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You need to understand the belief that cops should be a very good shot is false.”

No, I’m not going to believe that. I’m going to continue to believe that police officers should be a very good shot. I’m going to believe that police officers, who carry a firearm professionally and have far more authority and privilege to use it, should put the work in to be a better shot than the average citizen. I believe that the liberals who only want police officers to carry guns should stop believing that police officers are all more qualified to carry a gun than the average citizen, which is simply not true.

I don’t question your credentials, I just don’t see how your stories change what is a very simple and easy to accept fact.

Your stories make it out like cops are highly trained war heroes they could make up for being bad shots with grit and experience. Even if that was true, which it’s not, I still don’t see why they should forgo the most important part of it.

I remember over 20 years ago shooting at the Bullethole next to Belleville and Newark police. It was embarrassing that a couple of 21-year-old with no training shot significantly better than the police who are most likely to use their firearm. And here’s the thing, I was a terrible shot back then and I’m still not that great today. But I don’t carry a firearm professionally and there is no theory that I’m more qualified to carry a firearm than everyone else.

The same thing continued for years at Fort Dix and Cherry Ridge, my friend and I would meet many cops and they were almost always the poorest shots on the range. Why would they be good shots, many only shoot a couple times per year. 

 

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No, I’m not going to believe that. I’m going to continue to believe that police officers should be a very good shot. I’m going to believe that police officers, who carry a firearm professionally and have far more authority and privilege to use it, should put the work in to be a better shot than the average citizen. I believe that the liberals who only want police officers to carry guns should stop believing that police officers are all more qualified to carry a gun than the average citizen, which is simply not true.

Your average butcher is better with a knife than most surgeons, just sayin...

What exactly is a "better shot"? I personally know hunters that can stack rounds on targets at ludicrous distances, but will miss vitals on deer at 100 yards. Is a bullseye shooter a better shot than an USPSA GM? Or a SEAL?

I also think that you're giving waaay too much credit to the  "average citizen". Having shot at many ranges, I can definitely say there have been many times when I've felt endangered by the "average citizen".

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2 hours ago, RichP said:

Your average butcher is better with a knife than most surgeons, just sayin...

What exactly is a "better shot"? I personally know hunters that can stack rounds on targets at ludicrous distances, but will miss vitals on deer at 100 yards. Is a bullseye shooter a better shot than an USPSA GM? Or a SEAL?

I also think that you're giving waaay too much credit to the  "average citizen". Having shot at many ranges, I can definitely say there have been many times when I've felt endangered by the "average citizen".

Your average butcher is not better with a scalpel then your average surgeon. 

I am talking about close range with handgun. I’m sure you could define what a good shot is yourself. I don’t think it’s asking much for a police officer who has far more power and authority to use his handgun to be able to shoot as well or better than most of the other people at the range. But many of us know for a fact that officers often shoot incredibly poorly, terrible groups and sometimes missing paper completely.

It’s a well-known fact that many police officers only shoot when necessary to qualify. I honestly can’t believe why anyone would defend this practice. 
 
Griz defended this by insinuating that all police are highly trained operators and war heroes who have other skills that could help more. I don’t believe that to be true and neither do you, but even if it was, why can’t we still expect them to practice enough to shoot better than average?

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2 hours ago, RichP said:

I also think that you're giving waaay too much credit to the  "average citizen". Having shot at many ranges, I can definitely say there have been many times when I've felt endangered by the "average citizen".

Agree with this point.

IMO, the "average" gun owner has a pistol or two that sits in the back of a closet collecting dust.  Once a year (or less) they get the bug to shoot so they dust off the gun, buy some ammo and head to the range.  When they get home the gun returns to the back of the closet (without being cleaned) until next year.  I don't feel safe shooting next to these guys at the range as shooting is always a novelty to them.

For what it's worth, even guys who consider themselves "regular" shooters only go to the range a 2 or 3 times more than the "average" guy.  They may have more guns (an AR, shotgun, etc) so they spend a little longer at the range and shoot different guns, but still shoot infrequently.

From there you get the more serious "gun guys" who go to the range on a weekly (or a few times a month) basis and probably have experience in club or formal matches.

So where does that leave us?  Like everything else in life, the more you practice and do something, the more proficient you'll become.  That means cops who are "gun guys" and regular citizens who are "gun guys" will be the best shooters.  The "average" and "regular" shooters have cop and regular citizens in their population as well, and they will shoot accordingly.

I'll qualify my VERY over-simplified rating system by saying it relates only to shooting a gun (accuracy, timing, reloading, moving, etc, etc).

I won't get into the combat mindset portion of the debate as I think there are likely buckets for that as well that both civilian and cops would fall into.  Going through, or not going through a  police academy may not be the best measuring stick for a warrior mindset, but that discussion will stray in a LOT of different directions...

 

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Well said, 124gr9mm.  I personally have a few friends that own, but have never even shot their handguns. The biggest falsehood  in the "better shooter" statement  is that standing in a port and slow firing at a paper target in any way equals shooting under stress, assault, timer, movement, low light and most importantly being shot back at. It is NOT equal.

Just to be clear, your "average" gun-owner has very little if any experience in safely drawing a gun from holster. Very little or no experience in shooting while using a light. Very little or no experience in shooting from cover. Very little or no experience in shooting with movement. Throw any of those conditions in the mix, and I don't believe you average citizen or average gun owner is a better shot. 

To be honest, I don't think I ever even really try to shoot groups anymore, other than when regulating sights. Its more like acquire sights, focus for distance and squeeze. Its either an acceptable hit, or not; don't really care if the holes are touching.

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You guys are right, you changed my mind. Expecting police officers to shoot more than once or twice a year is completely out of line. Expecting police officers to be able to shoot a reasonable sized group with the handgun that they carry is definitely an unreasonable idea. There’s no need for training and practice. 

Police have the ability to shoot dozens of rounds in public, miss their assailant with every one of them, hit innocent bystanders, then be cleared of all wrongdoing. No need to practice and be proficient at shooting, amirite?

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26 minutes ago, Variant said:

You guys are right, you changed my mind. Expecting police officers to shoot more than once or twice a year is completely out of line. Expecting police officers to be able to shoot a reasonable sized group with the handgun that they carry is definitely an unreasonable idea. There’s no need for training and practice. 

Police have the ability to shoot dozens of rounds in public, miss their assailant with every one of them, hit innocent bystanders, then be cleared of all wrongdoing. No need to practice and be proficient at shooting, amirite?

You are certainly entitled to lobby the state reps and governor for added training and qualification requirements. I'm sure that they will do their best to accommodate your request, as well as extending those requirements to any potential ccw holders.

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5 minutes ago, RichP said:

You are certainly entitled to lobby the state reps and governor for added training and qualification requirements. I'm sure that they will do their best to accommodate your request, as well as extending those requirements to any potential ccw holders.

No way, no reason to do that. As I already said, expecting Police to know how to use their handgun and fire it more than once or twice a year is completely unreasonable. Thank you for showing me the error in my original thinking. 

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2 hours ago, Variant said:

You guys are right, you changed my mind. Expecting police officers to shoot more than once or twice a year is completely out of line. Expecting police officers to be able to shoot a reasonable sized group with the handgun that they carry is definitely an unreasonable idea. There’s no need for training and practice. 

I never implied that.

I was pointing out that there are proficient shooters in both the civilian and police worlds, so it's not fair to say that the average civilian shoots better than the average cop.

I think quality trumps quantity, so if there's a qualification course in place twice a year that adequately tests someones proficiency, I think that's better than just some kind of 'range time' requirement.

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13 minutes ago, 124gr9mm said:

I never implied that.

I was pointing out that there are proficient shooters in both the civilian and police worlds, so it's not fair to say that the average civilian shoots better than the average cop.

I think quality trumps quantity, so if there's a qualification course in place twice a year that adequately tests someones proficiency, I think that's better than just some kind of 'range time' requirement.

But it doesn’t adequately test someone’s proficiency, that’s the entire point. The cops who only shoot once or twice a year to pass that qualification are terrible shots. But apparently I’ve been told that it’s OK for someone not to be able to shoot Minute-of-Man at 7 yards because he has other skills…

And I agree with you, a range time requirement is silly. Why would you want people to practice and train more with a deadly weapon that they are allowed to use at a much higher level and with significantly more authority than the civilians they put in danger. 

I never imagined I would ever read something like I’m reading here. Police should be the best trained and most experienced at shooting a handgun in the population. I just can’t fathom citizens defending police shooting once or twice a year instead of being heavily trained and practiced. 

This is the clown world we live in. Cue the video of the LEO telling the classroom how he’s the only one professional enough to carry a Glock 40. 

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First - Please define what someone who is a “good shot” is. I bet my definition is a lot different than yours. What metric are you using to determine if a cop is a good shot or a lousy shot? 

Second - What data are you using to formulate this opinion that cops are all lousy shots? What data are you parsing that shows “cops can not shoot minute of man at 7yards”?

Third - In your opinion, what process would adequately test a shooters proficiency? What should a cop (or anyone) be capable of with a firearm to satisfy your criticism? What’s your suggestion?

The idea that all cops can’t shoot is frankly ridiculous. 

All NJ Police Officers are required by law to do the following regarding the carrying of firearms:

• Train to realistic standards. ie: shoot on the move, use cover, shoot at moving targets, shoot in low light, participate in shoot/no-shoot or Force on Force situations

• Pass a qualification consisting of a Day Time (full lighting conditions)and Low-light course of fire as prescribed by the NJ AG via the NJDCJ. They must pass this course of fire 2x a year with a minimum score of 80%. This qual course consists of 90-100 rounds (depending on if the agency uses HQC1 or HQC2) on an FBI Q target at ranges from 1 yard, out to 25 yards.

• Police have to qualify on any weapon they plan on carrying on and off duty. There are separate day time and low-light qualification courses for other classes of firearms as well - such as shotguns, sub-guns, carbines, PDWs, and scoped rifles. Any agency can put further restriction in place (higher minimum passing score, restriction on gun type or caliber, etc…) or require more training if they wish.

At the end of the qualification, if you don’t pass the qual, you are relieved of your firearm, placed in administrative status, given a time to train/practice, than an opportunity to qualify again. A failure then means termination. If you can’t shoot an 80% on the course, you can’t stay.

Based on my observations at public ranges and teaching both civilians and cops to shoot For the last 18 years, I’ll bet that the average NJ cop can outshoot the average NJ gun owner on a HQC and HNQC test. In fact, I’ll bet that 75% of gun owners could not pass the entire police qualification course - the one that every working cop has to pass twice a year in addition to any training they participate in. I’ll bet another 10% of NJ gun owners will score in the 80% range, another 10% in the 90% range, and another 5% could clean the course and I bet the final 5% consists of shooters that can outshoot most cops by a fair margin by every measurable standard.

The notion that “The cops who only shoot once or twice a year to pass that qualification are terrible shots.” is unsubstantiated unqualified nonsense. If they have to pass a qual 2x a year that the majority of non-cop shooters could not pass, just how “terrible” are they? Just because they don’t know what color the boathouse is at Hereford, does not mean they don’t have the skills to accomplish their jobs.

No, not all cops are shooters. Not all Cops are even gun people. But they all meet a minimum standard of 80% 2x a year.

Cops have to wear so many hats and be mandatorily trained on so many topics now-a-days that there isn’t enough time or money to make them all into DeltaRangerSEALsnipers or steely eyed killers.

On the other hand - some cops shoot at the GM level in competition circuits. Some were/are members of SOF or SMU organizations. Some are attached to LE Agencies/Units/teams that require a higher standard than 80% 2x a year. Some shoot as a hobby and enjoy training with firearms, often spending thousands of dollars chasing high-end instruction form some of the best instructors on the planet. Some are in agencies that promote martial abilities, but some are not. It’s not as cut and dry as “all cops suck at shooting”.

Part of what @GRIZ was talking about when he said “Shooting isn’t fighting” (outside of the mindset and tactics portion that makes up 90% of any gunfight) is an important distinction. Shooting a qual course and getting 100% does not guarantee you are a gunfighter, or will win a gunfight, or even hit your target in a deadly force situation. 

No one knows what will happen in the transition between shooting paper with your colleagues and friends under impossibly blue skies filled with cotton ball clouds, next to rivers of chocolate and trees that give beer, and when you are alone and fighting for your life with a very real possibility that you will die. This is not Cop specific and is a universal truth across the board including military, cops, competition shooters, bad guys, and armed citizens.

Until you see the proverbial elephant, you don’t know how you will react to that level of personal danger.

There is no test, no qual, no training that can predict that.

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1 hour ago, High Exposure said:

First - Please define what someone who is a “good shot” is. I bet my definition is a lot different than yours. What metric are you using to determine if a cop is a good shot or a lousy shot? 

Second - What data are you using to formulate this opinion that cops are all lousy shots? What data are you parsing that shows “cops can not shoot minute of man at 7yards”?

Third - In your opinion, what test does adequately test a shooters proficiency? What should a cop (or anyone) be capable of with a firearm to satisfy your criticism? What’s your suggestion?

The idea that all cops can’t shoot is frankly ridiculous. 

All NJ Police Officers are required by law to do the following regarding the carrying of firearms:

• Train to realistic standards. ie: shoot on the move, use cover, shoot at moving targets, shoot in low light, participate in shoot/no-shoot or Force on Force situations

• Pass a qualification consisting of a Day Time (full lighting conditions)and Low-light course of fire as prescribed by the NJ AG via the NJDCJ. They must pass this course of fire 2x a year with a minimum score of 80%. This qual course consists of 90-100 rounds (depending on if the agency uses HQC1 or HQC2) on an FBI Q target at ranges from 1 yard, out to 25 yards.

• Police have to qualify on any weapon they plan on carrying on and off duty. There are separate day time and low-light qualification courses for other classes of firearms as well - such as shotguns, sub-guns, carbines, PDWs, and scoped rifles. Any agency can put further restriction in place (higher minimum passing score, restriction on gun type or caliber, etc…) or require more training if they wish.

At the end of the qualification, if you don’t pass the qual, you are relieved of your firearm, placed in administrative status, given a time to train/practice, than an opportunity to qualify again. A failure then means termination. If you can’t shoot an 80% on the course, you can’t stay.

Based on my observations at public ranges and teaching both civilians and cops to shoot For the last 18 years, I’ll bet that the average NJ cop can outshoot the average NJ gun owner on a HQC and HNQC test. In fact, I’ll bet that 75% of gun owners could not pass the entire police qualification course - the one that every working cop has to pass twice a year in addition to any training they participate in. I’ll bet another 10% of NJ gun owners will score in the 80% range, another 10% in the 90% range, and another 5% could clean the course and I bet the final 5% consists of shooters that can outshoot most cops by a fair margin by every measurable standard.

The notion that “The cops who only shoot once or twice a year to pass that qualification are terrible shots.” is unsubstantiated unqualified nonsense. If they have to pass a qual 2x a year that the majority of non-cop shooters could not pass, how terrible are they. Just because they don’t know what color the boathouse is at Hereford, does not mean they don’t have the skills to accomplish their jobs.

No, not all cops are shooters. Not all Cops are even gun people. But they all meet a minimum standard of 80% 2x a year.

Cops have to wear so many hats and be mandatorily trained on so many topics now-a-days that there isn’t enough time or money to make them all into DeltaRangerSEALsnipers or steely eyed killers.

On the other hand - some cops shoot at the GM level in competition circuits. Some were/are members of SOF or SMU organizations. Some are attached to LE Agencies/Units/teams that require a higher standard than 80% 2x a year. Some shoot as a hobby and enjoy training with firearms, often spending thousands of dollars chasing high-end instruction form some of the best instructors on the planet. Some are in agencies that promote martial abilities, but some are not. It’s not as cut and dry as “all cops suck at shooting”.

Part of what @GRIZ was talking about when he said “Shooting isn’t fighting” (outside of the mindset and tactics portion that makes up 90% of any gunfight) is an important distinction. Shooting a qual course and getting 100% does not guarantee you are a gunfighter, or will win a gunfight, or even hit your target. 

No one knows what will happen in the transition between shooting paper with your colleagues and friends under impossibly blue skies filled with cotton ball clouds, next to rivers of chocolate and trees that give beer, and when you are alone and fighting for your life with a very real possibility that you will die. This is not Cop specific and is a universal truth across the board including military, cops, competition shooters, bad guys, and armed citizens.

Until you see the proverbial elephant, you don’t know how you will react to that level of personal danger.

There is no test, no qual, no training that can predict that.

So many blatantly false, exaggerated, and inaccurate statements here...one could write an entire book in response...

2 hours ago, Variant said:

But it doesn’t adequately test someone’s proficiency, that’s the entire point. The cops who only shoot once or twice a year to pass that qualification are terrible shots. But apparently I’ve been told that it’s OK for someone not to be able to shoot Minute-of-Man at 7 yards because he has other skills…

And I agree with you, a range time requirement is silly. Why would you want people to practice and train more with a deadly weapon that they are allowed to use at a much higher level and with significantly more authority than the civilians they put in danger. 

I never imagined I would ever read something like I’m reading here. Police should be the best trained and most experienced at shooting a handgun in the population. I just can’t fathom citizens defending police shooting once or twice a year instead of being heavily trained and practiced. 

This is the clown world we live in. Cue the video of the LEO telling the classroom how he’s the only one professional enough to carry a Glock 40. 

Don't bother arguing....It won't matter how much sense you make.

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18 hours ago, Variant said:

But apparently I’ve been told that it’s OK for someone not to be able to shoot Minute-of-Man at 7 yards because he has other skills…

 

I have no idea what you're talking about.  You're the only one advocating that right now.

 

18 hours ago, Variant said:

And I agree with you, a range time requirement is silly. Why would you want people to practice and train more with a deadly weapon that they are allowed to use at a much higher level and with significantly more authority than the civilians they put in danger.

Now you're being obtuse.  My point was that requiring a cop to throw bullets randomly down the range XXXX times a month/year means nothing. 

Instead of ranting like a child maybe suggest something constructive.  Like "Qualifier should be XXXXX" or "Qualifier should be done XXXX times a year"?

ANY suggestion is better than ranting on a random internet forum.

18 hours ago, Variant said:

I never imagined I would ever read something like I’m reading here. Police should be the best trained and most experienced at shooting a handgun in the population. I just can’t fathom citizens defending police shooting once or twice a year instead of being heavily trained and practiced. 

This is the clown world we live in. Cue the video of the LEO telling the classroom how he’s the only one professional enough to carry a Glock 40. 

Stop being a drama queen.  There are studies that show most cops (75% ?) never draw their weapons outside training. The logistics and expense of requiring that every cop in every jurisdiction maintain a grandmaster level of shooting is impossible and unnecessary.

Statistics tell us about distances and situations where cops use guns.  Training and qualifying for those situations should be the focus.

You display a child-like mentality where you think the YouTube videos you see of police shootings represent the everyday life of every cop.  You're not specifically criticizing (or mentioning) current qualifications or what would make them better, you're just pissing and ranting on the internet.

But that's OK too.  If you feel better after you rant then it's served a purpose!

FWIW, we're all gun owners in NJ trying to navigate the most restrictive laws in the nation, so we should be mad at each other.

I hold no ill will towards you, and my comments are often tongue-in-cheek, so I apologize if I've offended you.

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Strive to make oneself better in all aspects of life.  Who cares if you can shoot better than most cops.  I will always take advice on shooting better...especially if it comes from a cop.  They certainly know more about this stuff than I do.  Keep training and trying to better yourself.     We are all in his together.

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On 6/26/2022 at 10:31 PM, father-of-three said:

In my previous Pennsylvania life, I would often pocket carry.  In 2020 I spent 2 weeks vacation in Mississippi and Tennessee and pretty much carried everywhere.  It was great.  If you felt the ground shake in August of that year, it was because New Jersey residents visited Jefferson Davis' home in Biloxi. 

 

Back to reality....

I will assume that it would be difficult to qualify with a pocket pistol that has a 10 yard range on a good day.

But I have back up plans...

I have the Ruger LCP Max 10 + 1 and I qualified with no problem at all, I just had to wrap some Grip tape around her because it would slip now she is spot on.

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