POLICE Magazine

JAN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1067555

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Page 56 of 84

54 POLICE JANUARY 2019 civilian personal defense market, the 9mm was the most popular cartridge at 32%. Other popular responses included .38 Special at 20%, .40 S&W at 17%, and .380 ACP at 16%. For larger rounds, .45 ACP was popular with 5% of respon- dents and a few said they carry .44 Spe- cial. Such small rounds as .25 ACP and .32 ACP were not very popular but some officers indicated their backup gun is a .22. Expanding on this topic we asked if the officers' backup handgun was the same caliber as their service pistols and 57% said no. Another follow-up ques- tion was about dual use magazines. Only 27% of respondents said their backup guns can use the same maga- zines as their service pistols. Some agencies are known to issue backup guns to their officers, but this practice is not widespread. A little more than 94% of respondents said they had to buy their own backup guns. We also asked readers how much they paid for their backup guns. e sweet spot on price is $300 to $499, accounting for 70% of backup gun purchases by the respondents. One of the bigger concerns about backup guns in the past was that many agencies did not have specific policies that covered them. is appears to be changing. More than 91% of respon- dents said their agencies have a policy requiring them to qualify with their backups. How officers carry backup guns was a point of interest for us. More than 42% said they carry their backups in ankle holsters and 16% said they carry their backups at the waist. Some 41% said they carry their backups in other loca- tions. Answers for other locations in- cluded body armor pouches or holsters, shoulder holsters, and in pockets. Our final questions involving backup guns covered their actual use on duty. We asked the readers if they have ever had to draw their backup guns on duty. More than 92% of the respondents said they have not. Of the more than 7% of respondents who have had to draw their backup guns on duty, we asked for their sto- ries. Here's some of what they told us: gun grabs were a common scenario, as were ground fighting situations where officers found themselves lying on their primary weapons, situations where offi- cers were in cars and needed a firearm in hand and they found their backups to be more accessible, and malfunc- tions of their primary handguns during critical situations. Another common response was providing a handgun to a fellow officer who left their duty weapon behind at the jail. In most of the incidents detailed by respondents, the backup gun was not fired. However, 10 respondents said they have had to open fire with their backup handgun while on duty and not in training. Some of these involved euthanizing injured animals. But some involved harrowing attacks, includ- ing situations where officers ran out of ammo for their duty weapons during gunfights. One officer wrote that he used his backup to end a potentially deadly gun grab attack: "I was fighting with a gang member after a foot pur- suit. I fought with him for about four minutes. He was trying to take my duty weapon. I reached down and drew my Walther PPK and made one contact shot to the middle of his chest, ending the assault." OFF-DUTY GUNS THE SECOND PORTION of our survey was about off-duty carry. More than 96% of respondents said they carry off duty. Of those who do not carry off duty, some respondents said they didn't want to, some said their agencies prohibit off-duty carry, some said it's uncomfortable and a hassle, and some said they could not carry be- cause they frequent locations that ban handguns and will not allow off-duty officers to be armed. As with backup guns, 9mm is the most popular caliber for off-duty hand- guns. More than 45% of respondents said they carry 9mm handguns when off the job. Other popular off-duty cal- ibers include .40 S&W at 21%, and .45 ACP at 11%. Respondents also carry some unusual calibers of handguns in their off-duty hours, including 10mm, .22, and FN's 5.7x28mm. Only 16% of respondents said their duty handgun is also used as their off-duty handgun. But 57% said they carry the same caliber of handgun off duty as their duty weapon. As we did with backup guns, we asked respondents how they carry their off-duty handguns. More than 76% said their preferred carry position is at the waist, 7% said they carry on the ankle, and 17% said other locations, including EXCLUSIVE POLICE SURVEY g DOES/DID YOUR AGENCY ALLOW YOU TO CARRY MORE THAN ONE HANDGUN ON DUTY? WHAT CALIBER OF BACKUP GUN DO/DID YOU CARRY? 9mm: 32% .38 Special: 20% .40 S&W: 17% .380 ACP: 16% .45 ACP: 5% .357 Magnum: 3% .357 SIG: 1% .25 ACP: 1% .32 ACP 0% Other: 5% $400 to $499: 39% $300 to $399: 31% $500 To $599: 16% Less than $300: 9% $600 or more: 5% IF YOU BOUGHT YOUR OWN BACKUP GUN, HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY? DOES/DID YOUR AGENCY REQUIRE YOU TO QUALIFY WITH YOUR BACKUP HANDGUN? DOES/DID YOUR AGENCY ISSUE YOU A BACKUP HANDGUN? Yes: 85% Yes: 6% Yes: 91% No: 15% No: 94% No: 9%

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