Just before he was murdered, police officer Timothy Brenton was doing what he did best: teaching a rookie how to serve and protect the Seattle community.
The two officers were sitting in their patrol car and discussing a routine traffic stop when, according to the police, Christopher Monfort pulled alongside and opened fire. Rookie officer Britt Sweeney was wounded, and Timothy Brenton died instantly.
Monfort bought the rifle that killed Officer Brenton from an illegal gun trafficker who repeatedly sold guns to violent criminals at gun shows – no background check, no questions asked.1
All across the country, states with lax gun laws are seeing their police officers pay the price. It’s time to protect the men and women who put their lives on the line for us.
As part of their groundbreaking investigation The Hidden Life of Guns, the Washington Post has tried to track down the firearms used in the 511 fatal shootings of U.S. law enforcement officials since January of 2000.2
Only two-thirds of the guns could be traced, and the findings on them were bleak.
More than 200 of the shooters owned their guns illegally. In fact, 45 were on probation or parole and at least four had been previously convicted of murder or manslaughter. And 16 times, the killer used a “straw purchaser” to get their gun for them — yet fewer than half of these straw buyers have ever faced prosecution.
The facts are clear: too many police officers die each year because state laws aren’t tough enough to keep criminals from getting guns. These brave men and women deserve better.
See if your state has laws in place to protect your community from illegal guns:
There’s no excuse for more police officers to lose their lives to illegal guns. Let’s make sure our state lawmakers get serious about gun crime.
Thanks for keeping our communities safe,
Mayors Against Illegal Guns
1 Feds arrest gun dealer…, Seattle Times, November 19, 2010. Article available here.
2 Guns used to kill police officers, The Washington Post, November 21, 2010. Article available here.