Since no one was hurt, this is just funny. If the SPD had better PR, then this wouldn't be as controversial. I know some people want a "full investigation" but get real, it's a mistake and I'm sure that the internal gibes will prevent this from happening again. Plus there's a picture for the SPD training manual! Also, police have guns. It's part of the job. Lighten up. Great photo!
Civilian AR-15's are semi-auto.

However 3-round and full auto AR-15's are available for military & law enforcement purchase, and are still AR-15's. I have no idea what version SPD buys.
Nothing illegal about it? I bet if a citizen drove around with a rifle on the back of their trunk that a police officer would find something illegal about it.
@99: "...if I walk through downtown with an assault rifle I legally own, I am not committing a crime?"

No crime. Open-carry is legal in the state of Washington. It requires no license.

A license is only required for concealed-carry in the state of Washington. Washington is a "shall-issue" state for a concealed pistol license, which means that if you are eligible for the license (e.g. you aren't a felon restricted/don't have mental health issues that prevent you from owning firearms) then the state must issue you a concealed pistol license.…

State law also explicitly preempts more restrictive local laws on firearms:…

Washington state is among the more permissive states when it comes to firearms, which may surprise a lot of locals.
Also, WHO THE FUCK CARES about the definition of "assault rifle" or "assault weapon?"

What does that have anything to do with anything?
@ 45
AR-15's are great fun at the range. which is where non elitists gun owners use them.
But of course, you see "AR-15" and automaticly assume the owner is some retarded hick assclown. Nice, man, really nice. No one, anywhere, ever, gives 2 shits what you think about anything. Remember that. Also, no one here gives a damn what kind of varmit rifle ranchers use, and if you can't take down a varmit with a varmit round (which is what .233 is) cleanly using a semi auto rifle, then it's no wonder you need a "high quality" bolt action. If you haven't noticed, people like you kind of piss me off.

On-topic, the officer should definitly be punished, this is beyond stupid. Much like #45.
Ugh, commenters need to chill the f*ck out. Seriously, go back to ripping on M. Bachman or debating the merits of deisel vs. hybrid.

My first thought after reading about this incident: I'm glad I don't have to deal with guns at all on a day to day basis. My second thought: I'm glad we employ a police force to do so. Third thought: cops make mistakes, and in the grand scheme of things, this is REALLY F*CKING minor.

Seattle is one of the safest cities in the world. go live in Chicago, Philly, Miami for a spell, see if something like this phases you.

If you really want to make a statement, get out into the city and work towards ridding it of handguns, b/c ridiculing the SPD for this is a waste of time.

That may be so, but one sure-fire (pun intended) way to change that paradigm is for SPD to go around FORGETTING TO SECURE THEIR OWN FUCKING ORDINANCE.

Whomever did this is probably going to get a literal slap on the wrist, when in fact they should be suffering under the severest disciplinary action possible for their stupidity.

People are human, they make mistakes, granted. But LEO's are supposed to be held so a somewhat higher standard, particularly when it comes to the use of lethal weapons - and most particularly with regards to those in their own possession. This cop fucked up big-time, and should be made an example of, for the elucidation of his or her fellow officers.

THESE WEAPONS ARE NOT FUCKING TOYS, and anyone who treats them as such, even inadvertently, should have that fact impressed upon them to the fullest extent possible.
Im sorry.. but if your going to be trusted and TRAINED to carry a fucking gun, leaving YOUR ASSIGNED WEAPON on the truck of your car; a weapon I might add, you must remove/unlock from its holding area either in the front seats or from inside the trunk is "a big fucking deal."

Suspended immediately pending termination for potentially fatal negligence. Is this cop one of the "bad" ones, who knows, but unless you were unconscious, there is no excuse for leaving your weapon unattended.
@61 and others: learn your fucking laws before posting people. Yes, in Redneckville i'm sure you can carry your dad's (who happens to be your brother) shotguns and aim it at people's faces threatening to shoot them and not be punished. In WASHINGTON however, we actually think things like this are BAD. "§ 9.41.220., § 9.41.190.
All machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, or short-barreled rifles, or any parts thereof are considered contraband." And then there are open-carry bans in most places that require handguns to be concealed and have a concealed weapons permit.…
And I know we're talking about cops here so these laws don't apply, but don't make statements that are blatantly WRONG. A police officer may have some laws that don't apply, but that lenience is made up for with a no-warning responsibility to be safe.
I'm shocked that the SPD allowed him to take that photograph. If they knew he had taken it at the time, I"m quite certain it would have fallen to the bicycle cops to shoot him in the face. A breach of protocol like this will surely be marked with a raise and some paid vacation.
The police were just testing see what type of criminals were in there area. Luckily you idiots passed. I would have guessed otherwise from your comments.
Would you be as upset if the police left their car running with no one present? Cars kill more people than guns. Actually guns don't kill anyone. The person behind the gun kills the person.

Oh no, it is a gun. Call your president. Make a new law. Throw someone in jail. Bla. Bla. Bla. IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@Chris Jury: there are a lot of practical benefits to owning an AR in .223.

The caliber works just fine on smaller game like coyotes and other varmints (and in heavier weights, like the 75 grain, can take deer humanely as well. Some states ban all rifles for deer hunting and restrict huntersw to shotguns.) It has a much flatter trajectory and less recoil than the .30-30 and other heavier bullets, and the semi-auto platform acts to attenuate recoil even more, making longer range shots at smaller targets easier, with less holdover necessary. Unlike older semi automatic designs, the DI system has relatively few reciprocating parts, and can rival bolt guns for intrinsic accuracy. Most AR owners I know have opted for flat top models, which are very sturdy and simple platforms for mounting scopes. They're a bit finicky to clean, but hardly useless.

Of course leaving ANY gun unattended on the hood of a car, whether you call the weapon an "assault rifle" or not, is terribly irresponsible.
No you idiots there is not a Law for accidentally leaving a "Legal Weapon" on the trunk of your car!!
No you Idiot's it's not against the Law to accidentally leave your "legally registered weapon" on the back of your vehicle!!! This was an accident and not intentional, no one was hurt and an HONEST person responded accordingly by doing the right thing.......Some people have a very stupid perspective of things...!!!
For all the people who have started chiming in on the difference between a semi AR and a full auto military M-16, please stop. Same with talk about the kinds of magazines, the flashlight, the rail system, the backup sights vs. a holographic sight vs. a scope, everything. The officer in the story, did not care.

He did not care about his gun, else he would not have merely forgotten about it and left it on the trunk of his car. He did not care whether his gun was set for Condition Four or Three or Two or One, else he would not have left his rifle with ANY magazine on the trunk of his car. He did not care about the cost of his rifle, else he would have not have left his expensive rifle with all the fancy goodies on the trunk of his car. In short, he did not care.

If there is to be a minimal amount of punishment for this officer, let it be this; that his rifle is taken away from him. If he wants it back, let him demonstrate a precise knowledge of firearms safety. If he wants it back, let him ask another officer if he can borrow theirs. If he wants it back, let him train every week with it, using approved ammunition he has to purchase. Let him earn it back, if he cares about it.
@115 - Back at the ranch in North Dakota folks don't have extra cash laying around, so they buy a gun that will last them their entire life, and will often get passed down a couple generations. Everyone owns a .22 for around the yard/teaching kids to shoot, a good high caliber bolt action for hunting/varmints, and a good 12 gauge for birds...and that is it. A plastic stocked semi-auto w/ a dozen extra moving parts that by law you can't take out for deer, antelope, etc. isn't gonna fit the bill.

When I was young I often talked w/ my uncle about his time in Vietnam. They hated the M16, it was absolute garbage, always jammed, fussy, inaccurate, barrels warped-and I guess despite whatever refinements I'll always view them through that lens.
#105 Thanks for the clarification. I thought that was the law. I got confused when I was stopped walking up Pike St. with a Baseball bat a few years ago. I have wondered what would happen if I carried one of my shotguns or my assualt weapon. But this was because I had to expalin to the cop that sometimes a baseball bat is just a baseball bat.
Its just a bad day at the office for the officer. Everyone makes mistakes or just forgets what they are doing. Cops are no different. Its sad that we shine a spotlight on the very people that would take a bullet for us if they had to.

@121: if the day is going badly enough that you forget that your assault rifle is on the trunk, perhaps you shouldn't be out on the streets with said rifle...

also, relevant?…
given that the Seattle PD is one of the most corrupt in the country and has a long history of letting its officers "cop a wallk" on any/all charges brought against them, do any of you REALLY think any body will be disciplined over this??? I mean REALLY....I think not...
@121 you think a cop would take a bullet for you? when was the last time that ever happened? cops are not your sworn defenders, their job is to catch criminals and enforce laws. no cop is gonna jump in front of a bad guy to save you, and certainly not one who "had a bad day at the office"
@119 well, you have a point. The M-16 as introduced in Viet Nam was a disaster.
Modern, civilian ARs are close cousins to battle proven rifles that function very well under hard use and crappy dirty conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan today. I know a number of vets from these more current wars who own AR style rifles - including rifles in .308, .270, and 7mm - because they trusted that style of rifle and are familiar with the layout and manual of arms. These are near cousins of current military rifles, just like your bolt actions are near cousins of military rifles from an earlier time. People other than retarded children own them, and they are no MORE evil or dangerous than other types of firearms. Which isn't to say they aren't dangerous, they are as dangerous as any other gun.

I wouldn't suggest the guns are more dangerous, just more appealing to the sorts of people who themselves are more dangerous. from the drunken idiot at the range who decides he needs to shoot at things that'll blow up, to the young mouthbreaters who want them because they look 'badass'.

After a couple serious breaches of safety, if i see someone at the range w/ these weapons, it is time for me to leave.
This is another case that the firearm did not kill or injury anyone. That AR 15 could have sat there all day and if no one picked it up it would not have gone off. so there must be something to the saying that gun donn't kill people people kill people.
It is an oopsie, and I imagine that the officer is extremely embarrassed, but no more dangerous than driving while texting. A car can be be an extremely dangerous weapon and no one is concerned about not paying attention while driving.
@128- A jug of cyanide wouldn't have killed anyone either, but I'd think a pharmacist who left a jug of cyanide sitting on the trunk of a co-workers car should be in serious job-threatening trouble.
While it's not a crime, it is a pretty stupid mistake. I watched a DEA agent drive off from the range one time after leaving one of the firearms he was training with sitting on his rear bumper deck of his SUV. It fell to the ground and we all got a snicker. We called him back and he was very embarrassed. Should it happen? Absolutely not. Does it happen? Yes. Everyone is human. For those that think a law was broken, you may want to brush up a bit.
@131, never heard of reckless endangerment? Acting that way with a coffee is way different than acting that way with a weapon. Assault or not. Loaded or not. Someone acted in a way that endangered a large number of people. And this was apparently done by a person who is supposed to be the example for others around them.

I had a friend forget himself at the range and LOOK down the barrel of his pistol and then realized he miscounted and had forgotten the slide should have racked and locked (I joked he must have been high on the burnt gunpowder.) He's no LEO and I constantly razz him and use his behavior as an example to others I talk to about weapons. Everyone makes mistakes, but this incident is beyond what my friend did. At least only he was endangered, I was out of the line of fire.

@83 No, modern guns do not just go off. There are safety measures that the manufacturer has to build in to allow the gun to be dropped and no one gets hurt. Only illegal and old guns have that chance. In full operating shape (not bent, run over etc.) my Sig 220 will not go off without 11 lbs of pull pressure on the trigger or 5lbs when cocked. No if, ands, or buts.
@ 35---would you feel safer with the cops having thier pistols holstered on their hips, unloaded, with gun locks on them? the law of having firearms cased and unloaded is for civilians, with nothing on having trigger locks on them, owner's choice.

i just love reading all these comments on here about how this "type" of rifle is evil. so am i an evil person since i have 3 of these? i am an avid recreational shooter, and every single person i shoot with have these. they are very fun to shoot with, yes, you can actually shoot TARGETS with this type of rifle. i know, amazing right?

lets do some educating here: yes, a 16" barrel with a collapsable stock is common for an AR-15. However, they make anything from a 18", 20", 24", and on up barrel lengths with fixed stocks that are used for varmints (gophers, prarie dogs, coyotes, etc). now, these guns are NOT just made "for killing people". i love when i hear this because i have 3 and have not harmed anyone with one of them, never even pointed it at anyone. so how is it made for killing then? no different than "gpas 30/30", except the caliber is smaller and it can have a 30 round magazine.

OR, we could go this route, and say, in all reality, ALL guns, EVERY SINGLE FIREARM ON THE PLANET is made for killing, is it not? PLEASE correct me if i am wrong on this....but they all shoot the same thing, a bullet. rather it be a semi-automatic .223 caliber AR-15, or a single shot .22 LR, or even the barrett .50 BMG caliber rifle, all bullets...just different sizes.
i just love going on and on and on and reading all these comments on how this sooooo bad........let me guess, all of you that are posting this are not shooters, hunters, etc. just people that live in the city and have no use for a firearm? well thats my guess, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but in my opinion, if you are afraid of a firearm, you are not familiar with them.

now i am not saying this aint bad, but its not as bad as all you gun-haters make it out to be. i am glad that some people that are honest enough to leave it on the trunk and notify the officers....
in the absence of laws leaving a semi on the hood of a squad care is something we would not expect from law enforcement professionals-i think this incident would be handled differently if it involved private the way,on some level we know that lots of dangerous items -including nukes have been mishandled-temporarily lost -don't even think about the oopsies committed in hospitals-and last but not least ,who can forget that classic photo of the large unguarded military ordinance dump,circa 2004
Ya, like all PD's have unloaded guns in their possession. NOT LIKELY! They are locked and loaded. ALWAYS!!!!!
How did I miss this story this week? It was worth it to come by and read all the comments now. You Sloggers are so goddamned funny.

Also @88 while there's no need for name calling, I would also like a "hug gun" so I can shoot all the sad people. BAN(hu)G!
I think this is hilarious
@133- "OR, we could go this route, and say, in all reality, ALL guns, EVERY SINGLE FIREARM ON THE PLANET is made for killing, is it not? PLEASE correct me if i am wrong on this....but they all shoot the same thing, a bullet. rather it be a semi-automatic .223 caliber AR-15, or a single shot .22 LR, or even the barrett .50 BMG caliber rifle, all bullets...just different sizes."

Yep, and I think the cop should be in the same amount of trouble if they left a single shot .22 pocket pistol on the trunk of a car. And it should be a lot of trouble. If it had been a tiny pistol it would have been a lot easier to overlook.
yeah but you dont have to carry an assault rifle to protect the public. As usual if you wait for the investigation to be complete before passing judgment that would be great. The thing you have to try to wrap your little narrow minds around is police officers are human, not robots and occationally they make mistakes to. So go back to your safe little cubical and type on your keyboard under the safety that the police provide you.
@134 It's very bad. I mean really, really bad.

I'm not an anti-firearms knee-jerk reactionary by any stretch having grown up hunting and shooting.

The problem is: This was done by COPS.

We loan the police the ultimate power over life and death. None of the rest of us posses the same legal leeway in terms of the use deadly force that we allow cops. This is a huge deal. In a democratic state we allow them this power in exchange for ABSOLUTE trust and accountability. There is no room for any sort of complacency in their responsibility in wielding this power. When they slip up in any way. No matter how small. Consequences HAVE to be severe.

Otherwise, if can be abused in any way it will always be abused, and that power is no longer on loan. That power becomes a brutal entitlement to a enforcement class that no longer serves us but inevitably oppresses us.

The stupid fuck that did this should be fired and made an example of. He absolutely has abdicated his position of power. We only want the most responsible people in this job with no exceptions.

Yet another act of irresponsibility on the part of the Seattle police force. And yet another coverup by the brass.

If we continue to let cops get away with everything they have been getting away with in this town, eventually it will look like this:…
Yet another act of irresponsibility on the part of the Seattle police force. And yet another coverup by the brass.

If we continue to let cops get away with everything they have been getting away with in this town, eventually it will look like this:…
@141-i love how cops are always held at a higher bar than everyone else. when they go home, are they not just normal citizens? or once you become a cop, are you branded "the po-po" for life? i understand that an example has to be made, but i mean cmon people. i believe that the same punishment should be given to the officer just as if an ordinary citizen has done this.

and we do not have the power to choose over life and death. they teach us if, and only if, our life (or the lives of others) are in danger of being lost, then we have the means of using lethal force. that is the only time it is acceptable. i dont think that one person here knows the stress this type of job deals with. mistakes are made. and we must learn that not everyone, even the police, are perfect. because at the end of the day, we all are just human beings.

Really? What percentage of cops have gone to jail for killing someone compared to an average citizen?

Yes. Cops are humans. Which is why we have a process of dealing with them when there are mistakes. And why they get lucrative benefits and pensions. And why they don't go through the same trial process for KILLING another human being.

A cops mistakes have MUCH deeper implications than an average citizens. But by your logic there would be no standards above and beyond mediocre technical requirements. Hey. The pilot flying your plane get's caught drinking on the job? Well. Shucks he's just a human being, right? Let him back on the job!

Either except that cops must be held to higher standards OR the get criminal trials for shooting someone. OR QUIT and go be security guards. You can't have it both ways.
More proof that only officers of the law can be trusted with firearms, not the general public.
That's it. Who wants to help me make a movie? It's gonna be called "Dude, where's my assault rifle?"...
Who says this is an assult rifle? Can someone tell from the photo whether it has full auto or burst fire capability? It may very well be, but semi-auto rifles are much more common than select fire rifles (the proper term for "assault rifle"). Sure it may look scary to some people who are not familiar with guns, but assuming it is semi-auto (most PDs don't issue full auto/burst to regular patrol officers), it cannot fire any faster than any other common semi-auto rifle or handgun, and the bullets themselves are much smaller than those of most hunting rifles (it is a 5.56x45mm, just slightly larger diamater than a .22LR round).

Sooner or later someone will make a comment about the "high capacity clips" loaded with "cop killer bullets" that can easily be "sprayed from the hip" into a playground filled with children.
A good lawyer could make an argument about why this is illegal or tortious... 'reckless endangerment of minors' or 'failing to exercise a reasonable amount of control over a deadly weapon' or even 'terrorism' (since with the Patriot Act et all almost anything is terrorism, including terrifying people, which this certainly did) However since no one was harmed, and they are, after all police officers (who generally get a free pass from the legal system) they won't be charged. Getting fired though... different story.
WTF!!! Are you kidding me! Try and do that in Memphis Tn. The gun would have been gone in minus 2 seconds! That needs to find it's owner and have him suspended!! That is just Crazy!!
Wow so many ignorant comments on this page. Fucking liberals...
@151, this is the best comment on this whole page. My thought when I first saw the photo was "Nice gun! Wish I had one like that."
Here in Michigan the Allegan county police lost an assault rifle. Was found laying in the street!…
Here in Michigan the Allegan county police lost an assault rifle. Was found laying in the street!…

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