WASHINGTON --- Four and a half years ago, three
police organizations in the United States issued advisories to warn officers
that a new handgun introduced into the U.S. market by a Belgium manufacturer of
military firearms represented a unique threat to the safety of police
It was a handgun that was designed to fire bullets
through body armor.
The gun, manufactured by FN Herstal of
Belgium, is lightweight and easily concealable, and was designed as a military
sidearm to complement military rifles made by the same company. One law enforcement expert referred to the
Five-Seven as “an assault rifle that fits in your pocket.”
While no police officer has reportedly been killed by a
suspect armed with a Five-Seven, it may now have taken the lives of U.S.
Today, several news sources are reporting that it was the Five-Seven
that Nidal M. Hasan used in his shooting attack at Fort Hood in Texas Thursday. In January 2005, the International Association of Chiefs
of Police (IACP), International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) and the
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), released
their alert to the police community at a press conference, joined by U.S.
Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Elliott Engel of New York.
When first launched for civilian sales, company officials
wrote on the company website that “enemy personnel, even wearing body armor can
be effectively engaged up to 200 meters. Kevlar® helmets and vests as well as
the CRISAT protection will be penetrated.” That language has since been removed
by FN Herstal.
In early 2005, Brady Campaign staff purchased the weapon
at a Virginia gun dealer and test-fired it.The bullets successfully penetrated a police Kevlar vest. As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots
organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign,
with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and
enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies.