CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – State Representative JA Moore has filed a bill that would stop the military from being able to sell aircraft, explosives and certain firearms to local law enforcement.
He says the reason he is drafting and sponsoring this legislation, is to make sure there’s enough money to recruit high quality South Carolinians to work in law enforcement.
“We need to put the necessary resources in the people that are hired to protect and serve all of us,” Rep. Moore says.
Massive tank like vehicles are part of some law enforcement agencies daily operations and many are bought second-hand after the military is done with them. Here in South Carolina, the state has spent over $70 million throughout the past 20 years to supply local law enforcement with military-grade weapons.
“It’s important that we differentiate the difference between law enforcement and the military,” Rep. Moore says.
Rep. Moore says he is looking at this bill from an economic responsibility to help officers make higher salary, incentives and more training.
“It lets use those additional dollars to continue to train law enforcement so we can continue to have high quality high trained officers,” he says.
The bill would have certain exceptions for local agencies that receive waivers for approval from the State Law Enforcement Division to use those weapons.
“We want to scrutinize the purchase of it so that’s why it’s in there, but we can use those extra funds to do more community policing,” Rep. Moore says.
Rep. Moore says with a personal connection to the military through his time served and his family’s, he wants to make sure the distinction between military and law enforcement is clear for the safety of the state.
“My dad was in the Marine Corps, my brothers have served in the Army, and I was in the Army National Guard as a tank driver. I’m proud of the service of not just my family but South Carolinians all across the state,” he says.
Rep. Moore says the first reading on this bill will go through a judiciary committee at the State House in January.