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Obama Restricts Law Enforcement Access to Some Military Surplus Gear

May 18, 2015  | 

President Obama has banned the sale of some kinds of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, following widespread criticism of a paramilitary-like response to riots in a St. Louis suburb last August.

The White House released details of the actions in advance of Obama's speech Monday in Camden, N.J., where he will highlight a wide range of administration initiatives to fight crime, improve police-community relations and improve transparency in policing.

Banned will be tracked armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms and .50 caliber weapons.

Other kinds of equipment will be available to most police departments as long as they meet national policing standards, track their use and receive approval from the federal government before selling or transferring it. Items on the "controlled equipment list include aircraft, wheeled tactical vehicles, mobile command-and-control units, battering rams and riot gear.

To be eligible to purchase controlled equipment, agencies must adopt "robust and specific written policies and protocols" covering not just the use of the federal equipment, but their policing practices in general, USA Today reports.

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Leonard Mather @ 5/18/2015 1:55 PM

Although Obama's verbalizations sound reasonable, they will result in Federal control of "thinking, planning, analyzing and profiling" once Federal money is accepted for Obama's ideas on "meeting national policing standards." Translated, that means meddling and nullifying activities such as "profiling" which is LEO's BEST FRIEND! Conclusion: do NOT accept Federal Funds, for doing so is a "Foot in the Door" method to meddle and interfere with good police work.

Tone @ 5/31/2015 11:47 PM

Why would WE in LE need military gear in the first place. Police agencies around the world are well equipped to deal with criminals aside from leaning on weaponry used in the military. If military is needed, call the national guard...

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