Law Enforcement Officers: Serving “The People,” Not Above Them

Two weeks ago, I filed an amicus brief in U.S. District Court in Colorado, in Gates v. Polis, a case challenging the Colorado legislature’s 2013 ban on magazines over 15 rounds. The brief was on behalf of Sheriffs and law enforcement training organizations: the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, the Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, the Western States Sheriffs Association, 10 elected Colorado County Sheriffs, and the Independence Institute (where I work).

Some of the brief explains the practical mechanics of armed self-defense, and why bans on standard magazines do not impair mass shooters, but do endanger ordinary citizens, especially when attacked by multiple criminals. Another part of the brief shows that the key data created by some of the Colorado Attorney General’s expert witnesses is obviously false.

But in this post, I will focus on a more fundamental argument in the brief. The law enforcement amici reject the claim that arms universally recognized as appropriate for ordinary law enforcement officers should be banned for ordinary citizens. The claim is based on the pernicious idea that law enforcement officers are above the people, rather than part of the people. Here are some excerpts from the brief: