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April 11, 2013

What Does Law Enforcement Think of Proposed Gun Restrictions? (Hint: Not much.)


President Barack Obama and other gun-control enthusiasts have made a point in recent weeks to trot out poll results that they claim show the majority of the public supports their position. In reality, support for Obama’s gun-control initiatives has plummeted in recent weeks.

In response, Obama has gone on a road show, hosting campaign-style rallies and appearing in front of dozens of uniformed police officers. But Greta Van Susteren popped the balloon behind this carefully orchestrated stagecraft in this video news story, interviewing police officials who noted many officers do not support the Obama gun-control agenda and refused to appear at a recent event.

Now, the lack of law enforcement support for new gun restrictions has been confirmed in a landmark new poll of law enforcement officials, the very people who deal with criminal violence most closely.

PoliceOne’s Gun Policy and Law Enforcement Survey of more than 15,500 law enforcement professionals has some very interesting results:

  • Over 85 percent of respondents think the White House’s proposals would have no effect, or a negative effect on improving police officer safety.
  • About 92 percent said a federal “assault weapon” ban would have no effect, or a negative effect, on reducing violent crime.
  • About 96 percent said a federal limit on magazine capacity would not reduce violent crime.
  • About 59 percent said increasing punishments for gun trafficking would reduce gun crime.
  • About 82 percent said they do not believe gun buybacks are effective in reducing violence.
  • When asked about what would help most in preventing large scale shootings, 29 percent answered more permissive concealed carry policies for civilians, followed by more aggressive institutionalization for mentally ill persons (20%), more armed guards (16%), and improved background screening to determine mental wellness of gun purchasers (14%).
  • When asked about the biggest cause of gun violence, 38 percent answered a decline in parenting and family values, followed by parole, early release and short sentencing for violent offenders (15%), pop culture (14%), and poor identification and treatment of mentally ill individuals (10%).

If police officers oppose arbitrary bans on certain weapons and firearm accessories, what do these law enforcement professionals think works? Fifty-nine percent of law enforcement professionals said increasing punishments for gun trafficking would reduce gun violence.

NSSF is committed to reducing gun violence through reasonable, effective means. That’s why we’ve distributed more than 35 million gun locks as part of Project ChildSafe, and partnered with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to deter straw purchases with the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program.

The bottom line? If President Obama and anti-gun politicians focused their attention on the real issues, instead of trying to score political points with staged photo-ops, our communities would be a lot safer.

Larry Keane is senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @lkeane.