Metro Officers Allowed To Carry Personal Rifles On Job - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Metro Officers Allowed To Carry Personal Rifles On Job

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The deadly mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut have sparked a change for Metro Police officers.

Chief Steve Anderson announced Monday that officers who receive proper training and approval will be allowed to carry their personal patrol rifles in their police cars. 

"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," Anderson said in a statement.

Each rifle will be inspected, and a three-day course will be required before any officer is allowed to carry one.

The new policy only allows officers to use the rifles when it is clear a tactical advantage over a criminal suspect is warranted, and are not to be used for routine calls. 

An estimated one-third of of Nashville's 1,400 police officers presently own personal rifles. Twenty officers will take part in the first training course later this month. 

MNPD said there is no plan for a city-funded mass purchase of patrol rifles, since they cost anywhere from $800 to $1,200.

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