Toronto’s front-line police officers will soon carry semi-automatic rifles in their cruisers.

The Colt C8 carbine rifle has been developed in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces, according to the Colt website, and is used by armed forces “worldwide.”

“They’re a more accurate gun,” said police spokesperson Mark Pugash. “It’s a weapon for today’s circumstances.”

The police force’s specialized units such as the Emergency Task Force have been using semi-automatic rifles for more than a decade.

“Three scout cars per division will be equipped with the new carbine by the end of May or the Middle of June,” Pugash said.

In total, 51 C8 rifles will be handed out.

Front-line officers in York Region have had semi-automatic rifles in their cruisers for years. Peel police began giving the rifles to their sergeants over the last year.

Some Toronto police cruisers are currently equipped with shotguns, but the weapons have caused concern because they are more likely to spray unintended targets and do not always penetrate bulletproof vests.

The shotguns will soon be replaced by non-lethal sock rounds.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry