President Trump plans to sign an executive order reversing an Obama-era policy which restricted local police agencies’ ability to have access to surplus military gear, such as armored personnel carriers, grenade launchers and other military-grade equipment, according to documents obtained by Fox News.
The document states that Trump’s executive order will restore “the full scope of a longstanding program for recycling surplus, lifesaving gear from the Department of Defense.
“The gear recycled through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program includes everything from ammunition and vehicles to office supplies… Under that program, assets that would otherwise be scrapped can be repurposed to help state, local, and tribal law enforcement better protect public safety and reduce crime.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce the policy change during a speech to the national conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, according to FOX.
In the interests of the safety of local and state police officers, national police groups had been pushing for Trump to rescind the previous executive ban, which, without the proper equipment, exposed departments to danger when responding to active shooter calls or terrorist attacks.
For instance, an armored vehicle, which was used to subdue two gun-toting terrorists, 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 an outcry over the use of military gear 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.
Shortly after his inauguration, President Trump announced that for every new rule his administration proposed, two existing rules should be eliminated, in an effort to cut back on many of the burdensome regulations put in place by the Obama administration.
After the president gave an order in February for all federal agencies to review the regulations within their departments and make recommendations on changes that can be made, they have been doing just that, along with requesting input from the public that can be used to help revise and streamline existing regulations.
Obama-era regulations that have been repealed include the government oversight of small waterways, giving authority back to CIA agents in the field; and in June, he ordered tighter restrictions on American travel to Cuba and also canceled former President Obama’s “one-sided deal” with the communist nation, calling it a “terrible and misguided deal.”
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