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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Rifles on campus: College police forces, including at U. of I., add firepower

Rifles on campus: College police forces, including at U. of I., add firepower

Once a rarity on campuses, semi-automatic rifles are becoming a standard part of the arsenal for college police forces — firepower they say could make a difference the next time a gunman goes on a rampage.

The weapons are rarely seen in public and often stashed away in cruisers or at department headquarters, and many schools won't talk about them. But federal data and Associated Press interviews and requests for records reveal that over the past decade, at least 100 U.S. college police agencies, and probably many more, have introduced rifles or acquired more of them.

The arms buildup has raised tensions on campuses, with debates over the need for such weaponry...

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