In response to nationwide shortages of ammunition and concerns amongst Americans regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s enormous ammo orders, Senate and House Republicans have introduced legislation that would limit stockpiling of bullets by federal agencies.
The bill, known as the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability Act, or AMMO act for short, was authored by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R., Okla.) who say that there must be more “transparency and accountability” regarding government stockpiling.
“President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans’ access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Inhofe said in a statement provided to the Washington Free Beacon.
“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.”
The legislation would stop short of limiting the Department of Defense on ammo purchases, but would prevent the DHS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from purchasing or storing more ammunition than those agencies retained on average between 2001 and 2009.
“As the public learned in a House committee hearing this week, the Department of Homeland Security has two years worth of ammo on hand and allots nearly 1,000 more rounds of ammunition for DHS officers than is used on average by our Army officers,” Inhofe said.
“The AMMO Act of 2013 will enforce transparency and accountability of federal agencies’ ammunition supply while also protecting law-abiding citizens access to these resources.” the Senator added.
“After hearing from my constituents about the shortage of ammunition in Oklahoma and the Department of Homeland Security’s profligate purchases of ammunition,” Rep. Lucas said in a statement, “We have introduced the AMMO Act of 2013 to curtail these purchases so Americans can exercise their Second Amendment rights without being encumbered by the federal government.”
As we recently reported, the DHS announced plans to purchase another 360,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition to add to the roughly 2 billion bullets already bought over the past year.
During Thursday’s hearing, the DHS denied that it was stockpiling ammunition with the DHS’s chief procurement officer saying it is “simply not true”.
DHS’ head training officer also claimed that keeping bullets out of the hands of private citizens was not a motivating factor behind the mass bullet purchases.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Thursday that “the math” on the massive bullet purchases didn’t make sense, arguing that the purchases are exorbitant and wasteful and that “It is entirely … inexplicable why the Department of Homeland Security needs so much ammunition.”
Democratic Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., at the opening of the hearing, ridiculed the concerns as “conspiracy theories” which have “no place” in the committee room.
“This is not about conspiracy theories, this is about good government,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, retorted.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he suspects rounds are being stockpiled, and then either “disposed of,” passed to non-federal agencies, or shot “indiscriminately.”
If that is the case, then shame on you.” Issa told the DHS officials.
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