The Association of Garda Superintendents is calling for more armed support units (ASUs) to back up unarmed officers.
It follows a recent call by rank and file members of the force for 24-hour armed support in every Garda division.
Speaking at the Association of Garda Superintendents' annual conference, the group's president - Superintendent Noel Cunningham - said the presence of armed units would reduce response times and deescalate serious situations.
He explained: "The armed response units are highly-trained individuals, and they bring a lot to a situation - obviously they bring a lethal response, but they also bring a non-lethal armed response.
"They bring much more than that. They bring negotiations skills to a scene, and by their very presence they can deescalate a situation."
Superintendent Cunningham acknowledged the high-level of support among the public for gardaí is likely because regular uniformed gardaí are unarmed.
However, he argued: "You also need a second line of defence.
"We're not saying to arm every garda - we don't want that. What we're saying is that the professional support services available to us from the [armed support units] should be more widely available to all members."
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has previously said there is scope for the expansion of armed-support units.
He stressed he would be "concerned" at attempts to ensure that the arming of the gardaí becomes commonplace, but suggested there's "merit in ensuring that at a regional level there can be an armed response".