Less than two weeks after the murder of a Sheriff’s Department employee convinced Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arapaio to require his deputies to be armed with AR-15s at all times, even when off-duty, the department has taken delivery of 400 Smith & Wesson M&P15 mid-length rifles they’d previously ordered.


Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, often referred to as “America’s Toughest Sheriff”, was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the same town in which the Smith & Wesson manufacturing plant is located. Sheriff Arpaio’s office secured the M&P15 MOE Mid rifles after a number of violent incidents involving his patrol deputies. This order means that every patrol deputy in Maricopa County will now be armed with a Smith & Wesson rifle. “It is critical,” Arpaio said, “That deputies have equal or superior firepower to the criminals on the street, and these days that means outfitting them with these duty rifles.”

The mid-length gas-system provides a smoother recoil impulse that the carbine-length system found on many AR-15 rifles, and the press release photo shows that the rifles are also equipped with an Inforce WML weapon-mounted light and the Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) red-dot sight, 30-round Magpul PMag magazines, and a simple two-point sling.

All, in all, it’s a pretty solid set-up for any citizen, and it’s a darn shame that some of the less-free states would deny citizens their right to own identical firearms to protect their families and neighborhoods.