CONCORD, N.H. (Feb. 18, 2015) – A bill that would prohibit state and local officials from owning or using certain military equipment, whether provided through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program or other federal grants, was passed by the New Hampshire state House today. The vote was 204-134.
Introduced by Rep. J.R. Hoell, House Bill 407 (HB407), the Police Equipment and Community Engagement Act, would ban state and local government officials from obtaining military hardware that is “not readily available in an open national commercial market.”
Hoell confirmed that the “open market” described in the legislation would ban any weapons not available over-the-counter to consumers from being obtained by state law enforcement from the feds. This would bring the aspects of the DoD’s 1033 program that are dangerous to state sovereignty to an abrupt end.
HB407 notes that “New Hampshire counties, cities, and towns have received over $6,000,000 in military hardware, including almost 400 military grade rifles, an armored truck, and a grenade launcher.” It also notes that “New Hampshire has received grants to purchase several BearCat type armored personal carriers priced at $265,000 that are not included in the above totals.”
“At the end of the day, we have a law enforcement agency that is more militarized than we intended,” said Hoell.