Survey of Police Officers
in Lehigh and Northampton Counties


Executive Summary


Since childhood you've been told to trust the friendly cop on the beat. He's there to protect you, help you, and uphold the laws of the land. While far from a condemnation of local policemen, this survey sheds some interesting light on just what the police you will most likely ever come in contact with believe and think about ...  (click on listing for graph)

Steve Christopoulos' survey of local policemen from two adjoining counties in eastern Pennsylvania is thorough, statistically sound, and very enlightening.

Your freedom, your rights, your property, and even your life may depend someday on the actions or non-actions of these law enforcement personnel.

Additionally, your attitude toward the ever increasing drum-beat for stricter gun control legislation is frequently swayed by the appearance of support from police officers across the land — or so you are lead to believe.

In observing the great American Gun War through the decade of the 1990’s, one could not help but believe that police officers are solidly behind the push for more and stricter gun control laws. From President Bush’s efforts to stop the importation of foreign made rifles to President Clinton’s support for the Brady Bill, high capacity magazine ban, and “assault weapon” ban, the leading gun control proponents are rarely seen without a phalanx of uniformed police officers standing behind them in a photo op. Surely police officers are in a unique position to know whether or not gun control is effective in reducing crime. Do they?

In spite of the public showing of police support for various gun control initiatives, there were rumblings of disagreement in the background that seldom earned a 15 second spot on the network newscasts or any mention in the major national newspapers. These rumblings were given full voice only in advocate publications.

In Steve Christopoulos' words,

"It was this conflict between what was being reported far and wide as being the truth by the mainstream media versus an undeniable groundswell of opposition by rank and file officers that eventually led to the development, testing, fielding, and analysis of a survey of local police officers in the Lehigh and Northampton Counties, a region known as the Lehigh Valley, of Pennsylvania. The survey was an in-depth look at police officers’ knowledge and opinions on a variety of subjects within the gun control controversy."

After surveying, tabulating, and analyzing hundreds of responses to his questions, Steve was drawn to certain observations and conclusions. Among them ...

The Constitution and Bill of Rights

"When it comes to the founding documents which no laws are supposed to violate, police officers are not quite sure what is fact and what is fiction. In light of statements by U.S. Congressmen that they leave it up to the courts to decide whether or not the laws they make are un-Constitutional, it is understandable why police officers would be confused."

Gun exchanges and buy-backs

"Police officers are very cynical about the effectiveness of the ever popular gun exchanges and gun buy-back programs that seem to be driven by someone’s desire to let everyone else know how concerned they are about violence."

Civilian ownership

"Police officers view civilian gun ownership very positively and do not believe that gun prohibition would have any positive effect on crime."

Assault weapons

"There is a distinct lack of accurate knowledge about the firearms that were banned under President Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill. While this ignorance among the general population is certainly understandable, given the unrelenting barrage of negative news stories that led up to the Congressional vote, it is surprising that police officers would exhibit such a lack of knowledge. The responses to this series of questions clearly showed that police officers are as easily manipulated by the press when forming their opinions as is the general public."

Current law

"Police officers do not believe that laws prevent the misuse of guns and have a good, basic understanding of current law as it relates to firearms."


"Police officers believe that gun safety is an individual responsibility that should be taught at home and that cannot be delegated to politicians."


Please click onward to the full study. I think you will find it both informative and somewhat chilling. My thanks to Steve Christopoulos for allowing TYSK the privilege of including his work on this web site.

April 1999

Complete Survey
including methodology and end notes

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