Police use of firearms: Deadly guns, scenarios and ‘mistakes’

Maurice Punch

in Shoot to kill

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9781847424730
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303350 | DOI:
Police use of firearms: Deadly guns, scenarios and ‘mistakes’

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the nature of firearms and the damage they can do. It discusses the role of guns on incidents such as on massacres with legal weapons, and on diverse scenarios in policing for the use of firearms. It also discusses the tension and emotion of firing at humans in conflict situations as well as police mistakes and accidents with weapons. All of these are argued to be strictly considered on policies and practices of the police use of firearms and fatal force. In this chapter, the countries of the UK, the US, and the Netherlands are examined as these three societies have contrasting approaches to the use of firearms and force. Throughout the chapter, the notion that the police service is an emergency agency that responds to many mundane and challenging incidents which may require mobilization of fatal force and firearms is considered. The chapter also considers the policy of ‘to arm or not to arm’.

Keywords: firearms; guns; weapons; policing; use of firearms; police mistakes; police accidents; fatal force; Police Service

Chapter.  21008 words. 

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.