Brazos County Sheriff's Deputies to Get Military-Style Assault Rifles

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

A shooting in College Station last summer, that killed a Brazos County Constable and an innocent bystander, was an eye opener for many area law enforcement agencies.

"We did an after-action review, and one of the top things that came up in our conversations with the deputies and our own review was that we were out-gunned," said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk.

The man who shot and killed Constable Brian Bachmann, 35-year-old Thomas Caffall, collected military-style assault rifles, according to his Facebook page.

Sheriff Chris Kirk says suspects like that are why he took on the challenge of getting his deputies the guns they need to defend themselves against similar attacks.

"We ought to have them in every single one of our cars," said Sheriff Kirk. "And they should be consistently the same type of rifles, same type of ammunition, so that we can do training and work to support that effort."

Right now, deputies carry shotguns and handguns.

The Sheriff's Office has applied to get enough military-style rifles to arm all deputies through a government program that provides surplus weapons to law enforcement agencies. The problem is that there's a moratorium on the distribution of weapons through the program.

Deputies are currently allowed to use their personal rifles at work, but not everyone has one.

"It's something where we wish we didn't have to think like this, but we don't want to put an officer or deputy in harm's way. And if we have to, we want them to have the tools they need to face whatever they might face," said Sheriff Kirk.

The College Station Police Department also plans to buy 67 semi-automatic rifles for their officers.

The Bryan Police Department, on the other hand, has the same policy as the Sheriff's Office now. Officials say they allow officers to use their personal rifles at work, as long as the weapons comply with department regulations.

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