Republican bill takes aim at agency ammunition stockpiling

If Republicans in both houses of Congress have their way, the Department of Homeland Security will no longer be ordering and stockpiling hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition.

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On Friday, companion bills will be submitted by Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. in the Senate, and Frank Lucas, R-Okla. in the House, which would limit ammunition stockpiles to what each agency retained on average in the years 2001 to 2009.

At issue is agency “transparency and accountability” according to Inhofe reported the Washington Free Beacon.

“President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans’ access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Inhofe told the Washington Free Beacon. “One way the Obama administration is able to do this is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition.”

The Beacon’s Adam Kredo wrote:

Dubbed the “Ammunition Management for More Accountability Act,” or AMMO, the legislation would prevent all government agencies except for the Defense Department from purchasing and storing what lawmakers say is an excess amount of ammunition.

The bill’s reach would include DHS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), two agencies that have found themselves at the center of the ammo controversy.

“As the public learned in a House committee hearing this week, the Department of Homeland Security has two years worth of ammo on hand and allots nearly 1,000 more rounds of ammunition for DHS officers than is used on average by our Army officers,” Inhofe said. “The AMMO Act of 2013 will enforce transparency and accountability of federal agencies’ ammunition supply while also protecting law-abiding citizens access to these resources.”

In addition to “transparency and accountability,” is the problem of ammunition availability to the average citizen.

“After hearing from my constituents about the shortage of ammunition in Oklahoma and the Department of Homeland Security’s profligate purchases of ammunition,” Lucas said in a statement. “We have introduced the AMMO Act of 2013 to curtail these purchases so Americans can exercise their Second Amendment rights without being encumbered by the federal government.”

At a Thursday House hearing, DHS chief procurement officer Nick Nayak told lawmakers that the agency’s current two-year ammunition stockpile did not constitute “hoarding.”

“I was surprised to find out the DHS has the right to buy up to 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years, while it already has two years worth of ammo already,” Lucas said. “This is an issue that must be addressed, and I am pleased this legislation provides us the opportunity to do so.”

Just to keep everyone on the “up and up,” the act directs the Government Accountability Office to audit federal agency purchases of ammunition. The AMMO Act would not apply to the military.

Read more at the Washington Free Beacon.


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