This bill would undo an executive order issued by President Obama that restricts local law enforcement from buying surplus military equipment from federal agencies. It would enable law enforcement to purchase equipment like armored vehicles, large caliber guns, grenade launchers, and riot gear by lifting the current restrictions. The legislation would also allow for equipment that was recalled or seized after being provided to local law enforcement to be returned at no cost to the agency as soon as practical.
President Obama’s executive order prohibits or restricts local law enforcement from using federal grant funds to purchase certain surplus military equipment through the 1033 program. Law enforcement agencies must comply with rules about collecting and retaining “controlled equipment” to purchase things like armored vehicles, riot gear, or drones. Under the executive order armored vehicles with tracks, weaponized vehicles, guns and ammunition that’s .50 caliber or higher, and grenade launchers are prohibited for police department purchase.