A couple of weeks ago, about 20 anti-freedom state attorneys general led by Letitia James from New York petitioned Joe Biden’s administration to stop the sales of surplus 5.56mm ammo from the Lake City Army Ammunition plant. Each of those statist AG’s tried to score virtue signaling points with their hard-left constituents with the political stunt. Not a single one of these AGs target gang violence, but rather save their anger and direct it toward law-abiding gun owners, blaming guns for the actions of violent criminals.
These would-be tyrants also risked making gun food less plentiful for America’s favorite rifle the AR-15 as Lake City makes up almost a third of civilian 5.56 ammo sales. And AR- platform guns are used by many millions (tens of millions?) of Americans for personal protection and self-defense.
On January 24, a pro-freedom contingent of state attorneys general fired back, quite effectively. Not only did they outnumber the gun control advocates including New York State’s Letitia James, but they also brought facts not feelings to the fight. Not that your average gun controller cares about facts.
Here’s a link to the five-page letter, in full.
From the Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey:
Attorney General Bailey Leads 28 States in Defending Missouri Ammo Company Against Erroneous Democrat Onslaught
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey led a coalition of 28 states in directing a letter to President Biden and his Director of White House Office Gun Violence Prevention Stephanie Feldman, urging them to ignore the demand of Democrat attorneys general to end commercial sales from Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, one of the country’s largest ammo manufacturers, based in Missouri.
“I will not let Joe Biden sacrifice the rights of law-abiding gun owners and manufacturers on the altar of appeasement to the Radical Left. Lake City Ammunition did nothing wrong,” said Attorney General Bailey. “I’m proud to stand in the gap with these like-minded attorneys general to protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
The attorneys general write, “The United States Supreme Court stated definitively that the Second Amendment guarantees a personal right to each law-abiding citizen to ‘keep and bear arms.’ But Americans cannot exercise this constitutionally protected right to use their firearms without access to ammunition. If your office does what the Democrat attorneys general ask, then ammunition prices will increase, and ammunition availability will decrease. And those restrictions on ammunition will not resolve any of the ills discussed by our colleagues.
“Those attorneys general wrote to you casting aspersions and requesting an investigation of Lake City because they allege that the plant’s commercial ammunition was used in mass shootings. Perhaps those States should focus more on prosecuting crime to stop mass shootings—rather than trying to stop lawful Americans’ use of guns and ammunition. Their tactic is an overt attempt to punish Americans’ exercise of their Second Amendment rights. The undersigned States take an unapologetic stand to defend the Second Amendment and to set the record straight as to the facts.”
They continue, “The Democrats’ letter contains a litany of errors. These errors demonstrate our colleagues’ outright ignorance of firearms and ammunition. Chiefly, they allege that ammunition manufactured for ‘military use’ does not belong in our communities. First, the ammunition manufactured at Lake City and sold into the commercial market is not the primary rifle cartridge used by the United States military. The primary cartridge is proprietary to the Army and may not be sold commercially. Second, while the United States military purchases and uses a particular type of ammunition, that is not determinative as to whether it is ‘military ammunition’ that should be banned for public use. If the United States military using ammunition precluded that ammunition’s use by civilians, then other widely and commonly available ammunition, including 9mm and 12-gauge shotshells, would also be prohibited for public use. Indeed, Heller does not support such an openly artificial distinction. Lake City only sells ammunition to commercial customers that is legal to manufacture. Lake City complies with all the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (‘ATF) requirements.
“Lake City cannot halt commercial use without a detrimental loss to our communities and economy. If stopped, it will result in an estimated loss of 500–700 jobs or 30%–45% of the skilled workforce now employed at Lake City and countless more throughout the supply chain. In Missouri, the 3,935 acres Lake City Army Ammunition Plant is the largest producer of small arms ammunition reportedly producing over one billion rounds of ammunition per year and employing approximately 1,700 workers.
“Do not be fooled. The anti-gun radicals leading this effort are not honest brokers interested in public safety. This is part of an ongoing, and constitutionally dubious agenda to stop commercial ammunition sales in order to weaken the Second Amendment. Gun control advocates want to criminalize making ammunition even while many push back against prosecuting criminals that fire weapons. Perpetrators of gun violence should be punished—not the firearm and ammunition manufacturers. It is for that reason, when crime too often goes unchecked and mass shootings are on the rise, law-abiding citizens need the ability to arm themselves with effective weapons.”
The attorneys general conclude, “We live in volatile times. Our country needs to be prepared to face foreign adversaries rather than focusing on destroying the Second Amendment and crippling the firearm and ammunition market. We need to be primed at any moment to increase production and provide our military with much-needed ammunition to provide protection domestically and to our international allies. Lake City remains a vital part of the past, present, and future of the U.S. Military and military readiness. Rather than pushing Lake City out of business, we should be thanking them for the role they play in arming our military.
“We strongly advise against heeding the Democrat attorneys general request to investigate Lake City. There are no allegations of wrongdoing that could justify placing such unreasonable limits on Lake City or any other firearm, parts, or ammunition manufacturer. If this course continues, we intend to take any and every action necessary to defend our citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”
Every Republican attorney general joined the letter. Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, and Montana led the coalition.
It’s rather doubtful that the Biden administration could shut down civilian sales of ammo from Lake City. Given how a private company runs the facility, it is ultimately up to them who they sell their excess product to, not Joe Biden.