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Letter: Lawrence Mitchell
Weapons ban backed

Sunday, January 20, 2013

This opinion is in reference to the news story “Area police against ban,” Jan. 16 (Martinsville Bulletin). In this news story local area police heads say that they are opposed to a ban on assault weapons. They discussed the tactical aspects of assault weapons, handguns, hunting, background checks and the Second Amendment. What was not discussed was how the ban on assault weapons would affect police officers and public safety?

Weapons designed specifically for war are different from those that are modified for hunting purposes. The main issue in the assault weapons debate is those weapons that have not been modified and sold on the open market that are fully capable to be used in war. Also, assault weapons are the firearms of choice for terrorists, drug dealers and gang members. There are other opinions outside the local law enforcement community concerning the ban on assault weapons.

The International Association of Police Chiefs has a different view on the banning of assault weapons. In the July 2004 magazine Police Chiefs, the president of the association published a message on the subject of assault weapons. In part the message says.

“It is vital that we, as police chiefs, take a leading role in this effort. We know the tremendous harm that these weapons can inflict on our communities and we know what the proliferation of these weapons will mean to our officers. We need to be leaders, both in word and in deed, and we must make every effort to ensure that our elected officials understand that failure to reauthorize the assault weapons ban is a significant step back for law enforcement and public safety.”

The International Association of Police Chiefs is a voluntary membership organization and part of a network of more than 20,000 law enforcement professionals from 100 countries around the world.

Lawrence Mitchell



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