29 Percent of Cops Shot Between 2010 – 2014 Killed By Rifle Fire

“At a time of rising concern over attacks on officers, a Justice Department study released Friday urged police departments to take a number of steps to ensure officers’ safety, such as using body armor, waiting for backups on dangerous calls and correcting ‘dangerous behaviors’ that leave them at risk,” nytimes.com reports. The study — Deadly Calls and Fatal Encounters — offers plenty of common sense steps to protect the police.

Inside the report, we learn that 29.3 percent (the Department of Justice needs some help with basic math skills) of officers shot and killed in the line of duty died at the hands of a murderer equipped with a rifle.

Although the use of handguns is the clear majority in cases where an officer was killed with a firearm, it should be noted that more than 20 percent of the officers were killed by suspects with rifles. The majority of those rifles were semiautomatic, magazine fed weapons, such as an AR-15 or AK-47 style weapon, not a hunting rifle or bolt action rifle. Most officers are not equipped with body armor that can defend against rifle rounds. Although many cases involved officers shot in the head, where having body armor would not have prevented their death, there are several cases where data provided to us specifically calls out that that a rifle round penetrated the officer’s vest.

No doubt those lobbying for civilian disarmament will use this stat to bolster their calls for banning “assault weapons.”

This despite the fact that the Second Amendment prohibits government infringement on Americans’ gun rights without regard to gun type or caliber. Or that millions of Americans own AR-style rifles without incident. Unless you count defensive gun uses as incidents.


  1. avatar Cliff H says:

    Picking a nit – the report says they were shot by suspects with rifles, it does not say the rifle was used to shoot them. Also, does that include a suspect shooting multiple officers in a single incident?

    Which is, as you point out, completely irrelevant since the arms involved are still protected by the Second Amendment even if the crime is not.

  2. avatar strych9 says:

    Murder can be equipped with a rifle?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Already fixed wise guy.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Sorry, that kind of thing jumps out to me and unlike most typos this one was actually kinda funny since it created a sentence that was understandable but impossible at the same time.

        1. avatar Lance F says:

          Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

          I hunt with a semi-auto detachable box fed magazine, a Browning BAR.

  3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Taking a leap of logic here… I figure the same attributes that make a rifle more effective against cops, also make them more effective against thugs.

    So… I think I’ll keep mine.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Most criminals don’t have IIIA body armor… but I’d keep my rifle regardless.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Not that IIIA body armor stops .17 HMR, 5.7 x 28, Liberty 50 grain 9mm +P, or .223 and higher rifle calibers anyways.

  4. avatar Justin Case says:

    I would wager that upwards of 90% of all traffic fatalities occur in vehicles with automatic transmissions. By their logic, we could save thousands of lives just by banning automatic transmissions. Furthermore, limiting fuel tanks to 1 gallon would drastically reduce the danger of car fires which I’m sure kill and maim uncounted CHILDREN every year.

    Naturally, none of this would apply to police, military or congressional vehicles…

    1. avatar IYearn4nARnCali says:

      I can’t stop laughing at the intentional irony of your post my good sir. Thank you for the belly laugh. I sincerely wish gun culture would just parrot back the same soft brain verbal mush that the Pro-Infringement establishment uses, against them at EVERY POSSIBLE opportunity.

      This manner of discussion should become the norm when discussing firearms with the other side of the aisle.

    2. avatar Ian in Transit says:

      One snowy Denver morning about 12 years ago one of the local radio stations reported on a Colorado Department of Trasportation study that they claimed proved that you are not safer in a 4wd car when it is snowing. The proof? 54% of all traffic accidents when it was snowing in Colorado involved a 4wd vehicle! Completely ignoring the fact that on a warm sunny day at least half of the vehicles on Colorado roads are 4wd. When it is snowing the ratio tilts much farther in favor of 4wd. So in truth the vehicles that are by far the most common only accounted for about half of the accidents . . . which proves that they are somehow more dangerous . . . logic only the anti’s can understand.

  5. avatar McCann says:

    You’re claiming that 29% is not more than 20%?

    1. avatar Tony says:

      Yeah, he doesn’t explain what his problem with 29.3% is. It’s certainly more than 20%.

  6. avatar B Fitts says:

    I think your title is wrong because on page 62 it states. “Types of Weapons Used
    In an analysis of both calls for service and self-initiated activity, which totals 132 cases, officers died as a result of gunfire in 129 cases. One officer was stabbed, one officer was pushed and fell from an elevated area, and one officer was intentionally run over by a vehicle.
    Of the 129 officers who were shot and killed, 92 cases (71 percent) involved suspects armed with a handgun. In 27 cases (21 percent), suspects used a rifle against the officer(s). A shotgun was used in 10 cases (8 percent).”

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I figure that’s why he included “(the Department of Justice needs some help with basic math skills)” but I could be wrong.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Also not covered in the discussion: Police Officers, by the fact of their voluntarily chosen profession, intentionally go to places where danger exists and the possibility of being shot or killed by other means (Murder/Death/Kill) is high. It can only be a propaganda tool when the article breaks it down to how many police were killed by rifles rather than how often rifles are used in everyday criminal activity and/or shootings.

      Hollywood has the general population fully believing that every gang banger in every American city wanders around town with a fully automatic AK47.

      And by the way, speaking of math skills, 27 in four years? That works out to 7 per year out of how many total shootings of police in the country? Probably reaching statistical zero.

  7. avatar Bob says:

    But 100% of the officers killed were killed by criminals….so ban criminals. Software more important than hardware this case

  8. avatar Mr. 308 says:

    Yea, alright. These numbers however are from the government and as such, I question them.

    I’m not saying they are false, but these same people also make a living out of lying to us and manipulating numbers.

  9. avatar CZ Peasy says:

    Bit of a bias if most officers are wearing level IIIA body armor which will protect against pistol calibers but not rifle calibers. They may have been shot by pistol rounds a lot more frequently but survived due to their armor. The obvious solution is to ban police from wearing soft body armor so that the pistol mortality rate goes up…

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      They should be prohibited from wearing armor altogether. That would make them a whole lot more careful going into situations.


  10. avatar Bob386 says:

    I would argue that most police are not properly trained on how to maneuver when the bad guy has a long gun. I have seen lots of video of police doing the “police tacticool slow walk” toward bad guys who were armed long guns while using no cover at all. Unless it is SWAT, I have seldom seen video of civilian police in the prone position when long guns were used. Most police barely go to the range twice a year to shoot their pistol, so I doubt most have fired their long guns more than that. Civilian police essentially treat all armed situations like it is some down-on-their-luck knows-nothing-about-guns dweeb who just robbed a convenience store with a Saturday night special. In my opinion, a guy with a decent hunting rifle who is a great shot perched in a good, elevated position would do more damage than a knucklehead spraying 5.56MM into the ceiling at a mall.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      “In my opinion, a guy with a decent hunting rifle who is a great shot perched in a good, elevated position would do more damage”

      Charles Whitman validates your opinion completely.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      I like that herd of sheep gaggle where a 1/2dozen bunch up, firearms pointing out 360, as they slow shuffle as a group across an open yard. Huh??

  11. avatar MichaelB says:

    Let’s look at the numbers, people.

    This is looking at 684 In-The-Line-Of-Duty deaths. Over a 5 year period. 129 were shot and killed. The math is actually 4% of officers were killed by someone using a rifle (27/684).

    Reading on, you get to traffic fatalities. In the “Conclusions” section, the authors offer up there have been 211 deaths from traffic-related deaths, only 78 while responding to a call. That means that 19.4% of officer deaths are from traffic collisions.

    19.4% vs. 4%. And the first recommendation is: “Greater emphasis should be placed on the need for two officers to respond to calls for service.”

    WTF? Do they really want to kill more cops?!

  12. avatar BDub says:

    Even if the 29% stat is correct, it is still being used to mislead. Saying 29% of cops killed are shot with a rifle says nothing about what percentage of cops are shot at with a rifle – which is a miniscule number, much lower than 29%.

    This number only demonstrates how much more deadly a rifle is than a handgun to the victim.

    For example: If 6 cops die out of a hundred who are shot, and of those 6, 2 are killed with a rifle, you could say 33% of cops are killed by a rifle, even if the other 94 cops where shot with handguns – meaning 98% would have been shot with handguns and only 2% with rifles.

    Its a bullshit misdirection, to make rifles look more prolific in a specific kind of crime.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      My dad used to tell me “Figures can lie and liars can figure”.

  13. avatar formerwaterwalker says:

    Rifles kill more easily. So THAT’S why da’ military carries ’em! Obviously this is a thinly veiled “ban ASSault rifles!” BS piece…

  14. avatar Sian says:

    And they don’t discuss the circumstances.

    Many officers shot are doing so entering homes. Long guns are of course the tool of choice for defending your home. Rifle fire is also deadlier than pistol fire, and a police vest will protect pretty well against a shotgun.

    I’m surprised its not a higher percentage.

    And so what? 29% alone tells us nothing of importance.

  15. avatar barnbwt says:

    So, that figure is far, far higher than for generic civilian homicides; this implies that it is not the rifle responsible for the discrepancy, but the nature of the target (or rather, the motives & tactics of the shooters). In the end it all comes down to the bad guys’ discretion, and in this case, they seem to be targeting police for assassination a lot more than in recent years, and are choosing tools best suited for the task; rifles. Yes, you could go after rifles, but that would simply press these guys into the next most effective tool, then the next, etc., and officers would continue to die all the while. The best way to help our officers –if that is truly the goal here– is to disarm the ardent hatred that has been fomented against them the last eight years, behave professionally around these professionals conducting their business, and stand ready to protect ourselves & others (both by force of arms and by simply remaining vigilant to monsters in our midst)

  16. avatar Naz says:

    Jessica Alba was in OKC a couple of years ago and defaced public property by plastering posters of endangered sharks on utility boxes, bridges and billboards.

    Dumb bitch did not realize Oklahoma outlawed shark fishing in 1907.


    1. avatar Hannibal says:


    2. avatar BDub says:

      I was unaware that shark fishing was a problem in 19th century Oklahoma.

  17. avatar Hannibal says:

    I just got a set of ceramic plates that should defeat rifle round. Of course I can’t wear them unless I articulate that someone is about to shoot me with a rifle so it’s pretty unlikely that they’ll be useful, but hey, one can hope I get some warning so I can throw em on.

  18. avatar More Dead Soldiers says:

    All the more reason for homeowners to be equipped with rifles.

  19. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    AR15s are hunting rifles!

  20. avatar Ian in Transit says:

    “29 Percent of Cops Shot Between 2010 – 2014 Killed By Rifle Fire”

    Soooo . . . 71% were killed by pistols. Sounds like good justification to ban black rifles.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email