No More War Weapons for Police!
The Peace & Justice Center's Freedom from Militarization Project is asking you to sign this petition, which will go to your representatives and the president.
Last year Ferguson, Missouri, made the news. As attention fades, the Pentagon continues to unload war weapons on local police all over the U.S.
But support in Congress to halt this madness is growing. Congressman Hank Johnson has just reintroduced his bill – the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.
The continued use of aggressive military tactics by local law enforcement makes clear that Congress must take dramatic action to reduce local forces’ access to military equipment under the Defense Department’s 1033 transfer program. The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act contains three key provisions that would reduce militarization:
- Preventing outright the transfer of some of the most aggressive military equipment, including rocket launchers and other explosive devices.
- Ending the program’s requirement that local forces use transferred equipment within a year of receiving it. As it is now, this requirement incentivizes unnecessary use.
- Requiring all recipients to account for the equipment they receive. Some local forces have been observed gifting or transferring their equipment to other entities; our bill prohibits that.
Public opinion is clear on this issue. A survey from libertarian-leaning Reason-Rupe polling found that 58 percent of Americans believe local police should not be given military weapons. Editorials from the New York Times, Newsweek, Mother Jones and countless other publications have called for ending police use of military equipment. Support for ending police militarization is wide and bipartisan.
However, we still face some staunch opposition from many in the GOP. Their recent attempt to silence me and undercut this legislation didn’t work, but be sure that they will try again.