A nationwide ammunition shortage has prompted many California police departments to find alternatives to using live firearms in training exercises, CBS San Francisco reports.
“Everybody is fighting for what is seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there,” said Lt. Louie Tirona, a firearms and tactics instructor for the Richmond Police Department who came up with the idea to use professional-grade airsoft guns in training drills.
“If we get to a situation where we’re low on ammunition, we can do simple drills with airsoft that would mimic what we would do with live fire,” said Lt. Tirona, who added the airsoft guns are much cheaper in comparison.
Neighboring Albany is joining Richmond in using airsoft guns for training. “It’s become harder and harder to get the ammunition we need to train our officers on a timely basis,” Albany Sgt. Dave Bettencourt told CBS San Francisco. “We’re using airsoft as an affordable option to try to maintain the officers’ skills.”