Many Americans believe it is common for police officers to fire their guns. About three-in-ten adults estimate that police fire their weapons a few times a year while on duty, and more than eight-in-ten (83%) estimate that the typical officer has fired his or her service weapon at least once in their careers, outside of firearms training or on a gun range, according to a recent Pew Research Center national survey.

In fact, only about a quarter (27%) of all officers say they have ever fired their service weapon while on the job, according to a separate Pew Research Center survey conducted by the National Police Research Platform.

The survey was conducted May 19-Aug. 14, 2016, among a nationally representative sample of 7,917 sworn officers working in 54 police and sheriff’s departments with 100 or more officers.

 

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