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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Guns Don't Kill People, Bullets Do (So Let's Ban Bullets)

Much has been written about ammunition shortages, and skyrocketing prices. It is about to get worse, as the Obama administration has implemented scrap metal policies which will make it much more difficult for manufacturers to get the material needed for civilian munitions.

An interesting post at And So It Goes In Shreveport blog regards the Obama administration's measures to limit the military re-sale of spent ammunition cartridges commonly re-manufactured for civilian use. Instead, the cartridges will be shredded and sold for scrap at a fraction of the price.

Even if you don't own guns or participate in the sport of target shooting this will affect you because it also affects law enforcement. Who pays for the ammo for law enforcement? Taxpayers, maybe? With this market gone, some smaller law enforcement agencies and individual officers will no longer be able to purchase inexpensive reloaded ammunition for practice. Companies such as Georgia Arms, which Mr. Hutchinson writes about, will go out of business.

Not such good news in this economy. Why would the Obama administration take such action as to put more small businesses out of work in this economy? So they can control guns. One of his agenda items.

In addition to putting people out of work, the cost to the taxpayers is compounded by the fact that it reduces the return by 80% on the sale of expended brass. Now the material will be sold as scrap and sold to China at a much lower return.

The Shootist reprints letters that D.O.D. has sent out notifying manufacturers of the new policy:
Dear Valued Customer:

Please take a moment to note important changes set forth by the Defense Logistics Agency:

Recently it has been determined that fired munitions of all calibers, shapes and sizes have been designated to be Demil code B. As a result and in conjunction with DLA's current Demil code B policy, this notice will serve as official notification which requires Scrap Venture (SV) to implement mutilation as a condition of sale for
all sales of fired munitions effective immediately. This notice also requires SV to immediately cease delivery of any fired munitions that have been recently sold or on active term contracts, unless the material has been mutilated prior to sale or SV personnel can attest to the mutilation after delivery. A certificate of destruction is required in either case.

Is this a way around gun limitations the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled are unconstitutional? Does the Constitution protect gun ownership, but not ammunition ownership? I'm not a constitutional law specialist, but it would not surprise me to see Eric Holder come up with an innovative argument in this regard.

Regardless of where you come out on the regulation of handguns, let's at least have an open discussion about it, and let the courts rule. Let's not pass D.O.D. regulations under cover of scrap-metal recycling to obtain secretly what the administration could not obtain legally.

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