The meaningless term "sniper rifle" has always irked me in this game. Even today, you can make a rifle that can kill at a mile's distance, but in the 24th Century, after the invention of warp power and transporters, nobody can make a sniper's rifle that's only slightly better ranged than anything else? Seems like an easy fix.
Officer: Yes Engineer?
Engineer: I have created a Rifle that will assist us in handling an enemy without putting our away teams in imminent danger
Officer: Oh? And how is that?
Engineer: Well sir, I have created a "Sniper Rifle"!
Officer: Sniper rifle? That kind of sounds archaic.. What exactly is it?
Engineer: Well sir, it is a weapon that enables our parties to hit the opposition around 20 times further then current weaponry!
Officer: Twenty-Times Farther?! I am ashamed at you Engineer, that is tactically unfair to all parties we are involved with. I am kinda starting to like the name of it tho. Umm, I will let you design it, But I am making a slight tweak to the range so that it does not seem unfair in the field of battle.
Engineer: Ok... What kind of change.. What is the range limitiation..
Officer: Lets say... Two paces further then our current range. That will still give us a unique weapon while maintaining fairness on the field of combat.
Engineer: But sir, That completely removes the point of the rifle. With a greater ranged weapon even on one trained officer, We have an advantage that we can use over our enemies.
Officer: Engineer! This is simply not acceptable. There is a reason that our forces, and all our opponents use the same ranged ship and ground weapons. Fairness. All our weaponry have ranges of 10km in space and on the ground around 20 meters. This maintains Fairness on the fields of combat and does not complicate Diplomatic relations with our combatants. Even The Borg follow this rule set. Imagine what would happen if we started creating weapons and techniques that others did not.
Engineer: Um.. Sir? We would have an edge in combat and be able to decisively win our battles quicker with less of a loss of life.
Officer: I am appauled at your out of the box thinking. I am sending you on the next shuttle back to the academy for re-training. Hopefully when you return you will think in a more fair way.