No Long Guns for You

Massachusetts has earned its place on the list of most unfriendly gun states in the nation, now the mayor of Boston has upped the ante by saying “No” to long guns for city police. Makes you wonder what fuzzy safe place he might live, because it certainly is not the same Beantown his officers patrol.

As is the case with many police unions, those representing officers in Boston recently sent a letter to Police Commissioner William Evans requesting better equipment to protect their members. The items requested include helmets, larger capacity magazines and long guns. From a tactical standpoint each of these items makes perfect sense. In light of recent ambush and sniper attacks targeting law enforcement, you have to wonder why any officer is without what would be considered basic equipment. But from a political viewpoint it appears to be a no-no. Despite Commissioner Evans stating safety is his top concern and that he is considering each of the requests, Mayor Marty Walsh stated “there’s absolutely no need” for officers to have long guns.

Long GunsReports from the Boston Globe state that the Mayor was “taken back” by the letter signed by leadership of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, Boston Police Superior Officers Federation and Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society. Community organizations supported the Mayor’s statements, claiming that having long guns on patrol would interfere with community relations and questioning why officers would request additional firearms but refuse to volunteer for a body camera pilot program. A retired officer turned criminology professor even downplayed the danger that officers face, citing a continued reduction in police deaths over the last four decades, and claimed officers already have access to long guns – they just don’t carry them everywhere. This same professor claims on a national level officers are “moving away from highly militarized methods.”

I can understand the Mayor of any city, especially one with a police force as large as Boston, rejecting a request for new equipment based on cost involved. But to claim that his officers have no need for such weapons? Has he forgotten the citywide manhunt following the Boston Marathon bombing? Did he forget about the gunfight which ensued and the heavily armed officers going door to door searching for terrorists who had already showed a willingness to target innocent civilians? Maybe his memory is short, but surely he remembers more recent events in Dallas and Baton Rouge when gunmen specifically targeted law enforcement officers. Does he think this cannot happen in his city or does he simply think his officers are not worthy of the best protection possible?

I do not think that officers need to walk a beat with an AR strapped to their chests, but EVERY officer should have every possible tool available and ready to protect themselves and citizens from any reasonable threat. Like it or not, the need for a long gun is now a very real everyday possibility – whether to respond to terrorists, those targeting police or even someone who simply does not want to go to jail and decides to take a stand. Maybe the Mayor thinks that Massachusetts gun laws have been so effective that even criminals are complying.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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