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Boyle Introduces Bill to Ban Rubber Bullets

November 27, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02) introduced legislation to prevent the use of non-lethal (rubber or plastic) bullets in crowd control situations. Congressman Boyle’s legislation would also incentivize individual states to enact similar public safety measures regarding non-lethal bullets. As a 2017 study from the National Institutes of Health shows, these bullets can most definitely be lethal: Out of 1,984 people shot by non-lethal bullets between 1990 and 2017, 53 of them died from their injuries.
“Rubber bullets must be treated like any other lethal ammunition,” said Congressman Boyle. “The right to protest, which is guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution, is essential to a free and fair democracy. Both rubber bullets and plastic bullets were invented by British forces for crowd control in the North of Ireland. This is not the example law enforcement should be following in any official policy or procedures involving crowd control. In addition, numerous human rights organizations have demanded a ban on rubber bullets as a result of the numerous deaths they have caused.”
This legislation would prevent federal law enforcement officers from using rubber bullets in crowd control situations. It would also create incentives for states to create similar bans and would prohibit law enforcement from firing into crowd-control situations using non-lethal bullets like: 
Rubber bullets
Plastic bullets
Bullets with metal core
Bullets made with hardened foam
Beanbag bullets
Sponge bullets
Congressman Boyle's legislation would also require law enforcement to document when they use non-lethal bullets. Nothing in this act should be construed as permitting or encouraging law enforcement to use any other type of bullet in crowd control situations