Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh has come out against a plan to equip some patrol officers in the city with AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles.
“Mayor-elect Walsh is opposed to the AR-15 rifles,” Walsh spokesperson Kathryn Norton said in a statement issued over the weekend, according to The Boston Herald. “Unless otherwise convinced by the Boston Police Department, he does not think they are necessary.”
The Herald reported on Sunday that Walsh would have to approve a budget for the police department’s plan to purchase 33 AR-15s, which cost $2,500 each. According to the Herald, the department was in the “planning phases of acquiring the rifles,” which would be put in the cruisers of two specially-trained beat cops in each of the city’s 11 districts.
Sgt. Mike McCarthy, a spokesperson for the department, has previously said that the plan to buy the AR-15s began before the bombing of the Boston Marathon in April, according to the Herald. The rifles would not have been used during routine patrols, but instead were intended to be available for situations like active-shooter incidents and when firing on suspects from a distance.