"Maine State Police troopers will be issued 105 new assault weapons that are much more powerful than the rifles they have been using.Read the rest of the article in "New AR-15s give state police needed firepower", The Portland Press Herald, May 1, 2010. Click here for resources on law enforcement in the state of Maine.
The Legislature approved the purchase of the AR-15 assault rifles, manufactured by Bushmaster at the company's plant in Windham. The new weapons cost a total of $76,191.
Why the need for greater firepower? Mike Edes, president of the Maine State Troopers Association, said "almost nobody" in the department has confidence in their Ruger carbine rifles, the 9 mm weapons that the AR-15s are replacing.
"My analogy is this: I'm a deer hunter. I would not go hunting with a nine-millimeter for deer," Edes said. "So why would I want to be protected against a person that has another firearm, and wants to kill me and is coming after me, and rely on a gun I wouldn't even go deer hunting with?"
The guns are being paid for with a combination of drug enforcement money and state funds, said Rep. Paulette Beaudoin, D-Biddeford."