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The Fraternal Order of Police opposed the Kennedy armor piercing bullet amendment. They believe that this is 'not a genuine officer safety issue'.



26 February 2004


The Honorable Larry Craig
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.  20510


Dear Senator Craig,


I am writing to advise you of our strong opposition to an amendment that Senator Kennedy intends to offer later today to S. 1805, the "Lawful Protection of Commerce in Arms Act."


Senator Kennedy will certainly present his amendment as an "officer safety issue" to get dangerous, "cop-killer" bullets off the shelves.  Regardless of its presentation, the amendment's actual aim and effect would be to expand the definition of "armor-piercing" to include ammunition based, not on any threat to law enforcement officers, but on a manufacturer's marketing strategy.


The truth of the matter is that only one law enforcement officer has been killed by a round fired from a handgun which penetrated his soft body armor--and in that single instance, it was the body armor that failed to provide the expected ballistic protection, not because the round was "armor piercing."


It is our view that no expansion or revision of the current law is needed to protect law enforcement officers.  To put it simply, this is not a genuine officer safety issue.  If it were, Senator Kennedy would not be offering this amendment to a bill he strongly opposes and is working to defeat.  The REAL officer safety issue here is the adoption of S. Amdt. 2618, the "Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act," which would exempt active and retired law enforcement officers from State and local prohibitions on the carrying of concealed firearms.


The Kennedy amendment was considered and defeated by the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2003 on a 10-6 vote.  We believe that it should be rejected again.


On behalf of the more than 311,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you for taking our views on this issue into consideration.  If I can be of any further assistance on this issue, please contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco at my Washington office.




Chuck Canterbury
National President
Fraternal Order of Police



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