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Acknowledging that a “gap exists” within its arsenal, the RCMP said Wednesday that it is looking to replace the majority of its shotguns with carbines — lightweight rifles with short barrels.

The need to equip patrol officers with carbines was identified as a “high priority” in a report released this week into the deaths of four Mounties in Alberta in 2005.

Some members within the force have been calling for the switch for years.

“We identified this as an issue in 2008,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Warren, chair of the RCMP’s officer safety committee. “Yesterday is when this gun needed to be on the street.”

The patrol rifles have an advantage over other long guns and pistols by offering greater accuracy, higher magazine capacity and reduced risk of collateral damage, advocates say.

Source: Douglas Quan for Canada.com.

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