Some South Carolina troopers have been buying and bringing their own high-powered rifles to work to replace their less lethal state-issued shotguns.

The Post and Courier reports the Department of Public Safety is seeking $500,000 in next year's state budget to equip all troopers with AR-15 rifles, which officials contend could save lives if there's a mass shooting in South Carolina.

But Highway Patrol Commander Chris Williamson recently confirmed that some front-line troopers wanted the more effective rifles so badly for potential confrontations that about 50 have bought their own in the past couple of years.

A typical AR-15 rifle costs about $1,000. A policy change allowed troopers to carry personal rifles on the job that meet specifications, provided they undergo the agency's eight-hour course on the weapon.