Survey: Top Cops Favor Concealed Carry Laws By Jim Burns CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer November 30, 2001
(CNSNews.com) - A survey released Friday by the National Association of Chiefs of Police finds that over 60 percent of the nation's police chiefs and sheriffs favor a national system allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms.
The survey asked 23,113 chiefs and sheriffs around the country, "Do you agree that a national concealed handgun permit would reduce rates of violent crime as recent studies in some states already reflected?" According to the National Association of Chiefs of Police (NACOP), 62 percent of those surveyed said "yes."
John Michael Snyder, NACOP vice president and director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said the response was striking, especially since this is the first time in the survey's 14-year history that this particular question was asked.
Snyder said the survey shows that 93 percent of the commanding officers believe law-abiding citizens should be able to purchase a firearm for sport or self-defense. Eighty-six percent think anyone who violates state and federal firearm possession laws should be prosecuted by federal attorneys, and -- if convicted -- receive a maximum prison term.
Ninety-six percent of those surveyed believe criminals can still obtain any type of firearm illegally and 94 percent believe police officers and/or retired police officers should be allowed to carry a firearm from state to state.
Snyder also noted that the survey found that 69 percent of police chiefs and sheriffs oppose limiting law-abiding citizens to buying only one firearm per month, while 90 percent said that their agency has not had to arrest anyone for making a false statement on an application to purchase a firearm.
Ninety percent of the police chiefs and sheriffs surveyed believe that foreign or domestic acts of violence will increase in the United States in the coming year.
NRA: Poll not surprising
The National Rifle Association said the poll was "good news," according to NRA spokesperson Trish Gregory.
"We think it's certainly good news but it's really not surprising because we see this all the time. We think that law enforcement officers do support giving citizens the right to self-defense," said Gregory.
The Law Enforcement Association of America was pleased with the survey, saying it supports the rights of people to carry concealed weapons, according to LEAA spokesman Kevin Watson.
"We're wholeheartedly in support of that. We're an organization whose members want crime control and not gun control. The idea of law abiding citizens who get the permit to carry a concealed firearm for their own protection is something that we support," said Watson.
The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence would not comment on the survey when contacted by CNSNews.com on Friday.
Friday marked the eighth anniversary of the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, better known as the Brady Law, named for former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady. He was seriously wounded in the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Sarah Brady, wife of Jim Brady and chair of the Brady Campaign, said gun deaths have declined in America and she credited the Brady Law for that decline.
"We don't know exactly how many lives have been saved or how many crimes were prevented because these felons couldn't get a handgun. But we do know that criminal background checks work. Until we have the right gun laws, too many Americans will still die from gunfire," said Brady in a statement.