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In this photo, University of Georgia police officers patrol the campus in Athens, Ga., with a semi-automatic rifle during a search for professor George Zinkhan, suspected of killing his ex-wife and two others near campus two days earlier. Federal data and Associated Press interviews and requests for records reveal that at least 100 college police agencies have added rifles over the past decade.

BOSTON >> Semi-automatic rifles, once rare on campuses, are becoming a standard part of the arsenal for college security forces.

Federal data and Associated Press interviews and records requests reveal that at least 100 college police agencies in the U.S. have added rifles over the past decade.

Police say the rifles offer more firepower, longer range and greater accuracy than handguns, and could make a difference the next time a gunman goes on a rampage.

But the arms buildup has also raised tensions on some campuses, including Boston's Northeastern University and the University of Maryland. Some protesters say police don't need rifles and argue that black students face a greater risk of being shot with one of the high-powered weapons.




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