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School police authorized to carry AR-15 assault weapons in Compton, California

August 20, 2014
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Source: KPPC

As Compton students head back to school Monday, residents are expressing concern about a school board policy passed in July that allows campus police who pass an internal selection process to buy semi-automatic AR-15 rifles and carry them in their patrol car trunks while on duty. 

"This is our objective — save lives, bottom line," Compton Unified Police Chief William Wu told the board. 

Wu argued officers are woefully underequipped in the event of a terrorist attack or mass shooting, in which shooters increasingly wear body armor, which is not penetrable with standard firearms. He cited a recent FBI study that found that roughly 5 percent of mass shooters have worn such armor. Wu said that while assault-style rifles are more deadly, they're also more accurate.

"Handguns you'd be lucky to hit accurately at 25 yards," Wu said. "With a rifle in the hands of a trained person, you can be go 50, 100 yards accurately."

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