Keeping abreast of the latest in the ever-weirder world that is ammunition ups and downs these days, we have updates on a few interesting stories this week.
House votes to curb DHS from stockpiling ammo
The US House of Representatives voted to attach an amendment to the annual spending bill that bankrolls the Department of Homeland Security from the Treasury. The amendment, which was approved 234-192, limits the amount of bullets the DHS can stockpile. According to Fox News, "The amendment blocks funds from being used to buy ammunition until the department submits to Congress a comprehensive report on its ammunition usage and purchase history."
(Deep inside the DHS's ammo warehouse. Just kidding, DHS has more ammo. Photo from Dart)
In recent correspondence between Senator Tom Coburn and the DHS, posted on his website, the department states that it only has 263 million rounds in inventory. Of this amount, the US Coast Guard (which is a branch of the military and is involved in combat operations worldwide) and the Customs and Border Patrol (which is involved in a shooting war on occasion on our borders) hold most. About 70% of the ammunition acquired by DHS is expended each year in training, with the balance stockpiled for operational purposes.
California thinking of $50 fee on ammo and going unleaded
The broken wheels that are spinning in the California State Senate are at it again. This time
they are kicking around a bill (SB53) in which Californians who want to buy ammunition would have to submit personal information and a $50 fee for a background check by the state-- just to buy bullets. This arbitrary tax looks like an attempt to discourage lawful purchases.
Bottom line, if it is a hassle to buy ammo, some people will stop buying, which leads to fewer people shooting as a hobby, which leads to fewer voters that are Pro-2A, which leads to... well you get it.
Meanwhile the same state Senate's Natural Resources Committee voted 7-1 on Tuesday in favor of a bill becoming the first in the nation to ban lead ammunition for hunting (to save the environment). Because steel shot turned out to be such a boon to the sport of duck hunting, right? Yet somehow nobody ever brings up tons of lead fishing weights and tire balancing weights.
Two Million more rounds of .223 on the way each month
Ammoland reports some good news in that Cape Fear Arsenal (CFA) will soon be up and running. The new plant, based in Lumberton NC and employing 150 new workers, expects to pump out 2-million rounds of .223 each month. This is not pie in the sky 2015 estimates; they plan to be making bullets in July of this year. Six months from now, they will add 9milly in similar numbers.
At least it's not all bad these days.
Stay tuned to Firearms Talk for more updates as they come in.