An investigation has been going on for several months by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into the purchase of several guns in 2008, although Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin said he was not sure why the matter was being brought up now.
"I am confident there have been no violations of law," Scroggin said. "No weapons purchased were weapons that an average citizen cannot purchase. In fact, our citizens can be proud of the job that our Road Police Department has done and the protection it has afforded our citizens’ investment in the road system."
Five guns were purchased for the Road Police Department, including four AR-15 rifles. Scroggin said those purchases were made in response to Officer Jason Bell being wounded in the line of fire.
"In an incident in 2005, Officer Bell found himself in such a situation where he was outgunned and shot in the line of duty while trying to make a traffic stop, not unlike the traffic stops he makes on behalf of our County Road Police Department," Scroggin said. "Regarding the amount of ammunition purchased, there was enough ammunition purchased at the state contract price at the time to alleviate the need to purchase ammunition for several years. Being a good steward of County monies, the Department purchased ammunition in bulk quantities while County monies were available and to avoid the need to make future purchases for a long term period."
The county spent about $8,500 on ammunition and about $4,500 on the guns.
"These purchases occurred in 2008 and the issue has been thoroughly looked at," Scroggin said. "I’m not sure why this has come up."