Police in Marion, Iowa, a small city of 38,000 in the eastern end of the state, are planning to upgrade to AR-15s ... by buying the $2,000 weapon themselves, reports Fox News. Half of Marion's 50-strong police force intend to get the new weapon, and are willing to have $55 deducted from their biweekly paychecks for 18 months to pay for the guns. The move is designed to give police the firepower to respond to heavily armed criminals—though Marion had zero homicides last year.
But police say they want the more powerful guns in response to recent high-profile national shootings that involved semi-automatic weapons. "It’s more accurate over a longer range," says the head of the National Association of Police Organizations, which approves of Marion's move. “For me, if I had to choose, I’d rather be shot by an AR-15 than a shotgun." The Marion Times reports that the city council last night approved the purchase of the guns, but tabled the motion that would give officers the OK to pay for them via payroll deductions until Feb. 21.