Legal Issues

PoliceOne’s Gun-Control Survey: Officers Say Checks and Bans Won’t Work

In a March 2013 poll conducted by, a majority of law-enforcement personnel said universal background checks, “assault weapons” bans, and “high capacity” magazine bans do not make police safer and will not lower violent crime. Armed citizens, on the other hand, do make a positive difference. Doug Wyllie, editor in chief of PoliceOne, wrote on April 8 that had released the findings from last month’s Gun Policy & Law Enforcement survey, which drew more than 15,000 completed responses from verified law-enforcement professionals.

According to the survey results, contrary to what the mainstream media and certain politicians say, police overwhelmingly favor an ar PoliceOne headerimage1 med citizenry, would like to see more guns in the hands of responsible people, and are skeptical of any greater restrictions placed on gun purchase, ownership, or accessibility.

Highlights: — 71% of respondents said an “assault weapons” ban would have zero impact on violent crime. — 95.7% said a “high capacity” magazine ban would not have an impact on violent crime. — 79.7% said universal background checks would not have an impact on violent crime. — 90% of these law enforcement professionals said “mandatory sentences with no plea bargains” for those who use a gun in perpetrating a crime would reduce violent crime. — 91.3% of respondents supported concealed carry laws for citizens without a felony in their past, “without question and without further restrictions.” — 80% of surveyed law enforcement professionals also agreed that casualties at Sandy Hook Elementary would “have likely been reduced” if “legally-armed citizens” had been in the school.

“This survey captures the perspective of an audience that has an intimate professional connection to gun policies in our country, yet is rarely heard from as a group in discussions on the issue,” said Alex Ford, CEO of the Praetorian Group, PoliceOne’s parent company. “Our standing as the leading online community in the law enforcement market enabled us to gather what we feel is the most meaningful sampling of police attitudes about gun control ever compiled. There is clearly a wide range of opinions regarding this issue nationwide and we believe it’s important for our audience’s voice to be heard.” Totaling just shy of 30 questions, the survey allowed officers across the United States to share their perspectives on issues spanning from gun control and gun violence to gun rights.

Other findings: — 92 percent feel that banning semi-automatic firearms, or “assault weapons,” would have no effect or a negative effect on reducing violent crime. — 91 percent said the use of a firearm while perpetrating a crime should lead to a stiff, mandatory sentence with no plea bargains. — Respondents were more split on background checks, with 31 percent agreeing that mental health background checks in all gun sales would help reduce mass shootings, while 45 percent disagreed. — 71 percent support law-enforcement leaders who have publicly refused to enforce more restrictive gun laws within their jurisdictions. — 82 percent believe gun buyback or turn-in programs are ineffective in reducing the level of gun violence.

The survey was promoted by PoliceOne exclusively to its 400,000 registered members, comprised of individually-verified law enforcement professionals. Only current, former or retired law enforcement personnel were eligible to participate in the survey.

Are you LE or know someone who is? Do the survey results square with what your contacts in the field say about current efforts to ban semi-auto rifles, magazines, and other shooting items? Let us hear your thoughts yea or nay in the comments field below.

PoliceOne’s Gun Control Survey: 11 key lessons from officers’ perspectives Methodology Description: PoliceOne’s 2013 Gun Policy & Law Enforcement Survey

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Comments (22)

  1. Benjamin, good points and thoughtful insight. Glad your a fellow Texan. :-).

    On Adam who you mention stole his Mother’s unprotected guns, remember the Columbine shooters actually broke into their Grandfather’s Residence, then his Safe, then they cut the locks off the guns! If someone really wants to commit that sort of villianry, my humble opinion is the best defense is to allow the public to defend themselves too! But you are right, we owe it to anyone and everyone to be responsible with our guns!

    I think Ron Quick is woefully shortsighted or just trying to be provocative in this forum or both. We need LOE and appreciate their service. We hope they will first keep their oaths to the Costitution and refuse unlawful orders, if they ever come, to unlawfully disarm lawabing gun owners.

    People should realize that while not always the sharpst pencils in the cup, Politicians employ analysts who advise them on just these sort of matters of quandry for Patrolmen’s conciences and that is why they then trump up public pressure on them with misleading media blitzs to fire up the Sheeple, and tat are owned and payed for by the leftist elitists like Soros, Bloomberg, etc who paid for their Elections, and who themselves can hire the best armed protective details money or tax payers can buy them. They also try to ease LOE consciences for violating Constitutional Rights by threat or intimidation of job and pension loss, but also by giving them seemingly endless new lawful ways thru huge role outs of new gun control laws whether visceral or peripheral to unlawfully disarm a peaceful law abiding citizens while hoping to help the average LOE in finding inner justifications in the consciences thru said New laws or labels on individuals to assuage this dilemma they see as possible hinderances to their political agendas be fulfilled with possibly incompliant LOE holdouts. Politicians need LOE as badly as we do! The real war is for their hearts and minds first!

    I for one am glad to see these survey results and it confirms that most LOE at heart are pragmatic on this and are true Oath Takers at hearts to the Constitution! 🙂

    Thanks for serving us faithfully to all who do!

  2. The real problem is that there is no responsibly (of some) for being gun owners. Small kids get the guns of the home and kill someone in the home. OR Someone in the home is mentally ill and guns are left out in the open. OR guns are not lock up(when you do not have direct control of the gun) and the home get broken into and the guns are stolen. AND there are people that just should not have a gun.

  3. Well, this should certainly weed out a lot of guys from posting their thoughts, way to go, CTD.

  4. Yeah guys, all good points. The “Background Checks” thing is only for us anyway. It’s been happening all along, we know it, the anti-gunners with their heads in the sand don’t. They heard something about 40%, and gun show loophole, and believe that’s the story…….that’s the problem. Well, I don’t know about 40%, but private transactions have never required, and can not enforce background checks. I’m pretty sure that given the fact that inflated gun prices, unavailability of stock, few gun stores on any corner, and few gun shows on a Tuesday evening, have considerable bearing on spontainious gun sales between individuals, where high prices, taxes, and the possibility of barter or partial trades may come into play. maybe it IS 40% when you consider all this. And that 40% says nothing about stolen guns, now does it? We all know the criminals couldn’t care less about any of this. The anti gunners don’t even consider this.
    It certainly is a social poblem, not a tool problem. Guns are tools, we all understand that…….that people kill people, guns just lay there. Gun Control certainly is a responsibility, the better you can control it, the safer, and more accurate you’ll be. People Control……….. Now, that’s what everyone seems to be arguing on.

  5. 1. Ron Quick: think about what you say before spouting your nonsense. Your are probably the first to call 911 and then complain that it took too long for the officers to respond.
    2. John Foote: I don’t understand exactly what are you suggesting. Are you suggesting an overthrow of the gov’t, or do you think educating people will solve our problems? Most people don’t care about being educated, learning from mistakes of the past(like Hitler), or getting involved in cleaning the lying trash out of the gov’t. As long as we have politicians who know nothing about guns or gun safety, nothing will change. How many of these “experts” know the difference in an automatic and semi automatic, or even a magazine and a clip(or a magazineloadingclip?). Who decided that a mag that holds 7-10 rounds is high capacity. I can do a tactical reload on a 1911 in a matter of seconds, and it’s much easier to conceal several handguns than an AR. I think all elected officials should go through a gun class, so they would at least know what they are talking about, before showing their ignorance.
    Luckily I live in TX, and I think there would be a war if the Fed.’s try to take our guns. Hopefully, some new industry will move our way, as they are forced from the anti-gun states. We would welcome Mag-Pul, and the other companies that will be leaving to move to friendlier states.
    Finally, I know this is off subject( but after seeing the results a couple of days ago, the picture remains in my mind)) how many people are killed or injured in tour bus crashes, mainly because the buses don’t comply with their maintenance schedule or the driver is bombed out of his/her mind. Seems like there are many of these tragedies. There was one in my hometown 2 days ago. Why don’t we clamp down these violations, before waiting for someone to die? I would like to see the ratio of people injured/killed in these buses, to the ratio of people killed with the terrible “Assault Rifle”
    BenjiMac: I totally agree with you, but, if the mother had her guns, or even ammo, secured, as most responsible owners do, this tragedy most likely would not have happened. If we can’t be responsible, we shouldn’t own firearms, cars etc.
    All of this is just my opinion, and not worth much, but I am happy to live in a county where I am free to express it. Will this be the next freedom they try to suppress?

  6. I find it funny that you never hear about the fact that almost all mass murders were on psyhcotropic drugs and had been for some time. How about the fact that 4 million kids in this country are on the same drugs for ADD the side effects are suicide, violent behavior stunted growth and stunted brain growth. Quite a few of these kids go on to be drug or alcohol abusers. Why are we not talking about bullying and a mariad of other social issues.
    I think the reason is we know there will always be bad people in this world and no one wants to talk about locking them up or controling them that would be too hard. So all we hear about is screwing everyones rights up because there is no will to solve our real issues. Following the current path will insure that there will be more mass shootings in our future, I hope none of you will be involved.
    I agree with the comments about flushing out Washington it is time for these folks to go.

  7. I think Ron Quick needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Without the police to protect all law abiding people it would be a jungle out there on the streets. People talk about how crimminals are attracted to houses that advertise there are no guns there. Even houses with guns would be in gun fights if there no police for the bad people to have to answer to. You can’t blame our police for the crimes Obama is inficting on the American people. The police don’t make the laws, all they do is enforce them, someone has too. With your attitude, Ron Quick, it sounds like we might have to be in fear of you, if it wern’t for the police.

  8. The real reason for so called “gun control” is in fact people control…The dual citizens politicians who support the “gun control”idea do not care about of citizen safety the only care about their own agenda…Just check and find out for yourself who are them and who interests they serve…

    1. Police Officer have a difficult job, but will not be happy until everyone is unarmed. Yet they do not realize how many times a normal citizen saves their life! 1992 HDMD

  9. I have over 14yrs of Law Enforcement experience and those stats seem to be right inline with everything I believe and have heard fellow officers state. I know its not popular but I and many other officers I know are in favor of background checks. At the same time though I also understand the fear of a national database. People just dont trust any government agency to dispose of background checks after their done and I dont blame them. The rest of these suggestions for gun control need to be thrown right out the window. They will have no impact what so ever on gun violence.Its interesting to note that ALL of the support I have seen in favor of new gun control laws come from inner city officers.

  10. Land of the Slaves, Home of the Cowards

    Adam stole the gun from his mother who bought it legally. Background checksdid not and could not have prevented this. The new Connecticut law operates on the idea that if nobody has high performance firearms, then criminals will be unable to get them from other people.

    It is true that if high performance firearms are generally available to those who pass background checks, then on rare occasions somebody will use one of these to murder some number of people. If we are to remain the land of the free, then we must also be brave, accepting this risk to our lives. A very small risk, considering we all die anyway, and almost all of us from some other cause than gunshots.

    If we give up our freedom and our responsibility for our own defense because we are cowards and not brave, then eventually the insane person will be a government leader who controls ALL the guns – and the medicine, and the food, and the automobiles and light bulbs and toilets and everything else – see what happened when the Soviets took all the food in the Ukraine “to keep it safe”. Yes, the same thing can happen to you…

  11. We are headed down a very dangerous road my fellow citizens. I have been in law enforcement for 33 years and this is not the right road. Educate others so the country can be saved….clean the entire US government out…lets start over…we did it in 1776.

  12. What the Hell kind of stance is that Ron Quick? What kind of statements are those? As bad as things in this old world are, in your world, you never felt grateful, or secure knowing there could be so many cops per square mile in your area? You never had one perform community service on your behalf? That seems to be a pretty delinquint attitude. If there really weren’t police in your world, you’d surely need to be able to run quick, Ron Quick. EDH, you’re right about the consensous, I volunteer to help police in my area by being in the Citizens On Patrol the last four years, and I agree with you, those guys don’t want to see any of us unarmed, for they’d be constantly swamped with Priority 1 calls otherwise, and would probably wind up just being targets in their cruisers in that kind of environment. Whether I’m in my town, or out of state on vacation, when I see a cop I make it a point to go up to them and thank them. When I fly and can’t have my gun, they are present to serve me in their city, just as my family back home is also being protected and served. Ironically, the only time I CAN’T be armed, is while I’m patroling or on special details, but I’d much prefer to deal with criminals in my area, than on my five acres. Thank you Sir, for your service, and enjoy the Hell out of your retirement.

  13. How come all the News cycles’ talking heads are blathering along on what larger percentages of people are behind this enlarged background check stuff? The actual people dealing daily with the “terrible guns” by 80% say it will not help. Can anyone specifically name something that will help. It appears from this angle bad things are going to happen, personal responsiblity and awareness look to me like some kind of answer.


  15. great survey results! surprized! thought all cops wanted all citizens disarmed/unarmed, for cops safety! what i think is a big problem is when citizens w/ righteous shooting get liberal judge/jurisdiction, etc, ends up w/ long sentence for, in effect, illegal defence of his/her life, loved ones, property, not to mention ‘dignity’; self def no longer considered a right, was never formally determined to be a priveldge that was extended; is really a case by case determination by judges; this is not what founding fathers had in mind

  16. I’ll retire in 3 to 5 years. maintaining the Second Amendment means that I can defend myself and my family in the same manner I did as a cop.
    I participated in the survey and have been a member of the site for quite a few years and I’ve been a cop since 1990. With the exception of a minority of cops that I’ve come in to contact with, this survey is indicative of your street level cops. It is also indicative of many of the street level feds I’ve worked with over the years. We aren’t politicians and we don’t have an agenda. Once you move up the line to appointees then you get your political types who will do and say what it takes to get what they want. I’ve been lucky in that when my Chief has a question about gun rights, et al. he has come to me. We’ve been on the same wavelength to this point.
    We won’t be in law enforcement forever. We make enemies. The way to preserve our right to defend ourselves is to preserve everyone’s right to do so. I we give up an inch they take a yard. Pat Toomey, my home state senator, gave up that inch. We will remember that in three years.

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