Fun's Over: Obama to Ban Big Iron to Cops

Fun's Over: Obama to Ban Big Iron to Cops

The Obama Administration announced today that the federal government will no longer transfer certain military equipment to local police forces.


The Washintgon Post reported:

"The banned items are tracked armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, ammunition of .50-caliber or higher and some types of camouflage uniforms, according to a report released by a White House working group that made the recommendations. Other equipment, including tactical vehicles, explosives and riot equipment, will be transferred only if local police provide additional certification and assurances that the gear will be used responsibly, according to the report."

The Defense Department excess property program known by the number 1033 has transferred more than $4.3 billion in equipment since its inception in 1997. Local law enforcement agencies received nearly $500 million worth in 2013 alone.


The program got started after the infamous North Hollywood shootout on February 28, 1997. Los Angeles police were unable to deal with a pair of bank robbers wearing body armor and armed with AK-47s, and were reduced to commandeering rifles from nearby gun stores. Thousands of M16A1s were transferred to local police in the years that followed, and the program expanded to include a wide variety of other ex-military equipment, up to and including MRAP armored vehicles.

Most of us know the gun nut on the local police force, and a lot of this is probably perfectly harmless scrounging, but the appearance of huge armored vehicles during the Ferguson, Mo. riots led to lots of talk about the "militarization" of U.S. police forces. People in the gun industry will tell you that was happening well before 1997, as local forces stocked up on sniper rifles, full-auto weaponry, night vision, etc., with the proceeds from asset forfeiture. Even very small agencies have acquired impressive supplies of very expensive firearms and equipment.

Banning .50 cal. rifles, tracked vehicles, grenade launchers and bayonets (!) from transfer to local cops is a lot of window-dressing by the administration. It addresses some very visible manifestations of federal-local cooperation, while leaving untouched the training and information-sharing aspects that are probably a lot more threatening to civil liberties in the long run.


A bunch of M4-toting cops riding around in an MRAP is a visible symbol of potential tyranny, but a cop quietly listening in on your phone from a laptop is the far more ominous threat.

Popular Videos

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Two Ruger American Ranch rifles and the AR-556 MPR are now chambered for Winchester's .350 Legend cartridge.

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

The Performance Center's M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features ported barrel, flat face trigger and tuned action.

See more Popular Videos

More 2nd Amendment

2nd Amendment

How the Gun-Grabbers Grabbed Nevada

Vin Suprynowicz - May 02, 2019

“Californication” is making its way east with the Nevada Assembly Bill 291.

2nd Amendment

Trump Administration Export Ban on Over 32 Round Magazines Raises Question of 'Why?'

David Codrea - June 14, 2019

It's a matter of not wanting “What do you need a magazine with that many rounds for?” to...

2nd Amendment

Virginia Governor Northam Declares War on Gun Owners

Virginia Citizens Defense League - July 09, 2019

Governor Northam is calling a special session of the General Assembly on Tuesday, July 9th, to...

See More 2nd Amendment

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×