Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh is shooting down the plan to arm some Boston patrol officers with military-style 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, reports the Boston Herald.
"Mayor-elect Walsh is opposed to the AR-15 rifles," his spokeswoman Kathryn Norton said in a short statement yesterday. "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.
But a veteran officer who asked not to be named said he was disappointed Walsh wouldn't back the purchase of the AR-15s, saying the weapons are needed to make sure cops aren't outgunned. "It gives you at least a fighting chance if you go into something where suspects have more firepower than you," he said.