Keep Up with Firearms Technology

By Lary, Russell | Law & Order, June 2005 | Go to article overview

Keep Up with Firearms Technology


Lary, Russell, Law & Order


The SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show), held every January, is the largest showcase of the firearms in America. The chief or sheriff may want to send his firearms instructor, but should also attend himself.

The buck stops on my desk. Use of force cases, particularly deadly force incidents and accidents involving department weaponry, is one of the primary liability hotbeds in our profession today. Vicarious liability being what it is, I will be named and deposed and called to trial in the lawsuit, not just the department specialist I assign to the case. I want to be as well versed in hot-button issues as the specialists I command.

While the weapons industry has certainly been well-represented at each of the several IACP conferences I've attended, I couldn't help but notice that while some companies send their technical people there, many simply send salesmen to be ambassadors to the chiefs.

At the SHOT Show, the manufacturers assign their very best technical people to be available to the industry professionals who will be in attendance. A week dedicated to talking with the manufacturers' top experts, the people who can't duck or defer the hard questions, is therefore a week well spent.

Training and planning are obviously the keys to maximizing officer safety and performance under most patrol circumstances, but equipment continues to take on added importance. The better equipped the lone officer is, the more competently and confidently he can respond to a myriad of circumstances when he has to "do it alone" or wait until backup arrives.

Ever had the salesman from the police equipment firm come by and tell you how good this or that product is? And you found yourself wondering, "Has this nitwit ever used this thing at 0200 hours and ten degrees below zero Fahrenheit?" How many times have you heard, "Um, I'll call someone at the factory and get back to you..."

As an example of attending the SHOT Show, our department has used Ruger firearms over the years with good results. We are due to acquire new .45 caliber service pistols, and one of the finalist weapons in our testing is Ruger's new P345. …

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