Police departments – at least, some that Mother Jones talked with – are ostensibly trying to get rid of surplus military gear:
Even before police militarization made the news, hundreds of police departments were finding that grenade launchers, military firearms, and armored vehicles aren’t very useful to community policing. When Chelan County police officers requested one armored car in 2000—the request that landed them three tanks—they pictured a vehicle that could withstand bullets, not land mines. Law enforcement agencies across the country have quietly returned more than 6,000 unwanted or unusable items to the Pentagon in the last 10 years, according to Defense Department data provided to Mother Jones by a spokeswoman for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has spearheaded a Senate investigation of the Pentagon program that is arming local police. Thousands more unwanted items have been transferred to other police departments.
The catch? The Pentagon doesn’t really want it all back. It’s cheaper to let local cops maintain it than to keep it in Federal storage.
Which is vexing some cops:
In reality, however, police departments may find the returns process slow, mystifying, or nonfunctional. Online law enforcement message boards brim with complaints that the Pentagon refuses to take back unwanted guns and vehicles—like this one, about a pair of M14 rifles that have survived attempts by two sheriffs to get rid of them.
I’ve got an obvious answer – one that’ll make cops, the Pentagon and citizens (the right ones, anyway) happy: sell it to private citizens. Or at least the private citizens that pass the same background check that qualifies them for a state carry permit. It’ll save government money, and make the country safer by making Real Americans better-armed.
Facetious? Halfway. A fair chunk of this equipment could, and should by all rights, be going into the “Civilian Marksmanship Program”. But Barack Obama has been sandbagging the CMP for the past six years – which is why the price of surplus M-1 Garand rifles (from WW2 and the Korean War) is so very high these days.
But I digress.
And I’m about to digress some more; it’d seem we have some real powderpuffs in uniform (empasis added):
[Hillsborough NC police lieutenant Davis] Trimmer has twice requested permission to return three M14 rifles that are too heavy for practical use.
“Too heavy for practical use?” They weight eight pounds. Our troops lugged them all over Vietnam, for crying out loud.
Maybe the lieutenant was referring to carrying all three of them together?
Turn them over to me, if that’d help…