Mounties guarding Parliament Hill will soon be armed with submachine-guns as part of the force’s move to beef up security at the center of Canada’s government.
RCMP officers on duty on the Hill currently carry handguns as primary weapons, while their secondary weapons, shotguns, are stored in vehicles.
The force confirmed Wednesday the Hechler & Koch MP5 9-mm semi-automatic rifle will be reintroduced in the next few months once its officers are trained to use them.
RCMP Sgt. Greg Cox said the MP5s are more accurate and have a better range capability as opposed to a shotgun, which fires a round that often spreads beyond its intended target.
The Mounties carried MP5s in the 1980s to guard Parliament Hill and embassies, but the firearms were phased out.
The submachine-guns, like the Mounties’ current secondary weapon, won’t be visible and will only be pulled out if needed, Cox added.
“The one instance that comes to mind is that there may be a shooter inside one of these buildings randomly shooting targets,” he said. “This is a better suited option to deal with that threat.”