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“Law enforcement, we walk around with a target on our backs everywhere. We’re outgunned out there. These long rifles – we don’t have the ammunition to come close to that. Little loopholes like this that we can close makes it safer for us.” – Philadelphia highway patrol officer Rick Bowes, A call for background checks on ‘long’ gun buyers [at]

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    • Whoa man don’t insult PA, this idiot doesn’t speak for the rest of us. You’ve obviously never been there or you’d know its actually a very gun friendly state.

        • Sure, but you can own all NFA items, do private transfers of long arms, it is a permissive shall issue, has open carry without a permit, no magazine restrictions, lots of gun shows, lots of gun clubs, lots of gun stores, and about 1 in 8 people here have a carry permit.

  1. It seems like one of the rallying cries for gun control is, “we support the peoples’ right to have guns, we just oppose them having good guns.”

  2. “These long rifles – which turn up in fewer than 2% of crimes – we don’t have the ammunition to come close to that… Oh wait, we can buy any kind of military hardware we want, including .50 BMG machine guns.”


    • my thoughts exactly, he must not be talking about the rifle with a giggle switch riding around in the back of his patrol car. When domestic police have armored vehicles, I dont see how they can even attempt to argue they would be underprepared.

    • “…which turn up in fewer than 2% of crimes …”

      Exactly. My FIRST thought when I read this was, “How many police/LEOs ANYWHERE have been shot by long guns?” And how many of those LEOs were shot with a long gun that would have been owned by someone who would have passed a background check?

      The odds are very good that anyone who feels like shooting at police (regardless of weapon choice) is not going to jump through some government hoops to get the gun to do it. Hence, this is just some more spaghetti against the wall – trying an argument in the media to see if it gets traction.

      And by the way, YOU chose to be a cop. It’s not like you didn’t know and accept the risks when you put on that uniform and hit the streets. Stop crying about how dangerous it is and for God’s sake, STOP trying to take away MY natural, civil and CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED right to keep and bear arms. You do not have that authority.

  3. Hell swat has better than what the average john q public can get. The police officers do not have to pay for their own ammo. As far as long guns go, how often in caparison to other crimes does a single crime take place with a “long gun”? This is ridiculous.

  4. Usually I come down on the side of the cops. But, at least here in California, every cop car I see has some form of AR and or a shotgun in it in addition to the officers sidearm. How are you outgunned under those circumstances? Especially since the bad guys rarely use long guns.

    • “You’re only out gunned if you miss.”
      – Col. Jeff Cooper

      I guess the late, great Mr. Cooper is saying you’re troopers need to become a better shot.

  5. A police officer with this mentality is scary. He assumes everyone is a bad guy and out to get him. I understand any traffic stop can get out of hand in a hurry, but that’s why they train. Plus one of ideal in our legal system is innocent until proven guilty, something he has apparently rejected as he became jaded. Lastly, why does he assume legally purchase long guns are routinely turned on police. In my state where deer hunting attracts 500,000 hunters, we never have issues of pot shots taken a cops.

    • “If you’re a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”

      “If you’re a cop, then everyone looks like a lawbreaker.”

      Too simplistic?

      • “If you spend the majority of your working day dealing with assholes you will become an asshole.”

        “If you become an asshole you will naturally expect people to want to shoot you.”

        Add those to the list.

    • You have to remember the average cop’s view of the world. There are three types of people out there:

      1) Other cops.
      2) Friends and family of cops.
      3) Criminal scum.

      Criminals are often in category 2. Citizens are usually in category 3.

      “Law enforcement, we walk around with a target on our backs everywhere.” Well sparky, stop acting like a d**k or a d*****bag to citizens and then they won’t hate you! It’s hardly rocket science, nuclear physics, or brain surgery. And if you want to go home at the end of the shift, pick a different occupation. YOU chose that career and it is very obvious there are risks with that career. Either accept the risks or change your job.

  6. they acted like phillys a different state all together like many city’s due they dont remember they put on that badge there a target for criminals
    criminals are a criminal they dont care so dont go restriction law abiding citizens rights because you feel squeamish and afraid

    • Two words – Punctuation and Proofreading.

      The previous post was almost unintelligible. It’s not that you are too stupid to write clearly. You did make some intelligent statements there. It’s caused by you being too lazy to write clearly.

      Do it better next time, OK?

  7. What’s even crazier is I remember the Phila Police losing a few Vietnam era fully auto m-16’s they bought because their inventory procedures suck

  8. Ummm i thought we had to do a background check for any weapon we buy anywhere… or is it just me because I’m a young white libertarian leaning republican who just so happens to be a veteran with no criminal record??

    • It depends on the state. States who are closer to understanding the intent of the 2A do not require checks for long gun purchases.

      • Usually PRIVATE long gun purchases. I believe a purchase through an FFL would still get a background check.

        • States with laws like Idaho’s allow an FFL dealer to sell any non-NFA firearm to a holder of a state Concealed Weapons License WITHOUT calling the FBI NICS line. You fill out the ATF form, but the state figures anyone with a CWL has already had a far more rigorous background check than the FBI line provides.

  9. The Chief is right. The last time I drove through DC everybody and his brother was walking around with AR-10s and M-1As.

  10. Huh? Last time I checked, when you buy a rifle, of any sort, from an FFL dealer, be it Wal-Mart, the local gun shop, gun show or pawn shop, they make you fill out the paperwork and do the background check. This guy need retirement, quick, though he probably doesn’t deserve a pension if he’s been operating on one cylinder like this very long.

    • They are talking about all those ‘private sales’ that take place. You know the ones where some thug sells a stolen gun from the trunk of a car. They want background checks done on THOSE!

      I mean, really, what’s the problem?

      (tongue firmly in cheek)

  11. From the article
    “Unlike handguns, the “long” guns can be purchased from a private seller without a background check. Proponents of the bill say that’s a dangerous gap, especially for women and law-enforcement officers, who are the most common victims of long gun shootings.”

    I’m sure everyone will be perfectly honest and say if they intend to shoot a woman or LEO when trying to purchase a long gun.

    • My thought exactly. There are a few– a very few. Dorner for one, that guy in NY after the hurricane who killed his mother, torched his house, and then sniped at all of the responders. But since the cops had long guns too, they were hardly outgunned. I don’t recall any incidents in Philly. Traffic stops don’t seem to be an issue–if anyone pulls a gun, it is unlikely to be a rifle. Sawed off shotgun, maybe, but not a rifle.

      • And the SBR used in the NY incident is already outlawed in that state. Regardless, that whacko could have done what he did just as easily with a Glock. Oh, yeah, he wouldn’t have been able to get that legally in New York either.

  12. Shhhh! He’s trolling for another DHS Block Grant. Maybe for black Apaches to use for terrorist traffic stops.

  13. “House Bill 1010 would close the last remaining loophole in our background check system to ensure that criminals and people with mental illness do not get ahold of guns,” said Santarsiero.

    Because Philly criminals and the mentally deficient wouldn’t consider violating the law and would always submit to a background check. We’re always just one law short of having a perfect world.

    • “If society is not yet perfect, outlaw something. Repeat until utopia is achieved.”

      – The political philosophy of the “liberals”

      • Funny how all those classic books on Utopias never mention who is working at the camps/prisons where they are housing all the people who just didn’t want to go along with the program. Maybe that’s because they just killed them so they could force their tyranny on the remaining sheeple.

  14. Maybe he means outgunned when his SWAT team shows up to the wrong house in a no knock raid and they are armed with a rifle or shotgun.

  15. “His partner, Sgt. Patrick McDonald, was killed in 2008 by a parolee who had illegally purchased a gun.”

    You mean the criminal ignored already existing laws in order to commit a crime. Big surprise there! How is adding another law going to deter stuff like this from happening again? I’m not gonna hold my breath to find out.

  16. If LEOs, like Rick Bowes, openly advocate restrictions to any Constitutionally
    protected right and believe that the public should be nothing more than
    mind-controlled sheep, they deserve those targets.

    • “If LEOs, like Rick Bowes, openly advocate restrictions to any Constitutionally
      protected right …”

      More important, they should be REQUIRED to wear targets on their backs and it should be a non-prosecutable offense if someone hits that target. So long as there is no collateral damage. By advocating such restrictions to our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights they have violated their oath to protect the Constitution (and us) and have named themselves as enemies of all of us. I fear them more than I fear any criminal.

  17. YO, HUNTERS WHO THINK THE GUN BANNERS “won’t try to take my hunting rifle”:

    What the @#*# do you think a “long gun” is? Gee, how about a Ruger Model 77 in .30-06 with a scope on it? They are coming after ALL of them, folks – just a few at a time. See “how to boil a frog”.

  18. For the millionth f**king time. There is no evidence to support the notion that any gun control laws have a significant impact on reducing crime. None. Yet the media constantly tells us that Law A or Law B will “keep us safer” without providing a shred of proof.

    • Depends on who your definition of “us” includes. Their definition of “US” very likely does not include you and me.

  19. This guy is an idiot who needs to crawl back under his blanket and go back to sucking his thumb.
    In 25 years, I never felt like a target. Sure I met some really evil people, but I also met some nice criminals. One is a fishing buddy now.
    Hey Rick, go home and ask your wife if you can have your balls back.
    Sheesh, what an embarrassment.

    • I met some nice criminals, too. They were mostly bookmakers. They wouldn’t hurt a fly nor did they employ leg-breakers. What they did to collect on bad debts was to cut off the deadbeats from the action and annoy the crap out of them until their wives said “enough” and made the payments. I describe them as good people in a bad business.

  20. In some of these guys’ worlds every citizen is a just a perp diabolically disguised as a middle age dad or mom, waiting for a cop to turn his back so he can take a pot shot at him. Especially dangerous are those darn crazy deer hunter types up in PA selling grandpa’s old bolt gun outta the back of a pickup to cousin Joe. This man does not have an informed, balanced view of the world. He has a Philly view of the world.

    To hear cops like this one tell it, they are under 24/7 armed siege. Heck I hear it’s gotten so bad that they can’t even stop for a coffee break without rolling in the MRAPs, doing a dynamic entry at the local diner and laying everyone out on the floor to ensure officer safety.

    But hey, officer safety dont’cha know! And for good measure, we get a dose of “Yeah but womenz is victims” thrown in to rally the liberal troops. Where the children at?

    When I hear crapola like this it just makes me think “Stop trying to ‘officer safety’ away everyone else’s civil rights.”

    I’m pro law enforcement but anti-liberal dumbass-ery. Yeah, I read the article. Yes, it is unfortunate that his partner was killed in the line of duty. But as noted in the article that crime was committed by a paroled felon, with an (ready for it?) illegally purchased gun. Enforce that gun law right there, and make it work, before creating new ones.


  21. In 2012, 49 cops were killed in the line of duty. That’s 49, not 490 or 4900. If it’s true that cops have targets on their backs, then they must be getting shot at by other cops who marksmanship is just as poor as theirs.

    During 2012, 50 cops died in traffic accidents. 42% of cops killed in traffic accidents over the last 30 years were not wearing seat belts. It’s always good for a chuckle when cops ticket someone for not buckling up, and then drive away without buckling theirs.

    Cops are allowed to lie during interrogations. The rest of the time, they should tell the truth or STFU.

    • Moreover, cops like to bellyache, piss, whine and moan how “dangerous” their “job” is.

      Never mind that they don’t even make it into the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the US, as measured by the rate of death on the job per 100K people. Farmers, ranchers, commercial fishermen, loggers, garbage collectors, taxi drivers – all have more dangerous jobs than cops. Just heard of a farmer in this area killed by an equipment accident. His family won’t be getting any big payday.

      If cops don’t like the physical danger of their job, then quit. Move over to another taxpayer-funded job with another insanely over-comp’ed pay/pension package.

      • Without trying to defend any kind of gun grab anywhere, I would like to point out that human beings for some reason consider intentionally directed violence between humans as different from any other kind of risk. This is not logical. It is in fact the gut level reason for grabbers everywhere to focus on guns rather than cars, swimming pools, or doctors as a means to save lives through draconian regulation.

        I’m not saying it’s right, either, but tell me you don’t feel differently when you hear about a child being struck down by violence (Susan Powell’s children were killed by an axe and a fire, by their own father), rather than contracting a tragic medical condition. This is just part of normal human nature, and we have to work with it even when it doesn’t make sense.

        As for me, I was nearly stabbed last night by a 60 year old man with some gardening shears, but we managed to not shoot him. Even given that, I think I’m safe enough.

        • Blame it on the National Gardening Association. They’ve been taken over by right wing kooks who won’t compost.

        • I would say we should ban shears with a blade length of over 7″, but these were small and easily concealed, the ‘Saturday Night Special’ of gardening shears. Perhaps he should have taken a gardening safety class? Or better yet, shears of any type should only be held by licensed and certified gardening professionals. It may take a tax increase, but if it saves one rhododendron…

      • @ Dyspeptic Gunsmith: I recently saw that statistic, too, that law enforcement is about the 11th most dangerous job per 100,000 workers.

        It also said something (can’t find link or I’d post it) to the effect of intentional violence accounting for ~60% of those fatalities, while transportation accidents were the second leading cause. The data from 2012 show that there were 119 fatalities, and list 41 and homocides, 29 as traffic related, and 3 slips or fall ( It would be interesting to see exactly where and how the other deaths were occurring.

        For a more interesting perspective, Radley Balko compares the murder rate of police officers to the murder rate in some of America’s most dangerous cities ( In case you don’t want to read it, the take home point is that being a LEO is getting safer, and has been getting safer, for decades (independent of increasing paramilitary trends) and being a LEO is safer THAN JUST BEING A PERSON in many of the the most dangerous US cities.

        EDIT: Did a quick search for LEO death causes:

  22. Sounds like this man needs to have a personality inventory. He sounds a bit on the paranoid side, if not some PTSD. By all means keep him away from a gun.

  23. The Philly Highway Patrol is an “elite” unit. One can only be thankful that there are only a few Officer Bowes (hopefully).

  24. Your average street thug carries the cheapest pistol he can find, or the nicest one he can steal. I want to outgun these people.

    Your average American patriot may not always carry, but often develops great skill with a military derived long gun. Thanks to the long history of our military, this can range from pump action shotguns to bolt action rifles, and now modern AR pattern semi-auto rifles. I am a member of this group. I want everyone in this group to outgun the first group, uniform or not.

    Yes, I know the Army has used more types than I listed, but there’s only so much room in my safe.

  25. Right … because officer safety is more important than citizen’s rights … the very rights that officers are supposed to be upholding.

    When citizens have to give up their rights to the people who are supposedly protecting their rights, something stinks.

  26. Stop routinely abusing power, stealing people’s rights, and murdering innocent people and maybe you won’t have targets on your backs.

    You’re a public servant. Your job is to wade into danger for my safety and my rights. If you don’t like that, quit. Go be a bar bouncer so you can get out the sociopathic lust for violence and power that made you put on a badge in the first place.

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