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Friday, September 30, 2016

Shotguns, buckshot and slugs are not "antiquated"

I saw this on the news this morning and it peaked my interest.
‘Antiquated’ police shotguns being replaced with ones that fire bean bags

Miami Beach is tossing its remaining 18 shotguns — antiquated relics to modern-day policing
(emphasis mine) — and replacing them with 100 new shotguns that fire bean bags instead of bullets.

The new weapons, in easily identifiable orange, are less lethal than the shotguns they are replacing and more flexible and accurate. To Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates, the bean-bag bullets are simply a new addition to the city’s non-lethal arsenal.

“We’re taking lethal shotguns off the street. They’re antiquated weapons,” Oates said.

Oates said the new shotguns with bean bag bullets — which are gaining popularity among police forces nationwide — are accurate within 70 feet. That’s a considerable difference from the 12 feet an officer needs to be within to use a Taser effectively on a subject.

Earlier this year, Bal Harbour and other local police department began retrofitting their shotguns with bean bags.

Policing has evolved since shotguns were popular in the 1970s and ‘80s. More recently they have been replaced with semi-automatic rifles that are lighter, more flexible and much more accurate in deadly situations.

Miami Beach only has 18 shotguns left in its arsenal. The plan is to have 40 of the new weapons in use by November, the rest afterward. Oates said training takes about six weeks. Miami Beach has 140 of the deadlier rifles on the streets...

Respectfully Chief Oates, you are incorrect. Shotguns are not "antiquated," they are another level of deadly force.

In my Tahoe I carry my 870 Remington and my AR-15. I also have in the back a bean bag shotgun and I've used it when a man was holding a knife up to his stomach. All these weapons have use.

While a patrol carbine is a great asset for longer ranger or multiple targets at closer range, they fire one round. A shell of 00 buckshot fires 9 ball bearings and spreads them out. I have a man on meth rushing me with a knife, the bean bag is worthless (in all honesty, it is intermediate force, not deadly). A buckshot blast will hit him multiple times at once, knocking him down. And buckshot is no comparison to slugs.

I fully support the use of bean bag shotguns as an intermediate weapon, but to be honest, the story is a bit misleading. You are replacing lethal force (shotgun) with deadly force (carbines) and fielding the bean bag shotgun (intermediate force). Might I suggest you allow your officers to carry the 870 both ways. People sometimes ask me as I'm carrying my shotgun and rifle to my Tahoe, "You going to fight a war?" My answer, "No. But better to have and not need, than need and not have."

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