Novak wrong on police support for assault weapons ban

CNN host and syndicated columnist Robert Novak suggested that police chiefs supported extending the assault weapons ban that expired on September 13 only because “they're in the union” and “they're for anything that the Democrats want.” In fact, police unions that have endorsed both Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush support extending the ban.

From the September 18 edition of CNN's The Capital Gang:

MARK SHIELDS (MODERATOR): Bob, the chiefs of police of all the major cities are for this [extending the assault weapons ban].

NOVAK: Well, they're the union -- in the union, members are probably -- union leaders are for the -- they're for anything that the Democrats want. But I would say right now that -- [panelist] Margaret [Carlson] five years ago said that the gun control laws work. They don't work. And [Representative] Marty Meehan [D-MA] was wrong and said that supporters of the NRA [National Rifle Association] would pay a heavy price. They didn't.

The 318,000-member Fraternal Order of Police (which endorsed Bush on September 10) and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (which endorsed Kerry) both support renewing the assault weapons ban. According to the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence, “Every major national law enforcement organization in the country supported the federal assault weapons ban and worked for its passage.”