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Charlottesville Police Department Modifies Its Guns - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Police Department Modifies Its Guns

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Charlottesville police are making a major modification to the weapons they use every day.

The move will prevent police from being able to shoot off dozens of rounds with one pull of the trigger. The transition has been underway for some time; first with patrol officers and now with the SWAT team.

Charlottesville police have modified 14 of their M16A1s, Vietnam-era military surplus guns. The department spent about $40 per gun to make the change from fully automatic to semi-automatic.

Captain Gary Pleasants says the only need for a fully automatic rifle is for laying down suppressive fire and the liability issues don't outweigh the slight chance they'd need it.

"You can't hold it on target. So you're just shooting bullets everywhere and in police work it's obviously something we can't do because we have civilians out there, innocent people out there that we have to that we have to avoid," he said.

The SWAT team is in the middle of changing its M4s from being fully automatic to using three-round bursts. Currently, the SWAT team uses a mixture of the two. They're going to make the transition as quickly as the budget allows.

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