A few folks may remember the killing and shooting on Falcon lake down here. I know bass fisherman from Michigan like to fish the lake. The Sheriff down here requests you be armed. Well I am happy to let the tourist fishermen know the first Texas DPS Gunboat (There will be atleast 6) has been commissioned today. And yes, those are machineguns. Texas is not counting on the Feds anymore to protect bass fishermen or jet skiers on the border! Come on down and visit!
Cop, writing on Austin Bass Fishing forum:
First off, they don't have 50's. Gun mounts are a twin M240 (7.62) in the front, single mounts on the sides. Secondly, these things were built expressly for Lake Falcon and the border down by Brownsville.They will train a bit on Lake Austin and Decker, but they will not be used to patrol the lakes here. That's APD and TCSO's job.The state bought these mainly because the feds won't do a damn thing about armed incursions on Falcon. Really not intended for drug interdiction. Wasn't even part of the written proposal. This is a gunboat, pure and simple. (sorry to break the news to all you "drug war" guys)Sad fact is, the use of them will be so hemmed in by ridiculous rules of engagement that they'll never fire a shot.
This is a growing trend. The Sons of Guns TV show just recently armed a patrol craft for a Louisiana sheriff department:
Now, on to what you saw in the first episode of this season. We were contacted to arm a sheriff’s patrol boat for duty on the Mississippi River petroleum corridor. The task included a dual mount with a MARK 19 grenade launcher and a 240 Bravo machine gun as well as a grenade/smoke grenade launcher. They wanted the right mounts and the right systems to defend the river.When the job came down through Sheriff Gautreaux for the demonstration and up-arming of their 32-foot patrol boat, we were damn excited. They have a nice flotilla, a 27-footer in that same style, and probably a dozen other boats that they use. We wanted to make this one stand out. These guys in the sheriff’s office do everything from search-and-rescue, pulling drowned fishermen out of the rivers, pulling people out of treetops during flooding to dredging the rivers for bodies, drug interdiction and dealing with homeland security issues. They are a top-notch, professional organization.Since I kind of take a military outlook on everything, we figured if you’re gonna arm up, then do it right. They wanted the ability to sink, destroy, and of course, to show that ability as a deterrent.The sheriff and the colonel who run the river division both felt that they would have a steady firing platform off the rear for the fully automatic machine guns. They use a Barrett 82A1 on the bow and wanted to keep it there. The boat driver, who’s an old brown-water Navy hand just laughed when the question came up and said, “I can point the ass-end of this boat anywhere you want it. Just tell me what you want to hit.” OK, that kind of solved that.Plus, it’s not the Mekong Delta, man, it’s the Mississippi Delta, so there’s slightly different forces at work here.The region these men work in contains many heavily populated areas, and there’s almost always traffic on the river. When you’re cutting loose with a .50 cal. or even a .30 cal. on the water, the bullet can skip off and travel a long way. It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes you’re going to be a lot safer with a 40mm grenade launcher.
Well, I for one am certainly glad of THAT. Okay, Lake Falcon, under state jurisdiction, I can see. Those are nasty desperadoes down there. But if every riverine county in America is going to be in an ego-driven arms race for gunboats now, the only good I can see is that it represents more of that arms technology transfer from the military to within the reach and grasp of the armed citizenry. Other than that, the militarization of local police -- most importantly the militarization of the PSYCHES of local cops -- proceeds apace. Fellows that jet around in such craft are hard put to claim that they are "peace officers."Here's the video of the Sons of Guns project: