Twice this month, area law enforcement claims to have seized high powered assault rifles from suspects.
Two of the suspect involved in the Church's Chicken shootout "reportedly" had assault rifles in their car at the time of the incident. This week, at Martin Homes a 17-year-old suspect, "supposedly" also had a high-powered rifle all part of a trend that some say is getting worse.
Sheriff Andy Hughes said, "In a gun battle in an urban area mobility and maneuverability and forgiveness of the weapon are key, but when range is key in more rural areas, police want to be able to return fire, if they are fired upon."
In 1997, criminals in California equipped with body armor and assault rifles injured 17 police and civilians, and Sheriff Hughes says this incident speaks to those who question the firepower needs of law enforcement.
In the North Hollywood shootout, police had to raid a local gun shop to be able to fight back, and if you’re in a rural area, there are not many places to get quick access to an assault rifle.
Sheriff Hughes says his department is close to providing and training every deputy with assault rifles.