Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Monday that President Donald Trump plans to loosen federal restrictions on local police agencies obtaining surplus weapons and equipment from the US military.
The weapons transfer program, called the 1033 Program, was established by Congress in 1990, and has since allowed local law enforcement agencies to acquire more than $5.4 billion in weapons and equipment, according to the Washington Post.
Former President Barack Obama signed an executive order in 2015 that restricted certain weapons from being transferred, like grenade launchers, because he worried that these weapons and equipment could create an “us versus them” mentality, like in the events in Ferguson, Mo.
When Sessions made the announcement in front of the Fraternal Order of Police, he reportedly received a “roaring applause.”
Here’s what law enforcement agencies can now get.
Camouflage uniforms are mostly used by SWAT officers, but critics, like Obama, worried that it could create an “us versus them” mentality.
The Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group that made recommendations to Obama in 2015 also noted that wearing camouflage uniforms in urban settings does not actually camouflage the officer.
However, “solid‐color utility uniforms are not listed on the Prohibited or Controlled Equipment Lists and may continue to be acquired through Federal programs,” Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group said.
“This type of equipment is likewise seen as incompatible with the concept of civilian law enforcement, particularly when other equipment, such as a utility knife, could be used for ordinary and other legitimate law enforcement purposes,” Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group said.
Weapons of .50 caliber or higher.
Weapons above 0.50 caliber, such as the Browning .50 caliber machine gun seen above, are also on the prohibited list because they are “very destructive and capable of penetrating structures and lightly armored vehicles,” Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group said.