For Release: Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Washington, DC—One in four law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty in 2016 were killed by an assault weapon, according to research by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). As seen in the graphic below, in 2016 (the most recent year for which data is available) 64 U.S. law enforcement officers (excluding Puerto Rico) were slain in the line of duty. Of these, 16 (25 percent) were killed with an assault weapon. In four of these 16 deaths a bullet penetrated the officer’s body armor. Information for the VPC analysis was obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) along with data published in the FBI’s 2016 Law Enforcement Officers Killed & Assaulted.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Assault weapons are a menace to public safety. Now is the time to pass an effective assault weapons ban that will protect police officers on the job as well as citizens going about their daily lives.”