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South Carolina Increases Effort to Arm State Troopers

South Carolina Increases Effort to Arm State Troopers

As the third anniversary approaches of a local school shooting, all troopers in the South Carolina Department of Public Safety are receiving rifle training to better prepare them to respond to a mass shooting.

 The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) has been working with local and state law enforcement officers to ensure each is equipped with a rifle. The rifles will be used to replace shotguns, as they are more accurate, utilize more ammunition, and can be safely fired at a greater distance.

 “Unlike the shotgun that’s currently issued the butt stock is adjustable for our female officers and smaller officers. This [sic] is a magazine fed weapon that can be switched from right hand to left hand. [sic] The magazine is capable of holding 30 rounds,” said Firearm Instructor Captain Russell Howard.

The effort was inspired by a South Carolina state trooper who grabbed his personal patrol rifle when he responded to a nearby shooting at Townville Elementary School that claimed the life of six-year-old Jacob Hall.

As the third anniversary of the Townville school shooting approaches in September, troopers will be better prepared to handle mass shootings thanks to the actions of the SCDPS.

 The SCDPS—which has issued 150 rifles already—plans to purchase and distribute 300 this year. Officers will participate in a four-day training session to learn to use the rifles. An additional 300 rifles will be purchased at a later date to ensure all officers associated with SCDPS are ready to respond to future situations.

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