Bipartisan senators propose limiting transfer of military gear to police

A bipartisan group of senators proposed a measure that would limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to police departments across the country – an issue that has received renewed attention amid the nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, according to a report.

Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that is currently being debated in the Senate, The Hill reported.

It would prohibit the transfer of tear gas, bayonets, grenade launchers, drones, armor-piercing firearms and ammunition to state and local law enforcement agencies.

The amendment does not ban defensive equipment like body armor.

“Weapons of war don’t belong in our local police departments and should never be used against the American people,” Schatz said in a statement. “As we see our communities turning into what looks more like a war zone, it’s clear that we need to fix this.”

Former President Barack Obama added restrictions on military gear in 2015 after police outfitted with military-grade equipment responded to protests over the killing of Michael Brown the year before in Ferguson, Mo.

President Trump rescinded that order in August 2017.

The move to ban military equipment has come amid the police reform debates prompted by Floyd’s killing on May 25 at the hands of the Minneapolis police department.

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