BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County Sheriff's Office is planning on buying more than 100 new rifles for the force, replacing "excess federal rifles" the department has been using.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood is expected on Tuesday to request the County Board of Supervisors approve the purchase of 112 Colt LE6933-EPR Rifles (11.5-inch barrel) at a cost of $1,250 apiece.
KCSO says the excess federal rifles currently being used are old and will be returned to the feds once the new rifles are issued.
In the request, the Sheriff says the department would "allow for faster deployment in high-risk situations, and provide tactical advantage in close quarters."
The department will use asset forfeiture money to buy 100 ($125,000) of the rifles and civic funds to purchase the remaining 12 ($15,000). KCSO expects the replacement of the old rifles to take a few years before the new rifles are standard across the department.
Documents obtained by 23ABC News show KCSO range personnel tested and inspected both the LE6933-EPR and a Rainier Arms rifle (10.5-inch barrel) over a three-month period and the rifles "performed equally." One reason cited for going with the Colt was that the rifle fit into the locking mechanism currently installed in KCSO patrol vehicles.
Another reason given was that KCSO range staff are certified Colt armorers, which allows them to service and repair that brand of firearms. It would cost more to recertify staff on a different brand of rifle.
Colt's website describes the model as an Enhanced Patrol Rifle and "is the next evolution in the world's most dependable, thoroughly field-tested patrol rifle."