Question for LE Swat Snipers-UPDATE

Tflhnd1

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I was not sure where else to post this. I have been on my team for 10+ years both entry and snipers. My S/O section is me, a partner, and team leader. We are supported by another 2 man S/O team as part of a regional team...So anyway...

Question. We currently have two rifles, a rock barreled remmy in an HS stock, and a PSS in an A-5. However, we want to equip our team leader as well. With a rough price of $1500-2500 for BASIC kit, we don't have the cash. Our city just took some multi-X million dollar.

I had volunteered to use my GAP M40A3, which is obviously far superior to the remmy varmint or PSS. This proposal was turned down because it is not a City funded weapon.

My team leader came up with an idea for a contract, where I sell my GAP to the city for $1.00 turning control to them though I would use it, with the option to buy back at the termination of my service. Before submitting this proposal my Cpt. wanted to know if any other agency had done something like this contract. I know...STUPID...but thats the game I have to play right now, even in incredibly desolate financial times.

EDIT: With a new direction, If you have ever, or are currently using a personal precision rifle, please post here what agency you with, city, state
etc., and how many on your team do. Thank you. This could pay off.
Any responses or help would be appreciated. Thanks! Jeff.
 

ofcrfs242

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

I would check into state statutes first. Don't know about CA but here we have an anti donation clause. Anything that is City, County, or State property cannot be sold or given to an individual without going through auction. I know a lot of states have similar laws. Would hate for you to sell it to the city and find out that you had to buy it back at open auction.

Another drawback would be if you ever had to shoot somebody with it. At that point it becomes evidence. How long would your agency keep it as such. All agencies are different.
 

Tflhnd1

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

We have an understanding with our DOJ about limited special weapons getting processed released swiftly. Interesting take on the anti-donate.
 

Andrew Blubaugh

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Jeff,

We have a similar situation. Though our previous and current Chief's have allowed personally owned weapons for back up, off duty and SWAT. We created a policy that outlines personally owned weapons under color of office. Basically the officer is responsible to maintain the weapon system. The weapon system also needs to approved by firearms instructors.

You know your agency better than I do, regardless I would feel uneasy about selling it to them for $1.00. Even with a contract spelled out things can happen. There is no legal reason I know of that your agency can not create a policy to allow personally owned firearms under color of office.
 

Graham

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Tflhnd1</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My team leader came up with an idea for a contract, where I sell my GAP to the city for $1.00 turning control to them though I would use it, with the option to buy back at the termination of my service.</div></div>What, exactly, is this transaction designed to achieve? How would it turn your rifle into a 'city-funded' weapon?
 

BALLISTIC

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KeithR41</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Not only no but No FING WAY IN HELL!</div></div>

I figured this should be OBVIOUS, but I am no sniper...I agree with the above.
 

Tflhnd1

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Oh I agree Cowboy. We used to have a firearms policy, Issued Glocks but you could carry your own Glock or SIG on your dime, maintained by owner approved by rangemaster/armorer. New boss came in and said Glock 22's only for all officers coming in, (city funded only).

That's were I'm at, tryin' to back door this to negate poor thinking. It still baffles me how some of the most critical decisions are made by people who have no knowledge base to state their case.

And the world stills spins.
 

Phylodog

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

I use my own personal weapon. I typed a memo and submitted it outlining the similarities between my rifle and those owned and issued to the rest of my team. I don't think I would agree to what your team leader is proposing. A change in the administration could result in you having sold your GAP for $1.00 and unable to buy it back.

Perhaps you trust your agency more than I trust mine. There was a time when I did trust them but that era is long, long gone.
 

targetterror

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Where the price of the sale ($1) is so low compared to the actual value of the item sold, it may be considered a peppercorn and thus invalidate the contract. I know enough to know that this could be an issue, but you should obviously talk to a lawyer to know the full impact that might have.

Worst case scenario you might possibly impact the liability of you, the city, or your department depending on the local rules/statutes for using weapons. Or not. But it may be an issue.
 

SniperCJ

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Why should a sniper / SWAT section be run any differently than hundred if not thousands of departments around the world who require their Officers to supply their own sidearm. If the weapon is safe, functional, meets department specs and passes whatever qual course you demand of it, it should be available for use. That shouldnt only apply to sidearms.

I used a peronally owned rifle for YEARS on my team.
 

Andrew Blubaugh

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Jeff, The money is there you just have to look for it and do some leg work.

If there is a true need for the weapon start asking the public for help. I built a pavilion at our range and it did not cost our agency a dime. It came down to the need and I had to get the donations.

Realistically do you need another gun on the team or do you want another rifle on the team? How many scoped rifle positions do you have on the typical call out? Three tends to be a lot for us on a typical call out but two seems to be the norm. The point I am getting at is don't be afraid to assign a rifle to more than one person. Don't put Too Tall Jones with Mikey the Midget and things won't be too bad. Frank (LowLight) has a short LOP on his rifles but I have used his rifles on many occasions and still scored hits galore.... Having a rifle for every guy is great but not always necessary.

Just a few suggestions.
 

Graham

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Texagator</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If the agency cannot or will not purchase necessary equipment for an officer, then they are not serious about supporting your mission. In my experience, agencies that do this are only putting a team together so they can claim that they have the capability to respond to critical incidents. Whether they really can or not is irrelevant as far as they are concerned</div></div>Well said.

OP, it's government work after all. Play by the rules instead of trying hard to circumvent them. If they don't want to buy a rifle, so be it. It's not your decision.
 

jwaj

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Often times, agencies and city/county governments have memorandum of agreements regarding which weapon systems can be carried by its officers. This is usually for liability reasons.

I would venture to say if your agency allows officer's to carry their own side arm then you should be able to draft a memo (usually range staff will do this) allowing you to use your personal rifle for duty use.

If this sounds like something that would work, send me a PM and I'll give you a point of contact at my agency for an exemplar of the memo.
 

hoosierswat

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Like some of the other posts, I also carry my own sniper rifle for my team.

My department policy allows this as long as it is inspected my a gunsmith or factory armor and the gun is in good working order.

Send me a pm and I'll email you a copy of our firearms policy.
 

Switchblade

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BALLISTIC</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KeithR41</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Not only no but No FING WAY IN HELL!</div></div>

I figured this should be OBVIOUS, but I am no sniper...I agree with the above. </div></div>

Are they serious? NFW!

<----- not LE, but recognizes when someone is about to get the shaft on a nice rifle

I was told before OEF VII that I could take my PSS/A5 for duty but would have to leave it when we left to come back home so I said NFW myself
 

doc76251

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Have you considered "acquiring" a confiscated weapon, say an AR type platform and make your team lead a DMR / Overwatch. There is usually some method for a department to acquisition a weapon that has been confiscated. The other option is to see if your local FOP (Friends of Police as opposed to the other) would be willing to put something together to donate to the department. I've seen businesses donate more for less worthy causes.

Cheers,

Doc
 

DaveV

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<span style="font-style: italic">"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"</span>
Ronald Reagan

Don't trust your department
smile.gif
 

GrimmRoper

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

I totally understnad that you are trying to be a great guy and help out where you can. This is admirable, but just as the others have stated, I would not sell my gun to my dept for use. It then is their rifle and they dont have to sell it back to you, even if you have a contract; things change and the dept will always come first!

I work at the Mesa PD here in AZ, and we can carry our own rifles. I really enjoy my work and think we have a pretty dang good dept. I have been here for 10.5 years. I have no problem with our policy because we maintain our own guns and they simply have to pass the range staff inspections. At the time that I want to say that I am done playing and I want to take my rifle home, I can walk off with my rifle.

Also, you need to bear in mind, that if you do need to deploy your rifle and add lead to a bad guys diet, they are gonna keep your rifle for anywhere from a year to several years for court and evidence. Then you guys will be back in the same position you are now, but your also out a nice gun that you cant use on your RDO's.

If they won't buy a gun now, why would they buy a new gun then. Our guys carry personally owned weapons, but if they go down or are taken for court, etc. we have department owned weapons ready for issue.

Good Luck and be safe out there!
Nate
 

TDPD443

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Screw selling them your rifle, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I think it'd be a better idea to make an attempt at changing the city policy. I use a personal rifle for work, and the bosses weren't real keen on the idea either at first.

I attended a Snipercraft supervisor course last year, and Derrick talked about the use of personally owned rifles quite a bit, had plenty of documentation to back it up as well. You should try shooting him an email with your issue. I believe it's covered in his sniper resource manual.

Kind of along the lines of what Doc was getting at, what is your team leader’s primary long gun right now? Is it an AR or something that can be adapted to fit the role without spending what it takes to purchase a new gun? (ie-new upper, scope, etc).
 

SuckitTrebek

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

That just sounds like all sorts of bad juju to me.

Why would the team leader need one as well? Just curious but usually the guy in charge is not behind the trigger as well.

 

MountainMan2

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ofcrfs242</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I would check into state statutes first. Don't know about CA but here we have an anti donation clause. Anything that is City, County, or State property cannot be sold or given to an individual without going through auction. I know a lot of states have similar laws. Would hate for you to sell it to the city and find out that you had to buy it back at open auction.

Another drawback would be if you ever had to shoot somebody with it. At that point it becomes evidence. How long would your agency keep it as such. All agencies are different. </div></div>

I AGREE. NO WAY!
 

gunnut284

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

The dept has the ability to change their policy. If they are unwilling to do that I would be unwilling to risk my high dollar rifle. Another issue that potentially could arise is a state or federal law prohibiting agencies from selling off old guns and requiring they be destroyed. I know some agencies have this type of policy already and with CA and guns, you never know.

ETA: I use a dept issued rifle. I would use a personal rifle if allowed but policy says I can't. No, I wouldn't sell my rifle to the dept for $1 to be able to use it.
 

Tflhnd1

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Though I have not got a positive response to my question...Thank you all. SO, if you were using, or are currently using a personal precision rifle for duty use,
PLEASE reply with the name of your agency, city county or state. Thank you all! Jeff.
 

Phylodog

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Tflhnd1</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Though I have not got a positive response to my question...Thank you all. SO, if you were using, or are currently using a personal precision rifle for duty use,
PLEASE reply with the name of your agency, city county or state. Thank you all! Jeff. </div></div>

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, IN

Using my own.

 

TXBRASS

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Policy allows me to carry my own and the city will replace any part of it (or all of it) no matter if it is damaged during use, burned up in my unit, or even stolen from my unit.....can't go wrong with that....I can find out the details for sure, but I think it's covered some how with insurance thru city. PM me and I'll help however I can.
 

Sniper1*

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Three (3) Snipers for our dept. all using our own!

Rochester City Police Dept., Rochester, Indiana!
 

LoneWolfUSMC

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Evansville Police Department, Evansville, IN.

We have four Snipers (including me) on our department's team.

When I started on the team we only had two old M70's. The snipers that vacated the position were using their personal rifles because the department didn't fund any new rifles. When I came on I already had a duty grade rifle, so they asked me to use my personal. When we finally got new rifles approved, we only had the budget for three and we were still looking for a fourth sniper. Obviously the M70's got replaced (they still had wood stocks and no idea of a round count). I had the option of using the other new LTR but my personal was still a nicer platform, so I chose to continue using it. This decision was also due to the fact that no one else on our team had a duty-appropriate bolt rifle and none were willing to buy one just to fill the fourth sniper slot. It was much easier to find volunteers when they knew they had a rifle waiting for them.

There are MANY, MANY, MANY teams with personal rifles in use. There are many departments with personal patrol rifles and duty pistols in use.

Who Owns the weapon is less important than how it was maintained. As long as the personally owned weapons are serviced and inspected just like the department owned guns, it's a non-issue. The only bad part would be if it's ever tied up as evidence in an investigation. But then again, if that's the case then the rifle did it's job.

If you are having trouble with the brass, then I suggest a call to the American Sniper Association or Snipercraft. I am sure they can help you out. I am not 100% sure on if NTOA has a stance on this subject, but since our team follows NTOA standards in just about all other aspects I would bet it's a non-issue there as well.

When all else fails, appeal to their wallets. Demonstrate the value of the system that you are putting in service for the department at no extra cost.

Under NO circumstances would I give the department control of the rifle. Do this only if you want to donate it to them and never see it again. They may be friendly now, but you never know what will happen two months or two years from now.
 

Sgt Wardell

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the one thing i can tell u is though it might work for a while remember that the people ur dealing with are friends and such remember they retire and such and when u want it back they will almost certainly be gone happened to me in th military twice last year i lost my harris bi-pods and a spoting scope. 3 years prior i lost the internals i added to my m-4.
 

Witch_Doctor

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

I saw this mentioned breifly, but keep this in mind also, if you are involved in an OIS, which as a sniper carries a high likelihood, your weapon will be pulled as evidence until the investigation is completed. I know how our Crime Lab Techs and CE&P folks handle property, and I don't know that I would want my GAP rifle and expensive optics being bounced around by those folks. Cost of doing business though.
 

Graham

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Witch Doctor</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Cost of doing business though.</div></div>It should never be at your own personal cost.

If your department is on a learning curve, as most are, ignore them or help them learn - your choice. But don't be an overly-enthusiastic fool about it. If you want to use your personal rifle to its potential go shoot matches with it. Better yet, go shoot the matches with your duty rifle.
 

Mcgruff465

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

I would try to find another way. I agree with others, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Your department should supply you with what you need to perform your duties. I know this is not always the case, but when it comes to SWAT, that should is the way it should be taken care of.

Johnson City PD, Johnson City, TN
Team member since 2003
Remi. 700 w/ITT NV scope.
 

LoneWolfUSMC

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Witch Doctor</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I know how our Crime Lab Techs and CE&P folks handle property, and I don't know that I would want my GAP rifle and expensive optics being bounced around by those folks. Cost of doing business though. </div></div>

Any weapon system that is durable enough to be used for tactical operations should be durable enough to survive a couple months in the evidence locker. I know the kind of bumps and bangs my rifle has been through in schools and just normal training. Our guys would have to make a concerted effort to damage it.

However if I have to use it in the line of duty, it is to save a life. You can't put a price on that, so yes I do chalk it up to the cost of doing business.

Thankfully our state lab is quick in returning property to the officers. The last OIS we had the officer had his patrol rifle back before he came off his three day admin leave. Obviously this is going to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
 

spswatip

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Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

Same with ours. Our lab folks are cognizant of how important our weapons are to us and they take good care of them, and when the investigating team maintains good communication with the DA and there isn't some extenuating circumstances the rifles are returned pretty quickly.

Personally I wouldn't do what you are describing, hopefully they can work it out so you can use your personal rifle, the more bolt guns on a team the better, especially if right now you only have a couple.
 

KeithR41

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    Re: Question for LE Swat Snipers

    My department has 3 rifles and three sniper slots. 2 of us (me included. I use 3 personally owned guns, Sniper System, AR-15 and my handgun) use personally owed rifles.

    As long as it's approved and maintained properly it's not an issue. I don't have a problem with my weapon being used as evidence. The last and only shooting I was in, I had my rifle back within 1 week (luckily that was a department rifle so who cares but It's nice to know it wouldn't be kept forever if it was mine.)

    KeithR41