POLICE Magazine

AUG 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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48 POLICE AUGUST 2018 bines, submachine guns, short barreled rifles, or full-size patrol rifles. Almost any long gun, whether it's pistol or rifle caliber, will offer tactical advantage over a handgun in magazine capacity, sta- bility, accuracy, and ballistic capability. In addition, they can be fitted with a wider variety of optics for improved perfor- mance. Overt long gun deployments have their intended effects as a show of force, but they have limitations and some drawbacks. e officer posted with an exposed long gun serves as a deterrent and QRF resource, but lacks the mobility or versatility to handle other calls not requir- ing such weapons. In addition, the exposed long gun may have positive and negative effects on public perceptions. Some people are comforted by the sight of long guns; oth- ers are alarmed and struggle to accept see- ing them in the hallway of a school or at a music festival. While this image is generally accepted in Europe, the American public has issues with police officers carrying a machine gun. HIDING THE GUN The solution to that concern is to make the long gun discreet. Concealing a long gun within a sling bag, backpack, or other carrying case allows officers to patrol a The Winning Edge public event, school hallway, amusement park, or hospital with the ability to respond to basic calls with- out raising concerns of the public seeing heavy firepower. e officer has the versatil- ity to handle smaller calls and still has quick access to shoulder-fired weapons and the accuracy and range they offer. In my department's deployments of the "5.11 Select Carry" sling bag, most of the public doesn't seem to notice the bag at all. Others see the bag as having first- aid or medical supplies or other personal items. ey seldom guess that the officer with the bag has a carbine inside. When asked by the public about the contents of the bag, we generally answer, "Oh, this just has first responder supplies in it." We usually keep a bottle of water, some "PR sticker badges" for little kids, or Band-Aids easily accessible to help keep up the illusion. A sling bag allows an officer to carry a long gun in public for extended periods of time while keeping the weapon secured and out of sight. ey also can carry water, snacks, individual first- aid kits (IFAKS), tourniquets, sunscreen, and other useful items. e 5.11 bag also has a pocket for a hydration bladder for prolonged deployments. Other bags that work well in this role include the Eber- lestock Cherry Bomb and 5.11 COVRT M4 Shorty. Even laptop bags are large enough for some pistol caliber carbines, subma- chine guns, and side folder rifles. CHOOSING THE GUN Pistol caliber solutions have their strengths and weaknesses for covert long gun deployment. Weapons that my agen- cy and neighboring agencies have de- ployed in this role vary from pistol caliber carbines like the CZ Scorpion to 9mm AR- 15-style carbines using Glock magazines or Colt SMG pattern mags. We have also deployed submachine guns like the Heck- ler & Koch MP5 or UMP. Pistol caliber car- bines have limited range compared to a rifle caliber but offer decent ballistic ca- pability and benefits in weight retention and penetration against car doors and glass. This officer standing watch over a public event is carrying a long gun in his sling bag. But most people would think he is toting much more innocuous supplies and gear. Optics make long guns much more effective in critical situations. Pictured is a Primary Arms Raptor rifle scope 1-6X24mm.

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