Report: 64 Police Officers Killed by Guns in 2016
According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (“NLEOMF”), 56 percent more police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty in 2016 than in 2015.
In fact, 64 officers died as a result of gun violence in the United States last year, which is 23 more than the 41 police officers who were killed in firearm-related incidents in 2015. This gun death statistic included 21deaths resulting from ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers, the highest in more than 20 years.
The statistics also include high-profile shootings that killed multiple officers. For example, the NLEOMF report notes, “eight multiple-shooting death incidents claimed the lives of 20 officers in 2016, tied with 1971 for the highest total of any year since 1932.” The report adds that “those incidents included five officers killed in ambush attacks in Dallas (TX) and three in Baton Rouge (LA) spanning 10 days in July.”
In all, 135 police officers died in the line of duty in 2016, which marks a 10-percent increase from 2015. Craig Floyd, the president of NLEOMF, stated that “these officers were killed simply because of the uniform they wear and the job they do.” Floyd called these police deaths “unacceptable to the humane society that we are.” Floyd further said that “the impact of this year has been profound on law enforcement,” with law enforcement agencies “struggling to recruit officers to their ranks and those who continue to serve ‘talking about how their head is now on a swivel.’”
The shocking police death statistics is a reminder that gun control is one of the most prevalent and divisive issues facing our society today, with proponents of gun control demanding further and more stringent laws. However, the fact remains that New Jersey already has some of the strictest firearms laws in the nation. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3, New Jersey’s gun laws prohibit any person who has been convicted of any crime or disorderly persons offense involving an act of domestic violence from possessing a gun, period. In addition to these prohibitions, New Jersey’s firearms laws require a potential gun purchaser to possess a valid Firearms Purchaser Identification Card before buying a long gun (a shotgun or a rifle), as well as a separate permit to purchase a handgun.
These requirements are in addition to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”), which is used to check the prospective purchaser’s criminal background before initiating a gun sale. Thus, there are many checks and balances in place that control how a person can legally obtain and possess a gun in New Jersey.
To learn more about how to legally purchase a gun in New Jersey and the possible criminal consequences of unlawfully possessing a weapon in New Jersey, contact the New Jersey gun lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm today.