Dr. Boozman's Check-up


Access to Ammunition

May 07 2013

You’ve read the news reports, heard from your neighbors and friends or and maybe even seen firsthand that there is an ammunition shortage. Ammunition sales are at a record high and not showing signs of letting up any time soon. I recently met with some folks from Remington who told me that ammunition is flying off the shelves faster than the company can get it off the production line. 

Since the shortage began, we’ve heard from a lot of people who have concerns about how the federal government’s purchasing of large quantities of ammunition may be impacting the availability. In particular, there is a concern about reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been purchasing millions of rounds of ammunition, reports that appear to be unfounded. 

DHS is tasked with providing the tools necessary to train federal law enforcement agents. The need to continue the training that is required of these agents while a shortage of ammunition exits forced DHS to increase the amount of ammunition it purchases according to the agency. The agency does not appear to be acquiring more ammunition than it needs for those purposes. 

While I support providing the tools necessary to train federal law enforcement officials, it should not come at a cost to Americans who enjoy exercising their Second Amendment right. Arkansans have a right to ammunition whether for hunting, enjoying the shooting range or for protection. 

To prevent DHS and other federal agencies, except the Department of Defense, from storing excessive amounts of ammunition, I cosponsored the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability (AMMO) Act of 2013. This prohibits agencies covered by this legislation from purchasing or storing more ammunition than it retained on average between 2001 and 2009. The AMMO Act would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit federal agencies purchases of ammunition.