Highway Patrol Wants To Buy AR-15's

The department is asking the state for $500,000 to buy the weapons

Patrick Gentry
December 30, 2017 - 1:53 pm

Some troopers in the South Carolina Highway Patrol are so concerned about the suitability of their state-issued weapons that they have begun bringing their own to work.

The state Department of Public Safety wants to equip all troopers with AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. The department is asking the state for $500,000 to buy the weapons.

Some troopers have bought their own rifles and bring them on duty to replace their state-issued shotguns. Highway Patrol Commander Col. Chris Williamson confirmed about 50 troopers have bought their own weapons over the past few years out of fear a criminal they encounter would be armed with enough weapons to deter the use of a shotgun.

A policy change allowed troopers to carry personal rifles on the job that meet specifications, provided they go through the department’s eight-hour training course.

The department provided rifles to 150 troopers in its emergency response teams. The proposed budget request would spread the weapons out throughout the force.

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