Sgt. Betsy Brantner-Smith reckons off-duty carry is important for officers to protect themselves and their loved ones. And did you catch this bit: “Make sure you carry additional ammunition with you . . . you don’t want to get into an off-duty shootout situation and then run out of ammunition.” I know there are plenty of cops who support their fellow Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms—including “high capacity” magazines and “assault rifles”—but what of those who don’t? What up with that?

70 Responses to Question of the Day: Why Would a Cop be Against Concealed Carry?

  1. Being a former Illinois resident ,I’d chalk it up to simplicity on the job.There’s no process of “checking” whether the guy or girl with a gun is a legal citizen or not-In no-issue jurisdictions if the cop sees a gun the owner gets handcuffs.Easy,quick and no complex procedures to train for.

    • It’s attitude, and that often filters down from the top via training and policy, coupled the cultural norms, laws and established expectations of the jurisdiction you work.

    • Being able to go door to door to do “public safety checks” without having to worry about that pesky old 4th Amendment would simplify things as well.

      ***Sarcasm Warning***

  2. I used to work with one, before she transfered to a neighboring department. She came from San Diego, originally. I think her anti-gun attitude came from a big city California education.

    I got lucky, I guess. Got hired by a place that’s full of prior military, most of whom love guns. Including me.

    In general, if doctrine and training for any department focus on control over everything else, you will probably find a corresponding attitude against freedom in general, not just for guns. This will be most common in big cities like New York, perhaps because of population density rather than total size.

  3. It’s laziness and fear. Ignorance and stupidity abound in any environment. The trained police officer paranoia doesn’t account for good guys without badges. That kind of thinking requires some actual personal thought not just swallowing regurgitation by police culture. Group think is the biggest reason.

    • Yes, that is a huge part of the LEO club not trusting any armed person, CCWs and unfamiliar ODOs included. It’s easier and safer to simply not trust anyone who isn’t a known quantity.

      ODO = off duty officer

    • Ever talk to one while not in hand irons?

      You develop a different perspective when a “nine” or any other caliber, a knife, club, fist or any other weapon you can think of could be used on you at any moment.

      You don’t dwell on it, but it affects your attitude toward those you don’t know.

      • “You develop a different perspective when a “nine” or any other caliber, a knife, club, fist or any other weapon you can think of could be used on you at any moment.”

        A good friend of mine cited that exact reason for changing careers. Said he was tired of looking at EVERYONE he met or even SAW anywhere he went and thinking to himself; “I wonder what crime they have committed?”. That mentality is depressing and warped. With a lot of police its more of a product of being in “The Group” type culture. But it can really skew your world view perception. I’ve known a couple of officers that didn’t fall into that trap; but I think they are the exception rather than the norm.

        Not defending the world view, just observing.

  4. Because for an increasing percentage of cops, it’s all about power. They wish to wield more firepower than every single person they come into contact with, regardless of the situation. In their minds, they are part of the Chosen Few worthy of firearms possession.

    • This. It’s the same reason “progressives” think only police should have guns; they seriously think that they alone have the special, elite training that no ordinary civvie possesses to carry and use them, while the rest of us are frightened sheep huddling scared, waiting on them to swoop in and save the day.

      To us, it’s cartoonishly unrealistic bullshit, but many police officers believe it wholeheartedly, and progressives are all too happy to feed their egos by actually being frightened sheep huddling scared, waiting on them to swoop in and save the day.

  5. Simple. It is convenient for them for you to be disarmed. It relieves them of the necessity to use judgment in assessing a situation; of having to consider who they should shoot at.

    Cops DON”T like to shoot innocent people – its messy and causes a lot of paperwork.

    In their mind, having a disarmed population drastically simplifies their life, your safety be damned.

    Why do you think there are always carve-outs for retired/off-duty police? If there weren’t, the cops would never support gun-control, because it would affect them.

    • About the carve-outs: Here in NYS, corrections officers are given LEO status which is fine. But a certain portion of them remain on the job for less than a few years before getting “injured” and entering early retirement. Not only are they living off the public teat, but they’re allowed the Constitutional rights that have been stripped from the rest of us. The carve-outs are designed to divide the gun-owning community into us versus them.

    • I could almost understand from a paranoia aspect that cops would like gun control because they are daily and intentionally putting themselves into situations most sane people would run from. I’m sure they would like to believe that gun control would decrease the number of times they ran into armed bad guys.

      The unfortunate off-shoot of this is that they treat every gun they find as a personal threat and they may have a false sense of security that will result in their lowering their guard when they should be more observant.

      In some communities it must be VERY difficult to tell who (if anyone) is one of they good guys. Gun control laws give the cop a reason to treat everyone as a suspect right up front.

    • Dare I throw the hyperventilation card. Bing search shows something und 900000 cops (local thru Fed). (yet 900 THOUSAND) Lets assume that is at leat 1.8 BILLION hours on the clock. (dot the math for the payroll on that)

      2011 – 176 Line of Duty Deaths of which 67 were gunfire. http://www.odmp.org/search/year/2011

      No I don’t call that a high risk of getting ur butt shot off.

      I’ll take the risk of popo hypervenalation by throwing out the otherside of the public safety card. Approx the same number Volunteer Fire Fighters 800k (who are not on the public dole) + 270k paid. Avg 80 line of duty FF deaths/yr (total vol + paid). 1/2 from attack. (12 cops line of duty from heart attack in 2011). Not much cardiac risk at the donut shop compared to turnout gear w/airpack and high temp I guess.

      So where is the LODD risk? FF fitness and diet. Cops and legal owned firearms? Dang near Zero risk.

      Detail of who was the shooter in the COP LODD would be interesting data to look at. Bet high % look like Obumas son and be urban known criminal w/felony record.

  6. Some cops are paranoid and fearful. Others are power-tripping psychos. That just about accounts for them all and their reasons why.

  7. The term is “Hypocrisy”!

    Obama, Holder, Bloomberg, Quin, etc are all examples of this concept in action.

  8. It seems to me that most of the opposition to carry is big city/urban county police brass. Rural sheriffs here in California and in Colorado are generally supportive. Rank and file, even in the cities, seems generally favorable–with vocal exceptions like that Ohio cop who threatened to kill a citizen for failing to “immediately” disclose his armed status.

    • And who, unless someone can tell me otherwise, is still in the employ of Canton PD. Man that one got me torqued off.

  9. I DEMAND that they support my right because they swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution which says that my right will not be infringed. They are public servants of a government that is instituted to protect my rights. If they don’t think they can do that, they should not be in law enforcement.

    • I could be wrong, but if the police position is not a Federal one, does the officer still swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution?

      • Article VI of the Constitution requires all executive and judicial officials of the United States and the several States to be bound by oath to support the Constitution.

      • I have sworn that oath a number of times. The job I retired from, a public school janitor, also required that oath. City, County, State, Feds, to the best of my knowledge they all swear the same oath upon hire. I did at a couple of levels, Federal and city on more than one occasion.

        All government employees, local, state or
        federal are subject to call up into FEMA in times of emergency. I was activated once into FEMA during a natural disaster.

  10. It comes down to the “us” versus “them” mentality. Some cops believe that they have training and experience that sets them apart from the “civilians” who they consider to be generally racist rubes looking to prove their manhood with guns.

    Never mind the fact that in nearly every single course I have taken at the Sig Academy, there have been LEOs and I have outshot at least half of them.

    The smart cops see armed citizens in the same way that the sheriffs in the Wild West towns once did – as an armed posse that could be relied upon to have the Sheriff’s back if things got ugly. These cops by and large continue to hold the title of Sheriff and work in areas with few fellow law enforcement officers they can call for support.

    Many of those police who don’t like concealed carry work in cities with multiple officers that can be called upon for backup, thus they hold the belief that armed citizen help is not necessary and even a hindrance for proper police work.

  11. I’m always off-duty (because I’m not a cop). I understand there is a slightly larger chance a known officer would be targeted by an aggressor, but I’m not willing to take that chance.

    From what I’ve gleaned from talking to cops, those that don’t want “civilians” (because they are civs too) to carry is because they want the double standard, they want the field to be uneven in their favor because it makes their job easier and them safer. If they’re the only ones with guns they can easily handle the situation, but a criminal with a gun is far more dangerous. The common perception seems to be that “normal” individuals would lose control of their own firearms to a criminal and make the situation far worse than it otherwise would be, assuming the criminals do not already have a firearm. As a normal person if I don’t have a firearm and the criminals do I’m in serious trouble, but that doesn’t really impact the report-writing officers. I’m not saying they think everyone with a gun is a criminal, but it puts them at ease to have a black-and-white world when it comes to responding.
    Another important aspect along the same vein is what she talked about with having the badge around their neck at all times. They can pull out the badge and be identified easily, “civilians” cannot be identified easily because we don’t have badges that instantly show our intentions. We could say we’re “good guys” and turn out to be the getaway driver and turn on them.

    I’ve been playing a mod for ArmA3’s beta called Stratis Life, which pits cops vs civs and civs can choose to do illegal activities or go to the extreme and become terrorists. I play as a civ and let me tell you, it sucks to not be armed, it makes you feel some fear at each encounter. Having a gun reduces that fear when other civs approach because you can defend yourself. Obviously the threat is magnified by the nature of it being a game with limited consequences and anonymity, but relatively less risk doesn’t make you safe in the real world.

  12. Some cops don’t like people to carry because it makes them
    our “equals”. They are worried that one day they’ll accost
    someone who knows their rights and is willing to stand up
    for them; even if it means drawing down on a cop.

    • “…drawing down on a cop.”

      Yeah, that would probably get the individual shot and killed.
      Then the issue of “rights” never comes up!

      • In my experience, LEOs living areas where everyone
        has a firearm tend to have a more easy going attitude
        and try to deescalate situations. When I lived in
        Boston (a city with strict gun laws), I noticed the
        LEOs were far more aggressive. Part of this is no
        doubt department attitude, but I think that more
        than a few acted like high strung thugs simply
        because they could. Being the only ones armed
        (on paper anyway), instantly gave them the
        sense of superiority.

        As a firefighter, I deal with a lot of LEOs, especially
        during responses. In 18 yearson the job, I’ve seen
        more than a few altercations where a person stood
        against a cop. I’ve had to do so myself, more than
        once. There’s a big difference in mindset and
        attitude if the LEO thinks your armed. Yes, there
        is the risk of being shot or killed, but the only
        other alternative is blind submission. And that,
        as history has shown over and over, will definitely
        get you killed.

        “An armed society is a polite society.” – Heinlein

        • This is the exact same argument for why criminals are more bold or aggressive if they think their victims are unarmed.

  13. Progressive Ideal: Cops are the only people with guns.
    Progressive Actuality: Cops are the only GOOD people with guns.

    10 criminals for every cop, that’s a recipe for disaster.

  14. First, many of those who are against it are the high-ranking officers (essentially the political appointees), not the rank and file (which I am basing on surveys I have seen and conversations I have had).

    Second, well, of COURSE they are against it. Who does not like a monopoly? If they said, “YES people can protect themselves,” then people would say “HEY, why are we paying these expensive union salaries and into the underfunded pensions?” And what happens when you grant a monopoly? Service is poor, and its expensive.

    Are there things that police can do more effectively than private citizens? probably. But, competition is a great thing. That includes competition in the service of public safety. Right now, in most cities, we do not have it and (shock) the quality of service the police provide is poor.

    And lets face it, if you are a high ranking person in any business (or government service) it serves your advantage to claim monopoly rights whenever you can.

  15. Cap. Nick pointed out to a good friend that the Oakand “riot” retreat by officers last weekend was not an officer command decision, but a political one. He chastened me, too, a few months back for harshing all over a local PD chief that doesn’t issue CCWs in “May Issue” California.

    Conversely, Cap. Nick agrees with me that Sheriff Wife Beater in San Francisco is a POS. All of which I bring up to note that the political masters of PD policy may be the biggest issue. Sometimes, off-duty carry is verboten or discouraged.

    Which — Oh, nos! — means We The People are often voting nitwits into office.

  16. The ones against RKBA and CCW have either been brainwashed with misinformation from trusted sources and lack field experience to reject the advice,

    or have had a bad experience with a bad actor CCW holder and lack the field experience to see the wider reality,

    or are lazy and want everyone disarmed to make their job easier not realizing the opposite will happen, and lack the field experience to know otherwise.

    In addition, the presence or lack of quality fellow officer peers to show them the way of the streets and their acceptance of their peers mentor ship will influence an officers world view until s/he gains enough experience to recognize what’s real and what’s not.

    Bottom line, attitude and field experience.

  17. Elitism. There is a certain line of thought prevalent with many in our society that people are incompetent. They’re incompetent to handle firearms. They’re incompetent to feed their families. They’re incompetent to decide what kind of health insurance to buy. How large a soda to drink. What car to drive. And so on. These decisions would be best left to the “professionals”. Don’t fight the bad guy yourself, let the professionals handle it. If you are an elitist LEO, this is the way you think.

    Conservatism (classical liberalism) is the opposite of elitism. Don’t wait for the cops to arrive, you can handle this yourself. And you can decide for yourself what soda to drink, what car to drive, etc. Buying a gun and carrying it on your person is a slap in the face of elitism.

    I often compare firearms to fire extinguishers. Most people wouldn’t think of not having a fire extinguisher in their home, yet you are 3 1/2 times more likely to be murdered in this country than you are to die in a house fire (your mileage may vary due to gang affiliation). You wouldn’t think of sitting and waiting 15 minutes for the fire department to arrive, yet you think nothing of waiting 15 minutes for the police to arrive? A criminal assault can escalate even faster than a fire. A true elitist would expect you to wait for both the fire department and the police. But most would have you fight the fire but not the criminal. This is because of the agitprop demonizing firearms. I have yet to find any anti-fire extinguisher propaganda.

  18. Over the 20th century, police turned from peace officers (think Wyatt Earp or Andy Taylor) into law enforcement officers. Peace officers keep the peace, by preventing people from doing stupid/dangerous things to each other. Law enforcement officers enforce the letter of the law, much of which is incredibly unpopular among the people (proof of the effectiveness of democracy).
    Things went downhill from there due to the wars on drugs and terror, which basically militarized police. Many modern cops see the rest of us as the enemy, and themselves as an army of occupation. What army of occupation wants to try to control an armed population?
    Good, honest cops who want to protect their neighbors and uphold the (entire) Constitution have become the exception, not the rule.

  19. I may get in trouble suggesting that people get a gun, and learn how to use it. Hey, life’s short, enjoy as much freedom as you can.

    • Good advice, as long as you also council them fully learn the morality of defensive use and the life altering consequences that will accompany any defensive use event.

      I fully support informed, practiced, intelligent ownership of ones self defense responsibilities.

  20. I have heard the arguments from cops about why they do not like civilians to carry, but I would love to hear from cops in Montana or Vermont where pretty much everyone has a gun. Do they have the same fear as slave state cops?

  21. I live in central Missouri, and in my Concealed Carry class we were told the local police consider CC people to be emergency backup. Also told that by a friend who is in the force.

  22. Police who carry off duty but don’t believe the rest of society should have the same right are vile and worthless pigs that must roast in Hell.

  23. Having so many civilians waving guns around makes the cops jobs harder. That’s why I suggest we all wear camouflage and drive around in armored vehicles. That way, us good guys are easily identified.

  24. Around 2001 I talked to a cop in California who told me that half his department would quit on the spot if CCW permit were widely available in his town.

    That town was Richmond, just north of Berkeley. Richmond is a very tough tough, high minority population and was hit very hard in the “crack wars” period (late 1980s, early 1990s). It is one of a number of towns and districts in the SF Bay Area that used to be centers of blue-collar industrial and shipping jobs that blacks were allowed to do (and live nearby) dating back to the 1930s. As those ironworks and longshoremen jobs dried up by the late 1950s and early 1960s, blacks weren’t allowed to do anything else or move anywhere else and they became classic “ghettos”.

    But here’s the kicker. That cop (and per him, half of his fellow cops) were so distrustful of that population that they could not tolerate any being legally armed, not even the ones able to pass a background check and training. That means things have gone so far wrong that the police are at war with the people they allegedly serve.

    I believe that the “War On (Some) Drugs”[tm] is a huge part of why that state of war exists. Hostility to CCW among the police is just a side-effect of a deeper problem and we need to get to the root of the issue – which in turn will do far more to reduce America’s violence rates than anything we can do about guns, pro-self-defense or otherwise.

    • Even the rank-and-file get somewhat infected by this in the Bay Area, sadly. I’ve had interactions with my city PD during which I necessarily disclosed my status as a firearms owner and (gasp!) frequent trigger-puller. The reaction was cautious and guarded, to say the least, and it was necessary to spend some time firmly establishing that I was one of the good guys.

      It’s almost beyond imagining how they’d handle a non-LEO CCW holder here. Almost makes me wish for someone from Sacramento (shall-issue CCW) to star in a legit DGU in my city just to see how they’d explain THAT.

  25. Being a police officer does not make one knowledgeable about the right to keep and bear arms or the Second Amendment. Also, your urban cops, such as police chiefs, must answer to the mayor and the city council. The mayor can fire the police chief and the city council can demote them by a vote, and since the major metropolitan areas are almost always radically anti-gun, the police chiefs of them must tow the political line.

    Sheriffs, by contrast, are elected to their positions by their constituents, usually in the rural areas, whom they answer to, so sheriffs are in much greater numbers against gun control.

  26. I don’t like cops. That said, I’ve never had one give me any trouble while open carrying. In fact, I just had a conversation with a retired NYPD officer and he was animated in his dislike of “gun control”. I’m sure he would have arrested me for using my rights if we met while he was on the job (hence why i dont like cops), but still.

  27. So, I held my tongue so I could get the feel of the folks who cared enough to write something.
    The words paranoid and hypocrite were used a few times. Some of the real cop haters here didn’t write. For that, I’m thankful.
    I retired after a bit over 25 years from police work. Got to put a few animals away for life. Rapists, murderers, child molesters… Just some minor background.
    What I remember most fondly is teaching at the state academy for about a dozen years. Firearms training. This while competing in 3 gun. I, and other instructors, valued those with CHL’s. we knew, and taught, that those are good guys. Proven good guys.
    I only know what I was exposed to by my coaches and what I taught and what I experienced.
    Maybe, just maybe, those of you cop haters are east coast folks exposed to big city cops. Yes, I’ve met more than a few. They are different.
    And speaking of paranoid, the lady in the video never once mentioned folks with CHL’s. Never mentioned cops versus CHL holders. So why foment this attitude?
    Paranoid over something that may not exist?
    RF, I can only hope that your move west will expose you to a more friendly officer.
    Should you ever find yourself in Oregon, shoot me an email, I’ll buy you a beer.

    • +1 Tom. Thanks for your service and speaking up. Hearing about real world experience on the ground is half of why I come here, and thanks to Has, Accu, others for same.

      Hey, Robt- watched it twice- saw nothing to go with the headline on CCW, or the strawman argument “what of LEOs who don’t support…2A rights.”

      Like the man said, its your bbq, but I’d guess you’d attract more sock puppets from anti-gunners looking to make responsible gun owners look nutty… easy prey like Mikey B, but newcomers might not get it…

      Just my two cents…standing by to take incoming…

  28. If you know how to use Photoshop a lot of fun can be had moving her hands a little higher and closer to her body.

      • Yeah dude, really. Does it make you uptight that I didn’t put her on a sex- err I mean ‘gender” pedestal? The heat-wave seems to be baking your brain so go chill out dude. Go for a nice tropical fruit drink with rum or tequila.

  29. I would think Cops adverse to CCW for non-Cops is more prevalent in Big Cities where, as a rule,everyone you are confronting is a “stranger” (aka an unknown quantity), and you can never be sure who in civilian clothes at a confrontation scene is a “good guy” and who is a “bad guy”. In rural and sparser populations, as a Cop you are more likely to know ( or at least have an acquaintance with) the people at a confrontation scene. Since CCW, CHL holders don’t want to wear T-shirts emblazoned with big red text “Good Guy Here!” [for obvious and valid reasons], if you show-up at a possible crime scene as a uniformed LEO and several people are waving guns around, I’d guess your nervousness factor would skyrocket.

    Personally, I have found that guys I knew who became Cops in Big Cities suddenly don’t want to continue to be friends with their non-Cop buddies from their “former life” and bond to their new Cop Buddies because there is an adversarial attitude towards all non-Cops. Everyone “else” suddenly becomes a criminal in potential and can no longer be trusted.

  30. A better question would be why does anyone care what cops think about any subject whatsoever. A badge does not make you an expert, in anything. It is merely evidence of an unhealthy lust for power over one’s fellow man.

  31. A government that robs Peter(taxes people) to pay Paul(fund LEO),
    can always count on the support of Paul. ~ G. B. Shaw (narrative added)

    For those who earn a living salary from a government dole, including all
    who are not LEO’s, too many behave as though they are more equal than
    others because they work for the public sector in a florescent bulb testing
    bureaucracy, or doing a sacred duty as LEO, nobly protecting the public.
    What often passes as stated intentions, is little more than cheap gestures.

    We’re capable of saving ourselves, only because we know that they can’t.
    It’s tiring listening to those who say they can. It’s not humanly possible,
    we vastly outnumber them by an order of magnitude. The only people
    capable of being everywhere we go, is us. In a normal world, wouldn’t
    that be considered a valuable benefit to the police? In the world of today,
    we’re treated as a hindrance, if not, a possible/probable perp. Fan-tastic!
    I’m paying taxes for the salary and pension of the LEO who’s rolling me
    like I’m a teen driver, and for what, a burned out tail bulb! Ya, I know it’s
    burned out, my car alerted me to that fact two hours ago, glad you could
    catch up. He knows my car does this, yet he pulls me over…to personally
    tell me about it? I’m paying for this? And they don’t trust us…with guns?

  32. Some of it is politics,if your mayor or chief is not fond of civilians legally carrying firearms they harass the public,or intimidate the public against carrying said firearms.A good example is the chief in Chicago,his boss Heir Emanuel,is part of the Boobama and Doomberg Antigun campaign,so he speaks out against firearms.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  33. Statists naturally believe that they are property of the state. While they feel their life is worth protecting, they do not believe they are responsible enough to defend it–they’re not even responsible enough to own it. So their state-owned bodies can only be defended by the state. So what if the Supreme Court ruled that agents of the state don’t have to respond to 911 calls, or even attempt to help if it might be immediately possible? They’re just a cog in the machinery of state, easily replaced.

  34. Civilian concealed carry has been proven, over and over again, to reduce the crime rate. A high crime rate is job security for police. Therefore t make sense for police to discourage civilian concealed carry in order to keep the crime rate up so they will still have jobs.

    • That’s also why they want to continue to support the reefer madness – It’s much, much safer and easier to roust a couple of stoners who are sitting at home minding their own business than to go after killers and rapists and thieves, oh, my! And carrying at home is moot when the invaders have badges and a warrant.

  35. Replacing any reference to “Police Officers” with “citizen” makes it an inclusive and universal message thus making perfect sense.

    Only a little weird that some LEO’s want to leave their weapons at home though. In the last 365 days I have holstered one of my guns at least, oh, say 365 times.

    If I had to wait for uniforms while drawn, would it be against the law to yell “I’m on the JOB” and hold up my wallet when they arrive?

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