First off forgive my cut and paste. I'm not very computer savey.
A few days ago I saw the letter below at work and I thought I would post it here. I contacted the author and expressed my thanks for his efforts. I also asked his permission to forward his letter to fellow Illinois gun owners. He contacted me by e-mail and let me know that I had his permission to forward it. I have never met this chief but IMHO he seems to be one of the good guys. Here it is.
Larry R. Buechler
Chief of Police
P.O. Box 121, Coal Valley, Illinois 61240
309-799-5416 fax – 309-799-3651
February 2, 2006
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF
THE ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE
Dear Fellow Chiefs:
As our troops fight for our freedoms overseas, as have American troops since the
formation of this Republic, I question what freedoms we’ll have left to enjoy, considering
the inclination of our several governmental bodies to enact legislation at the urging of
every “squeaky wheel” group that comes along.
As police chiefs, it is our responsibility to protect the rights, freedoms, and liberties of
those we serve, and I would suggest that the citizens we serve are then ill served by our
support of the proposed ban on so-called assault weapons. While it may be true that “no
law abiding citizen needs an Uzi or and AK-47 to be safe or to hunt,” as the talking
points try to sway us, I would then allow, on the other side of the argument, that it is not
our place to say what a law abiding citizen needs, or does not need. Certainly, the law
abiding citizen does not pose a threat to our officers, or to the public in general for that
matter, through the possession of any firearm. It is the criminal element that poses the
threat. If then you consider the statement true, as I do, that if these weapons are
outlawed, only outlaws will have these weapons, then the legislation proposed does
nothing to negate the threat. Indeed, only the law abiding citizen will follow the
guidelines of the statute, the criminal will not. What then have we accomplished other
than to unfairly restrict or penalize the person that does not pose a threat in the first
There are thousands of sportsmen in this state that do nothing wrong other than to
immerse themselves in the quiet enjoyment of their hobby or pastime with friends and
family. These are collectors, target shooters, and firearms enthusiasts that enjoy the
shooting sports, and are not strictly limited to those seeking a method of self-defense, or
those with an interest in hunting. Let us deal harshly with the person that possesses or
uses any firearm during the commission of a criminal act and leave the innocent man
alone. In my opinion, there is no greater misdeed than to punish the many based on the
unlawful acts of a few, and, with that said, I will close simply by expressing my best
wishes and assurance that I remain,
Sincerely and Respectfully Yours,
Larry R. Buechler
Chief of Police
Wow, great to see there is an officer that is on our side for a change.
I sent him a friendly email.
Good letter...I wish there were more like him that would speak up.
God bless that man for speaking up and stating his beliefs.
Tag for effect.
'd just like to say on behalf of law-abiding Illinois
gun owners I want to thank you for your comments.
It's rare to see a police officer that supports our
2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I am not a
criminal and I'm glad to see you pushing officers to
become more accepting of those of us as law abiding
citizens that do the right thing and enjoy shooting
Thanks so much. There are so many gun-hating police
officers, it's good to see one on our side for a
Thank you for your kind note. Actually, most police officers that I know are gun enthusiasts themselves by far. I know of no other police officer, or police chief for that matter, that believes these measures [assault weapon / gun control] will do anything to control criminal activity involving the use of a gun during a criminal act. I have talked to no other police chief that supports the measure. I think the legislative committee of the IACP has been influenced by the Chicago area chiefs. Most downstate chiefs believe as I do - and I've been receiving emails from them in support. Also, I truly believe that those chiefs that do support the legislation believe they are doing the right thing. I simply do not agree and thought I'd let my beliefs and my reasoning behind them be known.
Larry Buechler, Chief
PD Coal Valley IL
Give the police commissioner a call from the Illinois
State Police if you need reinforcement of my point.
Further, when Wisconsin tried passing their concealed
carry law this year, there were very few people that
testified that it was a bad idea. Among the few were
police chiefs from all over the state, including
Milwaukee. Seems a contradiction that both active and
retired officers can carry nationwide due to a new
law, but of course the rest of us have to be unarmed
Unfortunately, this is a serious problem. Nobody is
more vocal about hating guns than police officers. I
know a few apples do not make an orchard, but it only
takes one to make some statements and we run into the
problems we have today.
Even my best friend, who got me into shooting, and now
is a police officer, has come to hate the private
ownership of firearms ever since he put on the
It's a shame. Gun grabbing is a mental disease.
Unfortunately, your fellow officers are often very
vocal about hating firearms in general. In a way, I
can see their point. I guess you just have to
remember that liberty is for everyone, and
unfortunately, in a free society, not everyone is
going to do the right thing.
It must be a symptom of the area in which you live. I see emotions entering the debate from both sides of the isle. When you have officers shot and gangs running around with semi-auto weapons shooting innocent people in your jurisdiction, it is easy to look at the emotional side of the issue and call for controls. It is also easy, if you are the person subject to the proposed controls, to look at the people supporting the measure as uncaring and just eager to screw with the law abiding citizen. I look at it this way:
Will the proposed legislation keep the guns out of the hands of criminals?
The answer: No.
End of story.
sounds good ....coming from a cop
What a great Police Chief. He is truely one in a million. I emailed him a nice note as well. All Police Chiefs should get lessons from this guy.
This guy sounds like a local county mounty. Hell, he has a Barrett .50 BMG Bolt gun and he was talking about shooting through junk cars with it
Easily the coolest Cop this side of npd233
I knew you guys would like this chief. I wish he was my chief. Maybe then I could try out that 50 .
Edit: POST 200, wow I'm really getting up there.
awww, shucks! thanks Wizzo.
Now we just gotta get NPD out to the country where he belongs.