Phoenix police officers are getting mandatory training on 80 new AR-15 Bushmaster assault rifles.
Police leaders responsible for setting up rifle classes for patrol officers said it might take until January to provide the everyday beat cop with the same extensive training provided to SWAT teams and other specialty units.
The new .223-caliber weapons increase the number available to precincts to 212.
A recent audit showed Phoenix has 386 rifles currently citywide, including 132 available to patrol officers.
Phoenix Officer Mark Nelson, one of four firearms experts assigned to train new officers on the AR-15s, said patrol officers will be required to take quarterly training classes to keep their marksmanship skills sharp.