t seem to have much care for the fact that they knowingly issued guns in violation of the agreements with the feds. The actual “crime” (I doubt it is, they would just have to return the guns, I’m sure) isn’t that bad, but the fact that they just don’t give a damn that they are abusing a tax-funded program is troublesome.

  3. Jdude says:

    I guess I won’t feel so bad when they get stolen.

  4. I believe the the guns are converted to semi-automatic rifles before being given to the police department.

    What irritates me is even though my tax money payed for those rifles I can’t purchase surplus stock semi-automatic or otherwise.

  5. Melancton Smith says:

    Doesn’t BATFE say that once automatic, always automatic?

  6. persiflage says:

    This is a point I have been trying to make with some anti-liberty types in my area who want to know why anybody “needs” powerful weapons: If the professionals who have taken an oath to Serve and Protect me think it is so dangerous out there that they need real assault weapons, chemical weapons, body armor, armored/hardened vehicles, and high powered “sniper” rifles to do that job, than what am I? Chopped liver? I deserve the same amount of firepower as my servants whose job it is to serve and protect me. My human rights are not less worth protecting than theirs.

    Since 9/11 and the emergence of DHS grants, there has been some significant militarization of local and County police forces.

  7. Bitter says:

    Christopher, I don’t think so. I thought in the video the chief actually said he found he couldn’t use the full auto guns he got, so they sit around and collect dust while he still had to go buy other guns. There was another comment by a chief who said he had no use for them with the full auto option, so he opted to convert them.

  8. LibertyNews says:

    Full auto is pointless outside the battlefield. Cops have a hard enough time hitting things with the semi-autos they have now. FA isn’t going to give them any extra ‘edge’.

  9. Sigivald says:

    Come now, Sebastian.

    You know very well that suitability for self-defense isn’t the constitutional criterion for firearms ownership!

    It’s utility for militia use, which makes an NFA carbine even more protected, at least as far as the language of the Constitution goes.

    (If the Founders had ever had the idea that the State would even question the right of the people to possess arms for defense and hunting, they would doubtless have included mentions of them… if they hadn’t died of shock at how illiberal the State they were creating would become.)

  10. OK I was mistaken then. A previous article I read about this made me think they received the rifles already converted.

    Either way Melancton Smith, to my knowledge, is correct about the BATFE saying you can’t convert a machine gun to a semi-automatic rifle and consider it as such. And being the police are just civilians working for the state they should be required to jump through the same hoops as the rest of us.

  11. John A says:

    Hmm, no mention that earlier this month the Mayor of Boston was thinking of refusing the latest two hundred offered last month: while the special force[s] (SWAT?) has some, he did not think regular patrols needed full-auto capability, only semi-auto.

    Not sure how much it costs to strip the full-auto capability. Anyone?

  12. Melancton Smith says:

    No, but to go the other way seems to cost your freedom.

  13. Linoge says:

    But… but… but… our Glorious President has told us that such weapons have not use outside of a battlefield! How dare the police contradict our Glorious President!

    [/snark]

    *sigh* It annoys me to no end that special civilians-with-badges can procure modern surplus military firearms, when even ex-military types like me with higher clearances than probably 90% of your average police officers cannot. Granted, those weapons are not technically for personal use, but still.

    I mean, seriously, think of the money the government could make surplusing old M-16s and M-4s… specially at the going rate for a FA weapon.

  14. Arnie says:

    Thank you “sigivald” for reinforcing the true purpose and meaning of th 2A. Our unalienable right to keep and bear arms is for militia purposes, i.e., to protect our State’s freedom from national tyranny and usurpation, thus specifically prohibiting Congress from passing laws interfering with our individual right to own and employ fully automatic military assault weapons. That truth needs to take front and center position when we explain to people why we “need” such weapons. That is clearly what the Constitution says and means, and it provides an invincible argument against all but the most brainwashed government-worshipping liberal. Thank you again!
    – Arnie

  15. anon says:

    “Not sure how much it costs to strip the full-auto capability. Anyone?”

    A whole parts kit was $60 (pre-Obama) so just the trigger group? Call it $40.

  16. Harold says:

    Bitter: WRT “the blatant disregard for the law” shown in the article, that’s completely normal for the authorities in Massachusetts, most especially including the police.

    A particularly chilling story is told in The Cops Are Robbers, where a criminal gang of police, in addition to a bunch of “normal” crimes, were altering the mandatory state civil service exams after they were taken and before they were graded to move their members ever higher in the state’s law enforcement hierarchy….

    For something more current, look at all the recent(ly caught) criminal activity in the state legislature. The woman who was photographed stuffing money into her clothes is viciously anti-gun.

  17. N.U.G.U.N. says:

    a) I don’t believe civilian police should be allowed ANY firearm that civilians are not allowed to possess.

    b) It disturbs me when our government seems to be preparing and gearing up for a potential martial law implementation, both in policies, statements, and equipping. Militarization of our police is a bit disturbing.

  18. Allura says:

    Think I’m going to go with, if we don’t get to play with them, the civilian police force doesn’t either. Cops need to remember they’re still civilians.

    OTOH, if you have the land to make holes in, I don’t see a problem with tanks in civilian hands, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask. :)

  19. Arnie says:

    I love tanks! It would be sweet to have one. I always wondered if I could modify one of my tractors. But they can also be firey death traps. Better to have an anti-tank gun, I think.

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