Activists Upset That NYPD Will Issue Guns With Lighter Triggers

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Over the years, I’ve read a number of accounts of NYPD officer-involved shootings. In a lot of those cases, there are a lot of misses recorded. Now, I’ve always accounted a fair bit of that to a number of factors, one of which being that gunfights aren’t like you see in the movies. The bad guys get a vote and they rarely stand around waiting to get shot.


However, the department is now taking a step that will likely reduce the number of misses. Unfortunately, some activists think this is a horrible idea.

NYPD recruits will receive guns that are easier to fire under a new initiative to improve accuracy, the Daily News has learned.

The move, which one civil rights lawyer said “doesn’t make sense” and could lead to more police killings, means that new cops will need to apply less pressure to the trigger.

Lawyer Randolph McLaughlin, who represented the family of Mohamed Bah, a mentally ill Harlem man shot dead in his apartment in 2012, said the NYPD is making a mistake.

“It’s making the weapon more deadly for more people. And I think at a time when we’re questioning the discharging of weapons by police, when we’re providing officers non-lethal force devices, such as Tasers, why would you want to make it easier for cops to shoot people?” he asked. “That just doesn’t make any sense — you’re putting more people at risk.”

Josmar Trujillo, an activist and writer, echoed McLaughlin.

“There is no protester or reform advocate in the country asking police for more efficient weaponry,” Trujillo said.


No, but this has nothing to do with what protestors or reform advocates want, mostly because those types know jack about firearms.

First, let’s understand, the NYPD is going to a five-pound trigger pull. They’ve been issuing weapons with a 12-pound pull. That’s almost twice the standard pull for a stock Glock 19, the department’s issued firearm.

A heavier pull requires more force to fire, obviously. Yet the application of that force may cause an inconsistent pull on the trigger. That inconsistent pull may create a small bit of torque on the weapon, pulling it in one direction or the other. A small movement in one place may be visible by greater movement further away from the trigger.

For activists, this isn’t a big deal. A missed shot means someone doesn’t get killed, right?

No, it doesn’t.

What a missed shot means is that a round goes where it’s not intended. If you’re lucky, it’s a brick wall or something else beefy enough to stop the bullet dead. If you’re not, though, that round could well go into some innocent person who simply has the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


If these activists are serious about saving innocent lives from being shot by the NYPD, they really should applaud this move.

It should also be noted that five pounds is hardly a super-light trigger pull. A true “hair trigger” can be a disaster in the making since a flinch could cause an unintentional discharge, but five pounds ain’t really that.

As a result, there’s nothing to fear from this move.

Frankly, I’m glad to see the NYPD made this move. It’ll save lives in the long run.

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