- Jul 10, 2006
I'd guess few really qualify on such a weapon, although there's a fair number of ex-military in law enforcement. One big problem is that since it's considered a less-lethal, people tend to think of it as safe, discounting the fact that it fires a quarter kilo of steel. We see similar cases of people killed by rubber bullets.I understand the need for one, and due to the actual dangers of them (as you stated), I don't see police having the proper training to stay proficient in using it.
I am unsure how often police are required to "qualify" or show proficiency on the weapons they are authorized to use. In the military, it was once a year for most people as well as before any deployment. This really only consisted of a two day training: half day was weapon safety with what we were using (either M9 or M16/M4) and the next half sighting the weapon and shooting targets. There were minimum requirements to be able to carry that weapon. Having to do this with more than their service pistol would add extra training (and therefore money), especially if they don't readily have the facilities to shoot a grenade launcher.
Military qualification can be funny. I had a buddy who served as an infantryman in Vietnam who was immediately handed an M60 to carry. He had never fired one or even seen one fired before carrying it, he had no assistant gunner, no tripod, no spare barrel, no extra ammo, no clue how to load it or add to a belt, no clue how to clean it, and only a teaser belt loaded. Had he needed to fire off more than the fifty or so rounds he carried, someone would have had to unpack a belt and load it for him. The most powerful weapon in the squad and it was assigned solely on the basis of being heavy and ungainly, and therefore the new guy's responsibility to carry. I'm sure that similarly there are lots of ex-military for whom the M79 is similarly a mystery, and probably most of these are not going to turn down a chance to have a grenade launcher.