Republicans Introduce “Ammunition Management for More Obtainability” (AMMO) Act

 Clinton .22 Shorts (courtesy sportingcollectibles.com)

“Senate and House Republicans are set to introduce a joint bill Friday that would significantly limit the amount of ammunition that federal agencies are permitted to purchase and stockpile over the next six months,” freebeacon.com reports. “The bill, authored by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R., Okla.), comes as numerous lawmakers across Capitol Hill have expressed concern that certain federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), are stockpiling high quantities of ammunition. DHS, for instance, has placed two-years worth of ammunition, or nearly 247 million rounds, in its inventory.” Inhofe is down with Alex Jones on this one . . .

President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans’ access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights. One way the Obama administration is able to do this is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition.

Tin hats to the side, the debut of the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability Act is bound to increase public demand for ammo (if such a thing is possible), sucking-up any decrease in government purchasing.

Remember: most gun owners aren’t up to speed with this whole DHS is buying billions of bullets deal. That’s Inside Baseball Alex Jones Armed Intelligentsia territory. The bill will publicize the government hoarding, thereby stoking the fires of paranoia prudence. OMG! The government’s buying-up all the ammo! Must. Buy. Ammo.

A House committee hearing this week revealed the scope of the government ammo-Hoover. The Department of Homeland Security admitted to stockpiling nearly 1,000 more rounds of ammunition per DHS officers than that afforded soldiers. foxnews.com put some numbers down:

Chaffetz, who chairs one of the House oversight subcommittees holding the hearing Thursday, revealed that the department currently has more than 260 million rounds in stock. He said the department bought more than 103 million rounds in 2012 and used 116 million that same year — among roughly 70,000 agents.

Comparing that with the small-arms purchases procured by the U.S. Army, he said the DHS is churning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer, while the U.S. Army goes through roughly 350 rounds per soldier.

Pshaw! That ain’t nothin‘, says the DHS. Here’s their take:

DHS officials defended the department’s ammunition purchases during a House hearing on Thursday. They maintained that the department’s stockpile of 247 million rounds of ammo is necessary and does not constitute “hoarding,” as critics have argued.

Nick Nayak, DHS’s chief procurement officer, told lawmakers that the department reserves the right to purchase 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years.

DHS has already purchased around 41 million rounds of ammunition this year alone, according to Nayak. Approximately $37 million in taxpayer dollars will be spent on ammunition purchases in the entirety of fiscal year 2013.

It’s “simply not true” that DHS is stockpiling ammunition, Nayak said in response to pointed questions from lawmakers.

Yes, well, under the AMMO Act, an agency covered by the legislation would not be permitted to purchase or store more ammunition than that agency retained on average between 2001 and 2009, according to an advance copy of the legislation provided to the Free Beacon.

So, thanks to the Republicans, the good old days are back! There’ll soon be ammo for everyone! Cases of it! Cheap! Or not.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

73 Responses to Republicans Introduce “Ammunition Management for More Obtainability” (AMMO) Act

  1. avatarTreize31x says:

    Hope this passes. Though the dems will probably block it

  2. avatarHidden Hills says:

    I have to wonder what will be attached to it…….

    • avatarSixpack70 says:

      Only an AWB, magazine cap ban and tinfoil rolls for all Americans.

      • avatarLance says:

        Doubt a AMB will be added it failed by 20 votes last week and even the antigunners are dropping it and focusing on Machin Toomey for this congress.

  3. avatarbrianon says:

    It’s nice to see an attempt to loosen things, but giving bills cutesy names drives me insane.

  4. avatarWR2A says:

    I know some of the, shall we say, “jumpy” pro-gunners said that DHS stockpiling ammo was suspect for nefarious reasons, but the reality is, for whatever reason, DHS did purchase copious amounts of ammo. This is true and is not merely “boogity-boogity” rhetoric.

    Why did DHS need so much ammo? I mean, what, are they doing live-fire training 4 times a day, organization-wide? Hm.

    • avatarChance says:

      In all fairness, you can easily go through 1,300 rounds of ammunition in a three-day training class. I shot over 1,200 rounds at a beginner class with Haley Strategic recently.

      • avatarWR2A says:

        Chance,

        Do you know how many rounds DHS actually purchased? 1300 rounds in three days is a tiny drop in their bucket.

        • avatarDon says:

          1.6 billion / 1300 = 1,230,769 training exercises over the next five years.

          1230769 exercises/5 years/52 weeks per year = 4733 training exercise per week. 4733/5 work days per week = 946 training exercises per day.

          That’s a hell of a lot of training.

        • avatarPyratemime says:

          Ok but what if that training class is for 50 officers per week? That becomes 50 x 1300 = 65000. Now what if that same class happens every other week, 65000 x 26 = 1690000 rounds of ammo. All for what could be just one standard training class offered twice a month all year long.

      • avatarRoscoe says:

        I’m with Chance on this one.

        Training for an LEO can vary significantly depending on his deployment, activity, and initial / recurring training needs.

        I just don’t see 1300 rounds per LEO over the course of a year as being excessive considering the wide variety of training activities necessary to support the ongoing firearms training needs of enforcement organizations.

        To truly determine if DHS and other Federal LEA purchases are excessive, one must review the recent yearly history of purchases, and factor in expansion or contraction of agency personnel, and anticipated shortages or overages in market ammunition supply.

        • avatarBStacks says:

          Anecdotal and second hand but… A friend, just the other day, told me his brother in Louisiana is an ICE agent.

          He told me they hand him x number of rounds every month and expect him to practice on his own.

          The brother has a closet full of .40 JHP and gives my friend all he can carry every time he visits.

          I will try and get more details next time I see him.

        • avatarRoscoe says:

          BStacks, that was also my experience as an agent, except that when I served the ammunition supplied by the agency was neither so frequent nor plentiful.

          And I know I’m dating myself, but for much of the time I served, they only supplied .38 or .357; any other caliber you purchased yourself.

    • avatarAmanathia says:

      Simply because they could. And if they don’t use their budget…well, how can they demand an even higher budget next year?

  5. avatarSaul Feldstein says:

    Its not the high quality brass cased Hornady and Lake City stuffs scarcity that should be troublesome, its the scarcity of RUSSIAN and other imported ammo that is scary.

    Why havent the RUSSIANS, Turks, Czechs or any other overseas manufacturer filled the gap? Where are the container ships loaded to the brim with steel cased ammo?

    This is an opportunity for them to ramp up their mega capable production and profit, but Tula and Wolf is just as scarce and pricey as Lake City and Federal.

    What gives on the import side? Are distributors hoarding and holding it back to drive up prices? Or is Russia withholding exports? Or even more possible, US blocking imports?

    Would like to hear an informed opinion on this.

    • avatarHank says:

      I’m downright allergic to conspiracy theories and I’d like to see Alex Jones go jump in a lake….near Chernobyl. But I am baffled as to why I can’t even find a 50 round case of .22 in existence at any store, regardless of size, in a three county search over the past few months. Our shelves in this part of Texas are barren. And, the internet’s no better.

      • avatarElephant Rider says:

        I know where your ammo is!
        It’s on Armslist or Gunbroker for 2-3x the retail price.
        Guys simply drive around to the stores and gobble it up as soon as the trucks unload it. If you want it, you pay their prices.
        Unfortunately people keep feeding the bastards.

        • avatarHank says:

          That’s been my assumption. I’m fairly convinced the stockers at Wally World here buy it straight off the truck, but it’s not ever getting to the shelves, even though they claim they get nightly shipments. Only deer rifle calibers and shotgun shells make it to the shelves. Ever.

      • avatarDirk Diggler says:

        I bought 2 cases of .22LR at cabela’s last week, and I don’t own a .22. They had a pallet, I saw it, I called the veep at work who is my mentor (who has a new .22LR with no ammo) and told him – he instructed me to buy as much as I could. I also stop at cabelas almost every day and buy what they have, .45, .38, .357, ( no 9mm) since I have a number of calibers. I keep a running inventory and manage it as I would for work if that were my job. No plans to sell, but at 3x, it is tempting.

        • avatarJonathan says:

          There’s a special place in Hell for obsessive compulsive hoarders who exacerbate scarcity just so they can admire stacks and stacks and stacks of ammo in their closets. People like that are making it next to impossible for the civilian shooting community to operate smoothly. Think about that next time you see a declining trend line of gun ownership.

      • avatarJim Barrett says:

        .22 is not as profitable as the larger calibers, so many manufacturers have shifted production away from .22 to the other calibers. Right now, the market is sucking up every round that gets released so if you are an ammo plant, you are going to dedicate production to your higher margin products. This means that until the current situation stabilizes, .22 is going to be even more scarce than some of the other calibers.

        • avatarB says:

          .45 and 9mm can’t be made on a 22lr assembly line. They are making ammo as fast as they can, they didn’t magically shift centerfire manufacturing onto a rimfire line that’s not compatible in any way.

        • avatarDown to brass tax says:

          But…the manufactures may have moved the .22lr “day shift” to the 9mm/5.56 night shift to increase production of the good stuff.

  6. avatarMatt F says:

    Not sure where the officer vs. enlisted rounds allocated comes from. O’s and enlisted don’t have separate DODACs, go to separate ranges, or receive separate draws, so I’m curious to see how they arrived at this. Maybe it’s just because I’m still in the golden time of my career, but if my guys are shooting, I’m shooting with them.

    • avatarGyufygy says:

      I think RF picked the wrong word since the quote itself indicates “soldiers”, not specifically officers.

    • avataroutwardhound says:

      “Comparing that with the small-arms purchases procured by the U.S. Army, he said the DHS is churning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer, while the U.S. Army goes through roughly 350 rounds per soldier.” — Poor syntax, officer here is referring to DHS officers. They’re not comparing commissioned officer to enlsited soldiers.
      Dumb comparison anyway as military and law enforcment training are based on completely different requirments. Law enforcment should be shooting more – don’t the AI here always complain about how poor their shooting skills are?

      • avatarEagleScout87 says:

        Yes they should, the problem is that local law enforcement around the country, which isn’t DHS, is being hit by the shortage just as bad as civilians are. I’ve read that LEOs are training with airsoft due to the shortage.

  7. avatarsome guy says:

    Yeah, that makes no sense at all. Officer and enlisted have the exact same allocation…

  8. avatarshawn says:

    Or not…it will never be cheap again. Too many people are paying the higher prices instead of waiting till it drops. So companies will continue to charge the higher price.

    • avatarJames1000 says:

      It’s not that companies are necessarily charging more. Its mainly the Ammo Zombie hordes getting in line at zero dark thirty waiting for legit stores (who charge regular price) to open. Its gone within an hour…..A few days later said ammo is on gun broker for doule the price or at gun shows for triple. Rinse and repeat…..

  9. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I just wish that the government hoarding would get a LOT more publicity. John & Jane Homeowner need to know and UNDERSTAND that their gubment is stock piling & arming up for a possible domestic action against any and all that dissagree with the current regime’s agenda. (Can you say “marshall law”?)

  10. avatarCrazed Java says:

    I don’t think the intent is necessarily to increase the ammo supply, though if there is a continued run on ammo it will be a short-term symptom.

    I’m also not onboard with conspiracies about DHS.

    That said, consider the sequester and the overall public sentiment that we should be DECREASING SPENDING there is no good reason for DHS to be stockpiling such a ridiculous number of rounds.

    Unless there is something to all those conspiracy theories, in which case all the more reason to pass this bill or at least make the public aware of what is going on.

  11. avatarMike Crognale says:

    I find it interesting that none of our congress critters are questioning DHS about the “no-hesitation” targets that they purchased. Pregnant woman? old gray haired guy with a shotgun? Those targets need to be seized and destroyed. We have enough jack-booted thugs playing soldier without brain washing them to believe that they can just kill US citizens with impunity.

  12. avatarAharon says:

    This is good.

  13. avatarBach says:

    This has the potential to become the ‘empty container’ bill that they amend all of the gun control back into. Then they’ll amend out the ammunition purchase limits.

  14. I don’t know if I’m taking the Fox News story at face value. How on earth can the Army on go through 350 rounds a year per soldier? Does soldier include your cooks and your paper pushers and your computer guys? I bet if we included all those peeps in the DHS numbers, they would drop down to using about 350 per person per year. Fox’s 2+2 ≠ 4.

  15. avatarMike Crognale says:

    The guy at Academy told me last week that they get ammo shipments Mon, Wed, Fri and guys are lined up 2 to 3 hours before the doors open. They open at 8 and by 8:15 everything is sold out. I can’t get 45 or 9MM at all.

  16. avatarChainsawWieldingManiac says:

    Completely unnecessary. Lift the ban on Chinese ammo imports, and we’d be swimming in the stuff.

    • avatarPeter says:

      I suppose that’s one product we don’t have to worry about being contaminated with lead!

    • avatarAmanathia says:

      This. There’s also really no reason to have such a strict ban on “armor peircing” stuff for import. Just ban a FEW armor piercing categories from importation (note I didn’t say ownership) if it’s REALLY necessary for public safety, based on actual facts/statistics of what gang bangers are using. So like…9mm. There’s no reason to ban “armor piercing” AK ammo from being imported, no gang bangers or criminals are going to go around shooting cops with one, it just statistically doesn’t happen. The ammo just gets shot at plates at the range.

      We can import food contaminated with god knows what from China, but can’t import ammo? Whut? Free market capitalism my ass.

  17. avatarStinkeye says:

    “Remember: most gun owners aren’t up to speed with this whole DHS is buying billions of bullets deal.”

    I don’t know about that. Every gun owner I’ve spoken to in the last several months has been aware of it, even die-hard, old-school Fudds. I guess when you’re waiting in line to buy ammo, the word gets around.

  18. avatarjr says:

    Ridiculous bill.

    One day on the internet all you read is “cops don’t know how to shoot, they should train more….”

    Next day its “OMG DHS is hoarding 1000 rounds per officer!”

    1000 rounds for a year is a pretty small allotment. Casual shooters burn through that in a month or two.

    • avatarDonS says:

      “Next day its ‘OMG DHS is hoarding 1000 rounds per officer!’”

      More like 3700 rounds per agent…

      Chaffetz, who chairs one of the House oversight subcommittees holding the hearing Thursday, revealed that the department currently has more than 260 million rounds in stock. He said the department bought more than 103 million rounds in 2012 and used 116 million that same year — among roughly 70,000 agents.

      Nick Nayak, chief procurement officer for the Department of Homeland Security, did not challenge Chaffetz’s numbers

      At least they tell the public why we shooters might buy 5000 rounds at a time:

      The department has long said it … buys in bulk to save money

      • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

        Don makes an excellent point on the whole thing. See we shooters are NOT nuts.. The government does what we do…

        • avatarDonS says:

          Uh…. I’m not sure that’s a valid rationale for saying we shooters aren’t nuts. Doing the same thing as the government might be prima facie evidence of just the opposite.

  19. avatarEd Ranger says:

    Big Sis and her DHS are already choosing to ignore laws, why would this law be any different?

    DHS Ignoring Maritime Cargo Law, Lawmaker Says

    Obama/ DHS ignores the law and tries to make his own, Judge decrees

    Memo Reveals DHS Ignoring Laws Limiting Immigrant Access to Public Welfare

    Big Sis Ignores Congressman’s Demand For Briefing on Bullet Buys

    Obama’s DHS ignores security breaches at biochemical laboratories – National Law Enforcement

    Senators to Obama, DHS: Stop ignoring illegal alien sanctuaries

    Homeland Security Ignores Sequester, Orders Drones, Vehicles, 1.6 Billion Bullets

    And on and on and on…..

  20. avatarAccur81 says:

    Well, I’m an LEO who believes that we don’t need the DHS or the ATF. There is too much redundancy in federal law enforcement, and the taxpayer foots the bill. Why limit their ammo hoarding when we can eliminate their agencies altogether and save billions in taxpayer money? This country would be considerably more safe if we had nationwide “shall issue” and recognized concealed carry within schools. I’d even through the antis a bone and support Wahsington DC being a “super duper gun free zone.” Heck, Washington DC could tax ammo as well. They could call it the “Washington DC Super Duper Gun Free Zone Child Safety Only Carry Guns If You Are A Mass Murderer Or Government Employee Act.”

    • avatargunyouzer says:

      Awesome!

    • avatarDark says:

      Unfortunately DC is already a “gun-free” zone. Can’t carry legally at all unless you’re with the government.

      Please don’t give MD any ideas about Ammo taxes. O’Malley is trying as hard as he can to tax everything under sun, rain included. Oh wait, he already passed the rain tax.

      http://redmaryland.blogspot.com/2013/04/omalleys-rain-tax.html

    • avatarMark says:

      Accur81, I was never law enforcement, but was active duty military for quite a while and couldn’t agree more except to add that TSA and a good portion of the other “alphabet agencies” should be eliminated as well. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found by a resident outside the area being searched with MRAPS and M-16s. Citizens are always the actual “first responders” to any crisis.

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      Accur81 Luv it!!
      Oh hay how do feel about the new law in CA which allows illegal aliens to sit in juries??
      Isn’t that illegal??

      • avatarDonS says:

        Are you referring to AB1401 (but today it is still just a bill)?

        If so:

        The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
        SECTION 1. Section 203 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:
        203. (a) All persons are eligible and qualified to be prospective trial jurors, except the following:
        (1) Persons who are not lawfully present immigrants or citizens of the United States.

        Illegal aliens are “not lawfully present immigrants”, so they’re still excluded from the eligible jury pool.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Well, I wouldn’t feel good about that, but I haven’t felt all that spectacular about many of the juries I’ve encountered in LA county.

        And if I can be off assistance in any of your causes from SoCal, I’m a available at accur8@mac.com

  21. avatarLSUTigersFan says:

    I also think this has a political component. For those Anti-2A senators who will have to face up to their vote come election time, their vote (or their stance if the AMMO bill is not ready for a vote) is another way to attack Anti-2A senators…”Not only did they try to take your guns, or limit your access to guns, now they want to prevent you from getting the ammunition to shoot they guns you have.”

  22. avatarnicknorr says:

    I often wonder if the shortage of ammo with the consequent price increase, is not, in reality, some sort of Chris Rock “bullet control” policy at hand:

    “You don’t need no gun control, you know what you need? We need some bullet control. Men, we need to control the bullets, that’s right. I think all bullets should cost five thousand dollars… five thousand dollars per bullet… You know why? Cause if a bullet cost five thousand dollars there would be no more innocent bystanders.
    Yeah! Every time somebody get shut we’d say, ‘Damn, he must have done something … Shit, he’s got fifty thousand dollars worth of bullets in his ass.’

  23. avatarLance says:

    Hay a gun bill I support.

  24. avatarCarry.45 says:

    Picked up three hundred round value packs of Winchester white box for $120 at Walmart yesterday

  25. avatarPulatso says:

    There’s a wallyworld near my office that I’ve had tremendous luck with lately. I’ve found 100 round packs of Federal 9mm, Winchester .38 Special, 30-30, and .40, and Tula 9mm, .223, and .308. Even scored 6 50 round boxes of Subsonic .22LR. Turns out the guy isn’t putting everything out at once. He told me he puts a few boxes out in the morning and the evening, so the resellers don’t try to work 3 box only rule and wipe them out.

  26. avatarMike says:

    Sounds like the DHS is giving its officers as much training as police and military *should* be getting. 350 rounds is an average day at the range, not a year’s worth of training.

  27. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    “DHS, for instance, has placed two-years worth of ammunition, or nearly 247 million rounds, in its inventory.””

    I believe that figure is delivered rounds. Total orders seem to be around 2.3 BILLION, with deliveries stretched out over the next couple years, because the manufacturers are working ’round the clock.

    Anytime one increases production, DHS increases their orders even more. It’s not too hard to see that this is mainly about back-door gun control via keeping ammo off the shelves. Not all the rounds are for DHS; some are for other agencies (Department of the Interior needs ammo for WHAT?), hidden inside the DHS orders.

    Without this law above, there is NO WAY we’ll EVER have more ammunition; I hope it doesn’t get a load of leech-y bad crap glommed onto it….

  28. avatarKCK says:

    70k Agents?? That 1,400 per state. Idaho and Montana can take care of itself.
    What is their job? WTF are they doing with all these people.
    If Boston isn’t proof that in a free society you can’t protect every one even with 70,000 agents on the job then I don’t know what is.

  29. avatarJAQUEBAUER says:

    If you believe what Obama or his spokesman, or any democrat and republican RINO’s say then you will be taken for a ride. The administration lies with every word they say. Obama should have been impeached long ago for his crimes, but it seems Americans are a dumb lot.

  30. avatarNick Geninatti says:

    At this rate any common caliber could be used as currency.

  31. avatarGringoFusilero says:

    Waste of time. Anyone who thinks our ammo woes are caused by DHS buying up .40 JHPs needs some math tutoring. They buy a small fraction of all the rounds sold in the U.S. When people like you and me stop panic-buying, the prices will go back down. Thinking Congress can do anything about it is laughably naive.

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