Settlement mode, item cards, and creating your force

A question popped up in my groups settlement campaign and the rules are kinda vague. So the book says you may equip units with any item cards carried over from step 3 as long as you pay the caps for them. Does that mean that if you pull one item card you can only equip one unit or can you equip multiple units as long as you pay the caps?

IE did the settlement find exactly one combat rifle, or is it more of an abstraction like “your settlement now has access to combat rifles”

Step by step, using your example of a unit finding an Assault Rifle card whether they found it in a toolbox or looted it off someone, you found it. If you have a Maintenance Shed in your Settlement, you can use 1 Shed to retain one item. If your leader had any Boosts or anyone else had items they found, you’ll need to buy more Maintenance Sheds (and maybe more generators or Land) to retain those Boosts or Items. (Phase 1: Build Phase) If you don’t, let’s say you choose the Assault Rifle and the other stuff is discarded for their caps value. For various reasons, you could find another Assault Rifle card during the Draw Phase (Phase 2) like if you earn a Item through an explore card or if you have a Weapons Bench, you would draw an Item and it could be another Assault Rifle. Your first Assault Rifle goes into Stores, if you have more than one Stores, you can put the other Boosts and Items in the Stores so you can take those cards into your next battle.
You only get one of those Items unless you luck out and draw another item card for that Item. If you shuffle in the Item cards that come with the other expansions or print more cards, you have the possibility to draw more of a particular Item. You could rig the deck if you want to play that way. If you stacked the deck with Assault Rifle cards, the odds are in your favor. They mention single use items, those are items you would discard the card or the counters if you had more than one. If you found a Stimpack and stacked your deck with Stimpacks, you wouldn’t need a second card, you can use tokens to represent the multiples you found and then discard the actual extra cards unless you want to distribute them among your units like if they’ll be beyond sharing range (Yellow).

Thats a lot but it didnt answer my question.

When you go to create your force if you pulled one item card, can you equip multiple units with that item? Or do you need multiple copies of the card to equip multiple units.

For example if I take a combat rifle card in to battle. Can I arm my sole survivor and a group of settlers with combat rifles or would only one of those units get it.

Only one unit can have that item if you only found one of that item.

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