When it comes to choosing a long arm for use by its officers, most police departments recently have been going with some form of an AR-15. Thus, when the Pennsylvania State Capitol Police chose the IWI Tavor SAR for use by its officers, it caught my attention.
The Pennsylvania State Capitol Police is an 86 member department charged with providing security and protection at the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg as well as at state office buildings in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. They are also charged with investigating crimes that occur within its jurisdiction. Established in 1895, they were the first police agency in Pennsylvania to come under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are the second oldest state police agency in the country after the Texas Rangers.
So why choose the Tavor when virtually all other departments are going with some form of AR-15?
According to the press release announcing the adoption, it was due to it close quarters capabilities.
“We ar e honored that the Pennsylvania State Capitol Police have chosen to be outfitted with the TAVOR® SAR ,” Michael Kassnar, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at IWI US commented. “ The State Capitol Police were looking for an extremely reliable rifle that was built specifically for close quarter battle and the design of the TAVOR® SAR bullpup was a perfect fit for their requirements.”There is no word on how many of these bullpup rifles were purchased nor is there any word on the exact configuration.
Prior to joining IWI USA, Mr. Kassnar had been president of Harrisburg-based Charles Daly and KBI as well as Trans World Arms LLC. Charles Daly and KBI went out of business in 2010. Given that Mr. Kassnar and IWI USA are Harrisburg-based as were KBI and Charles Daly, I would not be surprised to find out that he had a long standing personal and professional relationship with the State Capitol Police. Notwithstanding that, I do believe the Tavor should perform very well in close quarters.