Every year, law enforcement officers who pay the ultimate sacrifice are remembered during National Police Week, which began on Monday.
Two of our favorite gun control advocates – former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly – decided to use this week of remembrance to kick off a new initiative in conjunction with a group comprised of law enforcement leaders who support gun control. The group, known as the Law Enforcement Coalition for Common Sense, has two main objects: 1) opposing national concealed carry reciprocity and 2) opposing the deregulation of firearm suppressors.
According to the group, both of these issues would make law enforcement officers less safe.
The coalition sent a memo to the White House, Capitol Hill, and gun control activists, detailing their opposition to the issues.
“Congress needs to close gaping loopholes in our nation’s federal laws with responsible solutions and they need to reject irresponsible calls to mandate the unrestricted concealed carry of firearms and allow free access to dangerous silencers, which present a new menacing threat to our communities and law enforcement professional,” the memo reads.
It is very evident that Giffords’ gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, wrote the letter, not law enforcement officials. Here’s why:
Concealed carry reciprocity doesn’t get rid of background checks. It doesn’t give criminals the ability to obtain a firearm. All it does is allow legal, law-abiding gun owners who have a concealed carry permit in one state to carry their firearm across state lines. Basically, it simplifies the confusing process of where one can and cannot legally carry a firearm, depending on which state-issued CCW/CCP they have.
Existing loopholes already threaten the safety of law enforcement in our gun laws. Firearms-related incidents were the number one cause of death for law enforcement in 2016, when 64 officers were killed from gunfire…It is clear that guns in dangerous hands make law enforcement officers vulnerable: of the over 500 individuals who have killed police officers between 2006 and 2015, 83 percent had previous arrest records, 64 percent were previously convicted of a crime, 47 percent had previous arrests for crimes of violence, and 43 percent had been arrested for weapons offenses. 24 percent of those responsible for the murder of law enforcement had previously been arrested for assaulting an officer or resisting arrest.
Hey, look! We agree on something. No one wants a criminal to have a firearm. Not you. Not me. And not the next guy.
Their own statistics contradict their position. All of the statistics above were committed by criminals. They’re the men and women who, legally, cannot possess or own firearms or ammo. And *gasp* they obtained their firearms illegally to commit even more crimes. Shocker, right?
Proponents of these legislative proposals argue that because silencers are rarely used in crime, they no longer need heightened regulation. Law enforcement across the country know that this argument is a fallacy; the regulatory system has been effective in keeping silencers out of the hands of dangerous individuals who do not want them traced back to themselves. Should silencers be removed from the NFA, individuals unable to pass a background check would be able to obtain these dangerous weapons through unregulated private sales on the Internet and at gun shows.
First of all, a suppressor isn’t a “weapon.” It’s an accessory on a firearm. Period.
Second, the Hearing Protection Act removes the $200 fee that’s associated with obtaining a suppressor. Removing this fee means more gun owners can protect their hearing at the gun range. They aren’t priced out of the option to have the accessory.
The gun lobby also insists that silencers are needed hearing protection for gun owners, hunters and target shooters. Law enforcement and public health experts alike know this claim is false. Law enforcement officers are not issued silencers as standard practice, nor are members of the Armed Forces. Dual ear protection— earmuffs and earplugs—is the gold standard for any professional shooter and required wear for law enforcement officers while training as outlined by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Apparently they didn’t take into the cost factor. Why would a police department, whose budget is dependent upon the taxpayers, provide each of their officers with a $250 suppressor when they could provide them with $1 pair of earplugs? It’s comparing apples to oranges.
It’s very evident that this memo was written by someone outside of the law enforcement community. Probably a communications person for Giffords’ gun control group. Calling a suppressor a weapon and using “common sense” whenever possible gave them away.
Talk about a PR fail.