The Long Arm of the Law

Police Weapons in GURPS

by Hans-Christian Vortisch

The player characters will come into contact with enforcers of the law in many adventures set in the 20th-century. Any action-thriller or detective story requires them.

It may also be that the characters are in fact members of the law enforcement community themselves. FBI agents instantly come to mind, prominent in the public eye through such shows as Twin Peaks or The X-Files. The Call of Cthulhu supplement Delta Green has shown that there is a wealth of agencies, both American and foreign, to be used as parent agencies for PCs and NPCs.

Officers of the law are usually armed. It will be interesting to know which weapons are in service, regardless if these are for issue to the PCs or used against them by NPC coppers.

The FBI's Inventory

"Brand new issue. More accurate and efficient. Smith & Wesson 10mm Model 1076, all stainless steel. It's a beautiful weapon Coop, and it's all yours."
-- FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole, 1990 (from Twin Peaks, Episode 25: "On the Wings of Love")

To illustrate the changes that advancing technology and differing environments had on law enforcement armaments in the USA, the issue weapons of the FBI are examined here in some detail. Similar developments occurred with other federal agencies, local police forces and, to a lesser extent, law enforcement agencies abroad.

When the Bureau of Investigation was founded in 1908, its agents were unarmed. They were not allowed to make armed arrests, . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: August 31, 2001

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