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Watchmen or Warfighters? A Conservative Proposal for Limiting Military-Grade Weapons Sent to States

| August 31, 2016

In this new report for the Center for Effective Justice, Derek Cohen, Greg Glod, and Michael Haugen examine the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which provides surplus military equipment—including weaponry—to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Over $124 million worth of such gear has been distributed to various law enforcement agencies in Texas since its inception, largely without any transparency or oversight from state authorities. This report recommends the establishment of transparency standards, and suggests that in addition to limiting disbursements to non-traditional law enforcement agencies, oversight authorities should have veto power over who receives surplus military gear.


RIGHT ON CRIME is a national campaign to promote successful, conservative solutions on American criminal justice policy—reforming the system to ensure public safety, shrink government, and save taxpayers money. By sharing research and policy ideas and mobilizing strong conservative voices, we work to raise awareness of the growing support for effective reforms within the conservative movement. We are transforming the debate on criminal justice in America.