Trump to undo Obama’s ban on arming police with ‘surplus’ military gear
US President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing to undo Barack Obama’s order and lift a ban on arming local US police with war-fighting equipment, including grenade launchers and heavy armored vehicles.
The ban was imposed in 2015 following violent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
Documents seen by USA Today and the Associated Press (AP) say Trump is planning to reverse Barack Obama’s executive order banning local police agencies from receiving militarized gear and equipment.
It included grenade launchers, bayonets, tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, as well as heavy firearms and ammunition of .50-caliber or greater.
The move would revive “the full scope of a longstanding program for recycling surplus, lifesaving gear from the Department of Defense, along with restoring the full scope of grants used to purchase this type of equipment from other sources,” reads an administration document reportedly delivered to some law enforcement agencies.
“Assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be re-purposed to help state, local and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime,” it adds.
Obama’s directive that he signed back in 2015 covered military-style equipment from being re-purposed from army arsenals to America’s local police departments.