Sen. Paul Responds to Lifting of Restrictions on Militarization of Local Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul released the following statement in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that President Trump will sign an executive order removing restrictions on the militarization of local law enforcement:  

“Americans must never sacrifice their liberty for an illusive and dangerous - or false - security. I disagree with Attorney General Sessions on the Department of Defense’s 1033 program. The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. 

“It is one thing for federal officials to work with local authorities to reduce or solve crime, but it is another for them to subsidize militarization. 

“I will oppose this move by the Attorney General and the administration, and I will continue to fight for civil liberties and criminal justice reform, which will all be major issues this fall. 

“Any order that comes today still needs to be funded, and I will bring this issue to the Senate floor, including through reintroducing my Stop Militarizing Our Law Enforcement Act.” 

Dr. Paul’s legislation: 

  • Prohibits the federal transfer of militarized equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies, including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, drones and armored vehicles transferred through the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033, U.S. Department of Justice’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Grant programs.  
    • This prohibition only applies to offensive equipment and does not prohibit the transfer of defensive equipment, such as body armor.  
  • Helps increase the transparency and accountability of these programs by requiring the Defense Logistics Agency to create a website that displays all of the property transferred under the 1033 program, as well as the state and local agencies who have received the equipment.
  • Requires the Government Accountability Office to analyze the use of military-style training and equipment by all federal agencies, including the usefulness and justification for the use of such equipment.
  • Mandates the return of all equipment currently being used by law enforcement agencies that is prohibited under this legislation.
  • Requires each agency that receives equipment to have 100 percent accountability of the property they receive and requires a programmatic review of how federal agencies with SWAT or other tactical response teams use the equipment.