I have some good news and some bad news on our fight against police militarization.
The Schatz-Paul Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would have restricted the ability of local police departments to obtain weapons of war, received 51 votes in the Senate.
Considering the NDAA had only 7 “no” votes when passed in 2012, this is good news since a majority of senators voted to limit police militarization after we turned up the pressure.
If you’re one of the many Campaign for Liberty supporters who called your senators to support this amendment -- THANK YOU!
The bad news is the Senate rules set a threshold of 60 votes for Schatz-Paul to pass.
And Schatz-Paul might have reached the 60 vote mark if Senate Armed Services Committee Chair James Inhofe (R-OK) had not offered a watered-down version of the amendment, which passed 90-10.
While the Inhofe Amendment does scale back the 1033 Program somewhat, it still allows police forces to obtain certain offensive military weapons such as tear gas, which was banned for use in war under the Geneva Convention.
And unlike Schatz-Paul, the Inhofe Amendment did nothing to hold government employees accountable if their use of federally-obtained weapons violate citizens’ constitutionally-protected rights.
On a positive note, the Inhofe Amendment forbids local police departments from receiving bayonets, grenades, and tanks.
So, it was a step forward in our battle to end police militarization.
The fact that the majority of U.S. Senators voted to scale back the 1033 Program is an achievement -- and it would not have happened without the actions of Campaign for Liberty supporters like you!
Now, you and I must keep the heat on -- this battle is not over yet, so we need to let our legislators know we are not going away!
We will have more information on the next stage of our efforts soon, including a possible House vote on legislation similar to the Schatz-Paul Amendment.
For now, I want to say thank you for your efforts to end police militarization.