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While Democrats claim to engage in talks on bipartisan gun legislation in good faith, the White House is aiming behind the scenes to shut down nationwide ammunition sales.
In northwestern Missouri, a major government-owned ammunition plant is now facing closure as the Biden administration escalates its war on American gun owners, The Federalist has learned.
The Lake City ammunition factory is one of the largest manufacturers of M855/SS109 ammo which is the most popular caliber for the most targeted firearm in the country: the AR-15. In operation since 1941 to produce ammunition for the U.S. Army, the government contracts with the private firm Winchester to run the enterprise and sell any excess supplies on the open market. The plant also produces XM855 and XM193 ammunition.
Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), told The Federalist “Winchester was informed that the government is considering restricting the manufacturing and commercial sale of legal ammunition produced at the Lake City, Mo., facility.”
Such restrictions, Oliva said, would place 400 to 500 jobs in immediate jeopardy, reduce available ammunition in the market, and sever the nation’s wartime readiness.
“This policy to deny the sale of excess ammunition not only would freeze over 30 percent of the 5.56mm/.223 caliber ammunition used by law-abiding gun owners,” Oliva said, “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.”
The White House did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.
In 2015, the Obama/Biden administration sought to prohibit sales of M855/SS109, also known as “green tip ammo,” through a backdoor bureaucratic ban with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). The ATF tried to amend the definition of the popular ammo — which is far less lethal than other types of common rifle ammunition on the market — as “armor-piercing” to fit a federal statute warranting restrictions. The ensuing controversy led to the early retirement of ATF Director B. Todd Jones, who became the first ATF chief to step down since the position required Senate confirmation, according to the National Rifle Association.
Behind-the-scenes gun laws are a favorite pattern of President Biden, whose administration has overseen a 500 percent spike in firearm retail licensure revocations over typos.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, a group of bipartisan senators — which included at least 10 Republicans and would pass the threshold to overcome a filibuster — announced an agreement for a framework on new gun legislation promoting “red flag” laws and expanded background checks. Details of the bill remain in flux as senators also pledge more money for school safety and mental health resources. The framework has drawn support from Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Turbulence in negotiations surfaced Thursday, however, when Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who initially endorsed the proposal, walked out on Capitol Hill.
“It’s fish or cut bait,” Cornyn told reporters, according to The Guardian while other senators remained negotiating. “I don’t know what they have in mind, but I’m through talking.”
Cornyn said he had not abandoned talks but for now, is headed back to Texas.
The Biden administration’s plan to take an ax to the nation’s ammo supplies, however, threatens to further undermine efforts in the Senate on a compromise as Democrats reveal their true intentions.
“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,” Oliva told The Federalist. “Senators specifically requested the White House allow the Senate negotiate in good faith and without interference to arrive at their agreement.”
Days before Democrat lawmakers touted the reform effort’s resources for mental health, Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a lead negotiator on the legislation, told reporters to “Spare me the bullsh-t about mental illness.”
As Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi points out, however, “in virtually every recent shooting, from Parkland to Uvalde, the murderer exhibited violent antisocial behavior that was crying out for intervention.”
Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.