On Wednesday, the New York Times released previously unpublished documents on FBI shooting stats. While the Times focused on FBI coverups for a couple of seriously bad shoots, a deep data dive discovered more general info that wasn’t exactly Fibbie-flattering. Nearly half of all shoots were “accidental discharges.” Coincidentally enough (or not, depending on how you look at it), handgunsmag.com just posted a piece revealing that the FBI’s recently changed its firearms training protocol to
reduce the significant number of negligent discharges at the range reflect the fact that most shoots occur at bad breath distances . . .
Based on a review of nearly 200 agent-involved shootings over a 17-year period [ED: the report released on Wednesday], the FBI discovered that 75 percent of these incidents involved suspects who were within three yards of their agents when shots were exchanged. So FBI top brass decided that some changes were in order to better prepare their agents to survive these life-threatening encounters.
“Until last January, the FBI’s Pistol Qualification Course required agents to fire 50 rounds, more than half of them from between 15 and 25 yards,” FBI Special Agent Ann R. Todd explains. “The new course involves 60 rounds, with 40 of those fired from between three and seven yards. It also requires agents to draw their weapons from holsters concealed by jackets or blazers to replicate the traditional clothing worn by FBI special agents.”
Fibbies qualifying in their duty gear? Rad! But c’mon guys, how bad is it, really? What’s the FBI’s hit rate at, say, any distance?
The FBI did not divulge information about the percentage of hits its agents made when firing at these very close assailants. (Some, of course, were ambushed and unable to fire.) But it would seem logical enough this new emphasis on close-in shooting and tactics was deemed necessary because the percentage of hits wasn’t as high as was hoped for.
Up with which they should not put. ‘Cause you gotta have . . . high hopes. (High apple pie in the sky hopes.) Of course, the exact stats on FBI agents’ hit ratio will be made available soon, fulfilling President Obama’s promise to run the most transparent administration in history. Or not.
Meanwhile, we’d look forward to the FBI reaching out to TTAG to issue an invitation to watch their agents’ firearms training up close and personal. You know, as journalists. firstname.lastname@example.org, guys. Standing by.