Stop Arming Cops with Guns Lacking Safety Mechanisms

Target: Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Goal: Immediately cease arming officers with pistols that don’t have a safety mechanism.

Twice as many sheriff’s deputies have accidentally shot their weapons after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department started arming their cops with pistols that don’t have a safety mechanism. We need to be making it harder for law enforcement to shoot people, not easier. Demand that this sheriff’s department stop arming its officers with these dangerous guns.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recently issued new pistols to its deputies that are much easier to shoot than their old ones. This is because these new handguns require less pressure to pull the trigger and—incredibly—lack any kind of safety mechanism. Gun “safeties,” as they are usually called, are mechanisms that the vast majority of pistols have that, when switched on, physically prevent the gun from being fired. A cop who would want to fire their weapon would first need to switch the safety off to do so.

With these new guns, law enforcement officers have to do no such thing—they can just pull their gun from its holster and fire. This may seem like a stupid thing for a pistol—especially one issued to cops—to lack, and that’s because it is. Not surprisingly, the number of accidental shootings that the sheriff’s department is responsible for each year has more than doubled since this new pistol was issued to its deputies.

Police are justifiably being criticized left and right for shooting people with alarming frequency. We need to make sure it is as hard as possible for them to continue to do that. Sign the petition below to demand that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stop issuing this stupidly dangerous pistol to its deputies.


Dear Sheriff McDonnell,

I am writing you today regarding the Smith & Wesson M&P9 pistol that is being used by your deputies. How the decision was ever made to adopt this handgun as the standard-issue weapon for your department—when it is very obviously extremely unsafe—I cannot even pretend to understand.

Law enforcement departments around the country have been under rightful condemnation recently for shooting too many people too often. In that context, it makes no sense to adopt a pistol that requires such little pressure to pull the trigger and that doesn’t have a safety mechanism built in to it at all.

Indeed, the statistics show why switching over to this handgun was a bad idea. In 2012, when your department was still using its old Beretta pistols, there were only 12 reported accidental shootings. In 2014, after the switch was made, that number jumped to a whopping 30.

Arming your deputies with this handgun puts innocent civilians at risk, and there is no excuse for that. I demand that you immediately stop using the Smith & Wesson M&P9 as your department’s standard-issue pistol and return to one that has a safety mechanism.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: United States Navy

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