Previous Post
Next Post

More and more police agencies are issuing AR-15 style rifles to their officers, as police recognize the many advantages of the rifle for defense over the shotguns that used to be carried in cruisers. One of the latest groups to be issued the rifles are Tempe, Arizona motorcycle cops. That’s been a challenge because a method had to be found to keep the rifles both available and secure.


The latest accessory for Tempe police motorcycles is causing double-takes in this Phoenix suburb: a rear-mounted AR-15 rifle.

The department quietly has outfitted eight of its duty motorcycles, more than half, with the upright mounts for semiautomatic rifles.

Chief Sylvia Moir, the former chief of El Cerrito, California, brought the idea with her when she was hired by Tempe in September 2016, and it was embraced by officers, said Tempe police Commander Michael Pooley.

AR-15-equipped vehicles are common in many police and sheriff departments. The special motorcycle mount used by the Tempe motorcycle officers are said to make removal of the rifle difficult, unless the “tricks” are known.

It appears that a combination of movements is required to remove the rifle. it’s also possible that an electronic lock is used that may be dependent on an RFID device or similar system.

While it isn’t known who makes the mount used on the Tempe police two-wheelers, I suspect Alternative Vehicle Accessory Manufacturing in Prescott Arizona. Strangely, their site doesn’t have a photo of their mount, but their description seems compatible with the Tempe mount.

You’d hope that whatever mount Tempe chose, it adequately covers the trigger, unlike the version that Chino, California had chosen for their AR-equipped cycles.

The advantages of an AR-15 variant for a patrol rifle include 20-30 rounds, easily available magazines, light weight, accuracy, ease of use. Not to mention a significant power advantage over most pistols, and a familiarity gained from any military experience an officer may have.

All of those advantages also apply to everyday citizens who, after all, frequently face similar threats as police officers do.

Tempe PD thought there might be negative reactions to carrying AR-15 rifles on motorcycles. That did not happen.


(Commander Michael) Pooley said the agency was braced for a backlash when it deployed the guns: “We’re always concerned about public perceptions. We don’t want people to think we’re carrying these around for no reason.”

So far, he said, the agency has “gotten a lot of positive feedback” from people in the community.

Arizona is known for its strong support of Second Amendment rights. It’s likely most of the residents of Arizona recognize America’s rifle, and respect its capabilities and advantages for both police and civilians alike.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch 

Previous Post
Next Post


    • I seem to remember a story about Cali motorcycle cops getting their fancy G36Cs yoinked off their bikes a couple years ago.

  1. The Libertarian in me says bad idea when it comes to carve-outs with law enforcement. It just validates the horrible thoughts of aggressive militarized police commandos. The navy seal mentality shouldn’t be part of a local law enforcements. It just reinforces the images of a future dystopian NWO with national police commandos stomping out civilian civil liberties….

    • I agree that anyone otherwise not a prohibited person should be able to keep an AR-15 in their vehicle.

      But cops are not turned into commandos just because they have a rifle. A pistol is a poor performer in a gunfight and is carried only because it is easy to do so on a duty belt. Cops have been using long guns long before the Navy Seals or any other modern ‘commando’ force existed.

    • I agree that police carveouts are a really dumb idea. But, who said anything about carveouts? I’m pretty sure any Arizonan can carry a long arm on their motorcycle. Did someone say otherwise that I missed?

      • Often its illegal to carry a loaded long gun in a vehicle. Some states gi even further and compel you to banish all firearms, unloaded and cased, to the trunk.

        • That’s where constitutional carry falls short. In my state I can have loaded guns in my vehicle just laying on the upholstery because I took the time to get the plastic (Concealed Carry) card.

        • This is ARIZONA. You can have a loaded long are in your vehicle. Next to you. In arms reach. Or anywhere else for that matter.

      • The carve outs would be in California. I would welcome a federal law that blocked state and local governments from receiving federal funds if they equip their officers with weapons forbidden to non-law enforcement citizens. That is the only gun control that I would support.

  2. Here’s what I said about it to them:
    Why do spree killers and terrorists often use the AR15? Because it is reliable, affordable, effective, easy to use and readily available. Why do civilians and police use the AR15? Because it is reliable, affordable, effective, easy to use and readily available. Why have bigots and the ignorant directed their prejudice at those who own and legally enjoy the benefits of the AR15? Because it is reliable, affordable, effective, easy to use and readily available.

    • Well said.

      On a motorcycle, I would probably opt for a 9” barreled AR pistol with a brace thingy myself.

      • I agree with you, however the brace would be exempt to LEO’s where the department can issue them PC SBR’s. I doubt they roll with ear buds on, so it would make sense to lower the concussion in most situations on patrol. In the rare event of a Dade County or Hollywood scenario, your 5.56 carrying cruiser is a must.

    • Almost certainly not. Anything other than semi-auto puts you in a different world of pain, liability-wise (and requires a lot more training). So you’ll see that with SWAT teams but not regular patrol rifles.

  3. Cops are just too toxically male to be allowed to have death-dealing semiautomatic weapons of war.

  4. Meh, color me not enthused.

    Arizona may in some ways be a bastion of firearms freedom, but it’s also been a bastion of jackbooted, corrupt and oppressive government for many decades as well. The “Miranda” case happened in Phoenix, as did 20 years of Joe Arpaio (who didn’t just fark with Mexicans, he violated a lot of US Citizen’s rights), and just a few months ago, not even very far from Tempe – the murder of an unarmed man by a cop with an AR15 that had “you’re farked” engraved on the dust cover. On his duty weapon!

    Personally, I’d like all cops to be armed with nothing more powerful than paintballs until they learn to shoot less unarmed “civilians” and dogs & maybe take a five-minute class on the constitution

  5. Seems kind of odd to mount it vertically at the rear of the bike. Why not have it mounted horizontally, pointing forward on a gimbal mount? Put a muzzle cover on it, that can be remotely blown off (or just shoot it off). Then the motor patrol can deploy it while engaging in a high-speed chase to shoot up runners of stop signs or other dangerous criminals?

  6. I see that optic walking away unless it is secured with more than just the standard Aimpoint thumb screw mount.

    • Maybe… but motor officers are usually close to their bikes and I wouldn’t want to be the one to sneak over and start messing with a police rifle when the guy might come around the corner at any second.

    • I’d like to see a firearm like the ‘Shockwave’ in a leather scabbard on the front fork of a chopper…

  7. Washington state patrol have been doing that for years too, They use a 10″ SBR (If I remember correctly) in the saddlebag with a small cut out in front for the barrel hard to see on a Honda ST1300 The saddlebag is magnetically locked to the bike, officers have to remove and carry the saddlebag with them when they leave the bike.

  8. There are a good number of well dressed hand guns and carbines that can fit nicely into a standard brief case and be less conspicuious too.

  9. Here in Hays County they use a 10 inch SBR with a law tactical folding stock. Fits inside the hard case. You never know it’s there.

    • Ah, no. For the Beemers, you have to buy the German-made Touratech mount, which costs $2000 USD and only fits certain HK models. If you get an AR anywhere near a Beemer, the fuel injection cuts out. Just kidding….

      But – I have been thinking about building a Kydex scabbard that would hold my latest .300 Blackout AR pistol, and could quickly transition from my dirt bike to my F650 Dakar, to my R1200GS.

  10. A good weapon is a good weapon. The motorcycle is not so practical. Can not believe PC’s still use them. Can you say sitting duck?

  11. Police in AZ have had AR15’s for years. Hundreds of them. Usually is cruisers and SUV’s. The logic is that motorcycle officers can respond to calls faster and can get places your regular police cruiser can’t.

    And they are semi-auto. I know have a neighbor in the PLEA who I talked to about it when they got 100 of them a few years back.

  12. I’m not sure that’s the best way to mount it, and a sbr would probably be a better option

  13. Rocket pods , twin mounted .30 cal minigun, land mines, and heat seeking missile’s, and Rambo that cycop out like Terminator, Get him off that dog slow Harley and put him on a pink chrome plated Busa , everything pink chrome except the tires. And a Trojan helmet with horse hair spikey ups and a banana yellow leather jumpsuit with lime green stripes.Thats for the HiWay Patrol. The locals get a Vespa and a .9 mm

  14. how about that, an actual legitimate use-case for a mandated RFID firearm lock. Do we actually know how these rifles are removed from the mount? please tell me it isn’t just a “trick” that only cops know and an actual lock of some sort that allows for quick removal?

  15. Meanwhile, if Joe Blow citizen shoves a gun into the chrome racks of their bike Terminator style, they get pulled over and surrounded by dozens of cops for “Brandishing.”

Comments are closed.