Sheriffs using the program are outraged, saying that the main focus of the initial backlash – the armored tracked vehicles – are purely defensive vehicles that save lives in crisis situations, and double as rescue vehicles in areas with rough terrain.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard of Oakland County, Mich., told FoxNews.com of a situation in which an active shooter was holed up in his house shooting out of the windows, hitting nearby homes. Bouchard said they were able to use the vehicle to evacuate residents from houses, while also protecting police officers from being shot. During the siege, over 500 rounds of ammunition were exchanged.

“There’s no question that saved lives,” Bouchard, who is also a former senatorial and gubernatorial candidate, said. “We have letters from people we evacuated saying ‘we don’t know what you could have done to save us without that armored vehicle.’”

Bouchard said the federal government’s crackdown on the equipment is an example of the disconnect between Obama’s claims and reality.

“His verbiage calls these tanks. These aren’t tanks. There is no offensive weaponry mounted on a tracked armored vehicle in any police department. These are big safe boxes,” he said.