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Keep Your Finger Off the Switch

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 25 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2001 Pages: 26-28
Peter G. Kokalis
Date Published
April 2001
3 pages
This article considers whether heavy machine guns are necessary for urban police deployment.
The article claims that belt-fed, tripod-mounted machine guns are area target weapons just like artillery, mortars, and automatic grenade launchers, and have no legitimate police applications. Bullet dispersion from machine guns is correctly applied to groups of men, not individuals or so-called point targets. Lethal weapons deployed by law enforcement agencies are by tactical doctrine and legal liability exclusively point target weapons, even shotguns firing multiple pellet loads, as every round or pellet fired by a police officer must be accounted for. Even point target weapons with selective-fire capability, such as submachine guns and assault rifles, are most often not useful adjuncts to the SWAT team's arsenal. The article claims that, while the desire for automatic weapons is almost universal within police departments throughout the country (particularly in small agencies that look to such heavy firepower to increase their stature), most police officers are better served with a semiautomatic-only Colt AR-15 than any machine gun, especially one firing only a pistol cartridge. Figures


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