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Daniel Modell, who retired from the NYPD after 20 years, served as coordinator of the Tactical Training Unit. (caption and phot courtesy

“Patrick Lynch proposes New York City police officers be armed with long guns in light of the swelling number of active shooter incidents and the recent wave of assassinations of police officers,” ex-NYPD Tactical Training Unit Coordinator Daniel Modell [above] writes at “The phenomena do indeed speak to deep dysfunctions underwriting the culture. Nevertheless, I disagree with the proposal.” But not for the reasons you might expect . . .

What difference would long guns have made in any of the assassinations that Lynch (justifiably) worries about? If Detectives Liu and Ramos had a shotgun in the trunk of their vehicle, or closer, would it have altered the tactical dynamics? They were ambushed — never saw the attack coming — by a coward who meant to assassinate them. No piece of equipment could change that volatile mix.

I appreciate the importance of the 2104 ambush attack in The Big Apple. But the move to arm New York Finest with AR-15’s is a response to the Orlando, Dallas and Baton Rouge attacks is an entirely different kettle of fish.

In The Pulse nightclub massacre, the shooter used a SIG SAUER MCX to murder 49 people and wound (some grievously and permanently) 53 others. The off-duty police officer providing security was carrying a handgun. As were the two responding officers first on the scene. All three felt outgunned and fled.

In Dallas and Baton Rouge, the officers who initially engaged the rifle-wielding shooters were equipped with handguns. In all three cases, officers with long guns eventually eliminated the threat. (In Dallas, rifle-equipped SWAT team pinned down the shooter for their terminal roboticide).

Officer Modell’s assertion that police officers don’t need immediate access to a rifle when confronting a well-armed criminal, crazy or terrorist — because other cops are minutes away — is badly and sadly mistaken. Like this:

What of the active shooter? Generally, they are awkward, bullied sociopaths who target the unarmed and defenseless like the cowards they are. They certainly are not tactically ferocious warriors. When confronted, they fold or kill themselves.

Officers have proved virtually without exception that they are, in fact, more than a match for these killers. They have what these killers invariably lack: heart. That and a 9-mm. more than suffices.

I’m not a police officer (did some reserve duty in New Mexico), but I’m shocked by this editorial. Officer Morell’s unjustifiable bravado and tactical naiveté is deeply disturbing.

The only question here should be whether or not (and which) New York City police officers should patrol with rifles and if so, which firearms (short-barreled and/or full-size ARs)? Well that and when will New York City residents’ gun rights be restored?

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  1. The officers who were initially targeted and killed were at a disadvantage as they were taken unawares. However ask the responding officers to the Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings how valuable long guns were in returning fire outside of the effective range of their handguns.

    This is like saying because a car was hit by a train that all airbags are useless.

    • That is a good analogy.

      A rifle for self-defense? You probably will never need it but if you do there really is no substitute.

  2. Guts and an Ar trump his heart and a 9mm. Just saying, there is probably a reason he is the ex training officer. Oh wait a sec, training coordinator. So he scheduled the training?

    • Shockingly, he was the training officer for 20 years. Through Columbine, Sandy Hook and other high profile mass shootings.

        • You should meet the emergency response officer for our school district PD. You’d think he was the worlds foremost authority on threat management, rather than the foremost authority on parroting whatever someone told him.

      • IMHO, and from experience with working with many people who live in the Big Apple. That Big Apple might as well be a snow globe. Their whole world is in the bubble and can’t see beyond that bubble any opinion or situation outside of their bubble.

        • This. Now try living in upstate New York, where life is radically different (upstate is red state, apple pie America) but every aspect of governance and law is done under the yoke of NYC. It sucks.

        • NYC bleeds the rest of the state dry to fund its massive welfare state. It would not exist as it is but for what it takes from beyond the borders of the city.
          And the vast majority of NYC residents, including the ruling class have never left the city once they got there.
          Pretty sad really.
          Call is a Cloister (rhymes with duck)

      • “coordinator” is very similar to a “consultant”.

        Both are “experts with a clipboard” spouting “EXPERT WISDOM” before and “I TOLD YOU SO” afterward. Only difference between the two is that the coordinator is local and the consultant is collecting per diem, mileage, and housing.

        • I stopped reading after seeing he retired after twenty years. Cush job for 20 years, retire in mid forties, full lifetime NYC pension (six figures), full benefits for life.

          He has lived in a taxpayer supported bubble his whole adult life.

          Get the fuck out of here.

  3. As good as they are with their handguns, this would probably be safer for the subjects of the rotten apple.

    • Definitely need to put some 12-15# triggers on those patrol rifles. For safety, of course. Then stand in a big circle around the bad guy and shoot… 😉

  4. “In all three cases, officers with long guns eventually eliminated the threat.”
    I thought it was a C4 laden robot that ended the threat in Dallas?

    • It was…however, technically RF said “officers WITH long guns,” implying, but not stating, that they used said long guns to nutralize the threat. I’m positive that RF is right that the EOD guys in Dallas had long guns WITH them, they just used a different system to stop the threat.

      • “pinned down” – thems some big ole weasel words. See also “recon by fire” and “random plinkin”.

        • Oh, no. Mil-spec (5.5-9.5) is way too light. Need to roughen up the sear, maybe intentionally add about a half inch of travel…

        • Notalima is right: I used a mil-spec trigger in my last build and it broke relatively clean at 6 pounds even. NYPD could be issued ARs, but they are going to end up killing a bunch of innocent bystanders based on their real world shooting history.

  5. NYPD uses the crowds for target practice. All hits are considered good. If they hit an innocent they just blame the perp for his reckless behavior. If there was no perp, they just file fraudulent charges on anyone who could possibly resemble a perp.

  6. Straw man arguments. The officers ambushed wouldn’t have much better luck if they even had an AR in their hands at the time of the shooting, but to then eliminate the possibility of having the immediately responding officers being armed with them is just stupid.

    All you have to do is look at the North Hollywood shootout to see how that idea works. 40 minutes of ineffective return fire while waiting for SWAT to show up.

    I was expecting the article to be about NYPD walking around on street patrol with AR’s because of these attacks, not their use of them, period.

  7. Six shot .38 revolvers and 18 rounds is all any cop on patrol should be carrying. Government employees should be out gunned by citizens.

      • If the time should ever come that police patrol with phased plasma rifles in the 40-watt range, they will STILL be outgunned by criminals. Because criminals don’t give a rodent’s hindquarters what you tell them they can’t have.

  8. Officers have proved virtually without exception that they are, in fact, more than a match for these killers. They have what these killers invariably lack: heart. That and a 9-mm. more than suffices.

    Seems like there have been a few of these virtually nonexistent situations in recent memory…

    I wonder what this guys take is on the 12lb trigger.

    • Brings up the point of which would be more useful to citzens or coding popo. An AED or an AR?

      (hint answer is AED). More cops die from heart attack/circulation issues and auto incident than gunfire.

    • Unless its a guy on a train with an axe….. The SCOTUS said that NYPD heart and 9mm’s are no match for a crazy guy on a train with an axe and the NYPD has no obligation to take him on…… Although I suppose THOSE kind of cops would be just as ineffective with an AR15 also.

  9. NYPD has both SWAT teams and unit called Hercules for those times when things are really bad, such as a terrorist attack. I agree that most NYPD patrol officers don’t need ARs to patrol the city, leave the rifles to more specialized groups and select patrol officer with more experience and training.

  10. I think Mr. Modell s afraid that arming patrol officers with long arms will cut into the Emergency Services budget and manpower.

  11. Another issue to consider is loss of the weapons.
    Most likely, they wouldn’t be carrying these on their person on a regular basis. Look up how often they loose weapons now and they are the ones that they carry but remove for various reasons. The long guns would be mostly stored in a car and would not get regular attention. Between theft and negligence, they would be providing long arms to the criminals at taxpayer expense.
    Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.

    • On the other hand, if carried in a sling, it’s harder for the perp to take their rifle away and shoot them with it.

  12. No AR’s for New York cops until the citizens of NY can also own normal AR’s. Cops are not military and should not be above the law. That and Rifles in heavily populated urban areas like NYC is asking for collateral damage. No AR or any gun manufacturer should sell anything to NY cops that citizens in that state can’t own. Some have taken that stance already. The rest should too. I won’t purchase a POF or any of their products because of what they sold to the California game wardens.

  13. I had a few friends on the NYPD. We discussed firearms for the NYPD a few times. This was 20 years ago or so, maybe more. I asked why did they go away from the .38 revolver, why didn’t they upgrade to a .357? The answer was simple they were under gunned. They were facing criminals with Uzis and semi-auto handguns at that time, that was in the 1980s and they needed more firepower. They got it in the way of a 9mm handgun with larger capacity for ammo. Of course they stuck them eventually with such a poor trigger that they can’t hit anything now.

    So what has changed? The police are being outgunned, even going against simple hunting rifles they are outgunned. How about multiple shooters, they are outgunned, ability to defeat body armor, they are outgunned. They should all train more and get out from doing all that paper work on the NYPD that would help. The NYPD should invest in more training both in tactics and marksmanship, situational awareness is the first step in survival.

    Giving them all AR15s will not help unless they get the training and learn the disciple necessary. All too many officers lose firearms in this country and those end up in the hands of criminals. And one size does not fit all tactical situations. To equip a force giving them long barrel ARs will defeat some of the purposes of it. It makes it more difficult for them to work in smaller area’s and to get in and out of squad cars. It”s also more intimidating to the average New Yorker, we all know it’s how you feel. They already have a poor relationship, having long guns will make it worse.

    So in reality the perfect gun for them would probably be an AR15 SBR in .300 blackout, 9″ barrel, short suppressor, red dot and a barrier blind round. That is the best compromise I can think of. Short, enough power, light weight and quiet as not to hurt their hearing or easily alert their targets. It offers a quick and powerful response in as many situations as they can be in. Enough range, the police very rarely take shots over 100 yards. Since this would be a big order they don’t have to worry about cost as much as a smaller angency. I have seen many Polizie in Germany carrying MP5s, a SBR AR would not be much bigger with a short stock like the LWRC or other specialty systems being made today.

  14. One thing – a lot of NYPD officers actually patrol on foot. In my experience, you don’t see this much in other cities – maybe in the very downtown core, but in most places in North America police patrol in cars. And if you have a car, then it makes sense to have a patrol rifle stashed in the trunk. But would you expect officers on foot patrol to walk around with rifles slung? I wouldn’t, and don’t really want to see that.

  15. Just more LEO elitism, this time directed at ‘lesser’ LEOs. (in a city where the street cops can’t shoot their way out of a paper bag, he might have a point)

    Just like some cops *coughpatricklynchcough* say to call 9-1-1 and let us handle it, this S*W*A*T chap says radio for backup and let us handle it.

  16. For most fecal-fan situations I would rather have a semi-auto rifle than a shotgun, but . . . there are some where I would rather have a shotgun and I would rather have a shotgun than a handgun if I am in a position to grab a long gun. Shotguns are (usually) cheaper and more civilian friendly so I would rather have one available than just a handgun. I just don’t see why cops having a long gun in the car is such a big deal and they definitely should have them at the stations/precincts.

  17. I don’t believe that there’s really an issue here.

    NYC has 34,000 uniformed officers, and I don’t give a rat’s hat what any one of them carries or doesn’t carry. One cop is not going to fight a terrorist, period. One cop or a pair, they will always wait for reinforcements.

    The NYPD puts a huge premium on terror prevention and the department is actually very good at it. But when the balloon goes up, the NYPD will rely on numbers, not one or two guys with rifles.

  18. For the typical mass shooter (Aurora, Sandy Hook, etc) he is right: when confronted, most of these guys will suicide. And for them, the presence of an armed police officer is all that is really needed. These recent attacks are, however, of a different caliber altogether, where the shooter intends to take as many cops with him as possible and will not suicide when confronted. In that sense, they are more like terrorists than the typical deranged/loser/schizophrenic famous for a number of high profile incidents.

  19. .223/5.56 AR in congested NYC ???? Are you kidding us????
    No thanks–NYPD has enough problems trying to tame 9mm Glocks !! DMD

  20. Jeez, he sounds like an officer on the cusp of World War One…. “we don’t need any machine guns, our men have heart and a good rifle and that will trump the cowardly Boche every time!”. That said perhaps foot patrol is not the time or place for long arms – a roving squad car or two might be a decent compromise.

    • Same mentality, like do not give repeating rifles to civil war troops, they’ll waste bullets. There’s idiots that make rank in every army.

  21. If the peasants can own a MCX with 30 round mags, the cops can also. If not, the cops should tool up with their model 10 revolvers.

  22. I could see saying that it would be better to restrict patrol officers to shotguns, because any subject either beyond the range of, or too heavily armored/entrenched for, a slug to safely/effectively engage should be handled by specialists. It would be a debatable premise, to be sure, but not without merit. To say that they should be denied long guns, period, though, is utterly insane. Handguns alone just do not hack it. I don’t care how much heart you put behind the trigger.

  23. I can see a few different views on this.

    I dunno, I’m not really equipped to pass judgement on what NYC police need/want/should have and quite frankly I really don’t care. The current mayor is a jackass but hey, the people elected him so they get the city government they deserve to some degree.

  24. Well, OK, he wasn’t to claim NYPD cops have no need for rifles. So, if he wants to make that (asinine) claim, then why isn’t he simultaneously calling for better marksmanship programs and the issue of sidearms with triggers that are NOT deliberately modified to have a 50 lb pull?

  25. Just This..Do you Know how many times The NYPD Go to the Range in a year ? Not Many….. that is for Handguns ask me as a firearms instructer former USMC In NYC. Most Have no Idea how to to shoot a Long Gun . Or tactics … if you do not belive me go google and look up NYPD gun fights and see rounds hits ….

    • Exactly, they spend too much time taking courses on feelings and doing paper work. The NYPD does not look for veterans anymore and people that are mentally and physically tough. Since there is NO gun culture in NYC they do not get people that interested in firearms, just a job and a pension. Only the special units people do any type of real training. Just like the Army when I was in only certain units actually got to train and even though I was on the East German border protecting the free world we did nothing as far as getting skills for battle. Ask me how I know….Born and raised and now living in Texas.

  26. One of the things I say to family If a NYPD cop pulls gun get around the corner bullets cannot maker right turns.


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