The US Police Force and The History of Guns

Today, you can find every police officer equipped with the proper firearms. However, the policemen before were more primitive than today. Until the late 1800s, there were no known laws that allowed law enforcements to carry a particular set of weapons. Thus, every policeman carried whatever gun they had or desired.  Before, it was accepted to use anything that passed as a weapon. From shotguns to muskets, sheriffs would be seen aiming their guns to offenders. All of these policemen were responsible for getting their own guns and learning the particular set of skills which were required to use the weapon. This happened because there was no budget allocated to the police force, so everything was disorganized.

In the year 1896, a police department in New York City became a pioneer in having a standardized law on police firearms. The city’s police commissioner during that time, Theodore Roosevelt, realized the potential of standardizing the police force. He thought that when there was an organized way to manage the force, it should start by giving the policemen a standard set of weapons, ammunitions, and trainings. More importantly, they were sure to protect the weaponary from falling into the wrong hands. Each department was allocated a strict budget of $1,000 to find the best gun safe. In this way, law enforcement would be uniformly prepared for duty. Theodore Roosevelt then purchased 4,500 Colt Revolvers to be disseminated to the officers. These guns, also known as the .32 Colt, became a major weapon in the law enforcement forces.

The start of the 1900s saw a time wherein other police departments followed a standardized method. Each police department opted for a weapon they thought best suits the job. In the northern part of the United States, the .38 special revolvers were commonly used. The southern part of the states preferred revolvers with a larger caliber like the Action Army, Colt Single, Colt New Service, and the Smith & Wesson Triple Lock revolver.

Today, a variety of gun types are preferred by different law enforcement departments. However, all of them are still following a standard protocol in police training and weaponry. Also, the modern law enforcement includes several non-lethal weapons like batons, electroshock guns, mace, and pepper sprays.

Now, all officers are asked to bring their assigned weapons at all times. This is the protocol especially when they are on duty. They are also encouraged to bring them during days off. If the weapons are not stored at the headquarters, each police officer is required to have a safe at their own homes. In that way, they can access their weapons when they need it and keep it away from prying hands.