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House rejects ‘Bearcat’ ban bill

Union Leader State House Bureau
March 19. 2014 7:34PM
POLICE BEARCATS: If communities want to buy them, the N.H. House won’t stand in their way. 

CONCORD — The House Wednesday rejected, 195-138, a bill that would have prohibited the state, counties and municipalities from purchasing “military-equipped vehicles or equipment” that are not available in the open national commercial market.

The bill was filed in response to a recent controversy in Concord over the proposed purchase of a so-called Bearcat vehicle.

“There’s no purpose to them other than militarism,” said Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, arguing in favor of prohibition of the vehicles.

Those who asked that the bill be killed said it is “unworkable and unnecessary.”

House Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff, D-Penacook, said that under the bill, if the U.S. Department of Defense developed “a better bullet vest, it would be denied to New Hampshire law enforcement, and that’s just not right.”

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