- Press Release
- U.S. Wars & Militarism
FCNL Welcomes New Ways to Track Ongoing Police Militarization
Washington, DC - The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) today applauded House appropriators taking several modest steps to change a 1997 law that created a pipeline of weapons and materials between the Pentagon and local police departments. The pipeline is known as the 1033 program after a provision in the recently renewed National Defense Authorization Act.
Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-903-2515
From 2006-2014, surplus military equipment and weapons valued at roughly $1.5 billion have been distributed to local police nationwide.
“Although police violence is difficult to track, studies conclude that the local availability of weapons of war often leads to much more willingness by the police to use force and deadly weapons,” said Diane Randall, FCNL’s Executive Secretary. “As Quakers, we seek peace and abhor weapons of war, whether at home or abroad.”
Last week’s continuing resolution extends Pentagon funding until December 7. It also requires a working group of officials to oversee the transfer of military surplus to local police and mandates transparency regarding data on such transfers in the 1033 program.
“This program has been known for militarizing communities, its corruption, and for increasing the likelihood police forces use these deadly new weapons,” explained José Woss, FCNL’s Legislative Manager for Criminal Justice and Election Integrity. “Creating new requirements through the funding process is critical to much-needed 1033 program reforms.”
In 2017, the GAO created a fake police department based out of a parking lot. The sting operation successfully procured $1.2 million worth of military equipment, including mock explosives, without ever needing to show identification. Last year in Texas, a 15-year-old boy was killed by a police officer using an AR-15 military rifle.
“FCNL supports putting limits to deadly weapons like those found in the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1556),” said Woss. “It is important to keep this issue and its momentum moving forward.”
Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S. policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.