In response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Ct., and others, the Metro Nashville Police Department will allow trained officers to carry their personal AR-15 rifles inside their vehicles while on duty, reports The Tennessean. “Deadly events across the United States over the past few years, including, among others, those in Carson City, Nv., Aurora, Co., and Newtown, Ct., demonstrate the high-powered weapons with which criminals are arming themselves,” Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said.
“It has become increasingly clear that a pistol and shotgun may not be enough for an officer to stop a threat to innocent citizens. This policy change is in the best interest of public and officer safety.” Under the department's existing policy, a limited number of officers involved in SWAT and canine unit assignments carry those weapons. The updated policy will allow officers to carry “personally owned” rifles inside their vehicles as long as guns are inspected and authorized, weapons aren't modified and officers complete a three-day course on patrol rifle deployment. With its modular design and reliability, the AR-15 is a favorite among some gun enthusiasts. Gun control advocates take issue with the gun's stopping power and bullet capacity.