Should the Secretary of Defense place limitations on transferring “military-grade” weapons and vehicles to state agencies?
• "It's still up to local law enforcement to determine how and when and where and under what circumstances they use excess military equipment." Source: John Kirby (Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral)
• "Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous-or false-security... The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm." Source: Sen. Rand Paul (Republican, Kentucky)
• "Local law enforcement officers shouldn’t be confronting civilians with weapons designed for combat....A militarized police force makes our communities less safe and heightens the growing divide between police officers and the citizens that they are sworn to protect." Source: Rep.Ruben Gallego (Democrat, Arizona, District 7)
Awaiting Vote .
This bill directs the Secretary of Defense to limit the transfer of excess military weapons and equipment to local law enforcement. The passage of this bill would prohibit the provision of many of these items, including controlled firearms, weaponized drones, and silencers, which the Department of Defense is currently authorized to supply to law enforcement agencies. It would also require the Secretary to rigorously track the exchange, use, and repurposing of excess material given to law enforcement agencies, and to produce an annual report certifying that any agency participating in this exchange used the material properly. Finally, it removes counterdrug operations from the list of uses that would allow agencies to use excess military-grade equipment. Sponsor: Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (Democrat, Georgia, District 4)
- Coalition Letter of Support for the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act H.R. 1714
- Rep. Johnson reintroduces bipartisan bill to demilitarize police (Press Release)
- Militarization of Police (Charles Koch Institute)
- Lawmakers Begin Bipartisan Push to Cut Off Police Access to Military-Style Gear (New York Times)
- Police Officer on the Frontline or a Soldier? The Effect of Police Militarization on Crime (American Economic Association)