Monday, April 5, 2010

Unlawful Demilitarization of Surplus Ammo Components

About a year ago, I wrote concerning the disposal of military surplus fired, but usable, ammunition cartridge cases (AKA brass). Historically, this brass was purchased by companies that reloaded the brass for sale to civilian and police markets. The primary end use of this reloaded ammunition has historically been for training and practice. I, myself, have bought and used this reloaded ammunition and I have been very satisfied with it.

However, for a brief period last year, much of this serviceable brass was either "demilitarized" by the military or the military required the buyer to "demilitarize" the brass. This "demilitarization" substantially reduced the value from that of serviceable cartridge cases to the value of junk scrap metal. This resulted in a significant loss to the taxpayer as well as to the ammunition consumer (including police agencies that rely on ammuntion made from recycled components to lower training costs).

Thanks to the leadership of Senator Max Baucus of Montana, this matter was quickly resolved last year. Congress issued a directive to the military that no Congress-appropriated funds may be used to destroy brass. Here's the excerpt from the 2009 Department of Defense appropriation by Congress:

None of the funds available to the Department of Defense may be used to demilitarize or dispose of M-1 Carbines, M-1 Garand rifles, M-14 rifles, .22 caliber rifles, .30 caliber rifles, or M-1911 pistols, or to demilitarize or destroy small arms ammunition or ammunition components that are not otherwise prohibited from commercial sale under Federal law, unless the small arms ammunition or ammunition components are certified by the Secretary of the Army or designee as unserviceable or unsafe for further use.

Now, it is being reported that some military installations are apparently falling to sales pitches from at least one company which believes it has devised ways to circumvent the will of Congress.

Once again, Senator Baucus is taking the lead to stop this defiance of Congress and this effort to emasculate the Second Amendment by increasing the cost of ammunition.

I urge every congressman and the president to immediately join Senator Baucus to stop the "demilitarization" of any and all surplus items, including ammunition components, that are suitable for police and civilian use.

All civilian and military personnel in supervisory or command positions who had a role in this defiance of Congress must be punished.

Any company that encouraged or that has directly profited from this defiance of Congress must be banned from doing business with the federal government.

Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control
Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control

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