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Monday, April 8, 2013

Why Only LEOs Should Have Guns--Negligent Discharge in Strip Joint

Over the past few days, I've seen links to this story on Drudge, Instapundit, and a couple of other sites.
According to police reports and witnesses, an off-duty Gonzales Police Officer was at a strip club in Gonzales, LA on March 13, 2013. The police report states the officer, Chase Delatte, walked into the men's restroom around 1:38 a.m. to check if his personal firearm in an ankle holster was loaded.

The Glock handgun accidentally fired, according to the report.
There reportedly was a bullet hole in the restroom doorway. The officer, Delatte, was suspended for 3 days.

Now, if that had happened to a CCL holder, the best he/she could expect is that his/her CCL would be pulled. More likely, he/she would be charged with some crime and lose the carry license.

Which raises the question of whether police should lose their privileges to carry and use a firearm under certain circumstances, even when otherwise cleared of wrongdoing. Conor Friedersdorf, writing at the Atlantic, suggests that police officers that mistakenly shoot innocent victims, even if subsequently cleared in an administrative or court proceeding, should not be allowed to carry a firearm.

I can see some unintended consequences, including greater attempts to brand the innocent victim as a criminal. (Compare with the original news story; also note that the officers that were shot were the victims of "friendly fire" from other officers).

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