Introduction: New legislature to rectify what Busey called the “unintended consequences”

In 2021, in response to nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, the Washington Legislature arranged for a number of police reforms. One of the most controversial and talked about is House Bill 1719.

In response, Law enforcement officials have argued the mandated reforms limit their capacity to arrest, pursue, and detain suspected criminals. The legislation also impaired their capacity to help those in need of mental health treatment, officials say.

House Bill 1719 was developed with the primary goal aimed at prohibiting law enforcement agencies from obtaining certain military equipment.

In the recently concluded session, legislators passed several bills aimed at rectifying what Busey called the “unintended consequences” of the 2021 reforms.

Section 1: Lists the types of military equipment that agencies are not allowed to obtain

Any law enforcement agency in the state of Washington in the possession of military equipment as of July 25, 2021, shall return the equipment to its originating federal agency, or destroy the equipment by the end of 2022.

Agencies are not allowed to obtain the following types of military equipment: tanks, aircraft, ships, submarines, and artillery. This is due to the fact that these items can be used for offensive purposes. Bill also prohibits agencies from obtaining certain types of equipment that could only be used for defensive purposes such as aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered submarines.

(2(a): Outlines how law enforcement can use the military equipment they already have

This section requires members of each police department shall compile a list of gear assets from the agency, including The proposed ownership; the estimated annual use; and the necessity for uniting equipment for the conduct of public safety or the security of the agency. HOUSE BILL 1719 Passed Legislature – 2022.

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs will produce a report on ammunition supplies within the law enforcement agencies and present it to the governor and the appropriate committees of the state legislature no later than December 31, 2021.

Law enforcement agencies can use military equipment they already own to help fight crime. For example, police in California are using a surplus military helicopter to patrol the state’s highways. The helicopter has been able to help reduce highway accidents and assist with investigations. In addition, law enforcement agencies in Texas are using armored trucks and helicopters purchased from the Pentagon for patrolling border areas.

Section 3(a) Outlines and defines the meaning of ” Military Equipment”

Military equipment is any device or weapon used by a military force. This can include anything from small arms to tanks, from aircraft to ships. It is essential for any military organization to be able to effectively fight and win battles, so it must have the best possible equipment available.

This equipment can vary greatly in terms of cost, size, and capability. (Firearms and ammunition) of such caliber or greater, machine guns, armed helicopters, armed or armored drones, armed vessels, armed vehicles, armed aircraft, tanks, long-range acoustic hailing devices, rockets, rocket launchers, bayonets, grenades, missiles, directed energy systems, and electromagnetic spectrum weapons are all considered military equipment.

Section 3(b) Defines the term and meaning of “Grenade”

“Grenade” refers to any explosive grenade designed to injure or kill subjects, such as a fragmentation grenade or antitank grenade, or any incendiary grenade designed to cause intense heat or fire. “Grenade” does not include other nonexplosive grenades designed to temporarily incapacitate or disorient subjects without causing permanent injury, such as a stun grenade.

Section 3(c) Defines the term and meaning of “Rifle”

“Rifle” has the same meaning as provided under RCW 9.41.010, except “rifle” does not include Any shotgun, as defined under RCW 9.41.010; any device designed or used to deploy less lethal munitions including, but not limited to, rubber, polystyrene, beanbag tear, spong, or ground, or other nonpenetrating impact rounds; or any less lethal equipment.

Section (4) Allows Law Enforcement to participate in Military surplus Programs

This section does not prevent a law enforcement agency from taking part in a federal surplus or exchange program as long as using the equipment acquired therein does not make up for military equipment. This might include, for example, medical supplies; hospital and health care equipment; office supplies, furniture, and equipment; school supplies.


In conclusion, it is important to understand your fifth amendment rights in order to protect yourself from self-incrimination. If you are ever questioned by the police, be sure to ask for a lawyer and remain silent. By doing so, you can ensure that your rights are protected.

Bill 1719