Firearms Laws: One Rule for You, One Rule for the FBI

 FBI. Shielded from firearms responsibility (courtesy commondreams.org)

The recent and growing boycott of law enforcement agencies within New York by firearms industry folks is a fascinating and in some ways unprecedented development. It’s the realization of a theme that we’ve been mooting since the site began: cops are civilians too. Citizens should have access to the same self-defense tools as the police and the police should be held to the same standard of firearms responsibility as citizens. Only they’re not, are they? To wit: a member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia recently sent us a link to some declassified FBI discipline rulings from the Agency’s Office of Personal Responsibility. Our reader remarked, “this stuff makes for interesting reading.” Yes. Yes it does. Specifically . . .

1. Domestic Violence: During argument with spouse, Employee broke spouses e-reader in half and pointed unloaded gun at dog’s head while dog was sitting in spouse’s lap. In mitigation, Eniployee [sic] had been struggling with spouses mental health issues and fol!owing [sic] this incident, entered marriage counseling. In aggravation, Employee introduced a firearm into a domestic dispute, an extraordinarily serious escalation.

PENALTY: 45-Day Suspension
OFFENSE: Assault/Battery, Offense Code 4.1

“A regular Joe would have received a conviction or plea bargain involving domestic violence and that would have been his/her right to own guns gone right there,” the TTAG commentator opined. “And WTF with pointing it at the dog? What is it with LEO’s and dogs?”

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

42 Responses to Firearms Laws: One Rule for You, One Rule for the FBI

  1. avatarjwm says:

    Remember in years gone by when the push was on to make domestic violence a reason to lose your gun rights? Once it was found out how many LEO’s would be barred from owning or carrying a gun because of DV issues the law had to be re written to let them slide. As you know I generally come down on the side of the LEO’s. But this is an exemption which is unjust and unfair. All citizens, regardless of job should play by the same rules.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Wait, what? The domestic violence laws have exemptions for LE? Seriously?

      • avatarRon Burgundy says:

        The laws don’t, but since the DA will work with the FBI this will be the outcome. Class justice, true.

        • avatarSammy says:

          Where are the women’s rights groups? This has a lot of potential for tragedy. Then we’ll blame the guns owned by civilians ’cause if it’s too much responsibility for professionals it’s way to much responsibility for us.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Ron, JWM pretty clearly said the laws had been changed to enable DV exemptions for LEOs. I’m not questioning that the LEO/DOJ interaction produces different results for allegations against LEOs vs allegations against private citizens.

          The question at hand is whether there actual carve-outs in the penal code (CA or elsewhere) DV laws which create a separate class of penalties and exemptions for LEOs.

          To be clear, I’d like to know this because it would bolster my argument that our “nobles” both elected (legislators, executive branch, etc.) and unelected (wealthy contributors) are actively working to create a class division between the “knight-enforcers” (LEOs/LEAs) and the filthy commoners (private citizens).

      • avatarColin says:

        This sort of special treatment for LEO’s is everywhere. Even after they retire. (See the proposed NJ law limiting magazines to 10 rounds, except for retired police officers)

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Colin, I’m an outspoken opponent of the two-class system of gun laws for citizens vs current/retired LEOs. We weren’t discussing gun laws, however.

      • avatarpsmcd says:

        There’s a lot of fury about steroid use by cyclists and ball players. I think an even bigger issue is the roid rage of pumped up cops.

      • avatarMike C says:

        There are no exemptions for law enforcement but they are rarely charged with domestic violence, either the charges go away or they are plead to something else that does not take their firearms rights away!

      • avatarRedleg says:

        Unless the law has changed, it doesn’t even exempt military members carrying their issued weapon while performing military functions.

        • avatarelnonio says:

          Redleg: Wrong. Any servicemember convicted of a crime that involves domestic violence is no longer allowed access to firearms for any reason (no yearly quals, no armed duty post, etc), even OCONUS. For many (if not all), that results in discharge from service.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      As you know I generally come down on the side of the LEO’s.

      I pray that someday you’ll have enough experience with the oppressors to change your mind. The only way that we’ll ever get them held responsible for their crimes is when none of the commoners support them anymore.

    • avatarYette-Man says:

      When I was in the Corps I worked for a Sgt that lost his infantry job because he blocked his wife from leaving the house. They said because this was domestic violence(he did not lay a hand on her) he was not allowed to carry a gun afterwards(including the range) and had to work another job until his contract ended. He spent 4 years after unable to promoted because the MPs on his base pushed for a domestic charge. I know this sounds far-fetched but this is the story his wife told me not him.

      • avatarRedleg says:

        When I was a platoon leader I had to but a bar to reenlistment on an otherwise exemplary Staff Sergeant who had a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction on his record from 20 years before and had to remove him from his leadership duties. It was right after this law took effect, and we were fighting the bar. I left befroe it was resolved, and I don’t rememeber how it was resolved.

  2. avatarmountocean says:

    Hmm. Dumb wolves focus on the sheep, smart wolves focus on the sheepdog?
    Not exactly, but perhaps some vestigial responce from our ancestors.

  3. avatarzeos386sx says:

    What is it with LEO’s and dogs?

    Dogs have been wary of the over militarization of the police for decades, and the cops know this.

  4. avatarMMG says:

    Sounds like the spouse wasn’t the only one with mental health issues. He obviously did not respond to a stressful situation at home in an appropriate manner. Why should we trust this guy to behave appropriately with a firearm in a stressful situation on the job?

  5. avatarMatt says:

    The boycott isn’t just of New York LE, it’s of quite more… http://www.thepoliceloophole.com

  6. avatarAir Force TSgt says:

    Wow… I have known guys that have done less than this in the Air Force that had their security clearance yanked and been discharged…

  7. avatarBrennan says:

    Would they not be able to use this as an example in court?

  8. avatarChuckN says:

    Wait. The dog was in the spouses lap but employee only
    pointed a firearm at the dog? Is this a legit defense now?
    Can this be escalated? “I didn’t shoot him officer, I was
    merely shooting at the target I asked him to hold on
    his chest.”

    And what’s with the mental issue thing? Are marriage
    counselors now the default professional to treat mental
    issues? Should I have a marriage counselor on speed
    dial when I get a nutbag on an EMS run?

    This post brings so many questions to mind and
    there’s not one I can think of that makes the FBI
    look good.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      I’m not defending the FBI on this one (at all) but… If you found yourself married to a crazy person with serious issues, and that person was pushing your buttons hard enough to drive you a little crazy yourself (happens), wouldn’t you want some flexibility and understanding from the justice system as long as you didn’t actually hurt anyone?

      As the comedian said, “I would NEVER, EVER hit a woman… but I UNDERSTAND why you might want to!”

      • avatarSeaCreature says:

        Are you serious? I WAS married to someone who had serious mental health issues. And yes, dealing with her issues made me feel pretty crazy sometimes. I’m no saint, but I never pointed a gun at her. Nor did I ever point a gun at something she was holding in her lap. I would expect a MUCH higher level of self control from a LEO, especially a FBI agent.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          It’s impossible to establish which of these incidents involved FBI Special Agents, and which involved civilian employees. I think you’re making an unfounded assumption that the perp in example #1 was a LEA. Civilian employees outnumber Special Agents at about a 4:3 ratio.

          Given my direct personal knowledge of the FBI, I’m 99% sure it was a civilian employee because a Special Agent would have received summary dismissal if such behavior were reported and confirmed. But I can’t be certain, either.

      • avatarChuckN says:

        I’ve been on enough calls and in enough
        court rooms to know that there is ZERO
        flexibility and understanding for men
        when it comes to domestic violence,
        justified or not. That is unless you have
        some serious connections.

        Your comment about whether this was a
        civilian employee or an actual agent is
        immaterial. Both should act to the same
        high level standards.

        The Attorney General of the USA was found
        in contempt of Congress and nothing has
        happened. There’s been an active coverup
        of Fast and the Furious, which involves the
        FBI (either through complicity or refusal
        to investigate the ATF). So pardon me for
        being skeptical that the FBI would act in
        a completely lawful manner.

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      Weelll… A psych for the spouse, a counsellor to help him deal with the stress – and a #%€&ing pink slip.

  9. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    The title of the article is misleading.

    The corrected title is: 375 and 1/3 rules for you, and 0 rules for the FBI.

    Just sayin’

  10. avatarSwobard says:

    Asshats like this one shoot the dog because it ‘proves’ what badasses they are, and they know damn well they can get away with killing a dog. After all, they’re in law enforcement!

  11. avatarDan Baum says:

    If what you want is for LE to live under the same gun rules as the rest of us, are you saying that you want the rest of us to live under the same gun rules as LE? As in, much more stringent training before being allowed to carry a gun, regular re-qualification, etc?

  12. avatarmountocean says:

    I’m not sure these cases were completely swept under the rug, a few of them list misdemenor or other DUI offences that I have no reason to believe weren’t handled at some level by the local courts. I’m sure some of these folks are “special agents” but alot of FBI employees aren’t. This does ilustrate the key fault in police recruiting, though. They have to hire people.

  13. avatarKCK says:

    To add to mountocean’s comment, if they hire humans and humans will and do things like this, then it should go as it did for many of the FBI employees in the report summaries:Dismissed

  14. It’s the American Caste system where justice is no longer blind. The ruling class has guards, the enforcement class gets special privileges for punishing their fellow man, and the serfs just get punished for everything.

  15. avatarJWhite says:

    Unloaded my ass……

  16. avatarBuell301 says:

    Well at least he didn’t pull a PG-county and shoot the dog.

  17. avatarRobb says:

    As KCK and mountocean point out, it doesn’t mean that civil/criminal actions weren’t filed. All it highlights is that the bureau did something about it within the agency; as they should have.

  18. avatarpat says:

    I have stated this several times: If your in law enforcement and promote antigun laws on the citizenry, you are an effing, treasonous pig.

  19. avatarC says:

    There was an FBI agent who bugged his superior’s office. He was fired. Another left an agency issued shotgun and laptop in his car overnight; both of which got stolen. He was suspended for five days.

  20. avatarThompson says:

    The only reasonable measure I can see to preventing future mass shootings is to issue every teacher a minigun mounted to a turret on their desk and have drones patrolling the hallways with rocket launchers. Problem Solved!

    But on a serious note: If you were planning some seriously sick shit such as shooting little kids, wouldn’t it make you think twice if there was an unknown variable such as an unknown number of teachers and other faculty who had received some advanced firearm training and could pop up at anywhere at any time(instead of being in a uniform at a designated location with a big shiney target, I mean badge)?

    Food for thought…

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