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Nearly 40 percent of police departments report 'uptick' in assault weapons


By Kevin Johnson
USA Today

Criminals increasingly are choosing high-powered firearms such as assault weapons, a new survey of 166 U.S. police agencies shows.

Nearly 40% of the departments reported an uptick in the use of assault weapons, according to the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement think tank. In addition, half reported increases in the use of 9mm, .40-caliber and 10mm handguns in crimes -- among the same types of weapons that police use. The survey offers one of the broadest indications of officers' concerns about the armed threat from criminals involved in murder, assault and other weapons-related offenses.

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