Homeland Security seeking 7,000 assault weapons for ‘personal defense’

The seal of the Department of Homeland Security

 The Washington Times  –   By Jessica Chasmar

While the Obama administration calls for a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, the Department of Homeland Security is seeking to acquire 7,000 “personal defense weapons” — also known as “assault weapons” when owned by civilians.

A report by Steve McGough of RadioViceOnline.com cites a General Service Administration request for a proposal on behalf of DHS seeking more than 7,000 AR-15s and matching 30-round clips “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, introduced legislation Thursday that would enact a so-called “assault weapons” ban, prohibiting more than 150 firearms and limiting magazines to 10 rounds.

Critics, such as Republican New York state Sen. Greg Ball, are already blasting the DHS request, arguing that the government deems these firearms as suitable for self-defense but want to ban civilians from owning them.

“Now the Department of Homeland Security even agrees that these modern sporting firearms, made illegal by Governor Cuomo, are suitable for self-defense,” Mr Ball said. “On top of that, a recent story reports that two RIT [Rochester Institute of Technology] students who were legal gun owners were protected by an AR-15. The story may have had a very tragic ending, had Governor Cuomo’s anti-self-defense bill been in full effect.”

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Some Calif. school officers have assault rifles

www.cbsnews.com  –  By Bill Whitaker

(CBS News) FONTANA, Calif. – The police in Fontana are taking a different approach to fighting gun violence. They’re arming the officers who protect schools with high-powered, semi-automatic rifles.

“It’s heartbreaking that we have to resort to this level of preparedness,” said Fontana School District Police Chief Billy Green.

Last October, Green spent $14,000 to equip each officer with a semi-automatic rifle. Fontana is one of the first school districts to publicly acknowledge having such weapons on campus. By day, they’re locked in patrol cars or police lockers in school buildings.

Billy GreenFontana School District Police Chief Billy Green

Chief Green acknowledged that they are military-style weapons.

“They’re similar to the platform of what you would see on an AR-15 or M-16, all made by Colt, an American manufacturer” Chief Green said.

The Fontana School District police chief says the Newtown school shooting convinced him it was the right action.

“To say that nothing like that could ever happen on one of our campuses here is irresponsible. We need to plan for this. We need to be prepared for this,” Chief Green said.

This image provided by the Fontana Unified School District Police shows a Colt LE6940 semiautomatic rifle, one of 14 purchased by the Fontana Unified School District to help provide security for the school, in California. The weapons, which cost $1,000 each, are high-powered weapons that are accurate at longer range and can pierce body armor. This image provided by the Fontana Unified School District Police shows a Colt LE6940 semiautomatic rifle, one of 14 purchased by the Fontana Unified School District to help provide security for the school, in California. The weapons, which cost $1,000 each, are high-powered weapons that are accurate at longer range and can pierce body armor.

Many parents and teachers didn’t know until this week that he’d bought the military-style rifles. School board member Sophia Green says the money would be better spent on counseling a troubled student.

“It will be like a bloodbath. He has a gun, the police have a gun. I don’t think that’s the avenue we want to take,” Sophia Green said.

“To people that have that opinion, my question would be: When?” Chief Green said. “Do we wait until there’s been a tragic loss of life?”

Chief Green says he can bear the criticism; he couldn’t bear the loss of even one student’s life.

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