Trump plans to lift Obama-era ban on giving local police military equipment

The Trump administration is preparing to lift an Obama-era policy that restricted surplus military equipment from being used by local law enforcement agencies.

The government program, which allowed local police to use military equipment such as armored vehicles, firearms, ammunition and grenade launchers, had been curtailed when President Obama signed an executive order in 2015 banning it.

Documents obtained by the AP indicate that President Trump is going to sign an executive order reinstating the program.

The documents state Trump’s order would fully restore the program under which “assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be repurposed to help state, local, and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime.”

Fox News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions could outline the changes during a speech on Monday to the national conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee, according to a person familiar with the matter.

National police groups had been pushing for Trump to rescind the previous executive ban, to ensure that local and state police departments aren’t put in danger when responding to active shooter calls or terrorist attacks.

An armored vehicle played a key role in the police response to the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

Obama’s executive order was established amid outcry over the use of military gear that law enforcement officials used during the Ferguson, Missouri, unrest after 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot. Police responded in riot gear and deployed tear gas, dogs and armored vehicles. At times, they also pointed assault rifles at protesters.

The documents, first reported by USA Today, note Trump’s order emphasizes public safety over the appearance of the equipment.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

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