Bogus Police Survey: 3 out of 5 Officers ‘Interested’ in ‘Smart Guns’

“A new online survey of over 400 law enforcement professionals from coast to coast showed a surprisingly high level of interest in firearms that can only be operated by the authorized user (i.e. smart guns),” policeone.com reports. “Respondents consisted of law enforcement professionals from King County, Washington Sheriffs Office, Seattle City Police as well as the Montgomery County, MD police department.” As our man Foghorn, formerly of the DHS, taught me . . .

“Opt-in” online surveys have an inherent bias; survey takers should choose respondents from a suitably representative sample distributed across the country. Clued-in members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia will notice that the majority of the “law enforcement professionals” in this study are employed in areas known for their unconstitutional gun control regimes. That’s assuming that these are actual law enforcement professionals who answered the online survey, since verifying credentials for the responses is a nearly impossible task.

And there’s the question of questions. What are they? How a question’s worded often determines the response it elicits. What does police “interest” in “smart guns” actually mean?

I’m “interested” in “smart guns.” But you won’t catch me carrying one — unless it’s on our readers’ behalf. (And even then with an analog backup gun.) Nick’s also “interested” in “smart guns” — interested in seeing what it takes to break them. Maybe cops are “interested” in making sure they never have to carry one.

The policeone.com article doesn’t provide a link to the study to check the questions’ exact wording. Hell, it doesn’t even identify who did the study. But the LEO-oriented website certainly “sells” the survey’s supposedly pro-“smart gun” results.

Some 58 percent of law enforcement professionals expressed some degree of interest in smart guns once they were proven reliable, with half of that number (i.e. 29 percent indicating very strong/extreme interest)

According to King County Sheriff John Urquhart whose department made up a significant part of the survey: “the results showed that a significant majority of metro police are open to the idea of smart guns providing they are rigorously tested. I see this as very good news given that user authorized firearms can help protect our officers from the danger of gun grabs as well as the criminal activity involving the hundreds of thousands of firearms stolen annually by criminal suspects”.

The survey showed that gun grabs are a primary concern of almost all in law enforcement with 84 percent of all respondents including some degree of concern and some 27 percent having experienced an actual gun grab event first hand.

OK then! If the police want “smart guns” to protect against gun grabs, I say let them have “smart guns.” But do they? Do they really? “PoliceOne comments can only be accessed by verified law enforcement professionals.” If one of our LEO readers could check that out for us and post their findings below, I’d be most appreciative.

comments

  1. avatar Tim says:

    3 out of 5 police administrators.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Their interest is of no interest to me.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Interest or concern?

      I’m not concerned, I am interested (if it was the truth).

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    13 out of 9 people prefer real polls, and an additional 7 said that they’d prefer real statistics. 8 out of 6 fake news outlets said that they provide what the public is looking for in real news.

    “Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see.” – my Dad.

    I don’t believe there is one single cop out there that has 100% confidence in their weapon operating properly 100% of the time. I think all are less inclined to throw some complicated electronics into the mix.

  4. avatar Rick the Bear (MA to NH) says:

    3 out of 5 are interested…in not having them.

    1. avatar Dan in CO says:

      … in the plebians having them.

  5. avatar P-Dog says:

    The article states that police are worried about “gun grabs”. Might I propose an alternative solution that’s far cheaper: lanyard loops on magazines, and using a gun with a mag disconnect. If their gun is grabbed, they can just yank the lanyard loop to remove the magazine and voila, gun is non-functional.

    I certainly wouldn’t use such a gun as I dislike mag disconnects, but hey, for all those cops who are worried, this could be the answer without waiting 25 years for some 95% foolproof “smart gun” that costs a whole lot more and is a lot less reliable.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “If their gun is grabbed, they can just yank the lanyard loop to remove the magazine and voila, gun is non-functional.

      …and the thugs make a point to yank the lanyard on officer Friendly’s gun while discussing their unwillingness to be apprehended.

      Yeah, I’m not seeing it…

  6. avatar Tile floor says:

    I’m an officer. Hell no. Not for me. Not for my coworkers. Not for armed citizens. Too much that can go wrong.

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    Sure get that “smart gun” ossifer. I’ll keep my dumb guns. What say you resident TTAG po-leecemen?

    1. avatar Guardiano says:

      Nope. No thank you.

  8. avatar tiger says:

    Just because you dislike the result of the topic, does not make the stats bogus. Same with swinging the bat of Something being unconstitutional. That flag gets waved too much.

    1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

      The problem with statistical analysis is that unless the people collecting the information are unbiased you will end up with the kind of bogus and easily disproved statistics the anti-gun left is famous for quoting. They usually continue to quote them long after their numbers have been shown as bogus. TTAG and POTG will usually speculate on just how the gun control bunch chose to bias their pseudo statistics, because in almost every case where they collect stats they have done so in a deliberate fashion.

      In short the old saw always applies: Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

    2. avatar Davis Thompson says:

      Absolutely wrong and utterly contrary to the scientific method. Scientific and statistical results are supposed to be challenged and, if possible, replicated for veracity. Pointing out possible flaws in methodology helps insure that results of such polls are more accurate and prevents bad or biased polling to be used to set policy which impacts us all.

      If a researcher is honest, then they will make their methods and data available to other research groups interested in replicating their results. Independent replication of results by different researchers is fundamental to the scientific method. So is challenging results which seem fishy.

      And this “poll” smells like week old cod.

    3. avatar Red in CO says:

      The survey reports that over 400 officers showed some interest. They then extrapolated that to include the entirety of American’s roughly 750,000 LEO’s (that’s local, state, and federal). Please, don’t tell me you actually believe such a tiny sample size can be directly extrapolated to such a large number of diverse individuals?

  9. avatar MLee says:

    A lot of things are of interest to me. A person may have an interest in something and have no interest in participating in that interest. As an example, I think manned exploration of Mars and establishing a moon colony is interesting.
    I sure as hell don’t want to live on the moon or explore Mars. Smart gun technology is actually interesting, but there is ZERO chance of me embracing that technology for myself.

  10. avatar G says:

    I personally cant wait for judge dredd guns

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I personally cant wait for judge dredd guns”

      And I’m waiting for Toto to introduce their Sylvester Stallone signature series ‘Three Shells’ bidet of pure pleasure.

      (I want the deluxe version with Sandra Bullock demonstrating the proper use…)

  11. avatar Chiefton says:

    4 of the most liberal areas in the United States. I would expect nothing else from that poll.

  12. avatar Yahoo Joe says:

    My recent survey of democrats showed 9 out of 10 want to take all your guns.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Then nine of the ten were at least honest: the tenth lied.

  13. avatar Twoboxer says:

    A new product with a market survey yielding a 29% top 2-box score of 29% would never make ti to market:

    “Some 58 percent of law enforcement professionals expressed some degree of interest in smart guns once they were proven reliable, with half of that number (i.e. 29 percent indicating very strong/extreme interest)”

  14. avatar Mosinfan says:

    Given the abysmal performance of my biolock pistol safe, I will never own a ‘smart’ gun.

  15. avatar jwm says:

    Let me know when the phaser is a reality. I like that overload setting myself.

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    So… the survey was of three departments, including the one that ‘conducted’ the survey, and include Seattle and Montgomery County, MD? Why MoCo? Is it just so they can say the survey is ‘coast to coast’ (but nothing at all in between)? Because of course one might imagine that the selection might not be applicable to all law enforcement given Seattle and Montgomery County’s rather anti-gun atmosphere.

    Oh, it’s for a symposium in DC. So this (a) isn’t even intended to be a ‘real’ study with things like controls and (b) is probably just a ticket to a grant.

  17. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    I agree this survey was weighted in very liberal areas where they were more likely to be ordered to agree by their masters and superiors.

    That said, there is also the caveat of “if it can be done reliably” and “interested” is not “would use” by any means. Realistically there’s years more dev to make smart guns reliable and even get to where an officer would be interested.

    Also expect to see this stat every time they push for smart guns 100% out of context.

  18. avatar TFred says:

    Yes, but do they say who will be carrying the “smart” guns these LEO-affiliated respondents are “interested in?” I bet a lot of these particular respondents would be in favor of YOU carrying them, but not themselves.

  19. avatar K42inSEA says:

    At best, bunch of police who are interested in smart guns are interested in smart guns. At worst, the survey did not restrict the number of entrants, and one leo is interested in smart guns.

    There’s a world of difference between asking if the public should only use smart guns, versus if they would rather be issued them.

  20. avatar pieslapper says:

    Wouldn’t believe it until they give the whole question that was in the poll.

    “Are you more interested in finding out about smart guns, or watching this video of a colonoscopy?”

    Not surprisingly 58% went for smart guns.

  21. avatar Nanashi says:

    Also 400 is the bare minimum for sample size for a demographic of roughly 1 million (only data I can find on US LEO number is 900,000 7 years ago, obtained from a LEO memorial fund’s website)

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Poor sample size, poor respondent selection criteria, poor methodology…

  22. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Then let’s give the cops what they claim to want: Smart guns. When they object, tell them “Well, you indicated you wanted these.”

    Give people who play stupid games their well-deserved stupid prizes, especially when they’re public employees.

    1. avatar Guardiano says:

      There are close to a million police officers in this country. 400 unconfirmed officers from antigun areas express “interest” in smart guns. So now all of us are “playing stupid games.” Don’t we get mad when the left paints all gun owners with the same brush?

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Well, your political leadership rarely seems to miss an opportunity to be anti-gun. One big city PD chief of police after another loves putting their mug on TV or in the press, championing gun control. Big city cops love to play the “we’re cops, we’ll control who gets CCW’s – for a fee” game unless they’re in a non-discretionary state – and even then, they’ll play games. Lastly, I notice no shortage of PD’s who love to sponsor gun “buy backs” – and then no doubt cherry-pick what comes in for their own purposes, while destroying the rest.

        Tell me again how pro-gun cops are.

        1. avatar Bill Funk says:

          Most police chiefs are political animals, in that they must publicly agree with their employers, or they will be looking for another job. Since so many large cities are controlled by Democrats, that means the chiefs are anti-gun.
          So it’s no surprise (and not even very remarkable) that they champion gun control.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          Cops are across the board with pro-gun versus anti-gun. The vast majority of our office voted for Trump and are happy that we have a freshly-minted pro-gun / pro-Constitution SCOTUS justice. Roughly half are NRA members. Most despise Feinstein, Hillary, Kamala, and gun control laws. And that’s in the LA area. Most cops are conservative and oppose gun control, more so than the general population, although not necessarily the population of TTAG.

          Take away the LE vote and you may have had Hillary for president. Take away the military and LE vote and you would almost certainly have had Hillary win.

          Police chiefs? Typically anti-gun. As are most big government bureaucrats.

        3. avatar Guardiano says:

          Again, you’re doing EXACTLY what the left does with gun owners when you talk about cops. You’re using some bad ones from shitty Democrat cities and saying all of us are like that. Every cop I’ve ever met has been a Republican, every single one has been pro-gun, or at worst indifferent. Is that because I work in the Allentown area which is mostly red, and the other cops I know are from upstate NY, other rural PA areas, etc? Maybe. But I even know some Baltimore PD boys and they aren’t any different. There are bad cops. Maybe even a lot of them. Talk about specific bad cops, and the situations that show how bad they are, instead of saying all of us are looking to force smartguns on We The People and so on. You’re basing this on a single bs survey.

    2. avatar binder says:

      Read the article, they want them if the WORK. Shit, if I was a cop and had to wrestle a suspect to the ground, I would want one too. Why else to you think they put up with level 3 retention holsters?

  23. avatar Larry Cowden says:

    Then mandate those unknown LEOs only carry “smart guns”! No backup weapon that is not a “smart gun”! It has already been proven that there is no “smart gun” that cannot be hacked by another person. And as a gun owner, I would not buy one for any reason. I don’t care if the failure rate of these guns is 1 in 1000 or more. That one failure means you’re dead when you needed it most! And if the gun is only keyed to you, then the rest of your family is left defenseless when you are gone for any reason. No smart law abiding gun owner will want anything to do with them. And that is who proposed laws are aimed at. Criminals get a free pass and it won’t stop them.

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Forget failure rates.

      How about if/when smart guns become wide-spread and officers are only allowed to carry them. Then enterprising bad guys start using some broad spectrum RFID activation jammers…

      Wankers.

  24. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Obviously they want us “civilians” to only use smart guns but I guarantee none of the officers will want to use them.

    1. avatar Luke22 says:

      ^ THIS ^ They are not ‘interested’ in USING them…They are ‘interested’ in mandating them for the rest of us. Remember, the stupid NJ smart gun mandate gives a LEO exemption, as the cops there said ‘No Way, Jose’, and the NJ Democrats said No Problem Osifer.

  25. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Rank and file patrol officers or the career politician elected sheriff ones?

    Even so, police might very well like them, they can call for backup or have a smart rifle on hand as well, and being “the authorities” they have less risk of the anti smart gun jammer being used against them.

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      Hate to p!$$ on you cop haters Post Toasties, but just about every LEO in the nation, (save a few anti-gun LE administrators and even fewer gutless suck up rank & file subordinates with their head up Bloomberg’s @$$), will never want a so called “smart” gun for the same reasons you’d never want one; reliability and cost.

      Who in the hell would want their life to depend on a concept that has been and wiil continue to be proven inherently unreliable, and would result in tax payer dollars squandered on a prohibitively expensive weapon that might very well get you killed when you need it and the damned thing goes click click instead of bang bang.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Word. There are times when cop-bashing is legitimate, but I doubt this is one off then.

        Also, any police agency worth a damn has annual and bi-annual firearm inspections. That involves complete disassembly and checking for tolerances. Fragile and expensive “smart” guns would be destroyed by that process.

        Ask a beat cop how much they want their gun to be dependent on a watch and / or charged battery and the answer should be obvious. I’ve broken about a dozen watches and watch bands over the last 16 years on the road by shuffling with various dirtbags.

  26. avatar adverse4 says:

    Rather have smart officers.

    1. avatar Norincojay says:

      ^^^ Yep

  27. avatar RMS1911 says:

    “Some 58 percent of law enforcement professionals expressed some degree of interest in smart guns once they were proven reliable”
    Then 100% can carry one for a decade to make sure it works before the rest of us can fool with one.

  28. avatar Mac says:

    I am a 18 year veteran Deputy Sheriff (having spent time as a homicide / robbery / traffic homicide detective, and an EOD unit member), and a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. The first thing to note about the “survey” is it was administered to a very small select group of officers in Seattle Washington and Montgomery County Maryland area. Two areas not know for being gun friendly.

    I don’t know how the questions were worded, but I can say that of the vast majority of my colleagues that I know and talk with, this is simply not true. Do I know a few officers who are not gun friendly….of course. But the vast majority of law enforcement officers are supporters of gun rights, which was shown in a Police One survey of officers a few years ago.

    As too the current comments on the Police One article…..Not one officer commenting has supported this idea, and actually the question was raised to how many of the 3 out of 5 were political command staff positions.

  29. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    The quest for that magical “smart” gun that will go bang every time the the shooter in possession of the elusive magical gadget that excludes all unauthorized trigger pullers is still the same liberal anti-gun pipe dream it was 30 yrs ago. if a firearms engineering Einstein one day comes with a viable technological breakthrough that makes the “smart” gun of comparble size that’s at least 99,99% as reliable as the Glock and Sig pistols most LEO’s now carry that will only solve half of the equation; the second and equally elusive problem that future genius will have to tackle is how to make the magical gadget affordable. It seems fairly obvious that the “experts” throwing every bit of cyber craft at the problem still faulter because the device or design they ultimately come up with to disable the handgun relies in one way or another on a magnet just like it did when Colt tried to crack the code 30 yrs ago. The reasons why the liberal fantasy of a “smart” gun never came to fruition back then is essentially the same today and the POlice will be vaporizing bad guys with with Phazers like Captain Kirk before some Bloomberg financed anti-gun geek creates a reliable and affordable “smart” gun.

  30. avatar Gruney says:

    King County = Puget Sound = Ultra-liberal bastion

    If it was really KC officers I wouldn’t be surprised. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they were told how to vote and followed that suggestion like good little sheep (dogs).

  31. avatar Ebvan says:

    On Policeone, as of this writing, there are 43 comments. There is not a single comment endorsing “Smart Gun” technology, or showing any interest at all in testing on the streets to see if it works.

    1. avatar Norincojay says:

      Thank you,

  32. avatar million says:

    self-selection, how does it work?

  33. avatar little horn says:

    so what? non sequator. police probably do need guns that can only be fired by them. civilians have no real need for that.

  34. avatar Joe R. says:

    Likely 5 out of 5 police officers want 100% of their mechanical firearms to work 100% of the time, and are not interested in adding some complex electronics to the mix.

  35. avatar Ebvan says:

    Based on what I have been able to find out, it looks like this “survey” was initiated by and for a group called Washington Ceasefire. They seem to be a combination of your typical gun grabber group and strong proponents for so called Smart Gun Technology claiming that it will do everything from saving cop lives to reducing teen suicide. The survey was conducted on SurveyMonkey.com through the Kings County Wa. Sheriffs Office in preparation for their Law Enforcement and Smart Gun Technology Symposium but I was unable to find an actual copy of the survey or sample questions. The whole damn thing reeks of Limburger to me.
    If the survey was honest, why didn’t they release the whole thing. When Policeone did their gun control survey in 2013, they didn’t hide a thing.

  36. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Conduct a grand experiment in very blue states and make all the police use only the smart gun. Blue states have become the testing ground for ate up sh!t.

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