Officer Andrew Graycar stands behind a new Dillon Aero M134D Gatling gun at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
LIVERMORE, California (AP) -- Officials at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have added a new weapon to their armory: a high-powered machine gun that can fire more than 50 rounds per second.
The weapon, unveiled Thursday, is a six-barrel Gatling gun called the Dillon Aero M134D. An undisclosed number of the guns will be mounted on vehicles and elsewhere at the lab.
"What we want to do is equip our protective force with the capability that will leave no doubt about the outcome," said Linton Brooks, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Lab critics questioned the wisdom of putting such powerful guns at the lab, which is across the street from suburban homes. They say the real problem is that the lab site, which is relatively small at 1 square mile, is not a good place for nuclear materials.
"If you don't have the firepower, that's one kind of security weakness, but if you do have the firepower, you potentially endanger nearby workers and community members because it's such a compact site," said Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CARES, a Livermore-based activist group.
Lab spokeswoman Susan Houghton said the guns add "one more layer of protection."
The 8,000-employee lab is 50 miles east of San Francisco.
Anyone know what the patented anti-jamming feed system is all about? I was trying to find it but couldn't.