Skip to main content Skip to main content

Gunfire Claims Fewest Cops Since 1887

Gunfire Claims Fewest Cops Since 1887

Only 33 police officers were killed by gunfire in 2013, the lowest number since 1887, according to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Killings of police peaked in the 1970s, with 1976 being the most deadly year as 156 officers were killed. Since then, the average number of officers shot and killed has decreased from 127 per year in the 1970s to 57 per year in the 2000s.

Of those killed in firearms-related incidents, 19 (58%) were killed with handguns and just six (18%) with rifles, belying the notion that assault rifles are a big threat to police. The number of officers killed with all types of rifles exactly equaled the number killed in falls.

As we know, the number of firearms has mushroomed since the 1970s, especially in the last 10 years. This increase has clearly had no effect whatsoever on officer deaths. What has?


- Improved bullet-resistant protective gear


- Better training and tactics

- Better communications and emergency medicine

- Specialized units trained to deal with armed confrontations

- A much higher level of incarceration




- Demographic changes leading to smaller populations in the most crime-prone age groups

Notably absent from that list? Gun control.

Gun controllers confidently predicted handgun bans in the 1970s, and there were plenty on our side who were resigned to them. They were fought and defeated, and more effective anti-crime measures enacted. The result is a vast decline both in murder of police and civilians.


And by the way: the leading cause of police deaths in 2013? Traffic accidents.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Daniel Defense

Daniel Defense's Wave Suppressor in 7.62

Patrick Sweeney tests the 7.62 Wave suppressor by Daniel Defense. Also, see his full review in Firearms News' Survival Guns Special Issue #24, 2020.

Rimfire Rifles from Rossi

Rimfire Rifles from Rossi

Camilio Velasquez talks about Rossi's line of rimfire rifles.

Colts 10mm Classic Pistol – the Delta Elite!

Colts 10mm Classic Pistol – the Delta Elite!

Pistol champion Patrick Sweeney takes a look at the 10mm 1911 pistol classic by Colt! Also, see his full review in Firearms News' 10mm Special Issue #23, 2020.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Firearms News stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now