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The latest Montana politics, elections and Legislature news.

Montana Republican Praises President's Restrictions On Military Surplus To Police

bearcat-armored-vehicle-_pd_.jpg
Bearcat armored vehicle

A Montana lawmaker is praising President Obama’s decision to restrict the kinds of military surplus equipment that go to local police departments. Republican Nick Schwaderer of Superior sponsored a bill this year to block Montana agencies from getting leftover combat gear such as armored vehicles, drones or grenade launchers. Schwaderer says he was pleased to see the president issue similar restrictions Monday afternoon.

Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer (R) HD 14
Credit Montana Legislature
Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer (R) HD 14

"You know I’m the guy who’s first in line to decry the president ...when he’s taken stances back on our civil liberties and the stability of our country. But this is a rare moment where we can push policy forward in a good way."

The President announced that police will no longer be able to pick up grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms, and some kinds of vehicles from military surplus. Other kinds of surplus gear will be distributed only if a governing body, such as a city council, has given its approval.

At least six police departments across Montana have acquired military-style armored vehicles in recent years, mostly from Defense Department surplus.
 

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