In mid-May, facing growing public complaints about the militarization of local police forces, President Obama signed an executive order that would ban the Pentagon from transferring certain “inappropriate” military gear, notably grenade launchers and bayonets, to police departments.
Because apparently anything with the word military or any derivatives is going to have support from someone on the Hill, Sen. Pat Toomey (R – PA) today announced a bill aiming to block the president from making any restrictions at all on the transfers.
Toomey complained in an open letter that the White House was weighing the lives of police against the public backlash against militarization and police crackdowns on dissent, insisting the government should never even consider the idea that police are causing unrest through their tactics.
Toomey in particular objected to the banning of certain armored military vehicles from usage except under “certain circumstances.” The ban signed by the White House was related only to vehicles with tank treads.
Interestingly, though Toomey insisted he had no objection to the ban on bayonets, he is insisting on removing all restrictions, including those on bayonets provided to police forces.