OK Lawmakers Push To Limit Federal Ammunition Stockpiling

Friday, April 26th 2013, 6:45 pm

By: News 9

Right now, ammunition is a hot item. But many people across the state can't get their hands on it. Two Oklahoma lawmakers think they have the solution to the shortage.

Senator Jim Inhofe and Congressman Frank Lucas introduced a bill Friday that would limit the amount of ammunition federal agencies buy. They're hoping to increase the supply for the rest of us.

Prices of ammunition are going up, and it's tough keeping boxes on the shelves.

"It's a rat race to try to get ammunition everywhere you go, I come here every day," said Chuck Butler, a gun shop customer. "It's just aggravating, and I wish something would change, I'd vote on anything that would help it change."

There's a two-box limit for customers at Big Boy's Guns and Ammo in Southwest Oklahoma City and at other gun shops. Many fear the government could be stockpiling ammunition and preventing the public from doing the same.

"They can't buy bullets, even 22 shells are being rationed, so this is an effort to say, outside of the Department of Defense, of course, if the rest of the federal government has a two-year supply, stop buying bullets," said Rep. Lucas. "On average they have a 2-year supply of bullets already, how many more bullets do they need? Citizens find themselves right now where they can't get access to ammunition."

Rep. Lucas and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe wrote the AMMO, or the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability Act, to prevent the government from buying ammunition for six months once it reaches its average stockpiled limit.

The bill would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an ammunition purchasing report for federal agencies and its effect on the supply available to the public. The bill still has to pass through committee before it makes it to the house floor.

To some customers, The AMMO Act sounds like relief.

"You basically go all day if you've got the time, you go around and try to find someone who's even got a small shipment, and even then, you only get one box per day, at a time per caliber" said Jim Mitchell, who says he buys ammunition nearly every day. "And by the time you get a little bit saved up, someone in the family wants to go shooting with you and there goes your little stockpile, so I think it would be a good bill because the people is what it's all about, and we're the ones who are wanting and needing the ammunition."


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