New Bill Would Block Biden from Restricting Military Equipment Transfers to Police

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(Corey Walker, The Center Square) – Virginia Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Good is filing the Protecting Our Police Act on Thursday in honor of National Police Week, which is May 12-18.

The bill would help empower police by blocking the Biden administration from administering any restrictions on the Section 1033 program, which gives police departments access to military surplus equipment. The legislation would also codify Executive Order 13809, which eliminates existing restrictions on the Section 1033 program.

Good argues the bill will reduce the burden on American taxpayers by allowing a simplified transfer of military-grade weapons from the armed forces to police departments, bolstering law enforcements’ ability to thwart crime.

A 2017 study by researchers from the University of Warwick, in England, and the Norwegian School of Economics, argues that furnishing police with military-grade weaponry could help reduce crime. The study argues that areas in which the police received an influx of military aid saw a decreased crime rate.

“A 10% increase in the total value of military aid [given to a community] leads to a decrease of 5.9 crimes per 100,000 population,” the study states.

A transfer of $5,800 worth of military equipment to police can save roughly $112,000 in crime reduction, the study argues.

The transfer of military equipment to police has long been controversial. According to official statistics, since 1997, more than 8,000 police departments around the country have received excess military equipment from the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, valued at more than $6 billion.

The 1033 Program, as it is called, has occasionally found itself the subject of criticism. In particular, there were worries when police used armored cars and other military equipment to put down protests after the 2014 shooting death of the violent criminal Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

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