(Article courtesy of Tactical Life)

The United States Secret Service protects the sitting president and his or her immediate family, along with all former presidents and their spouses.

They are unquestionably the most photographed security detail in the world. The men and women who work on a detail represent the last line of defense for the protectee. What is not often seen are the outer rings of protection that stay largely in the shadows. These rings include but are not limited to the Counter Assault Team (CAT), Protective Intelligence agents and the Counter Surveillance Unit.

Most agencies and details will not openly discuss the methods or equipment used in their duties. However, from time to time, the public gets a glimpse behind the curtain. One such case was the assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981. Seconds after the shots were fired, a Secret Service agent produced an Uzi submachine gun from a briefcase. The Service later transitioned to Heckler & Koch MP5s, which have been observed on several occasions.

In recent years, the changing threat matrix has resulted in many agencies transitioning from 9mm submachine guns to comparably sized platforms chambered for a rifle cartridge. Today’s threats, along with an aging fleet of long guns, has had an impact on the Secret Service. In March of 2016, the Secret Service released a solicitation for a new rifle.

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Photo courtesy of Tactical Life