In response to increasing police militarization in the US, legislation proposed in the New Hampshire state House would implement a ban on state and local officials obtaining or using certain military weaponry acquired from the Pentagon or other sources.
New Hampshire House Bill 407 — the Police Equipment and Community Engagement Act — would bar officials from possessing any military equipment “not readily available in an open national commercial market.”
The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. J.R. Hoell, clarified this further to mean over-the-counter availability,according to the Tenth Amendment Center.
As RT has previously reported, local police forces across the United States have benefited from the militarized mindset of the post-9/11, “war on terror” era, as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan andfunding from the likes of the US Department of Homeland Security have resulted in a mass proliferation of military-grade weaponry.
Police officers clear a street of protesters during a second night of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, November 26, 2014. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
One way the US government distributes combat gear to local police departments is through the US Department of Defense’s 1033 program, in which the Pentagon offers hundreds of millions of dollarsof surplus military equipment to police forces throughout the US. For instance, St. Louis County — which encompasses the city of Ferguson, where citizens fought heavily-armed law enforcement following the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in August — is part of the program, as RT has reported.
HB207 states that “no state agency or political subdivision of this state shall acquire, purchase, or otherwise accept for use any military-equipped vehicle or military grade hardware, including but not limited to armored personnel carriers, Title II weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles, or unmanned ground vehicles, unless such military grade vehicle or hardware is readily available in an open national commercial market. The adjutant general shall notify the state attorney general of a violation of this paragraph. Any military-equipped vehicle or military grade hardware acquired in violation hereof shall be forfeited.”
By RT News
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