Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Officers Killed with own Gun vs Officers Feloniously Killed 1980 - 2014

  Officers feloniously killed in U.S. (red)  Killed with own gun (green)

When people talk about open carry, a common comment is that the open carrier will have their gun taken from them and used against them.  I have yet to find a case in the United States where that happened to someone who was not a law officer.  Law officers almost all open carry, and some have their guns taken from them and used against them, but the numbers are vanishingly small.   Here is a link to the data sources used to construct the graphic above.

In the last 10 years, the average number of officers killed with their own gun is 2.2.  The average of all officers feloniously killed, according to the FBI UCR numbers, is 50.  That translates to 4.4% of officers feloniously killed in the last 10 years have been killed with their own weapons.

The number of sworn police officers in the United States in that period has averaged about 523 thousand a year.  So the rate of police open carriers who are killed with their own guns is about .42 per 100,000.  It is not zero, but it is low. 

On the other side of the coin, police inject themselves into dangerous situations, by the nature of their job; they get into physical confrontations with criminals, drunks, and drugged individuals while armed, so they are more likely to be in situations where a weapons snatcher has motivation to do so.

Some of the reasons the number of police killed with their own guns has gone down are that they are more likely to use retention holsters while carrying; they are better trained at retaining their weapons; and they often wear body armor designed to stop the projectiles carried in their service weapons.

The first defense against a weapons snatch is situational awareness.  Be aware of people around you, and avoid confrontations, especially with argumentative, drunk, or drugged individuals.  This can do a lot to prevent disarms.  Of course, by open carrying, there is tactical deterrence; many criminals and aggressors will leave you alone because they see that you are armed, just as they will avoid police, if possible.

Basic weapons retention is a good skill to acquire.  Simple techniques can do quite a bit for weapons retention with minimal training.    Any kind of retention holster, from a simple thumb break on up, makes a weapons snatch more difficult.

The super retention holsters make it very difficult to snatch a weapon; they also are more expensive and take practice to operate at speed.  As in all things, there are cost and benefit ratios to consider.   Is a top level retention holster necessary for open carry?  Probably not, but it is worth consideration, especially if you carry in an area with a high crime rate. 

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch

No comments: