In a March 2013 poll conducted by PoliceOne.com, 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 PoliceOne.com 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 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.