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After the Dallas police massacre, the Oklahoma City police union asked that officers be allowed to carry their personal rifles with them at work. From newsok.com:

Citing the deaths of five officers in Dallas last week, the Fraternal Order of Police has asked that Oklahoma City officers be allowed to carry their personal rifles and ammunition and be issued additional body armor.

A century ago, it was common for law officers to provide their own firearms. In many small departments, personal firearms are still the norm. But the trend toward uniformity and liability lawsuits have pushed most departments to standardize on firearms, if for no other reason than standardized training. At first, Police Chief Bill Citty refused the union request. He said that there were enough rifles to go around. After the shootings in Baton Rouge, he changed his mind. From news9.com:

Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty now says officers will be able to carry their own rifles until the department can purchase additional weapons.

Chief Citty said in press conference Monday that he had changed his mind on the issue following Sunday’s attack in Baton Rouge, La. that left three law enforcement officers dead and three injured.”The threats are real,” said Citty.

Officers will have to qualify with their own rifles, and use department issued ammunition.   The department currently has about 285 rifles for 520 officers.  The department is going to buy more rifles.  The police chief says the policy will be a temporary one. From kfor.com:

Citty says he wants to have control over those high-powered weapons, so the city will be purchasing rifles for the remaining officers in the field.

Until those guns arrive, officers will be able to carry their personal rifles, if the weapon is approved and they qualify.

The idea of officers having their own rifles has merit. Personally owned arms have the advantage of supporting the idea of officers as citizens, instead of merely enforcers of the commands of those above them. And people tend to take care of their own equipment better than something that belongs to a impersonal organization. Inspections and qualifications can apply to personally owned arms as well as department owned arms.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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42 Responses to OK Police Chief OK’s Personal Rifles for Officers

  1. It sounds like Chief Citty is a bit of a control freak. He really doesn’t want to allow officers to carry their own rifles. He is just allowing it temporarily due to the circumstances.

    • I doubt the department will replace lost officer-owned rifles. That should be a strong incentive to take good care of them.

  2. Would be nice if US citizens could exercise their basis 2nd amendment rights like these public service providers, aka….A Governmental agency…..

    • As a resident of OKC, I can and sometimes do carry a loaded rifle in my vehicle. What is your point?

  3. Also, now the OK ACLU people are opposed to this, for some stupid reason. I guess ACLU doesn’t know that a number of jurisdictions allow officers to use their own rifles.

    http://newsok.com/aclu-of-oklahoma-concerned-by-police-chiefs-action-change-likely-to-increase-tension-violence/article/5510232?nextgen=true

    Oh, the Chief is not pro-2A, someone else can chime in with their .02, but from everything I have read and heard, he doesn’t go 2A “all the way”, same goes for the local OK county sheriff, John Whetsel.

    • Read the linked article. Can liberals be any more blind?! They’re afraid an officer might bring his own AR15?! Aren’t these idiots always saying that only police should have ARs? Are they not aware that’s the department-issued guns are… AR15s? The stupid…! It burns!!!

    • Like many police officers (especially the brass), they believe only cops are trained well enough to handle firearms in public.

      More equal and whatnot.

  4. I think it’d be far better if all police officers had to provide all their own weapons. They can go to the same stores the rest of us go to and choose suitable firearms from the same civilian-legal options the rest of us have.

    • Problem with that is you would have to specify what guns they are allowed to purchase for carry. Keep in mind, most cops are not POTG and you would still need regular inspection to make sure no one modified their weapon for whatever reason. Otherwise some dimbulb makes his weapon unsafe to carry, and sets the department up for a mess of really bad litigation; and juries aren’t made up of POTG either.

      • Like I mentioned on the post about the Tavor , I am in favor of this rule and as it was indicated , it can always be reversed , I wouldn’t want to pull up on a call where I was engaged with a perp. using a Tavor when my choice was my service issued 10 round pistol and a 12 gauge pump . That’s like sending a baton twirler into a cage fight .

    • Some of the cops I’ve met don’t know much about guns. They would go up to the counter, look at the goods and say, “Oooo, I want the shiny one.”

    • Yes, there is that…but it can be dealt with.

      The dept. can set requirements, and even if individual officers don’t know ass from elbow, gun stores will know which guns are up to snuff as LEO tools. Any sizable police department probably has an armorer on staff already, and he can inspect all weapons periodically to make sure they’re up to spec.

      I’d prefer those problems to the government-provides-guns-to-special-people system we’ve got now.

    • This is actually remarkably common in the majority of police departments. You really only see pure uniformity in the largest departments, which are only a minority of police departments. Some departments have very open policies of “anything the department armorer approves.” A very common policy is “anything in caliber X, Y, or Z and approved by the armorer,” or the slightly more restrictive “anything in caliber X, Y, or Z from manufacturer A, B, or C.” Even some very large departments like the NYPD don’t issue a single firearm- officers have a choice between several.

    • Lugging that much weight around will help burn off some of those doughnuts they seem to enjoy… 🙂

      • Hey, when it comes time to apply some “non-lethal force,” where other LEO’s would use a PR-24, I’d use the other end of the Garand. A short, jabbing motion with the steel buttplate would prove to be useful, I’d think. No needing to carry a baton, so that would get some weight off one’s belt.

        Consider too, the usefulness of a Garand in crowd control. Take these situations where a mob is rushing a line of police: Fix the bayonet – that tends to slow down those who want to get into your face.

        I’m not choosing a Garand loaded with M2 for aesthetics here; there are some powerful reasons for a heavy rifle with antique features. Infantry tactics have changed a lot in the last 100 years, but 100+ years ago, infantry would get into situations very much like what the police are facing today. I believe that a Garand+bayonet would be much more useful today than one of those silly fuel-guzzling MRAPs departments keep buying.

        I think good mounted police patrols on large war horses would also be useful. Make the horses Friesians, and put the cops and the horses into black composite armor. Teach ’em how to ride and maneuver in formation; this will tend to make a crowd fold up their tents and go home quickly.

        • That’s silly. We don’t want police to be militaristic and intimidating. I’ve been thinking about how we should reform policing in the US and other countries who might listen for a while now, so get ready for a long rant.
          If they can rely on their jet-black stormtrooper armor to scare everyone their interpersonal communication skills will wither, and the divide between cops and the communities they are supposed to be protecting and serving becomes even deeper. I have no problem with cops wearing ballistic vests (within reason) or having non-NFA 5.56 or 9mm ARs and 12-gauges in their cars, but their use of unmarked cars, APCs and MRAPs, SUVs in a non-rural setting, and darker and darker uniforms is a symptom of America’s transformation into a fascist state. IMHO cops (and other emergency services employees) should wear khaki uniforms, possibly with white shirts, and riot squads and SWAT teams should use FDE/khaki (NOT camo) uniforms and armor, and also be limited to the same non-NFA weapons. Also, EVERY officer needs to wear an active bodycam while on duty. If you really want to do something about riot control, bring back water cannons in addition to sonic weapons, dazzlers, pepperballs, TASERs, etc, and actually train officers in their proper use (like not blasting someone because they were being “disrespectful”).
          PR-24s, Maglites, and buttsroking are great, as long you don’t aim for a place that could kill someone when you’re not supposed to be trying to kill them. I still would favor a semi-auto 16″ M4 over a Garand for a general police rifle. Moreover, modifications I would propose for the rifles would be using a flash hider with a serrated end as opposed to skewering people with bayonets, issuing flip-up BUIS (but not janky MBUS or any A2-based design) and a 1/3 Aimpoint (since cops don’t know how to Eotech), ACOG, or similar low-power scope as opposed to a carry handle (fixed or otherwise), and using a stronger adjustable stock design like a CTR or Super-Stoc. I would also like to add that the furniture and possibly anodizing/coating on all police (and military) guns should be in FDE or light-medium-gray. Police sniper rifles should be in 5.56, .243, or .308 to prevent overpenetration (.308 will still f— up an engine block), and there should be no police use of machineguns for any reason. Suppressors should be okay for SWAT teams and snipers, but the department should have to go through some sort of paperwork to get them, and losing any weapon by the department (unless the officer can prove it fell in a lake or over a waterfall or some crazy thing) should be grounds for termination and prosecution.
          As far as handguns go, if an individual officer can qualify with .357, 10mm, or .45 they should be allowed to carry a .357, 10mm, or .45 over the issued 9mm/.40, as long as it’s in a standardized platform (Glock, Beretta, S&W, SIG, FN, HK, CZ, 1911, etc), and there should be no DAO/NY2 trigger requirement (4lbs or more and some type of firing pin block should be the only trigger requirements). Most officers would probably take a department-issued G17/22 over lugging around a high-dollar 1911. The use of lights, night sights, and longslides (G34/35, P30L, M&P Full-size, etc) should be encouraged for uniformed use. SERPA-style holsters should be banned (booger-picker falls into the trigger guard too easily with those), and thigh rigs should be discouraged unless the individual officer can demonstrate good use of it.
          Lastly, in districts where 6-11+ round mags, leaded ammo, and “salt waffles” are banned for the plebs, the cops shouldn’t be allowed to use them either, but if they don’t have an AWB in place then cops shouldn’t have to go out of their way to get Minis or other “civil”-appearing rifles when a superior AR can be had for the same price or cheaper.

  5. If the government would start putting hardened habitual felons in jail for life this would not even be talked about. There is a 3 strike rule on the books just about everywhere, why not use it? Fine by me take some of that tax money and build bigger prisons, it will pay off in a short time.

  6. As someone who has worked in small time local law enforcement and then later a federal agency that is law enforcement, the whole “issued rifle” thing never made sense.

    Maybe it was just that federal agency (no names mentioned but they are widely considered a joke) had rifles issued to vehicles that would be manned by 2-3 different shifts in a 24 hr period. How much you want to bet that those three different folks have 3 different sight pictures with three different zero’s? Guess how often they were sighted in? Don’t actually, I can’t answer because I never saw it. This is what happens when bureaucrats who don’t know or understand anything outside their office bubble make regulations.

    • i have had the pleasure of knowing many persons in the military. They all said that the weapons they received for each deployment or each time they needed one, never shot the same. they would say that they would rather have their own weapon that they sighted in and maintained themselves. makes sense to me

      • At least once we went to the range and had live fire with our m16’s. A short time later we deployed and the m16’s we live fired with were replaced by rifles that were new and we had no range time with them. Had no idea if the weapon would even fire til it was needed. Not confidence inspiring.

        That was 4+ decades ago.

    • This is a money over threat mindset. I don’t remember the last time a shot was taken over 100yds and most were in the 50yd range. The few shootings that agency has had recently they did manage to connect. The weapon was set to “battlesight zero” much as the one you qualified with in that agency. You should be able to get the rounds on target at 50.
      That being said it would be great if everyone had their own but money will always win out. 300 plus rifles per area is no small chunk of change and where do you store them?
      There are a lot of agencies to include the small PD I worked at that had shared weapons. Its better than not having it IMO but of course it would be great if it was mine.
      The reputation does need work but there are many good ones trying in spite of the 8 and skate of the others.

      • I understand the thinking. And while I also understand the vast majority of shoots are well well under 100yds + or even 50 yds you are supposed to train and prepare to a higher standard you know? I guess I wish I would have saw what I saw in the .mil and had a rifle that was issued to an individual and zeroed by that individual at annual qual. That way they had a rifle specific and available to them. I understand that it’s still a money thing there because then the ratio of rifles to patrol officers has to be 1 to 1.

        I also understand that while the easy common sense answer is to let each officer be accountable for maintaining and adjusting a personal weapon for use on duty, a litigious society has all but stomped on common sense as a social norm and replaces it with CYA as the new norm. Guess I’m just grieving it.

  7. “Citty says he wants to have control over those high-powered weapons…”
    Yeah, you really have to get a handle on those officers taking their barrett .50’s and 338 lapua rifles to work. They could probably shoot right through the perp, his car, his buddy, and hit 3-4 innocent bystanders.

    Oh, you mean cops carrying AR-15’s with a cartridge that’s too weak to even be legal to hunt with in many states… More anti-gun BS I see…

  8. When I read this story, in my head I read it in the voice of the Chinese owner of City Wok from South Park….

  9. So now on top of being armed with prepaid card scanners they get to have rifles to point at your head as they commit highway robbery of unsuspecting victims.

  10. I hear a lot of chatter from people who don’t actually do the job or know anything about it. Its funny when I go shoot IPSC I hear the same bravado bs when in fact there are 6 officers from local, county and feds standing there shooting with them and doing very well. We all just look at each other and smile.
    This is a temporary measure to ensure they have a fighting chance against a very real threat of who some don’t discriminate and shoot everyone. Between ISIS, BLM and everyday bad guys this measure was needed. After all if it was your wife, child, mom or other working in Moore Oklahoma on that day wouldn’t you want someone to show up and handle business?
    I invite anyone who knows how to do it better to join the force, at least a reserve force if you like your current job, and make the difference. Otherwise it just sounds like lip service and keyboard commando bravado from your moms basement. Once you have accomplished this get back with me and I’ll buy while we talk.

  11. Four decades ago I was friends with a former St. Louis City cop who was in the district that included the infamous Pruitt-Igoe (The PI) housing project, arguably one of the most crime ridden public housing projects in the history of the country. At the time, the service handgun for SLPD was the S&W Model 10 revolver with 156 gr all-lead round-nose bullets, carried in a flap holster.

    They would respond to calls at the PI in two-man units and one guy would take the issue shotgun and the other guy would have some sort of personally owned carbine or more effective pistol, like a 1911. That was against regs, but it was known and tolerated by the brass. My friend said his choice, and the choice of a lot of his fellow officers, was an M1 carbine, sometimes the paratrooper model with a folding stock. Not only were they better able to defend themselves, but there was a significant deterrent factor.

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