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Old 07-08-2014, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,021 posts, read 7,053,519 times
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The internet is full of discussions about the most effective handgun rounds etc. I've also seen discussions in the military they are issued handgun's just as emergency weapons just in case the rifle fails or they need the handgun to get them to their rifle. So here's the question. If it can be admitted that the rifle is the superior weapon and that a handgun is questionable for effective law enforcement use, why don't most police forces just issue rifles and handguns. Handguns for convenience carry, but rifles when they are prepared and going into a known potential threat situation. Police going into a hostile situation with just a handgun looks dumb. Give them at least a shotgun or a serious rifle.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:14 AM
Status: "Rocktober...well that was fast. :-(" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,285 posts, read 10,442,913 times
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A handgun IS effective for law enforcement use. Police don't have the same mission as military which is why a handgun works for 99.9% of their every day tasks. You'll notice when a SWAT team does go into a hostile situation they look more "militarized." SWAT tactics and MOUT tactics are strikingly similar. SWAT requirement is valid, but the militarization of every day line officers in our police forces is not.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:01 PM
 
Location: NWA/SWMO
2,747 posts, read 2,611,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
The internet is full of discussions about the most effective handgun rounds etc. I've also seen discussions in the military they are issued handgun's just as emergency weapons just in case the rifle fails or they need the handgun to get them to their rifle. So here's the question. If it can be admitted that the rifle is the superior weapon and that a handgun is questionable for effective law enforcement use, why don't most police forces just issue rifles and handguns. Handguns for convenience carry, but rifles when they are prepared and going into a known potential threat situation. Police going into a hostile situation with just a handgun looks dumb. Give them at least a shotgun or a serious rifle.
Most are issued either a shotgun or an M4, and many, both. I know the campus security at my old college carried both in their SUV's.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:23 PM
 
8,124 posts, read 5,694,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWG223 View Post
Most are issued either a shotgun or an M4, and many, both. I know the campus security at my old college carried both in their SUV's.
This. They might not carry them all of the time, but heavier firepower is generally either in the trunk or mounted in the front of the vehicle somewhere.

As far as I know all of the LE orgs in my area have AR-15s or shotguns.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:17 PM
 
Location: West Phoenix
769 posts, read 889,444 times
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The reason they do or don't have them rests with the city budgets, or the chief who decides what they can carry on duty. They can carry things that civilians cannot, who needs a semi-auto AR-15 when you can carry a full auto M-16 ? this thing of the police are out gunned is pure BS.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:06 PM
 
9,345 posts, read 15,780,146 times
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The vast majority of LE does have a long arm or two in the car. If you are asking why they don't walk around and respond to calls with them dangling from a three point sling, it is because Americans don't want that from their police.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Montana
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Police carry handguns for self defense, just like anybody with a CCW permit, but they have lattitude and legal protections in the use of the weapon for self defense that a civilian doesn't have (and probably shouldn't have because of duty requirements). For example try drawing your weapon and walking toward some one you feel is a potential threat weapon drawn and see what happens to you vs. a cop that does the same thing.

ARs are an offensive weapon with reach (300m targets are no problem for a well trained marksman). The police generally only use long guns in a hostage situation, rural areas/patrols, or some other unique/a typical situation where "stand off" distances or controlling an area (a house for example) are important, and they are containing a situation.

Military uses long guns for stand off distances too, and auto versions are for overwhelming numbers of bad guys in the sights.

Police vs military are completely different mission sets, so the need for police with long guns is lower, but in military police units with a police mission (not route control and other MP combat missions) they have mostly 9mm with a few long guns for emergcy/out of the ordinary situations.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:12 PM
 
Location: NWA/SWMO
2,747 posts, read 2,611,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West Phx Native View Post
The reason they do or don't have them rests with the city budgets, or the chief who decides what they can carry on duty. They can carry things that civilians cannot, who needs a semi-auto AR-15 when you can carry a full auto M-16 ? this thing of the police are out gunned is pure BS.
I can carry an M16 if I want to pay for one ($15-25K).

Full-auto is useful for suppression and that's about it. I've seen full-auto M16's in action. It made a lot of noise and was cool.

Police used to be very outgunned in the late 80's into the 90's. Now, it's equal footing typically.

The real truth behind police officers carrying M16's is that they are program guns from the military and they cost the department a lot less than a new Colt 6920 or whatever on the civilian market even with LE discounts.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: 18011
85 posts, read 79,990 times
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it's all economics, budgets are tight, an officer's primary weapon is his sidearm.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:43 AM
 
11,564 posts, read 17,491,775 times
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OP I think you answered your own question - convenience. Practicality. Most police officers have a long gun in the cruiser, or a shotgun, for backup if needed. A handgun is not "questionable" for 99.9% of the job that police offers do, its simply the most effective weapon - compact, easy to carry, easy to draw and use, and effective for short range encounters, also be aware that many police officers are never required to draw there weapon at all in defense during their entire career (which the vast majority spend directing traffic, giving out parking tickets, and playing mall cop chasing loitering kids away). In some cases, a shotgun would be the best weapon on hand. I would guess a long gun would be required infrequently, if at all, during normal day to day police work.

It's also the same reason that, in spite of publicized one-off events proclaiming the horrors of "assault weapons", the OVERWHELMING majority of crimes use handguns (many of these being small caliber, and not well-maintained, by untrained users), not long guns - it's a bit awkward to hold up a 7-11 with an AR15.

Military weapons by the way are designed for combat , not civilian use, and are "compromised" in some ways for that purpose - small caliber simply for logistical reasons. Able to transport ammo to the battlefield easier and cheaper. Auto fire in order to suppress the enemy at times. That is, not to hit a target, but to keep the enemy heads down in order to advance and maneuver.

Last edited by Dd714; 07-11-2014 at 09:53 AM..
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