The federal government will stop sending grenade launchers, weapons mounted on airplanes, and some other types of military gear to local police under new rules approved by President Barack Obama. Other types of equipment will be provided only under tighter controls.
Equipment that was banned and why:
—Armored vehicles that move on tracks instead of wheels. Their military appearance intimidates civilians; other vehicles can meet police needs.
—Weaponized aircraft, ships or vehicles. Police departments won’t be able to purchase vehicles with weapons installed on them from the government.
—.50-caliber or higher ammunition and firearms. These weapons typically used by the military are highly destructive and can penetrate buildings.
—Grenade launchers. Police sometimes use them to launch tear gas, but other devices can do the job.
—Bayonets. These large knives attached to rifles for hand-to-hand combat aren’t necessary for police work.