Police are replacing their Remington rifles with a new firearm â€“ the Bushmaster XM15 M4A3.
"The new rifle will be more operationally compatible with the other police standard issue firearm, the semi-automatic Glock," says Assistant Commissioner Peter Marshall.
The Remington 7 was introduced in 1993 and is a bolt action styled rifle, so each time a shot is fired, the operator has to take one hand off the rifle to action the bolt. Once the bolt is actioned, the operator has to reposition their hand as well as re-sight the weapon and this could be dangerous in certain situations. This is not the case with the new Bushmaster," says Assistant Commissioner Marshall.
"Another reason for the replacement is the stock length of the Remington Rifle â€“ some smaller-built staff have experienced trouble comfortably holding, aiming and firing.
"Nevertheless the Remington has serviced Police very well over years.
As part of the rifle review the Police firearms training section conducted detailed trials on eight different rifles. The recommended replacement is the Bushmaster.
"It was identified as the most suitable weapon for frontline use for the New Zealand Police because of its reliability, serviceability, operator maintenance, capability and compatibility," says Mr Marshall.
The Bushmaster is expected to be introduced over the next 12 months, once a comprehensive training programme has been completed. The Remington rifles will be destroyed once the replacement rifles are in service.
"Police policy and general instructions for the use and operation of firearms will remain unchanged. There will be no increase in the availability of firearms to staff and police will continue to be unarmed in the normal course of their duties. Also Police will continue to use firearms as a last resort to protect themselves or others from the imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm where other less violent options are not appropriate or available," said Mr Marshall.
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