WASHINGTON -- January 14 -- Former Presidential Press Secretary and long time law enforcement supporter Jim Brady today called for prompt, aggressive action to respond to top law enforcement officials' concerns about a new, high-powered handgun available to the public that can fire bullets that will penetrate the body armor worn by law enforcement officers.
The handgun, the Five-Seven, made by Belgian company FN Herstal, comes equipped with a 20-round magazine. It is advertised on arms websites as "the first of a new generation," a handgun "that will defeat most body armor in military service around the world today... reliably penetrates Kevlar helmets and vests..." Kevlar is the leading material for the manufacture of law enforcement vests.
"This handgun is made for soldiers to kill enemy soldiers. The only civilians who would need one are criminals who want to kill cops," Brady said. "In other words, this is a no-brainer. It has no place in civil society. Get rid of it."
Brady urged the White House and Congressional leaders to act. "President Bush and Congress should urge the gun company to stop selling this gun in America voluntarily, or the President and Congress should take whatever action is necessary to get it out of the American civilian marketplace," Brady said. "Anything else makes no sense. Nobody in America who's not a soldier or a police officer needs to have this handgun."
"This gun is a very dangerous, easily concealable assault pistol," said John Shanks, Law Enforcement Relations director at the Brady Campaign. Shanks, a former police officer from Texas, expressed concern not only for the safety of law enforcement officers, but also innocent bystanders, who may fall victim to these rounds in their community.