With Rifle Power Capable of Penetrating Body Armor—Are Growing Threat
to Lives of Law Enforcement Officers, According to New VPC Study
Are Already Using These "Vest-Busters" to Kill Police in Mexico
new handguns called "big boomers" by the gun industry are a
growing threat to the nation's law enforcement officers, a new 36-page
study released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) reveals. (See
for a copy of the study, see http://www.vpc.org/studies/boomerskeyfindings.pdf
for a summary presenting the key findings of the study.) Body armor used
by police has been able to stop handgun rounds and saved thousands of
lives over the last three decades, the study states, but standard body
armor cannot stop rifle rounds. "Big
Boomers"—Rifle Power Designed Into Handguns warns that the
gun industry is aggressively marketing a growing number of new handguns
designed to fire bullets with rifle power. The rounds these guns fire
can penetrate all but the most resistant body armor (such as that used
in raids by many SWAT teams).
"The gun industry
has once again proven that it is willing to put profits over health, safety,
and even national security," VPC Senior Policy Analyst Tom Diaz,
the study's author, states. "The firearms industry is congratulating
itself that 'big boomers' are 'good for business,' even while these guns
are ending up in the hands of felons and drug dealers in the United States.
One need look no further than Mexico—where these guns are smuggled in
by drug traffickers and used to kill police—to understand the growing
threat these weapons represent to U.S. law enforcement and security forces."
The study traces the
proliferation of various "big boomers" and the gun industry’s
increased marketing of vest-buster handguns following the 2003 introduction
of the first vest buster: the Model 500 S&W Magnum from Smith & Wesson.
Adds Diaz, "Marketing
deadly firearms such as these is yet another reckless spasm of an industry
that finds its markets shrinking and is willing to do anything to try
to pump them up."
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x110