The NRGC will lock up ten SIG Sauer MPX submachine guns (pictured) until its investigators are properly trained in their use. (Image: Shutterstock.com)
SIG on the ice
The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC) is putting its controversial recent purchase of SIG Sauer MPX rifles under lock and key until trainers teach its investigators how to use them.
locked up until adequate instructions and procedures for their use are put in place
NRGC Vice President Shane Greckel said Wednesday that the body will block the ten semi-automatic rifles until proper instructions and procedures for their use are in place.
According to The Star Herald, the NRGC defended the purchase of the deadly, high-powered weapons. The body said the weapons were needed to respond to potential “active shooter” incidents at Nebraska casinos that typically involved similar submachine guns.
The commission intends to hand over the ten weapons to as many plainclothes investigators, all certified Nebraska law enforcement officers. Agents patrol the state’s casinos, which opened 16 months ago.
The NRGC’s purchase of the short-barreled SIGs, plus associated equipment, cost $30,350 and much controversy.
First, according to media reports, some commissioners did not know that their employer had purchased the weapons until November. When the news broke last week, the public took to social media to question the need for such lethal weapons.
Political commentator See Red Nebraska commented X: “This gun makes absolutely no sense.” Some NRGC employees also questioned the commission’s need for additional firepower.
The agents who will eventually use the SIGs, however, have defended the weapons. NRGC law enforcement director Steve Anderson said the Nebraska State Patrol used the same MPXs for its SWAT teams. He added that since 2018 there have been nine shooting-related incidents at Nebraska casinos.
NRGC investigator Steve Eppens said most active shooter cases involve assault weapons, adding, “You have to meet force with force.”
Whether or not prompted by the deluge of questions about his authorization to purchase Sig Sauer, NRGC Executive Director Tom Sage announced last week that he will retire in March. He also recently took a personal leave, citing health issues.
under fire for signing a $48,000 contract for a gaming market study
Sage is also under fire for signing a $48,000 contract for a gaming market study that concluded in December that Nebraska “did not need additional runs.”
Company commissioners last week deemed the study incomplete. State Senator John Lowe, meanwhile, said “the whole study needs to be redone.”