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Peace officers throughout California have bought more than 7,600 assault weapons that are outlawed for civilians in the decade since state lawmakers allowed the practice, according to data obtained by The Associated Press after it was revealed that federal authorities are investigating illegal gun sales by law enforcement.

Investigators have not said what kinds of weapons were involved, but did say they were ones that officers can buy but civilians cannot. That category also can include certain types of handguns and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

The AP’s findings and the federal probe have prompted one state lawmaker to revisit the law to ensure that the guns can be bought only for police purposes.

“I think it’s much more questionable whether we should allow peace officers to have access to weapons or firearms that a private citizen wouldn’t have access to if the use is strictly personal,” said Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, a Democrat who represents the Sacramento region.

The investigation has raised questions about the kinds of restricted weapons that the more than 87,000 peace officers in the state are entitled to purchase and about a 2001 law that allows them to buy assault weapons “for law enforcement purposes, whether on or off duty.”

Source: Don Thompson for the Associated Press.

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