The myth that police support gun control legislation is one of the most frequent crutches used by gun control groups to support disarming Americans. At the forefront of this is the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a DC-based think tank with a long anti-gun history.
This is all done with your tax dollars, no less, as the Nationalist Review recently exposed the DOJ’s funding of PERF:
Between 2001 and 2017, PERF has received a combined $35.2 million in funding from federal, state, and local governments in the form of grants and contracts, according to 990 tax filings submitted by the DC based think tank. In addition to this funding, PERF receives millions more annually in the form of fees charged for training ($9,500 per officer for a three week course) and conference registrations ($3.3 million in 2018 alone)
Made up of police chiefs and executives from large cities, PERF policies have resulted in a “soft federalization” of policing, with “training courses” that yield almost zero flexibility for officers in the field, and this rigidity extends to the push to restrict civilian firearms ownership at every juncture.
Unsurprisingly, PERF was one of the major backstops for former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s first foray into gun control. The push to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment (legislation protecting the privacy of gunowners’ personal information) was spearheaded by Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and supported by none other than PERF’s very own Chuck Wexler:
Mayors Against Illegal Guns last Tuesday stood on Capitol Hill with law enforcement officials and members of Congress to urge the repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment.
Members of Congress at the event included… Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum.
Lest we forget, Mayors Against Illegal Guns was disbanded in 2014 and rebranded as Everytown for Gun Safety after the group’s mayors either turned against Bloomberg, or turned up in possession of illegal firearms:
Why was Mayors Against Illegal Guns Renamed? Because of the mayors.
Some mayors believed the organization didn't target illegal guns, just legal ones.
But the real kicker was when some mayors in the group faced charges for illegally possessing guns themselves. pic.twitter.com/SZFgCEQLuN
— FMShooter (@fmshooter) November 27, 2019
While Bloomberg was restructuring his gun control apparatus, Wexler remained as PERF’s Executive Director, where in 2017, he pushed back against one of the only noble causes championed by then-AG Jeff Sessions – a drive to have police departments enforce immigration laws:
In 2017, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to withhold federal funds from police departments that refused to enforce immigration laws, it was Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, who pushed back against him. Wexler claimed that if police departments assisted in detaining illegal immigrants, they would inhibit their ability to gain information from the community about recent crimes.
PERF supports every gun control policy imaginable, including, but not limited to:
- Restrictions on firearm magazine capacity
- Implementation of Universal Background Checks
- “Red Flag” Laws
- Microstamping technology in all new firearms
- Opposition to removal of suppressors from NFA restriction
- A reinstatement of Senator Dianne Feinstein‘s 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, where she famously stated on 60 Minutes that she would support door-to-door gun confiscation:
As previously mentioned by the Nationalist Review, PERF relies on failed retreads and anti-gun fanatics to head their departments, and there is perhaps no bigger example than former NYPD commissioner James O’Neill. O’Neill even took his gun control platform to the national stage, appearing on 60 Minutes to plead against National Concealed Carry Reciprocity:
Cyrus Vance: I think it would be a disaster for New York City. And I think for major cities around the country.
James O’Neill: I think it’s insanity.
Vance and O’Neill have established a formidable coalition of prosecutors and police chiefs from nearly every big city in America to lobby senators to keep the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act from becoming law.
Of course, O’Neill continues to support support lackluster firearms training for NYPD officers, and the NYPD continues to be the only police department in the country with a mandated 12lb firearm trigger, a major contributor to poor firearm accuracy:
When you hear about the NYPD taking 16 shots to kill one bad guy and accidentally wounding nine civilian passers-by, or officers firing 84 shots at a murder suspect and missing 83 times (with the only hit registering in the suspect’s calf), don’t blame the officers—blame their poor training and equipment, mandated by O’Neill all throughout his tenure as commissioner.
And yet, PERF is cited by nearly every liberal organization that supports gun control. Former Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, one of Bloomberg’s most endorsed candidates (via his Moms Demand and Everytown proxies), used PERF to proclaim that “every” major law enforcement organization opposed CCW Reciprocity.
The Major Cities Chiefs Association, Police Foundation, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, Police Executive Research Forum…#StopCCR pic.twitter.com/vI5EohfgXE
— Elizabeth Esty (@Elizabeth_Esty) December 6, 2017
This was her platform, right up until she was forced to abandon her re-election campaign in the wake of a sex scandal involving her chief of staff:
In early 2018, Esty faced public criticism after news reports revealed that her former chief of staff had been accused of sexual harassment and threats of violence against staff but that she kept him on the payroll for another three months and wrote him a positive letter of reference.
California Rep. Salud Carbajal recently used PERF to justify his push for “Red Flag” laws:
— Rep. Salud Carbajal (@RepCarbajal) October 22, 2019
But it is hardly just politicians themselves who use PERF as a gun control crutch. Parkland “victim” Cameron Kasky, another anti-gunner who exists solely on Bloomberg donations, used PERF police chief and noted gun-grabbing liar Chief Art Acevedo to promote his advocacy:
Just had a great panel with PERF (Police Executive Research Forum) where I got to meet law enforcers from around the country and discuss behavioral intervention programs and the gun violence epidemic in our country. Special thanks to Chief @ArtAcevedo for his leadership.
— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) June 1, 2018
— FMShooter (@fmshooter) September 17, 2018
Rifles PERF wishes to ban frequently save lives:
1) The story of a pregnant woman using an AR-15 to save her husband is now being covered by mainstream media, largely because of the brutal nature of the intruders' attack.
They'll have you believe this is an uncommon occurrence. Unsurprisingly, they are lying. pic.twitter.com/exGdWn9zss
— FMShooter (@fmshooter) November 5, 2019
Even the “conservative” Koch Brothers have donated hundreds of thousands to PERF:
The Police Executive Research Forum launched a new study to identify risk factors that result in police use of force https://t.co/9lr36oJyE6
— Charles Koch Inst. (@CKinstitute) June 30, 2017
Make no mistake about it, PERF anti-gun policies have infiltrated the Trump administration as well:
ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon and other senior leadership participated in the Police Executive Research Forum in DC, focusing on reducing gun violence and #CrimeGunIntel. ATF also showcased one of its NIBIN vans with @JeffCoSheriff. pic.twitter.com/iCWSXJ2tdB
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) June 8, 2018
Remember Chuck Wexler? Here he is with none other than the architect of Fast and Furious: former Attorney General Eric Holder:
— Chief Brooks (@ChiefBrooksNPD) April 16, 2014
Ironically enough, Holder opposed Project Exile, a program which aimed to force federal prosecutions and guaranteed prison sentences for illegal firearms possession charges. For a man who had no problem with the “soft federalization” of police throughout his career, it is rather amusing that he opposed the one tool that is lauded by both the NRA and police everywhere as a major contributor to a drastic drop in violent crime rates.
But perhaps no one more blatantly clings to PERF than Monsanto lobbyist and “stay-at-home mom” Shannon Troughton. If you haven’t heard of her in the past, it’s because she changed her last name to Watts to try to duck her past as a lobbyist for big corporate interests when she joined Bloomberg’s newly rebranded Everytown:
This is a bizarre lie. The National Association of School Resource Officers opposes it. The Major Cities Chiefs Association opposes it. The Police Executive Research Forum opposes it.
How dare Arkansas lawmakers allow this fraud to give testimony that will impact kids’ safety? https://t.co/SrCLxw6VvZ
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 9, 2018
2) The Police Foundation, Police Executive Research Forum, Major Cities Chiefs Association and other national police associations all oppose
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 28, 2017
Watts had the temerity to follow Hillary Clinton’s debunked suggestion that suppressors make firearms more deadly. Sadly enough, PERF is all too willing to go along with both Hillary and Watts:
The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots.
Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 2, 2017
Burlington’s police chief spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day meeting with other police leaders and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin to speak about law enforcement use of force.
The topic: A new policy created by the Police Executive Research Forum with the help of law enforcement partners across the country. Ryan’s hometown police department in Janesville recently adopted the policy, del Pozo said. The Burlington chief was one of five police leaders who helped forum members present the policy to Ryan.
Unfortunately, PERF does the exact opposite of what Ryan claimed to oppose – the soft federalization of local police:
“(Ryan) has never been interested in federalizing local functions, and he considers police a local function,” del Pozo said. “But he was interested in hearing what local police have done sort of on a voluntary basis to improve use-of-force outcomes in policing. We were just explaining the curriculum.”
Make no mistake about it, PERF has infiltrated every layer of our country’s policing and law enforcement apparatus, and draconian gun controls are all over their list of objectives. Whenever anyone states that there is “police support” for a gun control initiative you can bet your bottom dollar that PERF is one of the “police organizations” they’ll use to make that argument.
Note: This article was part of a collaboration with the Nationalist Review on PERF. Stay tuned there for further content on PERF’s influence on policing in the US.