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Mayor-Elect Nixes Patrol Rifles for Boston PD

January 02, 2014  | 

AR-15 rifle (Photo: Mark W. Clark)
AR-15 rifle (Photo: Mark W. Clark)
Boston Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh is shooting down the plan to arm some Boston patrol officers with AR-15 rifles — setting up a potential showdown with the department which has backed the controversial measure, citing a need for high-powered weapons in light of school shootings and the marathon bombings, the Boston Herald reports.

"Mayor-elect Walsh is opposed to the AR-15 rifles," his spokeswoman Kathryn Norton said in a short statement. "Unless otherwise convinced by the Boston Police Department, he does not think they are necessary."

Walsh would have to approve a budget for 33 
AR-15 rifles at a cost of $2,500 each. Police were in the planning phases of acquiring the rifles to put in the cruisers of two specially trained beat cops in each of the city’s 11 districts.

Thomas Nolan, a former BPD lieutenant and now a criminal justice professor at the State University of New York, said Walsh is making the right decision. "If the cops have these machine guns, they’re going to use them," Nolan said. "Someone is going to get hurt, someone is going to get killed, an innocent bystander is going to get caught in the crossfire and there is going to be a tragic result," he said.

Comments (31)

Displaying 1 - 31 of 31

NotLiberalGuy @ 1/2/2014 2:59 PM

This is ridiculous. The mayor is a fool and so is Thomas Nolan. I just can't believe what I just read.....

wrob @ 1/2/2014 3:04 PM

I can't believe Nolan was a cop, let alone a lieutenant, if he thinks an AR-15 is a "machine gun". He and the idiot-elect both need some education.

blueblood @ 1/2/2014 3:29 PM

Nolan was a cop in name only. Notice nobody mentions that it also might save lives particularly outgunned cops.Once again politicians making uninformed decisions about LE. Apparently they don't read the news filled withreports of high powered weaponry incidents and heaven forbid LE might responnd appropriately.

sgtken @ 1/2/2014 3:34 PM

This clown got elected by a half million campaign contribution from the National Teachers union. Enough said.

Doc @ 1/2/2014 3:47 PM

Here we go again with some politician that thinks he knows better then the officers on the street. The Mayor has an obligation to provide the officers with the best equipment out there and not interfere with the police departments needs. I suspect he has no legitimate knowledge of the AR15 outer then what is feed to him by the bias press and gun haters. Mr. Nolan is and idiot! He probably was a politically motivated supervisor and obviously has no knowledge of firearms. He also must think that the officer in his former department are gun happy idiots that fire at anything that move. It appears to me that he has a great deal of distain for these officers. Why does he think that his opinion carries any credibility making such uneducated statements!

Jack Betz @ 1/2/2014 3:56 PM

Like the man in the movie said, stupid is as stupid does

Fed Cop @ 1/2/2014 4:00 PM

Hey Walsh and Nolan, why stop there? Ban all guns from police because "someone might get hurt" You can call the "Bobbies" instead of police too. What a couple of idiots.

ktyhawk @ 1/2/2014 4:13 PM

Yet another idiotic mayor who thinks he knows police work better than the people who do the job. I wonder if the mayor's protective detail have any of those scary "machine guns"? Stupid is as stupid does.

Just curious, what was BPD looking at that would have cost $2500? LWRC or something comparable?

Wyndell @ 1/2/2014 4:14 PM

As a former Chief of Detectives, Director of IAD and Homicide Commander I learned that anything can be abused, that is why we establish training and supervision. The controllers must be controlled. In today's environment, police face a constant threat that impacts individuals, groups and themselves. When I was a patrol sergeant I always carried a shotgun. The reason I carried it was because, "it is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it." If we trust our officers with deadly weapons and the power to take a life, we have to trust them, but we also have to investigate them... I support the issuanance of these weapons with proper training, supervision and monitoring.

P Rohland @ 1/2/2014 4:26 PM

Anybody remember 1997? LAPD North Hollywood,CA bank robbery where the brave LAPD officers were outgunned by thugs with semi-auto rifles, body armor and numerous rounds of ammunition. Let's not forget history and where we have evolved today with better training, tactics and weapons. Let's not retreat but move forward. Enable law enforcement to protect society and the brave law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line everyday. Give them the tools and training needed to perform their duties.
Maybe the Mayor needs several ride a-longs to adapt to the twenty-first century. Sorry we're not in Oz and it's not a yellow brick road.

P Rohland @ 1/2/2014 4:42 PM

Anybody remember 1997 LAPD North Hollywood, Ca bank robbery? The police were outgunned by thugs with semi-automatic rifles, body armor and numerous rounds of ammunition. The brave LAPD officers utilized the mundane weapons they were issued to stop the fleeing suspects. Times have changed and law enforcement reacts to changes in society. With that said, refusing to provide law enforcement officers with the best tools and training available is insane. The AR-15 is a highly effective tool when deployed in critical situations. It may very well protect the lives of citizens and law enforcement personnel as well.
Maybe the Mayor should participate in under cover boss and perform some ride-a-longs. Maybe a few a$$ puckering moments and he'll rethink the insane idea of refusing to provide the officers with the latest tools and training.

D Kissee @ 1/2/2014 5:30 PM

Didn't they just have a terrorist attack???? Impeach this fool, he is clearly not for the best interest of the citizens. Patrol rifles equal distance. Bombs eat up all the distance a handgun can create. Patrol Rifles are needed for all Police Officers to protect the public.

Capt. Crunch @ 1/2/2014 5:52 PM

Their afraid the police are going to use them WTF.

richars isaacs @ 1/2/2014 6:11 PM


Marshal M @ 1/2/2014 6:35 PM

In the early '80's we would have given up our vests to have an AR-15 available in each vehicle. Nolan is on the Progressive campaign payrolled by the Teachers union so we can't expect sanity from him. Our radical Islamist sympathizer, U.S. Attorney General Holder, is behind this movement. His Fast and Furious gun running didn't work to force Second Amendment Rights removal so they go about it one step at a time in a different way. If our own LEO's are prohibitted from AR-15's in Boston then of course there is no reason a civilian or even a retired LEO should have one....just one step at a time is their plan.
If Boston is bad now, just wait until the new Mayor of NYC gets rolling with his professed agenda of "a new Progressive change to restore the city." This is what happens when not enough good sane people don't vote or they vote without a clue.

CubsFan @ 1/2/2014 7:08 PM

I'd expect nothing less from the completely uninformed bleeding heart liberal mayor elect. What's more disturbing is the moronic comments from one of Boston PD's own retired lieutenants. Former LT Nolan must have been from another planet based upon his input. Maybe a little too much time behind the desk at the end of his career I'm guessing. No real street cop would spout that BS.

fedtrnr @ 1/2/2014 7:53 PM

First, was former lt. Nolan in the shoe ordering position in logistics, where they hide the lazy and stupid, his entire career? Just wow. The mayor elect saying he doesn't trust his police officers does not bode well for the brave men and women of BPD. Best of luck to my brothers and sisters in BPD and the citizens of Boston.

Louie Enrique @ 1/3/2014 4:06 AM

Another one of those politicians who distrusts his finest- the law enfircement officers, who is risking their lives everyday on patrol. Step down mayor or Be part of the solution and deterrence in protecting your citizens... For just a few dollars more. Open your eyes, unplug your ears! Your police officers will always step up and get the job done when another mass killing incident happens in your town... While you desk jobbers cowers in your homes and offices and surrounded by your staff members!

Rob @ 1/3/2014 5:04 AM

Thats 82500 dollars more he can give to the non working, sheep that elected him. Good luck my brothers and sisters in the BPD and stay safe!

Kevin @ 1/3/2014 5:47 AM

This mayor elect is an idiot. So the bad guys should have better firepower than LEO? Sounds like a great plan to me. Also 2500 for an AR? I'll offer to build 33 of them at cost for 800 each and another 400 for a decent Eotech for a total of 1200 each.

After the firearm panic of 2012/2013 more civs have acquired ARs than in history. One bad guy with an AR yet the department needs to respond with a sidearm. Take the difference of 1300 for the AR build I mentioned above and use it for a campaign recall for this moron.

S.S. @ 1/3/2014 8:24 AM

Figures another dumbass politician going against common sense. Sign this a**wipe to do a ride-a-long in one of Boston's bad parts of town, and see what he says afterwards. I'm glad I'm not a cop in Boston. All I can say is watch yours and your fellow officers's backs. God Bless.

Zach @ 1/3/2014 9:31 AM

Wow, obviously he's never been on the recieving end of an ak47 now a common weapon on the street. Blue blood will be on his hands!

mike @ 1/3/2014 9:34 AM

This clown by the name of Nolan has no idea what a 'machine gun' is. An AR-15 semi-automatic patrol rifle is not a machine gun. Where did this non-combatant spend his career, in personnel? How about the notion that if cops weren't armed at all, then all criminals would be peaceful and bow to our commands knowing that we won't hurt them? "Disarm all U.S. citizens" is the liberal goal.

KP @ 1/3/2014 11:23 AM

Just to see what Mr. Noaln says about patrol rifles calling them "machine guns" just shows how educated he is on the subject. However someone deemed him a subject matter expert and decided to interview him. Maybe whoever wrote the article for the Boston Herald should interview a true subject matter expert in the area of patrol rifles and see just how beneficial they are to the men and women on the street. If you use Mr. Nolan's logic then police officers should not have handguns either, because the officers "might use them".

ssc1911 @ 1/4/2014 7:22 AM

The mayor and the former BPD LT, need to be educated on the difference between a machine gun and a semi automatic weapon. Mass. has some very strict gun laws, which don't deter the bad guys from committing crimes with guns. The Boston Bombers had used a gun and shot at the police pursuing them. Nolan is a criminal justice professor? Both the new mayor and Nolan need to ride along in toughest parts of Boston for an eye opener.
It is sad that the mayor doesn't trust and want to protect his officers by providing them with a proven patrol rifle.

Brian @ 1/4/2014 11:03 AM

Police do carry "automatic" assault rifles. These are not semi auto. That being said, the criminal element does carry modified weapons that are automatic. Police should have this same type of weaponry. This mayor has NO Idea what he is doing. He obviously doesn't understand that these weapons in the hands of an appropriately trained officer are a necessity in today's world. He needs to pull his head out of his ass!

Sam Abertson @ 1/4/2014 3:09 PM

I guess hizzoner Nolan prefers the good old 12-gauge which is more powerful, far less accurate, and far more likely to cause injury to innocent 3rd parties. I guess the old scattergun doesn't LOOK as scary as those dark gray rifles.

Francis Aloysius @ 1/4/2014 10:19 PM

Apparently my AR-15 never got the message from Nolan that it was supposed to be a machinegun and kill with a total lack of discretion fostering a complete disregard for the safety of the people in my city. She just pretty much lays there in the rack waiting to be deployed in situations that the training protocol and state statute tell me its okay to remove the rifle from the rack and move it to a position where it may be tactically useful to assist in the defense of a life, be it mine or another officers or citizens. Hang in there BPD!!

Skippy @ 1/5/2014 11:34 AM

What a piece of shit! Sounds like another politician involved in day to day operations. Just like everything else we do, there is a policy and procedure for when and why a patrol rifle is to be deployed. This is sickening!

tiny43 @ 1/8/2014 7:13 AM

I know prices are elevated since Sandy Hook but $2500 per rifle might have been over reaching on the part of whoever submitted the purchase requsition. They can be found for substantially less. They should have them but I cant get over the $2500 price tag. I know if we asked our mayor he would have denied it based on the $

BILL FROGUE @ 1/8/2014 8:59 AM


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