BOSTON, Mass. (Oct. 21, 2017) – Last week, a Massachusetts joint legislative committee held a hearing on three bills that would take a first step toward limiting the impact of federal programs that militarize local police.
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Middlesex) introduced House Bill 2503 (H.2503) earlier this year. Sen. Michael Barrett (D-Third Middlesex) sponsors a Senate version of the legislation (S.1277) A second House bill (H.1276) sponsored by Rep. Mary Keefe (D-Worcester) has similar provisions. All three bills would prohibit law enforcement agencies from acquiring a long list of military equipment from federal surplus programs without local government approval. The legislation would also require state police to get approval from the legislature before obtaining military equipment.
The law would apply both to the well-known 1033 program, along with any other military surplus program operated by the federal government. The legislation covers an extensive list of military items including unmanned aerial vehicles, armored vehicles, bayonets, bombs, directed-energy weapons, grenade launchers, international mobile subscriber identity catchers, launch vehicles, mines, missiles, radioactive or nuclear weapons, rockets, silencers, torpedoes, toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment, or ultrasonic devices used for crowd dispersal.
Read more at The Tenth Amendment Center
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