Despite her call on Sunday night for civilians to “take the gunman down” in a mass shooting scenario, Washington DC’s chief of police has approved just 48 concealed carry licenses in the past year and nearly 80 percent of all applicants have been rejected.
Of 233 applications sent for review since the Metropolitan Police Department began accepting permits on Oct. 23, 2014, 185 licenses had been denied as of Nov. 14, a department spokesperson told FoxNews.com on Monday.
That low approval rate is seemingly at odds with remarks Chief of Police Cathy Lanier made on Sunday night’s episode of “60 Minutes.”
“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 can get there"
“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 can get there,” Lanier said. “And that's – you know, that's kind of counterintuitive to what cops always tell people, right? We always tell people, ‘Don't, you know, don't take action. Call 911. Don't intervene in the robbery.’ We've never told people, ‘Take action.’ It's a different – this is a different scenario.”
Lanier did not respond to requests for comment, but a department spokesperson told FoxNews.com she has the final approval on all applications received. By her own account, a prospective victim's best chance in a mass shooting might be to have a gun.
“Your options are run, hide, or fight,” Lanier said on “60 Minutes.” “What we tell them is the fact of the matter is that most active shooters kill most of the victims in 10 minutes or less, and the best police department in the country's going to be about a five-to-seven minute response.”
Washington DC has particularly strict laws for carrying concealed weapons, which conservative legislators, judges and citizens have challenged. A federal appeals court is currently in the early stages of deciding one case on whether a visiting judge from upstate New York had the authority to suspend a provision of the District’s laws requiring people to state a “good reason” to carry a firearm. A November poll conducted by The Washington Post found 51 percent of D.C. residents favored reinstating a ban on gun ownership that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 2008. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Thursday he planned to introduce a bill designed to expand concealed carry in the District.
Despite her personal record on allowing concealed carry licenses in her jurisdiction, Lanier’s statements echo similar calls from other police chief’s around the nation.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been a particular advocate of concealed pistol licenses.
“I think it's a deterrent,” Craig said in April 2014. “Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction, too.”