Tags: senate | ndaa | military | riot gear | police reform | brian schatz

Bipartisan Senate Amendment Limits Supplying Military Gear to Cops

sen. brian schatz is shown speaking to the media
Sen. Brian Schatz (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 June 2020 03:45 PM

A bipartisan group of senators are proposing an amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act to limit supplying local law enforcement with military-grade equipment.

"There is a growing bipartisan consensus that giving local law enforcement military equipment such as bayonets, grenade launchers, armor-piercing bullets, and tear gas is immoral and does nothing to keep people safe," Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said in a statement.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., have joined in the amendment placing limitations on the Department of Defense's 1033 program which authorizes the federal transfer of military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.

The amendment will prohibit the transfer of military equipment to law enforcement agencies, including tear gas, armor-piercing firearms and ammunition, bayonets, grenade launchers and grenades, combat tracked vehicles, and drones. This prohibition only applies to offensive equipment and does not prohibit the transfer of defensive equipment, such as body armor.

"Our bipartisan amendment, based on my Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, which I have introduced for several years with Sen. Schatz, confronts the federal militarization of our local police departments by preventing the Defense Department from transferring military weapons, including grenade launchers, bayonets, and weaponized drones, meant for war overseas to local police," Paul wrote in a statement.

"It would do this while also ensuring officers still have access to protective equipment so they can do their jobs as safely as possible. I urge the Senate to pass this long-overdue reform."

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has opposed limitation because his state could use the supplies; however, big-state Democrat Harris is worried about the use of military-grade riot gear amid George Floyd riots.

"It is time for our country to reimagine public safety in our communities," Harris' statement read. "Arming police officers with military weapons will not make us safer."

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A bipartisan group of senators are proposing an amendment of the National Defense Authorization Act to limit supplying local law enforcement with military-grade equipment.
senate, ndaa, military, riot gear, police reform, brian schatz
312
2020-45-30
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 03:45 PM
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