In a complete about-face from normal police protocol, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is asking regular people to “take out” active shooters if they have the chance.
Lanier told Anderson Cooper during an interview Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes” if people find themselves in an active shooter situation, their “best option” would be to try and restrain or even kill the shooter.
“Your options are run, hide or fight,” Lanier said. “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police get there.”
It’s counter-intuitive to what police have told people to do in the past when faced with violent robberies or active shooters, Lanier said, but the situation has changed with the rise in deadly shootings.
The best police departments in the country have a response time of between 5 and 7 minutes, and most people are killed in active shooter situations within 10 minutes, so the time frame for saving lives is small.
“I don’t think you’re going to stop the shootings. I think a person who’s committed to carrying out an act of violence like this is going to carry that act out. How successful they are and how many people they kill, we can try to intervene on,” she said.
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, ISIS released a video warning of a pending attack on the nation’s capital. The video led to heightened security measures at transportation hubs and around the national monuments.
The last time D.C. saw an active shooter situation was in 2013, when a mentally ill government contractor murdered 12 co-workers in an office building in the Washington Navy Yard.
The district has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and, until recently, had an outright ban on handguns.
District officials and federal lawyers are engaged in an ongoing court battle over D.C.’s gun ban after a federal judge ruled the law unconstitutional last year.
In response to the ruling, D.C. council passed a slightly less restrictive concealed carry law that requires any D.C. resident seeking to carry a gun to prove “good reason to fear injury to his or her person” in order to obtain a permit. In May, a federal judge ruled that law unconstitutional as well.(RELATED: DC’s Police Chief Accidentally Details What’s Wrong With Gun Laws [VIDEO])
U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. blocked the law after gun rights advocates brought a lawsuit against the city claiming the law makes it almost impossible for residents to obtain the permit to carry a gun. They say the law sometimes takes months to complete.
“For all intents and purposes, this requirement makes it impossible for the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in public for self-defense, thereby depriving them of their Second Amendment right to bear arms,” Judge Scullin wrote in his 23-page opinion.