July 21, 2020

Van Hollen Statement on Efforts to Stop Police Militarization, Limit Weapons Transfers

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement on the Senate’s votes on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to address the transfer of military weapons to local police departments. Senator Van Hollen cosponsored both a bipartisan amendment and legislation, introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to significantly reduce these transfers. While this amendment did not pass, a related amendment, sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) did. The passage of Senator Inhofe’s amendment will allow for continued consideration of these measures when the House and Senate move to conference negotiations on the final NDAA.

“The continued militarization of some of our police forces results in unnecessary escalation and actively undermines police-community relations. We need fewer weapons of war on our streets – not more. As a cosponsor of the legislation and amendment introduced by Senator Schatz to strictly limit the transfer of this military equipment, I’m disappointed that it failed to pass the United States Senate. While Senator Inhofe’s amendment does not go nearly far enough, it gives us an opportunity to strengthen these provisions as the House and Senate negotiate the final defense authorization bill.”