The Myth That Police Support Gun Control

Our opponents in the gun control movement often claim to be sticking up for law enforcement officers, and officer safety, even though I don’t believe for a minute they won’t disarm cops given half the chance. But our opponents don’t speak for law enforcement, or rather, they speak for a very small minority of police officers. Take the 23rd Survey of Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs in the United States. Also see the 22nd survey, and you’ll notice the numbers haven’t gotten any better for the gun control crowd.

The 2011 survey shows that 77% of Chiefs and Sheriffs surveyed support the NRA agenda of H.R.822, universal reciprocity among states. 98% support civilian ownership of firearms by the law-abiding. 74% believe law-abiding armed citizens can be of assistance to professional law enforcement. This is what happens when you poll actual cops, rather than a small number of big city police chiefs who join Joyce funded front organizations.

20 thoughts on “The Myth That Police Support Gun Control”

  1. Interesting. I’d like to see a survey of actual cops rather than the administrators, though. Every single cop I’ve ever spoken with was very much against private ownership of firearms. I know it’s anecdotal, but I’d bet that those on the street wouldn’t be nearly as supportive.

    1. My experience – and as a lawyer and former prosecutor, I’ve worked with a lot of cops – is just the opposite. They are strong RKBA supporters.

    2. Where do you live? I’m a cop in DC, and almost across the board the rank and file are for private ownership. I live in MD, and it’s the same thing.

      1. Indeed, “where do you live”? Even when I was in totally Blue Arlington, Virginia, when I had to go up to the Sheriff’s office for CCW license application fingerprints the people there, in uniform or not, were not just positive but go out of their way to be helpful. The only non-positive person I dealt with was the neutral court clerk (the courts do the licensing there) but that didn’t seem to be anything personal, she may have been having a blah day.

        Now that I’m down in SW Missouri (an outlier to be sure), the police seem to be about 100% pro-RKBA and pro-self defense; not too many places will you see them immediately state to the press that a citizen had an “absolute right” to use lethal force against a couple of home invaders…. (Well, she was female and the invaders were male, but still….)

        I might add that from articles I read I got the impression that when it came to actual cases of self-defense D.C. at all levels was a lot more pro-RKBA than any other anti-gun locality I’d heard of.

    3. My experience is just the opposite. The administrators tend to support gun control and the rank and file are more RKBA supporters. The elected sheriffs and big city police chiefs have to deal with politics and most big cities are run by Democrats.

    4. I live in Arizona via California.

      I understand some of the LAPD I’ve had occasion to grab a beer with not liking the idea, however irrational it is. It’s the Phoenix guys that confuse me.

      I’m happy to see that I might just be meeting what sounds like the small minority on the issue.

  2. The police officers that I have had the pleasure to speak to agree with this. That citizens should be armed. Most law enforcement I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with, including a couple of BATFE agents have no problems with law abiding citizens being armed and able to defend themselves.

  3. Tim, that’s wildly out of line with every poll I’ve ever seen. If anything, cops on the beat are even more pro-2A.

  4. even though I don’t believe for a minute they won’t disarm cops given half the chance.

    Already starting here in the PRK:
    AB 2549 (Hall) 2012: LEO and ‘assault weapons’

    AB 2460 (Dickinson) 2012: LEO may not PPT off-Roster handguns

    As easy as it would be to engage in a nice bout of schadenfreude, these are both steps in entirely the wrong direction. Yes, they bring what is allowed to LEOs more in line with what is allowed to citizenssubjects, but that line really needs to be moving in the other direction.

    1. Just because it took me a moment to figure it out, and I suspect that someone else may have a more difficult time: For the record, PRK stands for The People’s Republic of Kalifornia.

        1. Ah, you’d forgotten that North Korean is doubleplusgood, they’re officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the DPRK. Much more impressive than a mere People’s Republic, of Kalifornia or China.

  5. I bet they have a very different idea of what firearms we should have. Bet they all support “sportsmen and hunters”.

  6. Pingback: SayUncle » Myth
  7. Back when we were pushing for Open Carry here in Florida, a local Tampa news station was trying to find police officers to debate me over the issue.

    Couldn’t find one.

    They ended up having to pit a video of me against some Brady Campaign member sitting in her home on a web cam.

    As I manage the Tampa area monthly OC Fishing events, I interact with the City Attorney’s office and several police officers. Yes, anecdotal, but they’re perfectly fine with people arming themselves.

  8. In reading the article about the attempted Massachusetts handgun ban, that you had linked to earlier, one of the things I remember reading was how one of the pro-ban politicians had commissioned a study to see what police officers really think. He didn’t release the results until after the vote on the referendum, because, well…the police were highly opposed to the ban.

    I had the impression that this was one of the first indications to the gun-banners that their vote wasn’t going to go the way they expected…

  9. WNC I had a cop come up to me on my property and i declared my ccw. He was like thats cool, We totally support less victims

  10. One often meets L.E. officers at the local range. I occasionally meet some that oppose CCW, or “assault weapons”, some, but not most. I have never spoken to one who agrees with the sort of draconian proposals that are being pushed in Illinois. They all seem to understand that the problem is more one of demographics than gun availibility>

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