community. I don't know where that individual is from or whether
he is just anticipating something of that nature occurring. How-
ever, those are not the weapons of choice of the individuals in our
community. They tend to the Saturday night specials, revolvers
with five- or six-round capacity.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Well, that brings me to another point in the
same area. The Fraternal Order of Police is going to have a rep-
resentative before us later today who makes the point that assault
weapons are eight times more likely to be used in crime than legiti-
mate sporting weapons. Officer Roberts, that somewhat seems con-
trary to something you said earlier. What do you think of that
Officer Roberts. I would see where they got their statistics on
that. I would like to see the reports. I don't know where they come
up with that because I haven't talked to anyone that's seen it and
I haven't seen it myself.
I would like to respond to the previous question a little bit
Mr. McCOLLUM. Sure.
Officer Roberts [continuing]. And add something, because, you
know, we've read the crime bill that came out, the crime law, and
it's very interesting the way this was worded. I guess if you're a
Harvard lawyer, it might make sense, but to us in the field we look
at this and it looks like it's disarming the police to us. It talks
about the different things that you can possess or have or be trans-
ferred to you, but it doesn't talk about being able to acquire or buy
I went 2 weeks ago into a local police equipment shop to buy two
additional magazines for my service issue Smith and Wesson .40
caliber semiautomatic pistol. I could not buy them because of this
law, because they held 11 rounds instead of 10. And then when I
did buy the 10-round magazines, the price, gentlemen, was $45
apiece. Now on my salary that's a lot. That's what this law has
done to me and my fellow officers.
When I retire, I've got the same situation. And our retired offi-
cers are subject to active recall at a moment's notice by the chief
of police. That's State law. I can get recalled to active duty. I am
limited to three magazines of the capacity that came with my
weapon; three, that's all that was issued, and there's no system to
procure these magazines through the department. They only issue
three; that's what you get. You can't buy them through the depart-
This wasn't taken into consideration when this was passed, and
no one asked, including our esteemed representatives at the FOP,
of which I am a member.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Well, you made a good point.
I'm going to limit myself, because I want the 5-minute rule to
apply here, and I didn't throw the clock, but I understand it's about
This petition you had signed, I just want to make the point; you
did not tell us what it was. It appears to say on its face â€” and we've
introduced it into the record â€” that 155 officers endorse the repeal
of the assault weapons and large- capacity ammunition ban that
we passed. I just want to make that point for the record. That's
what it says on its face.
Officer Roberts. Yes.
Mr. McCoLLUM. And, with that, I will yield 5 minutes to the
gentleman from New York, our ranking member.
Mr. ScHUMER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate
the testimony of the officers here. I respect the job they do. I would
submit that they are a small, small, small minority of police offi-
cers. We can probably find six officers, to say just about anything.
But the largest police organizations are strongly for the assault
weapons ban â€” the FOP will testify later. It has far more members
than are represented in all the police departments here today. If
everyone in your police department agreed with everyone here, the
FOP would dwarf it probably by 10 times.
I'd like to submit for the record a statement from NAPO, the Na-
tional Association of Police Officers. That is the second largest po-
[The prepared statement follows:]
Prepared Statement of the National Association of Police Officers
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF POLICE ORGANIZATIONS. INC
FtÂ»tx9santtnq Am^na s f-mrns:
750 Fust Street NÂ£ Suite 102C â€¢ Washinotor! D C 200Cr-S?.:-
(2021 842-4420 â€¢ (800, 322-NAPC . (202 842-4396 FAX
STATEMENT OF BOB SCLXL^
ON GL^N LAWS ""
Dm i.ounlv Pat.
O J HOL'
Coast Cnaptmr PORAC
April 5. 1995 lÂ»9i..m.
On behalf of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). represemmc
over 180.000 sworn law enforcement officers from 3.500 police unions and
associations throughout the countn.. I would like to make clear N.APO s strong and
continued support for the both the Brady Law and the assault weapons ban
NAPO's membership consists of rank and file officers trom local. counr\ and state law
enforcement organizations in tweniy-two states across the countrv NAPO s legislative
resolutions are taken annually at our convention by hundreds of delegates from our
different member associations and for the last several years the delegates have voted
unanimously to support the Brady Bill and legislation banning assault weapons
B D -BUC' STONE
Past Prasicant PORAC
individual NAPO members have worked long and hard to pass these public safety
measures to protect law enforcement and the American public alike trom the ravages of
gun violence Over the years. NAPO joined with the other maior national law
enforcement groups in a unanimous front to support these common sense gun laws
Just last year our members lobbied to keep the Feinstein amendment as part of the
Crime Bill and now we find ourselves defending the very legislation took so long to
As working cops, our members walk the streets daily to protect and preserve the peace.
And, It is the cops who know all too well what it is like to be outgunned They also
know the value of banmng the military style assault weapons that the criminals they
face favor. They know too the value of a cooling-off period and background check
before the purchase of a handgun. The Brady Law and the assault weapons ban have
nothing to do with the Second Amendment, but everything to do with public safely.
Last month, our Texas affiliate organization. Combined Law Enforcement Associations
of Texas (CLEAT > commissioned a statewide poll on assault weapons which found that
even m the Wild West. 64% of Texans oppose repeal of the assault weapons ban. I
think we can safely draw the conclusion from the CLEAT poll that the American public
opposes any repeal of the assault weapons ban.
I would like to ask the Congress to give these public safety laws a chance to work â€”
let's not overturn them now. The Brady Law is working and the assault weapons ban
has only been law for six months Both the Brady Law and the assault weapons ban
already have ten year sunset provisions, so why would Congress rush to repeal them?
Again, these measures deserve a chance to prove their effectiveness - let's give it to
Mr. SCHUMER. I would like to submit the fact the following
^oups supported the crime bill and assault weapons ban last year,
in addition to those two: the National Sheriffs' Association, the Na-
tional District Attorneys' Association, Federal Law Enforcement Of-
ficers' Association, National Troopers Coalition, International Asso-
ciation of Chiefs of Police, Major City Chiefs, International Union
of Police Associations, Police Foundation, National Association of
Attorneys Greneral, International Brotherhood of Police Officers,
Police Executive Research Forum, National Organization of Black
Law Enforcement Executives.
I would ask unanimous consent to submit statements from all of
those groups in the record supporting the ban.
M^. ?vIcCOLLUM. Without objection.
[Tho information was not received by the time of printing.]
Mr. ScHiFF. Will the gentleman yield for one question on that?
Mr. ScHUMER. I'd be happy to yield on the gentleman's time. I
only have 5 minutes. OK.
Mr. SCHIFF. All right, take 1 minute out of my time then and I'll
ask the gentleman if he'll yield.
Mr. ScHUMER. I have no objection.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Very well. Then go ahead, Mr. Schifif.
Mr. SCHIFF. I thank the gentleman.
Several of these gentlemen said that they've been contacted by
officers on the street offering to sign petitions in support of their
provision, and hundreds of officers have signed petitions just on a
couple hours' notice, as represented here. Do any of the organiza-
tions that the gentleman has cited, do any of them have a petition
drive among officers to show that their position is supported by the
rank and file?
I yield to the gentleman.
Mr. ScHUMER. Yes, well, most of these organizations have con-
ventions. They have popularly-elected leadership, and the conven-
tions have all endorsed these positions.
Mr. SCHIFF, The gentleman didn't answer my question. Do any
of these organizations have
Mr. ScHUMER, They may or may not. I haven't asked them, but
I am sure if we had a battle of petitions among the police officers
of America or the citizens of America, we could get many more peo-
ple for the assault weapons ban than against it.
Mr. ScHiFF. It might be interesting to see. I
Mr. McCoLLUM. The gentleman has an additional minute added
onto your time
Mr. ScHlFF. I appreciate it.
Mr. McCoLLUM [continuing]. And I will add it on at the end of
the green light here.
Mr. ScHUMER. OK The second thing I would say is Lieutenant
Tueller, is an active member of the Law Enforcement Assistance
Association. I would also submit for the record the fact that that
was started with seed money from the National Rifle Association,
according to quotes not only in the Washington Post, which the
lieutenant might find suspect, but from the NRA official journal of
September 1990. And, without objection, I'd like to submit that for
the record as well.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Without objection.
[The information was not received by the time of printing.]
Mr. SCHUMER. OK Because my point is that some of the gentle-
men here are active in that organization, which I believe has sim-
ply been set up by the NRA, compared to overwhelming law en-
forcement support for rational laws of gun control. This organiza-
tion's sole purpose is basically to fight gun control. They never
came to me when I was head of the Crime Committee and lobbied
for mandatory sentences, which I supported; the death penalty,
which I supported, and other things. The only time we saw them
was in the area of gun control.
And one other thing I'd say to my colleague from Greorgia. I
heard more denigrating of fellow police officers from that side of
the panel, particularly Lieutenant Tueller and Officer Roberts, fel-
low police officers, than I heard anyone say on this side of the
panel. And I think it's unfortunate that, to make arguments,
some â€” not all, but some â€” of the gentlemen on that side of the
panel had to denigrate their fellow officers.
And to that end, I'd simply ask Lieutenant Tueller â€” I have a lot
of questions, but my time is very limited â€” what did he mean when
he said "stormtroopers" would come and take away everyone's gun?
Was he referring to some members of law enforcement? That was
in your statement.
Lieutenant Tueller. Well, as was mentioned, we are the law en-
Mr, ScHUMER. Who are the stormtroopers, sir, that you were re-
ferring to? Was it ATF? Do you think they're stormtroopers?
Lieutenant Tueller. No, sir.
Mr. Schumer. Who were the law enforcement â€” because they
were law enforcement officials. You said they were stormtroopers
who would come in and take away people's guns.
Lieutenant Tueller. I don't believe I said any such thing, sir.
Mr. Schumer. OK, I would
Lieutenant Tueller. I said that
Mr. Schumer. We will examine the record. I heard it.
Lieutenant Tueller [continuing]. Senator Feinstein â€” excuse
Mr. Schumer. It's on the film of all those people. Please-
Lieutenant Tueller. Would you like me to answer your ques-
Mr. Schumer. You just said you don't believe you said it. You did
say it. Your credibility is in doubt now, sir.
Lieutenant Tueller. Mr. Schumer.
Mr. Schumer. Yes, sir?
Lieutenant Tueller. As a law enforcement officer
Mr. Schumer. Right.
Lieutenant Tueller [continuing]. You have accused me of deni-
grating my fellow law enforcement officers
Mr. Schumer. You did.
Lieutenant Tueller [continuing]. And that is also not true. I
spoke of the leadership of some of these organizations. I spoke
Mr. Schumer. They're law enforcement officers.
Lieutenant TUELLER. As you are mentioning, you attempt to
denigrate the Law Enforcement Alliance of America. You seem to
imply that someone is putting words in our mouths.
Mr. SCHUMER. I didn't imply that.
Lieutenant TuELLER. Well, I
Mr. ScHUMER. I said that it was founded by seed money from the
NRA. Is not that true?
Lieutenant TuELLER. Well, sir, I became a member of an organi-
zation called the Law Enforcement for the Preservation of the Sec-
ond Amendment because thousands of officers realize that our
views were not being heard, and that organization developed into
the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, which works closely
with the National Rifle Association and many other
Mr. ScHUMER. Thank you. Thank you.
Lieutenant TuELLER [continuing]. Organizations that support the
Mr. ScHUMER. Let me ask one final question. I agree it works
closely with the National Rifle Association.
The only other question I had was again for you, Lieutenant,
which is: What proposal â€” you talked five or six times about unilat-
eral personal disarmament. What proposal are you referring to? Is
there a bill? Is there a law? Is there some Member of Congress who
is proposing that? I certainly don't support that. So could you
please give me a specific proposal, or is this just something that
you might fear, but has no concrete basis that anyone in the Con-
gress, now or before, has opposed â€” proposed?
Lieutenant TuELLER. Well, sir, I have seen over the years numer-
ous attempts at undermining the second amendment, second-guess-
Mr. ScHUMER. No, but I'm asking you, sir, specifically, to please
answer my question. What proposal out there that you're afraid
of â€” I'd be afraid of unilateral personal disarmament. I would. What
proposal out there is making you afraid. Is there a specific pro-
posal? You mentioned it numerous times in your statement.
Lieutenant TuELLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. ScHUMER. What is it?
Lieutenant TuELLER. Most of the guns â€” gun laws that come
down the pike
Mr. ScHUMER. No, just give me a specific one.
Lieutenant Tueller. Certainly, sir.
Officer Rodriguez. Mr. Chairman, I'd like to answer that.
Mr. ScHUMER. Please, go ahead. Officer.
Officer Rodriguez. Well, I can't give you a specific proposal, Mr.
Schumer, but I certainly can give you a specific incident.
Mr. Schumer. No, no, no. I don't want â€” I asked for a proposal,
Officer Rodriguez. Well
Mr. Schumer. I asked for a proposal.
Officer Rodriguez. I'm standing here with an empty holster
Mr. Schumer. Yes.
Officer RoDRlGUi<:z [continuing]. Empty magazine carriers
Mr. Schumer. Right.
Officer Rodriguez [continuing]. And I'm not considered to be fit
to carry my firearms that I'm charged with by the city of Albuquer-
que, the residents of my State, and the residents of my city, be-
cause I'm here on the Hill and I'm subject to your actions as a
Member of this body
Mr. ScHUMER. I see.
Officer Rodriguez [continuing]. And I'm not allowed to do
Mr. ScHUMER. OK, Officer. So your example-
Officer Rodriguez. As an officer, I can't wait to see what you're
Mr. ScHUMER. Should any citizen be allowed to walk in with a
Officer Rodriguez. If a citizen is qualified and credentialed, you
bet; I would think
Mr. Schumer. OK
Officer Rodriguez [continuing]. As an recognized police officer in
Mr. Schumer. We have a difference in views of that. I don't con-
sider that â€” and I don't think most Americans would consider
that â€” unilateral
Officer Rodriguez. Well
Mr. Schumer [continuing]. Personal disarmament. We've had
Mr. McCoLLUM. Mr. Schumer, your time is up, even the added
Mr. Schumer. Right.
Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Schiff.
Mr. Schiff. Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Since my time is now down from 5 to 4 minutes, I'm going to be
very brief here.
First, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your admonition, if you will,
about the fact that we try to work with all organizations through
this subcommittee. I've been a member of the Fraternal Order of
Police for more than 20 years. I've been disappointed in some of
their positions. I think some of their positions do not reflect what
the membership actually believes, as I see fellow members, but I'm
still very, very proud to be a member of that organization.
Second of all, I want to make the observation again that there's
a tactic in the discussion of this legislation that's not unique to this
legislation, and the tactic is: what does the National Rifle Associa-
tion say about it, or perhaps on our side, what does Handgun Con-
trol say about it? I think that we are here to pass good legislation,
to not pass bad legislation, and although the NRA and any other
group is entitled to its opinion, I trust its opinion does not knee-
jerk us in some kind of reverse mode for some reason.
I think the most important aspect of this hearing is this: we've
been told over and over and over again that we need certain laws
on the books with respect to firearms because the police support
those laws, and we have been presented with the same police offi-
cers over and over again who reiterate that. I have no doubt that
many police officers do support some of the firearms legislation
that we have passed, and, indeed, might support more. I think
what this panel indicates is that the police are not unified in that
position, and I think, by the way, the battle of petitions might get
very interesting on some of these subjects, as to which the police
on the street favor more or less.
I just think that we are being presented here with a real balance,
a balance of the fact that the police are not in lock-step on legisla-
tive proposals any more than other organizations are, and there
are aifferent points of view. And I thins this hearing has been a
wonderful opportunity to present that point of view.
Gentlemen, I'm going to change subjects with my remaining time
and ask you this question, ask you to respond, if you will: the most
useful firearms law, gun control law, on the books today, without
a doubt in my mind, is the rather old now Federal law against a
convicted felon possessing a firearm because that targets gun con-
trol right to the person you don't want to hold a firearm, a con-
victed felon. I have been very disappointed in the enforcement of
that act, which I think has been more often the lack of enforcement
of that act by the U.S. Justice Department not only under this ad-
ministration, but previous administrations.
For example, they have testified that the Justice Department â€”
most enforcement of that act is after the fact; in other words, after
there's a new crime, you add felon in possession of a firearm to the
new armed robbery, or whatever it is. I've tried to get the Justice
Department to adopt a minimum standard: "You will prosecute,
U.S. attorneys, under this statute if you find a felon in possession,
say, who's been released from a penitentiary within a year or so
beforehand." The Justice Department testified that they believe
that, until you have a new crime, you don't a felon in possession
of a firearm. I think that's patent nonsense, based on my experi-
ence in street law enforcement.
I would be very grateful, in any order that you prefer, if you
would respond. Do you ever, in the street, do you ever run into con-
victed felons in possession of a firearm before they've committed a
new crime? Who'd like to start on that? Well, a little partisanship
here, parochialism perhaps. Officer Rodriguez.
Officer Rodriguez. Thank you very much, Congressman.
Congressman, working witn the repeat offender project, we find
them all the time. We'll stop a car for some other type of violation,
and we'll find weapons that are not actually being used in the com-
mission of a crime, but the person has a history of violence or he
has a prior history of felony convictions, and we're not allowed â€”
we'll take the weapon and we'll generally secure it, but nobody will
prosecute it. So we've done is we can take the weapon without giv-
ing it back to him, but he serves no time.
Another thing that happens is that other States are exiling their
people to our State. What they'll do is they'll say, OK, you're want-
ed in the tristate area or in the D.C. area, but we won't extradite
you if you're more than a State away. So we have people we run
on NCIC all the time that come up as a hit; they're wanted out of
New York or some place else, and then on the bottom it will say,
well, only extradite from adjoining States. That doesn't help us at
Mr. ScHiFF. One quick followup: are you saying that you have no
trouble finding convicted felons in possession of firearms before a
new offense is committed?
Officer Rodriguez. All the time.
Mr. SCHIFF. And are they prosecuted?
Officer Rodriguez. No, sir.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Schiff. Your 4 minutes stretched
slightly, but we did come pretty close to it.
Mr. ScfflFF. Thank you for that stretch. Thank you.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Ms. Jackson Lee.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm
sorry that I was not extended the same courtesies to make a re-
mark or two, as my Republican colleague. So I will have to make
sure that I make some opening comments, and I guess my time will
be limited to 5 minutes.
Mr. McCoLLUM. Ms. Jackson Lee, you'll certainly be allowed to
make opening comments, if you want to add some to that, at the
end of this panel. I onW allowed Mr. Schiff to welcome Mr.
Rodriguez. There's no difference in treatment of the members of
the committee. The opening statements are normally reserved to
the beginning of a panel, when we first start, and, certainly, I'd be
willing as I passed through â€” I thought Mr. Schumer â€” to let you
make a statement at the beginning â€” at the end of this panel before
we introduce the next one. So you may use time to question and
make an opening statement, if you wish.
Ms. Jackson Lee. I appreciate it, Mr. Chairman. I do note that
my colleague did make more than a welcome, but I do appreciate
your comments on that.
Let me, first, acknowledge the fact that I do appreciate the
wealth of diversity and opinion in this Nation and adhere to the
first amendment, the right to freedom of speech, as much as I ad-
here to the second amendment. But if I might, as I have listened
to the gentlemen, I'm almost reminded of Halloween, the ghoulish
conversation and dialog that I have heard this morning in this
hearing. And the reason I say that is because I have no disagree-
ment with my colleague from New Mexico about the strong enforce-
ment of felony possession. I have no disagreement with the 70-
year-old senior citizen warding off a knife-wielding invader and in-
truder into her home. I have no disagreement with a 6-foot, 8-inch,
ex-felon breaking into your home and being confronted by a law-
abiding citizen protecting their property. And so all that I have
heard this morning brings no disenchantment or disfavor.
The problem I have is that you are mixing more than apples and
oranges. You are totally confusing the intent of these hearings, as
I understand it. We're talking about banning assault weapons. As
I read the second amendment, and it has not changed, it clearly
indicates that the amendment pertains to "a well-regulated militia
being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the peo-
ple to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
And so when we begin to analyze what we're doing here in the
U.S. Congress, we certainly should do it in the context of the sec-
ond amendment, and most of the Federal law cases have indicated
that gun regulation â€” because I have abhorrence to gun control; I
think it is reasonable gun regulation â€” is not against the Constitu-
tion. And so I am at loss â€” and. Officer Roberts, I truly appreciate