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Interesting article:

Force Science News #62: New Findings from FBI About Cop Attackers & Their Weapons

Highlights:

Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. What was available “was the overriding factor in weapon choice,” the report says. Only 1 offender hand-picked a particular gun “because he felt it would do the most damage to a human being.”

Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was “hindered by any law–federal, state or local–that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws.”

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More than 80% “regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year,” the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and “street corners in known drug-trafficking areas.”

One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers “go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything.”

In reality, victim officers in the study averaged just 14 hours of sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year. Only 6 of the 50 officers reported practicing regularly with handguns apart from what their department required, and that was mostly in competitive shooting. Overall, the offenders practiced more often than the officers they assaulted, and this “may have helped increase [their] marksmanship skills,” the study says.

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Twenty-six of the offenders [about 60%], including all of the street combat veterans, “claimed to be instinctive shooters, pointing and firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights,” the study says.

“They practice getting the gun out and using it,” Davis explained. “They shoot for effect.” Or as one of the offenders put it: “[W]e’re not working with no marksmanship….We just putting it in your direction, you know….It don’t matter…as long as it’s gonna hit you…if it’s up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever….Once I squeeze and you fall, then…if I want to execute you, then I could go from there.”
 

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You say New Findings, but the report is from 2006
 

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When I went through the police academy years back this was a topic we covered in officer survival. They actually showed interviews with these offenders who were still incarcerated, and they spoke openly about it. The percentages are approximately the same as they were years ago, so this is a VERY consistent aspect of what cops face. The only thing that looks higher to me is the percentage who practice, which seems like it has gone up by around 10% or so.
 
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