BATON ROUGE, La. – A Defense Department giveaway program that equips local police with surplus military weapons also supplies guns to government agencies with limited law-enforcement powers and a questionable need for high-powered firearms.
An Arkansas coroner got a rifle, a handgun and a Humvee. Military-grade weapons also have gone to agencies that enforce gaming laws at Kansas tribal casinos, weigh 18-wheelers in Mississippi and investigate livestock thefts in Wyoming.
While most of the weapons go to municipal police departments and county sheriffs, an Associated Press review of the Pentagon's 1033 Program shows that a diverse array of other state and local agencies have scooped up guns and other surplus equipment.
The program is under a White House-ordered review following a deadly police shooting in Missouri in August.