Fort Hood Shooter Used 'Cop Killer' Armor-Piercing Handgun

| by Brady Campaign
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 officers.

It was a handgun that was designed to fire bullets through body armor. A U.S. Senator and a U.S. Congressman urged a legal ban on civilian possession of the firearm, which began being referred to as the “cop killer gun.”

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. soldiers.

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.