Locals Respond to President Obama’s Military Equipment Ban

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SACRAMENTO-

Under an executive order from President Barack Obama, local law enforcement agencies across the United States will no longer be getting certain military equipment from the federal government.

That equipment includes tracked armored vehicles, .50 caliber firearms and ammunition, certain camouflage clothing, bayonets, weaponized aircraft and grenade launchers.

"You can't take a knife to a gun fight," said Dustin Smith, the president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, pointing out the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

The suspect, James Holmes, allegedly used multiple military-grade weapons to kill 12 people in a movie theater.

"Officers running in with pistols to meet rifles is being so over matched. It puts officers at risk and citizens, if officers are defeated, citizens are too," Smith said.

However, Smith said that the items on the list of banned equipment are almost foreign for local agencies.

"My first thought was just political grand-standing. I mean, I don't know a police department in America that still has bayonets," Smith said.

Josh Deaser, the owner of Just Guns, said one of the items on the list, a .50 caliber firearm, has been banned to civilians in California and seldom used by local cops due to its inconvenience.

"Have you ever heard of a law enforcement agency using a .50 caliber? No. They're big. They're heavy," he said.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones responded to the ban on the department's Facebook page, stating:

"The president knows as much about policing as I know about being president. Yet he has convinced himself that this intervention is essential ... The latest missive from the president underscores a continuing attitude from him and the Attorney General's Office that local police and sheriff's departments are incapable of effectively and fairly providing public safety..."

AB36, a bill not passed but introduced by Assembly member Nora Campos, would allow each local governing agency and city council members to decide what weapons are needed in their communities.

Campos said that she was unaware the president would issue an executive order. However, she said her team will continue pushing for AB36 to pass.