And not through legislation either. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Oliva, the Biden administration is considering halting sales of excess M855/SS109 ammunition produced by the federal government’s ammunition manufacturing facility in Lake City, Missouri, which could result in a major reduction in the ammo supply for AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles.
Oliva says that the NSSF has been in contact with officials at Winchester Ammunition, which manages the facility in Lake City, who recently informed them that the Biden administration is considering restricting the manufacturing and commercial sale of the ammunition produced there. According to NSSF, not only would that “immediately jeopardize” roughly 400-500 jobs and wipe out more than a quarter of the .223/5.56 ammo available to consumers, but it could derail the already shaky negotiations in the Senate on a package in response to the recent shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo.
“This policy of ceasing the sale of excess ammunition is ill-timed and jeopardizes the fragile negotiations of the framework deal that was agreed to by the bipartisan group of senators,” says Oliva. “Senators specifically requested the White House allow the Senate to negotiate in good faith and without interference to arrive at their agreement. This policy to deny the sale of excess ammunition would not only freeze over 30-percent of the 5.56mm/.223 caliber ammunition used by law-abiding gun owners, it risks the ammunition industry’s ability to surge production capacity for national defense if the costs to maintain the present workforce isn’t recouped through sales to the civilian market.”
Oliva noted that this isn’t the first time Biden’s been a part of a plan to reduce the supply of ammunition for consumers. During the Obama years, the administration tried to stop sales of “green tip” ammunition through a proposed ATF rule. The administration backed down after a public outcry and criticism from Congress, but so far there’s no sign that the Biden administration is cooling on its own proposal.
Hopefully that will change now that the word is getting out. Oliva says both NSSF and Winchester are “strongly opposed” to the plan, and NSSF officials are working with members of Congress to “appraise them of these developments and turn back this counterproductive policy”, while Winchester officials are “actively engaged with government leaders in Washington, D.C. to ensure their full understanding of the negative implications related to this type of sudden and reactive action.”
The Department of Defense has not responded to a request for comment by Bearing Arms, but if we do get a response we’ll update this post to include any statement. In the meantime, gun owners should get active as well, and not just by running down to your local gun shop to scoop up whatever .223 you can find in stock. Contact your congressperson and your senators, and urge them to speak out against Biden’s plan to choke off a significant portion of the consumer market for the popular ammunition. If your representatives in D.C. aren’t pro-Second Amendment, point out the economic harm that this decision would have for hundreds of American workers, as well as the potential impact on our national security and defense readiness. There are lots of reasons to object to this idea, and really only one reason to support it: a desire to do anything and everything to make it as difficult as possible for law-abiding Americans to access their right to keep and bear arms.