Make Communities Safer by Stopping the Use of Military Weaponry Against Americans
Numerous studies have found that increased use of military weapons by police leads to increased civilian casualties. Yet since 2017, the Department of Defense has transferred nearly $760 million in military-grade equipment to local police and sheriff’s departments with little oversight of how it is used. By stopping the transfer of military weapons to police departments, and bringing transparency to any non-weapon transfer of federal equipment, the Protect Communities Act will make communities safer and save money.
Communities interested in greater public safety
Special interests invested in increased use of military weaponry
This act shall be known as the Protect Communities Act
This act prevents the acquisition of certain military weaponry by police departments and requires public notification for any other military equipment transfer requests by law enforcement.
(a) A law enforcement agency may not receive or purchase the following property from a military equipment surplus program operated by the federal government:
-(i) drones that are armored, weaponized, or both;
-(ii) aircraft that are combat configured or combat coded;
-(iii) grenades or similar explosives and grenade launchers;
-(v) militarized armored vehicles;
-(vi) long range acoustic devices;
-(viii) riot gear, including batons, helmets and shields;
-(ix) camouflage uniforms;
-(x) firearms or ammunition;
-(xi) explosives or pyrotechnics; or
-(xii) chemical incapacitants.
(b) If a law enforcement agency requests property other than that listed in 3(a) above from a military equipment surplus program, the law enforcement agency shall transmit a notice of the request to the STATE Attorney General and publish a notice of the request on its publicly accessible website within fourteen days after such request.
(c) If a law enforcement agency receives property other than that listed in 3(a) above from a military equipment surplus program, the law enforcement agency shall transmit to the STATE Attorney General and publish on its publicly accessible website, within fourteen days of receipt of the property, information about the equipment received, and the purposes for which the equipment will be used.
(d) The STATE Attorney General shall annually transmit to the Governor, and publish on a publicly accessible website, a report on the total number of transactions with the federal government made by all law enforcement agencies in STATE, such report to include, at a minimum,
-(i) the number of equipment purchases, transfers, and requests that were made;
-(ii) the exact equipment received, and the purposes for which the equipment was to be and was used;
-(iii) any civil rights violations or complaints filed associated with any equipment obtained from federal military equipment surplus programs in that year;
-(iv) recommendations as to any categories of equipment that should be added to section (3)(a) above to further the purposes of this legislation; and,
-(v) if the State is suspended from any federal equipment surplus program, the report also shall include the dates of and basis for the suspension.