McLennan County Commissioners approve request to buy AR-15's for - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

McLennan County Commissioners approve request to buy AR-15's for deputies

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WACO -

McLennan County Commissioners have approved a request from the McLennan County Sheriff's Office to buy 19 AR-15's for deputies.

"We provide safety to the citizens in many ways, as well as trying to get the criminals off the street," said Sheriff Parnell McNamara. "So, we just feel like this is something that is very necessary."

Deputies already carry two weapons: a pistol and a shot gun. And McNamara wants to add an AR-15 M4 style rifle. 

"We are running into a lot of criminals that have that type of weapon, and we need to be on equal ground," said McNamara. 

In a County Commissioners meeting on April 2, McNamara proposed to purchase 19 AR-15's; at least for now.

"For the officers safety and the safety of the public, we feel our officers need to be armed with these weapons as well as the pistols," said McNamara. 

The Sheriff's Office wants to pay most of the cost using $18,000 dollars from an insurance settlement after an accident wrecked one of their vehicles. The total cost for the rifles will be about $19,000 dollars.

Bell County deputies already have AR-15's, but they personally own the ones they carry

"Our deputies are engaged in law enforcement and in Bell County there is criminal activity here," said Donnie Adams, Bell County Sheriff Public Information Officer. "Some of them are well armed. We want to keep our deputies better armed than our criminals."

Adams says the chances of engaging gunfire with heavily armed criminal is remote, but the cost to not be ready could be tragic. And for Sheriff McNamara, he's optimistic commissioners will be receptive to his request.

"I'm not going to bank on how they are going to vote, but I certainly hope they will support us in our effort," said McNamara.

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