Bliss! For some . . . (courtesy elpasotimes.com)

“Fort Bliss wants to create a safer community — both on and off post — for families and children,” elpasotimes.com reports. “For the fifth straight year, the installation is organizing its Fort Bliss and El Paso Community Ammunition Amnesty Day, set for Aug. 30 at the Texas National Guard Armory, 9100 Gateway North. Anyone in the El Paso and Las Cruces areas can drop off unwanted ammo and explosives – with no questions asked – during the annual event. ‘It is free and it’s a great way to create safer communities,’ saidWesley Wolski, a quality assurance specialist in ammunition for the Fort Bliss Directorate of Logistics [above].” Note: it’s not April first. I’m not making this up. “Last year, about 17,000 rounds of small arms ammunition were turned in. Participants also turned in three or four boxes of chemicals used to make commercial-grade fireworks, some smoke grenades and road flares.” And here’s the kicker: “Both military-grade and commercial ammo will be collected. Military ammo is inspected and if it’s still usable, it will be put back into the Department of Defense’s supply chain.” Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

73 Responses to El Paso Offers Ammo Amnesty Day (No Really)

  1. yeah, we go there, hang out in the parking lot, intercept the sellers and offer double what they’ll be offered inside.

  2. This doesn’t fuss me too much. We used to have “amnesty” boxes on the base. This seems like a good opportunity to get rid of stuff you might have “accidentally” left in your ruck after an exercise, with no questions asked. Private shooters who buy their own ammo aren’t going to be tossing it away – that’s not what this is about.

    • Yep, seems like the writeup is slanted by PAO-speak, but these post amnesty days are meant to give Joe Snuffy who is an idiot and accidentally took a grenade sim home from the field a chance to dump it without consequence. No issues here

    • Agreed- the bases out here just have the “drop off” boxes, or at least they used to, at the armories. It’s not so much about safety, it’s about “Give Uncle Sam his ammo back that you forgot.”
      Not really a bad thing for communities either- The Sheriff’s office out here will take bad or wrong ammo anytime, no questions asked.
      Gun Buy-backs? Stupid and useless. Communities and Bases taking unwanted ammo? Not as offensive.

      • Still do. Amnesty boxes are typically required to be within 100 feet of the Arms Room, depending on the post regulation.

        • We were required to establish an amnesty box outside my command post in Iraq. At the time I thought it was a little silly for an Infantry Company in a combat zone. Boy was I wrong. All SORTS of stupid shit got dumped in there; grenades, Iraqi grenades, spent dunnage (ummmmm, if you didn’t shoot it on the range or out on patrol then…), UXOs, Iraqi bayonets, a Gen I Glock 17, AK Ammo, AK Parts, AK mags, RPG parts, all the signal pyro your mind can imagine and, of course, a wide assortment of candy bar wrappers, empty potato chip bags and spent cans of rip-it.

          Anyone remember rip-its?

      • Yeah, I’ve dropped ammo off at the Sheriff’s department that I did not trust to shoot (old corroded shotgun shells found in my grandfather’s basement), so I’m not going to get all bent out of shape over this.

    • Anyone who has been on a machine gun range, demo range, grenade range etc, knows exactly what they are looking for.

      Belted 7.62 or .50, grenades, live demo, blasting caps, UXO, etc.

    • “Private shooters who buy their own ammo aren’t going to be tossing it away – that’s not what this is about.”

      Are you sure? The article says things like:

      With a week to go before the event, there’s still plenty of time to take a look through your home, garage and storage areas for any unwanted ammo, Wolski said.

      “We want to collect as much ammo out of homes and the community to make it safer,” Wolski said.

      “You can turn in ammo so kids don’t have access to it and it’s not a danger,” Wolski said.

      Sounds like your typical “eliminate guns and ammo for the children” message rather than “responsible gun ownership and storage” message.

      • They can say what they want, but what sensible shooter will turn in viable ammo? If a private party has a box of half-century old shotgun shells from grandpa, then it might be good to get rid of them. Unlike gun buybacks:

        – nobody is getting paid to turn stuff in

        – evidence of crimes of violence is not being destroyed (arguably walking home with that chunk of c4 in the pocket of your spare pants was an unlawful act)

        -historic and/or serviceable guns are not being destroyed.

  3. I think anyone who has ammo to give away, and tries to do so in this manner, should be beaten around and about the ears with my 10/22, since it’s currently no friggin’ good for shooting!

    • Old blasting supplies, most likely. They do degrade, becoming [more] unstable and unsafe to store, handle or use. Expired explosives are expensive to toss; as you might imagine, they’re hardly regular waste.

      Construction, excavating and demolition firms can avoid the hazmat fees. It’s all good.

        • You really do not want to handle old TNT for one thing. When I was about 6, my grandparents had a farm in upstate New York. After my grandpa died, my uncle found a box of TNT from the 1930s in one of the tool sheds. He had to call the bomb squad to remove it. It sweats nitroglycerin. If you even fart next to that stuff, you will be a very unhappy camper. Better to get rid of it when it’s still relatively stable.

  4. Geeee …. Wonder if any of the local drug cartel boys will stop by to drop off any of their unspent E. Holder / Obamba give away (FF) ammo? Maybe some Juarez fence climbers will turn in their deadly rocks on their way north.

  5. Putting ammo back into the DOD supply chain sounds a bit risky. MACV S.O.G. used to “salt” mortar and artillery rounds for the V.C. during Vietnam and so did the CIA. Plus, small arms ammo isn’t illegal in Texas.

    • That’s what I was thinking. What keeps some wanna-be terrorist from dropping HE in some .50s, then “recirculating” them?

      • Wouldn’t have to be HE… pistol powder will blow up many rifles. Or toss a couple squib loads in there to jam the works. Or thermite. Or just overcharge the hell out of them… or improperly size the cases or anneal the case heads so that you have ruptures… there are MANY ways to monkey around with ammo, all of them bad. If they’re actually gonna re-use ANYTHING they get, it makes me glad I got the hell OUT.

  6. “It will be put back into the Department of Defense’s supply chain”

    Government service with a smile, they’ll kill you with your own bullets.

  7. I’ve heard of places where someone can drop off unwanted dogs, cats, clothing, even children . . . but unwanted explosives? C’mon, man. There ain’t no such thing.

  8. This is not as nefarious or as useless as it sounds. While including the local community in the program is new to me, amnesty days for Soldiers on base are not. Soldiers are never allowed to take ammunition or ordinance with them when they leave the range or training area. As you might imagine it still happens. Believe it or not, every bullet is accounted for as it is, literally, tax payer money and the Army certainly does not want media Shi* storm should one of its rounds be used in a crime. Therefore all live rounds are individually counted as they are turned into the ammunition supply point, and expended brass is weighed to determine what, if anything, is missing. Bullets are army property, and they are essentially offering amnesty to entice soldiers to return that property, something especially important in a time of shrinking budgets. Therefore, they offer amnesty days because Soldiers are unlikely to turn in ammunition they erroneously took home from the range if they are going to be punished, and punished severely in most cases. This is not the equivalent of a staged gun buyback. Now, including the community is a new development, and therefore may be a publicity stunt.

      • “erroneously” in this case means “fell out of a magazine or box in a pocket or pouch, fell out of a pouch into a pack and you didn’t FIND it till you got someplace else.” It happens. If you’re lucky, it doesn’t happen to you right before you fly back to Japan so it gets found by the Japanese airport police, necessitating your command to spring you from holding…. like someone I knew.

    • How do they account for every bullet? Go to the range and count the brass? They can’t individually account for ammo taken from the range – thats for sure, or they wouldn’t have an anmesty day – they would just knock on your door and get the ammo back.

  9. Ammo Amnesty Day no questions asked: I’m going to host one and I will be giving award FREE hot-dogs and lemonade so be sure you come to my event and not the other guys.

  10. Seems foolish and dangerous to put the recovered ammo back in the military supply chain. What if an enemy booby-trapped the military grade ammo? Short of taking it apart and somehow testing the powder, no kind of inspection would be able to determine if it was truly safe.

  11. There are lots of good reasons for many folks to use a service like this.

    My father recently passed away and I had to help my mother clear out his various storage spaces, tool sheds and garages.

    He had been a regular shooter, but we thought had sold all of his guns when he got old – however we did find two firearms (a small caliber rifle and his grandpa’s old hammer action shotgun) that we had to deal with. One sold and one junked (unsafe).

    What I wasn’t expecting was the two metal tool chests full of ammunition of various types! At a guess it was a couple of thousand rounds.

    I knew some of it would be OK, so I phoned around a few gun store and one agreed to take a look and buy the stuff that was useful and/or safe. Not a lot of money, but Mom needs every cent. The stuff that the store didn’t want to buy fell into two categories:
    1 – stuff unsafe to use, but they’d look after disposal in the correct manner
    2 – stuff OK to use, but not really good to sell – they’d use it ‘in-house’ for testing, training and fun.

    Solved a problem for me – safely and legally.

    • ??

      Yea… I would have bought all that stuff for the right price. Certainly would take it all from you for free. And it wouldn’t have been “disposed of”

  12. He he he, looks like it’s time to get a tent and a stack of gift cards and make my town safer, too.

    “Out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I learned a good way to feed all my guns…”

  13. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

    Get up to our reloading press and start sabotaging some ammo that will pass inspection?

  14. I had a buddy who a few years ago was stationed at Bliss before his enlistment was up and things were so disorganized at that time that he had to remind the army that they needed his plate carrier and helmet back.

    • When I deployed from Ft Riley for OIF I early with the ADVON and my early 80’s style flack jacket. My unit got issued IBA (Improved Body Armor) and plates just before they arrived. My driver, being a high speed young trooper who valued his boss’s skin got me a vest and plates, but no collar or groin protector. I never signed for any of it…neither did he. When I PCS’d I went to turn it in. The nice lady at CIF (Central Issue Facility) informed me I owed $180 for the collar and groin protector. I explained it was never issued to me, yada yada. Sorry, you owe it. I asked if the IBA and plates were on my hand reciept. Nope. So if I don’t turn it in at all, I owe nothing, if I turn it in I owe $180? Yep. So needless to say its sitting in my garage and I’ll dump it in the amnesty bin at CIF when I retire.

  15. Amnesty boxes are nothing new, every motorpool I’ve been in has one. When you come back from gunnery and clean the turret there is always brass and a live round or two from the coax or .50 that falls into the turret subfloor. Like someone else said, amnesty boxes in Iraq, especially during RIP/TOA (Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority) came up with all kinds of crap. The ammo in amnesty boxes goes through QASIS (don’t ask me what that stands for, Quality Ammumintion something something) inspection and what is deemed servicable gets repackaged and used as training ammo.

    I’ve never heard of a large scale public amnesty like this, but I doubt its something evil, even if the government is involved.

  16. This really should concern people more than it does….

    This the same type of thing that comes around every few years when the grabbers start talking about a tax on ammunition. They know that increased gun control, gun buybacks, and gun bans immediately put us on the defensive. At the same time they are smart enough to realize that limiting the availability of ammunition is just as effective to achieve their goals while being easier to sell.

    If you get rid of the little bits that go bang that scary black rifle isn’t so scary anymore.

  17. I’m about 2 miles from the collection center. Haven’t heard a word on the local media about this. Shooting at the Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club yesterday, no mention or posters. Did overhear some soldiers mention a unit came in from maneuvers and was missing a Humvee! Yup, lost an entire Humvee out in the desert! As the city expands into former Fort Bliss land people are forever finding all sorts of stuff the sappers missed. Maybe I’ll go over to the collection center and see if anybody turns anything interesting, like a Humvee?

  18. “Military ammo is inspected and if it’s still usable, it will be put back into the Department of Defense’s supply chain” no no no. My precious m855 green tips aren’t going back to the gov. They were ‘surplus’ anyway so i can’t feel guilty having em 🙂

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