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  • Two-Faced Hillary Adjusts Her Gun Control Message and Volume for Different Audiences

    Hillary Clinton is not known for her sincerity and forthrightness.

    In fact, a poll conducted last September by Suffolk University/USA Today demonstrated that more than one in five voters associate some term of deceitfulness with Clinton, including “liar,” “dishonest,” “untrustworthy,” and “fake.” This followed an earlier Quinnipiac University poll that found, “’Liar’ is the first word that comes to mind more than others in an open-ended question when voters think of Clinton.” And that one followed similar findings from CNN/ORC International. Et cetera. 

    Like Abraham Lincoln said, “you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

    But you can’t fault Hillary Clinton for trying her level best to do just that.

    Regular observers of Hillary Clinton know for a fact she is no fan of the Second Amendment. We know, for example, she thinks the Supreme Court was “wrong” to declare that it’s an individual right, that self-defense is its “core” purpose, and that it prohibits the government at all levels from banning handguns. We also know that she is open to the idea of a mandatory, nationwide surrender of firearms, along the lines of what Australia did. 

    So we can at least credit her for being honest about that.

    Well, sort of, anyway.

    Those statements are now part of the public record, and we’ll gladly remind the public of them every chance we get.

    But not everybody follows politics closely … not even everybody who votes.

    So Hillary Clinton is counting on Americans to have short memories and limited awareness during the general election this year. 

    For now, she is willing to pander to her base and try to position herself to the left of primary challenger Bernie Sanders by harping on gun control … at least some of the time. She believes that message will resonate with the much smaller and more ideologically-oriented segment of the population that chooses a candidate in the primary election. But will she be singing the same tune if (and likely when) she faces the general electorate in a bid for the White House? 

    Not if a recent Associated Press (AP) analysis of her primary political ads is any indication. As an article in the D.C. Caller put it, “The Hillary Clinton campaign wants to both highlight her staunch support of gun control laws, but also obscure those views in places where it may hurt her at the polls.”

    According to the AP, 1 of every 4 of her televised political ads in New Hampshire touts her support for tougher gun control. Meanwhile, in Iowa, only in 1 in 17 ads mention Clinton’s support for stronger gun control and in a less strident way. As University of Iowa Professor Tim Hagle opined to the AP, “It may have to do with the polls and that the hunting tradition is stronger here in Iowa.” 

    In other words, Hillary is being what is commonly called – in the world of normal human interaction, where people don’t routinely misrepresent themselves to each other wherever it might offer a perceived advantage – “two-faced.”

    Remember that when Hillary Clinton is talking to the nation as a whole (and not just her party’s most ideologically-motivated base) about what she supposedly believes and what she supposedly would do as president. 

    Even if certain primary voters support Hillary’s gun control agenda, America at large does not. That being so, you can count on Clinton to be more muted about her radical designs to disarm the populace when she’s trying to bamboozle her way back to Pennsylvania Avenue. Rest assured, we do not intend to let her pull the wool over America’s eyes on this point.

    © 2016 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. 

  • WATCH: BFA's Gerard Valentino in TV debate on proposed constitutional amendment to restore local gun control
    by Chad D. Baus

    Recently, P.G. Sittenfeld, a Cincinnati City Councilman who is running for the Democratic nomination to U.S. Senate against former Governor Ted Strickland on a platform of gun control, staged a last-ditch effort to gain publicity for his underdog campaign by calling for a constitutional amendment to repeal Ohio's preemption law which prohibits cities from enacting laws that are more strict than state law.

    Standing next to him were representatives from various gun control groups, including the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence (OCAGV).

    Buckeye Firearms Association's Gerard Valentino was invited to discuss the issue on WVIZ (PBS Columbus), on the panel show "The State of Ohio."

    Valentino faced off against OCAGV's Jennifer Thorne.

    "The State of Ohio" is a weekly news program spotlighting the latest happenings at the Statehouse, in the Governor’s office, at the Ohio Supreme Court and throughout the Buckeye State, hosted by the award-winning Karen Kasler.

    Click here to view the debate.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • When the Intruder is a Cop
    by Greg Ellifritz

    [Recently] at work I responded to an urgent call for backup. An armed homeowner pulled a gun on one of my fellow officers.

    In the end, everything turned out fine. No one got shot. By the time I arrived at the home, both officer and homeowner had secured their respective weapons and were talking peacefully. It was a tense situation for a few seconds and could have ended tragically.

    Here’s how it went down...

    The officer was dispatched on a “check the well being” call. A high school student had called police to report that he had received several texts from his friend. The text messages hinted that the friend was planning on killing himself. The officer was sent to the friend’s house to ensure that he wasn’t suicidal.

    It was 9 pm and dark outside. The house was lighted up inside and the officer heard sounds that indicated the house was occupied. The officer knocked on the door vigorously and rang the door bell. No one answered.

    The officer could have just left the scene at that point, but he is conscientious and wanted to make sure that the boy wasn’t in danger, or even worse, had already attempted to kill himself.

    Seeing lights on at the rear of the house, the officer decided to try knocking at the back door. He entered the back yard through an unlocked fence gate and was walking towards the back door of the house when the homeowner spotted him.

    The homeowner was inside the house and couldn’t see well. He heard his gate open and close, then saw a man dressed in all dark clothing poking around in his back yard with a flashlight in hand. The homeowner ran to get his pistol.

    By the time the officer reached the back door, he was looking down the barrel of the homeowner’s gun. The cop drew his own gun, called for backup, shined his flashlight on his badge, and verbally identified himself as a police officer. The homeowner immediately lowered his gun, then secured it before opening the back door and talking to the officer. Tragedy averted.

    Let me start by saying that no one in this situation did anything wrong. The cop was trying to make sure a boy wasn’t going to kill himself. The homeowner was legally defending his residence from a suspicious intruder approaching the back door of his house. Some frazzled nerves, poor training, or a couple more pounds of pressure on either weapon’s trigger would have resulted in a tragic outcome.

    How do we prevent situations like this from going bad?

    We have to start by teaching cops to take extra care to identify themselves in any ambiguous situation. Any time a cop is on another person’s property, he should be in full uniform. He should repeatedly verbalize the fact that he is a police officer. Basically, cops need to slow down a bit and look at their actions from the perspective of an armed homeowner. Would the cop’s actions be thought of as “suspicious” by the property owner? If so, it’s up to the cop to change his approach to ensure that the resident knows that the person lurking in the darkness is a police officer instead of a potential home invader.

    Second, you as a homeowner must recognize that there are legitimate reasons for police to be on your property (and occasionally in your house). Not every “intruder” is a criminal. I hear a lot of talk from armed citizens saying “I never break any laws. There’s no reason for the police to be on my property. I’ll shoot first. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by six...etc.” That logic is wrong. The homeowner in this story didn’t break any laws. He didn’t have any reason to suspect that the police would be coming to his house. Despite the fact that the homeowner did not violate any laws, there was still a legitimate reason for the police to be poking around his back yard.

    There are lots of completely legal situations that could result in a cop, fireman, or utility worker to need to be in your yard. Let’s use some logic here. What is the more likely explanation for a strange man to be in your yard at night? Is it more common that that stranger might be a first responder of some sort, or is it more common that the stranger would be a home invader? Speaking for myself, I’ve never been the victim of a home invasion, but I’ve seen utility workers in my yard dozens of times...even at night. I’ve had firefighters walking through my yard trying to find the source of a brush fire. I live in a relatively safe neighborhood. If I play the odds, it’s more likely that anyone on my property is a neighbor or first responder than it is that the person is a criminal.

    We all just need to calm down a bit. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t defend your property or yourself. Just make sure that the person you are “defending” against is a real threat. Shooting the policeman who is trying to ensure your son isn’t trying to kill himself doesn’t create the outcome you are looking for.

    Cops need to make sure their actions don’t appear criminal. Armed citizens need to ensure that they practice good target discrimination and take some training about how to adequately address threats in a low light environment. Both groups need to be calm and clear thinking, without the automatic “I am right” egotistical response that is commonly seen.

    Cops don’t want to get shot. Armed citizens don’t want to mistakenly shoot a cop who is trying to help them. Both groups want the same outcome. But it is only by understanding the other group’s perspective that we can safely achieve it.

    Greg Ellifritz is the full time firearms and defensive tactics training officer for a central Ohio police department. He holds instructor or master instructor certifications in more than 75 different weapon systems, defensive tactics programs and police specialty areas. Greg has a master's degree in Public Policy and Management and is an instructor for both the Ohio Peace Officer's Training Academy and the Tactical Defense Institute.

    For more information or to contact Greg, visit his training site at Active Response Training.

  • Virginia extends reciprocity deadline to March 1; Deal may overturn decision altogether
    by Chad D. Baus

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office recently notified Buckeye Firearms Association that it had received notification from the Commonwealth of Virginia indicating that state has extended the time before revoking concealed handgun license reciprocity Ohio and many other states to March 1.

    In the letter, dated January 29, the Superntendent of Department of State Police said that ongoing conversations between Gov. Terry McAuliffe Virginia's General Assembly make it likely that changes to Virginia law will negate VA Attorney General Mark "Red" Herring's decision to arbitrarily sever concealed carry reciprocity agreements with half of the United States. 

    Superintent Steve Flaherty writes "I appreciate your continued patience as Virginia's legislators and Governor continue to engage in a dialogue on the matter of concealed carry reciprocity. As the situation continues to evolve, I will keep you apprised of any changes.

    According to TheHill.com, a deal appears to be in the works that would prevent the mass revocation from ever taking place.

    The move comes as a shocking betrayal for gun control advocates.

    McAuliffe has touted his “F-rating” from the NRA, but Everytown for Gun Safety accused the governor of “caving to the gun lobby’s demands.”

    “Terry McAuliffe has been a good friend and strong ally to those of us in the gun violence prevention movement in Virginia,” said Lori Haas, director of the Virginia chapter of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. 

    “Unfortunately, this deal with the NRA and pro-gun politicians is a mistake that, on the whole, would do far more harm than good,” she added.

    In the days after the announcement of the revocations was first made, Gov. McAuliffe voice his support for it, and also announced that he had signed an anti-gun executive order banning openly-carried firearms from government grounds.

    Soon thereafter, a state legislator introduced a bill seeking to defund the governor's protective detail, saying "If he is so afraid of guns, then I am not going to surround him with armed policemen."

    According to TheHill.com, the deal is structured so that Virginia will continue allow gun owners from other states to carry in the commonwealth, and that state police will be instructed to confiscate firearms from people convicted of domestic abuse. The state will also move to expand voluntary background checks.

    Click here to read the Virginia Extension Letter it its entirely.

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

  • FASTER Saves Lives program recommended to be adopted at first Connecticut school
    by Chad D. Baus

    Just over three years after a deadly attack on an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut inspired Buckeye Firearms Foundation to begin a program to arm school faculty, news media in the Constitution State are reporting that the Foundation's FASTER Saves Lives program is being considered for adoption in a Kent, CT school just 40 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary.

    Created by concerned parents, law enforcement, and nationally-recognized safety and medical experts, FASTER, which stands for Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response, is a groundbreaking, nonprofit program that gives educators practical violence response training. Classes are provided at NO COST to school districts.

    From Danbury, CT's News-Times:

    Town selectmen have asked the Board of Education to consider adopting a school safety program that includes arming teachers and other school staffers with guns.

    By a 2-1 vote earlier this week, the Board of Selectmen agreed to recommend the “FASTER Saves Lives” program, which was developed by Ohio’s Buckeye Firearms Association in the aftermath of Sandy Hook and other school shootings.

    The program pays tuition, and room and board for teachers and other school personnel while they are being trained to carry firearms in schools, and offers help to school districts with legal and other issues involved in implimenting the program.

    The article provides testimonials from Ohio school officials on the success of the program:

    The FASTER Saves Lives program — FASTER stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response — has been active in Ohio since 2013. The sponsoring Buckeye firearms group is an affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

    According to the program website, training includes use of firearms, crisis management and emergency medical response.

    Several Ohio school districts, many of them in rural areas, have adopted the FASTER program.

    Jeff Staggs, superintendent of schools in Newcomerstown, about 100 miles south of Cleveland, said his staff was trained in the program three years ago.

    “After the Sandy Hook tragedy, parents came to me asking to form a safety committee,” Staggs said. “They knew the Ohio Legislature allows teachers to carry firearms with a permit. We have had armed staff for three years now. It has worked outstandingly for our district.”

    Another Ohio superintendent, who asked his district not be identified, said two staff members have been trained through FASTER Saves Lives to protect the community’s one school.

    He said the gun is kept in a biometric safe in a secure area that is quickly accessible to two staffers. If there is reason to believe the school is at high risk, the staff members carry the guns.

    The district hopes to have more staff trained soon, the superintendent said, and regular follow-up training is done with the local sheriff’s office.

    “The FASTER Saves Lives organization has been a great resource to schools across Ohio in providing the highest level of training and resources needed to implement a program,” he said.

    The Kent selectmen's idea is not without its detractors. Again, from the article:

    [School Board Chairman Paul] Cortese and other board members declined to discuss the merits of the proposal. But Gov. Dannel P. Malloy left no doubt he considers the idea a bad one.

    “If any board of education would approve this, I’d be shocked, frightened and disappointed,” the governor said. “It makes no sense. And no school system in the state of Connecticut should be allowed to do this.”

    Malloy said if school districts want properly trained security, such as former police officers, it’s their decision.

    “The idea that we’re going to have a volunteer receive 26 hours of training or teachers and principals receive 26 hours of training, that’s just unacceptable,” Malloy said. “It puts children in more danger, not less.”

    Kent Selectman Jeffrey Parkin, who brought up the matter, seems to understand the issue much more clearly than Gov. Malloy, who no doubt enjoys armed protected each and every day at taxpayers' expense.

    According to the article, the small town of Kent lacks a police force of its own and relies for its safety on a resident state trooper and state police.

    “It can take (state) police 25 to 30 minutes or so to arrive, given their proximity to Kent Center School,” Parkin is quoted as saying. “We have a resident trooper, but he can’t be everyplace all the time.

    “If an active shooter shows up at a school, the way they are stopped is with a firearm,” Parkin told The News-Times. “If someone on staff is properly trained, they have the ability to stop and neutralize the attack until police can arrive on scene.”

    Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

    Additional Media Coverage:

    Associated Press - Conn. governor critical of town considering arming teachers

    A Connecticut town is considering a program that trains teachers to use guns in the event of an active shooter.

    But Gov. Dannel Malloy is coming down hard on the idea.

    Kent selectmen voted 2-1 this week to present information about the “FASTER Saves Lives” program to the Board of Education. The board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School.

    The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.

    EducationWorld.com - Connecticut School Considers Proposal to Arm Teachers, Volunteers

    "The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion,” said WTNH. "The program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio."

    Hartford CourantKent Considering Plan to Arm Teachers

    Community leaders are considering a program that could lead to arming teachers and staff at the Kent Center School — an idea that Gov. Dannel P. Malloysaid is "outrageous and would put people at risk."

    The board of selectmen voted 2-1 this week to bring "FASTER Saves Lives" — a free gun-training program offered by an Ohio-based nonprofit — to the local board of education, which has authority over whether to implement the program at this rural town's only school. The school board is expected to review the idea at its March meeting.

    According to FASTER, which stands for "Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response," the program is designed to train school staff in the event of an active shooter.

    "The purpose is not to replace police and EMTs, but to allow teachers, administrators and other personnel on site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately," the organization states. "Each school selects staff members who are willing, competent and capable. Experts on school violence provide training in armed response, crisis management and emergency medical aid."

    The program would also allow volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.


    The FASTER program, founded four years ago by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, provides resources to school districts, including a sample school board resolution to authorize staff to be armed on school property as well as how to create an "armed staff checklist."

    "What began simply as a pilot class of 24 teachers and administrators shortly after the horrific murders at Sandy Hook elementary school has grown and expanded into a multi-year safety program which is reaching schools across the country," FASTER says on its website.

    "Nationwide, schools and parents are demanding a truly effective way to handle the threat of extreme violence in their schools and our FASTER program provides just that at no cost to the district. The days of a 'it won't happen here' violence prevention plan are long gone, schools that are not using every tool available to them are now being held liable by their communities."

    The Foundation drew national attention in 2013 when it donated $12,000 to George Zimmerman, the Florida man found not guilty in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

    (UK) Daily MailConnecticut town 45 minutes away from Newton considers proposal that would ARM teachers at their only school

    A Connecticut town located just 45 minutes by car from Newtown, the site of the third-deadliest school shooting in US history, is considering arming its school teachers.

    Elected officials in Kent, Connecticut voted 2-1 Wednesday to present information about a program called 'FASTER Saves Lives' to the town's Board of Education. 

    'FASTER' is an acronym that stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.

    According to a website devoted to the program, it aims to provide 'training in armed response, crisis management, and emergency medical aid.'

    'The FASTER program pays for tuition and lodging and local school boards authorize these trained staff members to carry firearms in school,' the website reads. 

    The training consists of a three-day class with 26 hours of lessons. 

    The program was launched by the Buckeye Firearms Foundation on December 20, 2012, only six days after a gunman killed 20 six-and-seven-year-olds and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

    WTNH (ABC New Haven, CT) - Kent town officials considering program to arm teachers

    Town selectman Jeffrey Parkin is suggesting a program that would allow teachers to carry firearms in the classroom at Kent Center School. Its the towns only pre-K through eighth grade school.

    Kent selectman voted two to one on presenting the Board of Education to look into the program “Faster Saves Lives.” It’s a non-profit program that gives educators 26 hours of violence response training. 

    NOTE: An online poll is being conducted by WTNH, with votes going heavily in favor of arming teachers.

  • Court Decision, Drug Lord’s Capture Illustrate Ongoing Fallout of Operation Fast & Furious

    A sharp memory and respect for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms go hand in hand.

    The Second Amendment, after all, was written by those who had only recently fought their way to independence from a tyrannical monarchy that had ceased to recognize American colonists’ basic human and legal rights. Memories of King George III’s abuses of power, and particularly the Redcoats’ attempts to disarm the patriots, were fresh in the drafters’ minds. The idea that a once benign government could descend into despotism was more than just political theory to them; it was their lived experience.

    As the Obama Administration enters its final year, American gun owners can look back on a long train of abuses during the past seven years that reveal the impulse to disarm loyal Americans is alive and well. Perhaps none illustrates the depths to which the administration has been willing to sink, however, more than the Fast & Furious scandal. 

    For those whose memories of that debacle have grown dim, news of the past week has refocused the public’s attention on one of the Obama Administration’s most shameful episodes.

    Fast & Furious was an ill-conceived “law enforcement” operation in which agents allowed straw purchasers to buy firearms illegally in the United States and take them into Mexico without being apprehended. The deliberate decision to let the guns “walk” was supposedly so the agents could track them to their ultimate destination of the drug cartels that funded their purchase.

    The agents, however, lost track of more than 1,300 firearms, a number of which began showing up at the scenes of murders in Mexico. Meanwhile, the administration was using the recovery of American firearms at Mexican crime scenes to push for national gun control in the U.S., including a requirement that licensed dealers in Border States register certain rifle sales with the government. Needless to say, the administration had not revealed that some of those crime guns wound up in Mexico under the U.S. government’s own supervision.

    Things finally came to a head on December 14, 2010, when U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with drug traffickers who were armed with a gun that had been allowed to “walk” during Operation Fast & Furious. ATF whistleblowers then came forward, and the scandal began receiving investigative attention from Congress and the media.

    On October 11, 2011, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the United States House of Representatives (the Committee) issued a subpoena to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for documents related to Fast & Furious. After the administration failed to turn over all the requested material, the Committee sued, and a federal judge on September 30, 2013 denied the administration’s motion to dismiss the case. The White House continued its defiance, however, claiming it was entitled to withhold all documents created on or after February 4, 2011. 

    The significance of February 4 arose from a letter sent on that date by Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich toSenator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) that denied ATF had intentionally allowed illegally purchased guns to “walk” into Mexico. After the true nature of the operation became clear, that falsehood was “retracted” by DOJ on Dec. 2, 2011. The committee therefore sought records that would help explain who in the administration knew what, and when, and why it took so long for DOJ to provide accurate information to Congress.

    The administration, however, insisted that all relevant records created on or after February 4 were shielded by “executive privilege,” and refused to release them. The administration’s refusal to cooperate eventually led to a historic vote by the House of Representatives to hold then-Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress. The June 28, 2012 vote was Congress’ first such rebuke against a sitting attorney general.

    Now, after years of further negotiations and legal wrangling, a federal judge (appointed by Obama) ruled [recently] against the administration’s claim and ordered the release of thousands of additional documents. While the Committee did not get everything it requested, the ruling represents a victory in the effort to impose transparency and accountability on an administration that has been sorely lacking in both. In response to the ruling, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the Committee, pledged to “continue investigating until we get to the truth.”

    The judge’s order requires the documents to be produced by February 2. Whether the administration will appeal the decision, and if so whether that deadline will be suspended, remain to be seen.

    In the meantime, the fallout of Operation Fast & Furious continues. Coincidentally, on the same day the court ruled against the Obama administration, sources confirmed to Fox News that a .50 caliber rifle involved in Fast & Furious was recovered from the hideout where notorious Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was recently captured. Guzman was taken into custody after a gun battle with Mexican officials during which one Mexican marine was wounded and five of Guzman’s men were killed. Investigation into the origins of other firearms seized from Guzman’s lair continues.

    While Eric Holder’s tenure as attorney general has ended, America’s gun owners still have to endure another year with his boss in the White House.  Meanwhile, the citizenry of Mexico, and perhaps even the United States, will have to endure the continuing violence wrought by the administration’s deliberate arming of drug cartels. 

    That’s why you should remember Fast & Furious, and other more recent abuses, and vote for candidates this November who will respect and promote the Second Amendment. If America’s gun owners don’t turn out in force at the ballot box in this crucial election year, it will be your hard-won freedoms that become a distant memory.

    © 2016 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. 

  • Criminal Weapon Selection: So much for the Saturday Night Special myth
    by Greg Ellifritz

    I’ve written before about criminals and the guns they carry.  My study was obviously limited by the relatively small number of guns my upscale suburban police department seizes.  Other police departments seize far more guns than we do.

    Currently, the Chicago Police Department seizes the largest number of firearms used in crimes.  I found this article to be incredibly interesting.  It is a complete account of all the weapons seized from criminals by the Chicago Police in 2014.  Astonishingly, they seize more than 6000 guns a year!

    So, what kind of guns are they taking off criminals?

    It isn’t the ones that are cheap and easy to conceal.  The brands taken most frequently were Glock, Smith and Wesson, and Ruger.  Most of these weapons are mid- to full-sized duty pistols.  Those handguns are not the cheap and easily concealed “Saturday Night Specials” that criminals stereotypically carry.  Dr. James Wright, in his book “Armed and Considered Dangerous” found that the criminals he studied preferred larger, more powerful, and more reliable handguns over smaller, cheaper, and more easily concealed ones.  This study supports that hypothesis.

    If you truly analyze the statistics, it’s really not surprising.  Where do criminals get their guns?  Mostly from stealing the weapons from lawful gun owners.  What guns do lawful gun owners most often use for home protection?  You guessed it, Glock, S&W, and Ruger auto pistols.  It shouldn’t be a shock that these stolen guns are what the criminal is caught with.

    The Chicago PD article was great.  Another excellent resource to see the guns that criminals carry is the Baltimore PD Facebook Page.  They regularly show photos of the guns they seize from criminals.  Even more interesting is the fact that they show the ammunition that was carried in the gun at the time it was seized.  Looking through a relative sample shows me that similar to my own study, criminals often carry mixed ammo types and guns that are less than fully loaded.

    One other trend I would like to mention is when criminals alter the appearance of guns to make them look like toys.  The idea is to cause police officers and armed citizens to hesitate when confronted with one of these “toy” guns.  Criminals will hide real guns inside the shell of toy guns, paint an orange tip on the barrel of their pistol, or paint the entire weapon a bright florescent color to make it appear more like a toy.

    Take a look at the picture below.  It is a fully functional pistol gripped shotgun hidden within the shell of a super-soaker water gun.  These are the kind of modifications you should be alert for.

    Don’t think that this is some kind of “urban myth”.  Two weeks ago officers in my department were called out to investigate some suspicious people who were hanging out behind a closed business late at night.  The officers found the men seated in a car in the parking lot.  When officers checked the driver’s identity, they found he had a warrant for his arrest.

    The officers ordered the man out of the car and he complied.  As soon as he got out, the officers saw a gun on the floor of the car where the driver had been sitting.  They arrested the driver and seized the gun.  The gun was a stolen .40 caliber Glock 22.  It was loaded with a full capacity magazine and had a loaded 31-round extended magazine as a spare.  Even more interesting is the fact that the entire gun HAD BEEN PAINTED BRIGHT LIME GREEN.  The thieves were clearly attempting to create the illusion that their .40 Glock was merely a toy.

    The days of criminals regularly carrying junky .25 autos are over.  Today’s criminals carry full sized auto pistols and will employ every trick in the book to cause you to hesitate before shooting them.

    Be dangerous.

    Greg Ellifritz is the full time firearms and defensive tactics training officer for a central Ohio police department. He holds instructor or master instructor certifications in more than 75 different weapon systems, defensive tactics programs and police specialty areas. Greg has a master's degree in Public Policy and Management and is an instructor for both the Ohio Peace Officer's Training Academy and the Tactical Defense Institute.

    For more information or to contact Greg, visit his training site at Active Response Training.

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