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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2020 04:10 PM
From: Representative Malcolm Kenyatta and Rep. Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Demilitarization of Local Law Enforcement
Since the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997, the Department of Defense has been providing military equipment to law enforcement agencies through the 1033 program.  This has allowed dangerous military weapons and equipment, including combat configured or coded aircraft, explosives, armored and/or weaponized drones, and much more, to fall into the hands of our non-military peacekeepers.  For too long, this militarization has strained community relationships and led to unsafe, unnecessary altercations.
Our legislation, aims to limit the types of items law enforcement agencies are allowed to acquire from federal military surplus programs, including the 1033 program. A number of items, including tracked, armored, and militarized vehicles, weaponized aircraft, vessels, and vehicles, and grenades or similar explosives, would be prohibited, among other unnecessary items.  In addition, the legislation would require that any other military-style equipment purchase, or acquisition be paid for with state or local funds and be approved by the local civilian governing body.
Law enforcement should protect and serve the communities in which they operate, but these areas are not war zones. Dangerous military-grade weapons and equipment only increase tensions between communities and lead to distrust.  Please join us in supporting this legislation.

Introduced as HB1923