The San Joaquin County (CA) Sheriff's Office announced on Friday that some of its deputies will be armed with patrol rifles while staffing large-scale events.

According to CBS News, the decision to put long guns out in the field comes following the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival where four were killed and 13 injured by a gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle.

"We believe we will be providing a safer environment by enhancing security by having deputies carry rifles on their person, which is intended to both dissuade any potential threats and also reduce their reaction time should a life-threatening event occur," wrote Sheriff Patrick Withrow in the announcement.

"We understand and appreciate the need to balance the public’s concern for safety and the desire for law enforcement to not appear threatening, however safety comes first," the Sheriff wrote.

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