An Arizona sheriff is arming his deputies with AR-15-style assault rifles to give them “enough firepower to fight back” against criminals who he says are carrying increasingly dangerous weapons.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio made the announcement on Thursday, the same day one of his employees, 27-year-old Jorge Vargas, was gunned down as he walked into his driveway to head to work.
“We live in a violent society, even here in Maricopa County, and across our nation, and the least we can do is to arm our deputies…,” Arpaio said, according to Fox 10 News. “My deputies will carry guns 24 hours a day, even off duty. If they see any incident occurring, they will take action anywhere in this valley.”
Arpaio purchased the 400 Smith & Wesson rifles with money seized by authorities during arrests.