U.S. Congressman LOUIE GOHMERT: Proudly Serving the First District of Texas

 

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Gohmert’s Statement President Trump’s Full Restoration of Program Sending Surplus Military Weapons, Equipment to Police

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Washington, August 28, 2017 | comments

Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01) praised President Trump’s order restoring a program that provides local law enforcement agencies with certain, limited, surplus military gear. The Executive Order revokes an order previously issued by the Obama Administration that severely limited access to excess equipment, which included not just military gear, but items such as vehicles, protective clothing, and computers.

He released the following statement praising the action taken by the Trump Administration:

“I too do not want local law enforcement militarized. However, when I saw different times when local authorities were protected by using surplus military equipment like Sheriff JB Smith’s “Bubba I”  armored personnel carrier, I realized there are times when it can absolutely be a life-saving help. When law enforcement is dealing with multi-billion-dollar drug cartels with the latest, most powerful weapons, they need more than their Glock pistols. Under federal law, the U.S. military itself may not be used against American citizens except in extraordinary martial law type situations. However, local law enforcement is helped to avoid deadly massacre at the hands of sinister, well-armed criminals if they are at least equally armed. In hostage situations, for example, it can be an incentive for violent, armed criminals to surrender peacefully if they are clearly out-gunned.” 

“Actually, I am more concerned with federal departments, like the Department of Education and other federal departments and agencies who deal with non-violent issues, yet demand and get their own SWAT-styled teams. That’s how we can have a federal military-style assault on Gibson workers armed with guitars. That is where I would really like to see the militarization scaled back. When a shooters manifest themselves in another gun-free school zone, it is not the federal Department of Education that responds, it is local law enforcement.”

“Our local law enforcement officials are faced with the challenge of keeping our communities safe with ever-shrinking budgets. Access to the federal surplus vehicles and equipment can also be invaluable for local authorities as we have just seen in dealing with natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. Smaller counties often don’t have money to buy the life-saving equipment they desperately need.  The only way many local government’s can afford it is through the 1033 program. Now, President Trump’s restoration of the program will help ensure that local authorities have the equipment they need to keep not only themselves but also our own families safe from malevolent criminals.”

Congressman Gohmert is the Vice Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Prior to being elected to serve in Congress, he was elected to three terms as District Judge in Smith County, Texas and was appointed by then Texas Governor Rick Perry to complete a term as Chief Justice of the 12th Court of Appeals.

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