(LAPORTE) - The LaPorte County Sheriff's Department has purchased 44 AR-15 semi-automatic rifles for use by patrol deputies.
Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer told the LaPorte County Herald-Argus he's wanted to acquire the weapons for years.
Range Master Capt. Heath Haferkamp says sheriff's officials want to make sure all deputies are comfortable with using the new equipment before they start using them. Haferkamp says deputies are pleased to have the weapons, pointing out that those involved in mass shootings have use weapons more powerful than the handguns deputies usually are issued.
Seventeen deputies began their training on the weapons last week. Haferkamp says deputies have to pass a test on their knowledge and skill of the rifles before being issued the new weapon.
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