New York has a reputation as one of the strongest pro-police, pro-gun control states in America, and the Empire State is about to take it one step further. Rep. Eliot Engel (D) of New York has introduced the Protect Law Enforcement Armor Act (PLEA). The bill would ban “five-seven" handguns, which are pistols that are capable of piercing a police officer’s bulletproof vest at 200 meters.
Engel argues five-seven guns are extremely popular among members of Mexican drug cartels because of their ability to stop armor-wearing ATF and Border Patrol agents. In fact, these criminal groups have given the gun the grim nickname, “mata policia" or "cop killer."
“In addition to banning this weapon, which is designed to kill, especially our brave police officers, we have other means to stop the violence," Engel said in a statement. "I again call for the president to reinstate the ban on imports of assault weapons, a ban enforced during the administrations of presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. This is something he can do immediately by executive order, while Congress works on other measures to limit gun violence and increase measures to treat the mentally ill.”
It is unsurprising that the five-seven would find itself politicians’ crosshairs. These weapons combine the compact size and discretion of a pistol with the raw, armor-piercing power commonly found in many assault weapons. It is a veritable nightmare for police agencies.
On the one hand, banning this weapon steps on the toes of gun rights activists. On the other, average citizens do not have much of a need for armor-piercing capabilities because thieves and home intruders wearing body armor is practically unheard of.
What is your take on PLEA? Are some guns just too dangerous to be out in the general public, or do you believe that Engel is obscuring a crime a problem with a gun problem?