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Obama will restrict grenade launchers, military equipment from local police

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President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Obama administration plans to prohibit federal agencies from providing to local cops certain kinds of military equipment such as grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and bayonets, in the wake of controversy over a “militarized” police response to unrest last summer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The new prohibitions are part of an executive order President Barack Obama issued for federal agencies to review the types of equipment they provide to local and state police.

Obama plans to travel Monday to Camden, N.J., to highlight crime reduction and community policing tactics that the administration hopes can be a model around the country. A spate of officer-involved shootings and the deaths of African-Americans in confrontations with police has made policing an issue the administration is forced to grapple with.

Agencies including the Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security departments help provide equipment to local police.

The banned list includes: tank-like armored vehicles that move on tracks, certain types of camouflage uniforms, bayonets, firearms and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher, grenade launchers, and weaponized aircraft.

The presidential order will establish a “controlled equipment” list, with tightened requirements before federal agencies can transfer equipment to local cops. These will include riot control equipments and drones. Federal agencies will also require local police to provide more data so the government can better track equipment.

Local police can still bypass the federal restrictions and bans by buying the equipment from private sellers.

The President will visit the Camden Police Department where he will tour a tactical operation center, as well as meet with officers and young people from the community, according to Eric Schultz, Deputy Press Secretary.

On a conference call with reporters Sunday, Valerie Jarett, President Obama’s senior advisor, said the President chose to visit Camden because its implementation of initiatives have already proven to help the once deeply troubled city.

“There is still work to be done in Camden and across the country,” Jarett said. “It’s more important than ever that communities look inward to build.”

In December Obama signed an Executive Order to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing to determine ways to strengthen public trust and better relationships between local law enforcement and communities.

The President, who has been vocal on the issue since unrest was seen following police incidents in Baltimore and Ferguson, will highlight how communities such as Camden are adopting recommendations made by a White House Task Force examining 21st Century Policing.

The Task Force released its final report Monday with a “blue print” for law enforcement and communities to utilize including recommendations of how to promote trust within the community, such as police embracing “a guardian- rather than a warrior” mindset to build legitimacy. Other recommendations include creating a diverse police workforce, implementing policies that reflect community values and better training for officers.

Earlier this month Obama announced a spin-off of his already-existing “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative into a new, non-profit foundation to address the lack of opportunity that young minority boys face.

At the announcement of the initiative, President Obama said that blacks were getting pulled over by cops for “no reason”, which has since angered some members of the law enforcement community.


  • Karon

    ?? So just hand the keys to the city to all the thugs. After all, gov programs, no jail time etc are working absolutely great! Why protect cops and decent citizens from the trash? I guess what some people don’t get is that when all the good hardworking people can afford to get out of the crappy places-they will & all that property tax and income tax $ will leave to. Then what?

  • Oooooo

    Finally a good idea from Obama, and Karen the police have no need for grenade launchers . That’s crazy that you think that’s ok, it’s unconstitutional and dangerous to have undertrained idiots with that type of weaponry . They can barely shoot there handguns accurately .

    • Karon

      oooooo-just like the gangs who cannot shoot. lol maybe they can train together and bond. Just work it all out at the target range…..oh wait FELONS cannot legally own, shoot, or buy bullets so I guess that’s out. I bet those at the vigils would not mind having police protection in the form of military style so they can say goodbye and mourn and hope without being shot at.

  • Mark Robles

    How many years has this been going on and NOW he decides to “do something about it”?? Oh yea I see as long as the hardware was being used against law-abiding citizen protesters it was ok. But use that equipment against THUGS and the world stops rotating!! Don’t get me wrong, I DO NOT agree that police should have MRAPS, bayonets, or dress up like they’re going to war but I do favor them receiving the best equipment possible so they can SAFELY do their jobs. Which by the way is made more difficult by a federal government that sets law enforcement training standards and then turns around and vilifies the police for abiding by those same standards!! All done to kiss THUG’S A#@!!!

    • s holmes

      Yes, it was ok to kill tea party people but horror of horrors it scares black criminals. I’d joke about o the magnificent letting black panthers etc make the laws but thats just todays reality.

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