National police survey: most officers oppose gun control, support concealed carry


A national survey of more than 15,000 active law enforcement officers shows overwhelming opposition to the White House’s gun control initiatives, and strong support for concealed carry.

The survey was conducted by, a website for law enforcement officers that bills itself as “the most comprehensive and trusted online destination for law enforcement agencies and police departments worldwide.”

The website received 15,595 responses from all ranks – officer to chief – at agencies of all sizes, from one-officer departments to those with more than 1,000 on staff.

Some of the key findings include:

  • A majority, more than 60 percent, don’t think the President’s proposed legislation will improve officer safety.
  • More than 70 percent believe an “assault weapons ban” would do nothing to curb violent crime.
  • Almost all of the respondents, more than 95 percent, said a 10-round magazine restriction would not stop violent crime.
  • What would work, the officer’s said, would be increased penalties for gun trafficking, 58 percent, and mandatory minimums for gun crimes, more than 91 percent.
  • A majority of the officers also said they supported sheriffs and chiefs of police who have said they would not enforce more restrictive gun laws, a position that the officers said they themselves would make if they led their agency.
  • A majority of the officers said that more permissive concealed carry rules for civilians are the best way to prevent large-scale mass shootings.

The survey was conducted by Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne’s editor-in-chief, who said Tuesday that “No other group has more experiential knowledge of real world solutions to gun violence.”

PoliceOne has the unique ability to conduct an online survey because of the way they vet the members of their site, he explained. Before a police officer is granted access to the law enforcement-only sections, a PoliceOne staffer calls their department for verification.

“Besides, we have a very good eye – people in our organization who can sniff out an imposter,” Wyllie said. “We have an ongoing dialogue with our members, which gives us the avenue through which we can conduct a survey – the ability to do a one-on-one, or a one-on-many encounter.”

Wyllie said he was not surprised by the pro-gun survey results, because of the countless conversations he has with law enforcement officers across the county.

“This has been the anecdotal evidence that I’ve seen on law enforcement’s view of law-abiding citizens legally carrying,” he said. “What we seen here, in the men and women of law enforcement, who potentially have the most to lose in terms of life and limb, who are literally on the front lines, is that they have a straight-forward view of what the solutions would be if they were given the ability to put solutions into practice.”



About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.