In reaction to the Senate vote today on limiting the 1033 Program and demilitarizing the police through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Humanitarian Policy Lead Noah Gottschalk said,
“Ignoring a groundswell of popular pressure, the Senate voted today to impose only the most superficial of restrictions on the notorious 1033 Program, effectively handing the Pentagon a blank check to continue to spread its deadly hand-me-down weapons around the country and into our communities. Today’s proposed restrictions will do little to ease the concerns that are resounding from the streets to the halls of Congress that this free-for-all must end.
“As more Americans learn about this truly shocking program – which has allowed grenade launchers, tear gas, and other weapons of war to be sent to civilian police – the pressure for leaders to do something about it will only continue to grow. For the millions of Americans who experience firsthand the violence and human rights violations these weapons have proven to escalate in their communities, this is not a partisan issue, and we join them in calling on our leaders to see past their own divides and vote for the best interest and public safety for our country.
“We are encouraged that a majority of senators from both parties have joined together to recognize that something needs to change but it is not even close to enough. The House and Senate must now work together to adopt the strongest possible language to rein in the 1033 Program in the final NDAA.
“Oxfam and our allies will continue to press our leaders on this until they heed the demands from communities across the country to demilitarize the police and protect the lives and human rights of the Black and other marginalized communities who have faced the brunt of the violence these weapons bring.”