“Only Cops are trained enough to have guns.”

We hear this comment a lot in the gun industry.

Yeah, pretty much Law Enforcement Training isn’t as great as the ANTI-GUNNERS think, yet continue to say that only Cops should have guns because they have the training. When it is suggested that Civilians get better training, they say that Civilians don’t need it. That’s their argument? That doesn’t work as it’s a complete failure of logic.
You know what I think?
We all need more training.

This is in no way a Cop Bash Post.   Don’t take it that way.  Many friends in Law Enforcement and a Blood Brother… Much Respect there.  But if the question is Training, then the answer is more.  Not only that, but Departments need to set aside a good portion of budget for Training, and this isn’t something I’m seeing.  I know one Department that doesn’t even have any training budget… or budget for ammo so the Officers can even do a little practice on their own.  They got the suggestion to use their individual Uniform budget.  WTF?  That’s not right.  Especially when you are talking about a department that is always buying new vehicles.  Citizens have better training in that area because they like to shoot and the Officers just are not paid enough to practice.  They get 60 Rounds for Qual a year, and that’s it.  And since Departments don’t like to hire Shooters anymore, they’ve created a department wide culture that Firearms are less important than a shiny snappy uniform and shiny car.  Sad.


11 thoughts on ““Only Cops are trained enough to have guns.””

  1. The people who say that don’t really care about levels of training at all. They just don’t like anyone but agents of the state to have and effective means of defense or resistance.

  2. There is far too much evidence out there for any thinking person to make that argument. Yet some do. It is amazing, isn’t it.

  3. Never seen the last one, she almost put one in the perp’s head. Wish great training wasn’t so far away but I hit up the local guys as much as I can.

  4. What’s worse is that those three example are relatively minor incidents. On June 9 2008 PC Ian Terry of Greater Manchester Police was shot and killed by a colleague who was a member of the ‘highly trained’ specialist UK police units who are issued firearms after a training exercise. Somehow the officer who fired the shot was able to overlook the fact that he had not cleared his weapon after the exercise and also pointed it at PC Terry, violating the two most important rules about safe firearms handling.
    In a separate incident in 2007 another UK police officer who had failed his force’s firearms course was still given a .44 magnum revolver (a weapon not considered a service weapon by any UK force) and a biscuit tin of assorted live and inert rounds. He loaded the weapon, pointed it at a colleague during a lecture and shot him in the chest.
    But apparently the ban on private pistol ownership here has made us all safer. Tony Blair said so.

  5. After taking a shooting class and being a decent shot, I remember thinking ‘Gee that wasn’t very hard, nor did it take very long’. The police receive lots of training that has nothing to do with guns, like baton and barehanded fighting skills, to say nothing of all the behavioral indicators, legal lectures, and other things that cops need to know.

    I think it’s more accurate to say that regular joes like me shouldn’t try to enforce the law because I don’t have the training. (Or legal authority)

    But training how to use a gun can be done pretty quick. Massad Ayoob teaches a shooting class that includes a police style qualifier that can be squeezed into two days on the range.

  6. My cousin, like his father before him, is a firearms instructor for his city’s department. There are several precincts in the city, and he does the training and qualifications of officers from all of them. Every officer is given 1 box of ammo per month for practice purposes. The city has an arrangement with a local range to allow officers to use it for free(not really free, the city pays). Despite all of that, according to my cousin, the training ammo usually sits in the officers lockers. There are some who simply give it to the officers they know shoot regularly. You have 25% of the officers shooting more than their allotted training ammo, and the rest save a box or two for practice just before their bi-annual qualification(they get paid for a shift to go to qualification but not practice).

    Now a good friend of mine is on an “emergency response team”. They go to a large outdoor range with barriers, moving targets and all the other fun stuff twice a month. Their qualification tests to stay on ERT require much higher standards. The officers he works with, buy their own ammo(out of pocket) on top of what is supplied at their bi-monthly training and are usually at a local indoor range once on an off week(again out of pocket).

    I’ve been at the range while officers from my cousins department were there qualifying, I’ve also gone shooting with my good friend and a few of the younger guys on his ERT. I feel far safer around the door kickers, rapid firing, than around the beat cops whose qualifications my 12 year old niece could pass.

  7. My agency has non mandatory firearms training 4 times a year with 50 rounds provided each time. Only about half of the officers attend. There are quite a few officers that I have met that should not be entrusted with a paintball gun much less a firearm.

  8. The more training and the more realistic the training an armed agency requires and budgets for the fewer the “bad” shootings and the lower the number of officer casualties. Thus the fewer lawsuits the agencies has to spend money on and the lower the payouts from losing lawsuits. Also the less money they have to spend on hiring new officers…Of course the mayors of some towns and cities won’t bother to show up for funerals for those killed in the line of duty.

  9. At my agency, I usually qualify either within a couple points of perfect, or 100%. I just shake my head when I see Officers fail to qualify, MISS the entire target, or seem satisfied to barely pass. And this is AFTER our agency dropped our qual standards and eliminated the 25 yard string. 15 yards, max. Granted, that is just for our annual qual. We do have training where we do a number of things, including shoot from 50 yards or more, as well as a wide range of other skills. And, those of us that have Patrol rifles or Patrol shotguns get even more advanced training.

    There is no excuse for a professional LEO to fail to qualify with their duty sidearm.

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