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A handgun is carried for convenience and as a defensive tool, as it’s not very practical to answer every call for police service with a patrol rifle slung across your chest.
A rifle is far more accurate than a handgun as well as far more effective at stopping fights. A shotgun is great at closer ranges, but a poor choice at anything beyond 25 yards, and only then when loaded with slugs.
The rifle should have never been abandoned as a law enforcement tool and that fact has become obvious to even the most liability-conscious administrators and many politicians. Today, more agencies are either issuing them or authorizing their officers to purchase and carry their own after completing the mandated training and qualification classes.
Most forward thinking administrators already had their officers so armed before the “Assault Weapons” ban even went into affect.
A handgun or shotgun, for example, is a poor choice for an active shooter call or a hostage type of incident. The rifle is clearly the tool of choice in these and other incidents.
The West Hollywood bank robbery/shootout that lasted so long would have been over almost as soon as it started had the LAPD administrators trusted their officers with patrol rifles. The offenders most likely would have been stopped by the first responding units.
Finally, restrictive gun laws do nothing to reduce violent crime as criminals don’t abide by the law in the first place.
The only people who are hurt by such laws are those who don’t cause problems in the first place – law-abiding citizens who like to collect and shoot semi-automatic rifles.
The F.B.I. recently released a study which should have not surprised anyone after interviewing convicted cop killers in prison.
To a man, they all said that they weren’t restricted by gun control laws and that they stole the vast majority of the guns they used while committing criminal acts. A firearm can’t be responsible any more than a law-abiding citizen should be held responsible for the violent acts of criminals.
– Officer David Orth