Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Military Brass Unavailable: Change 2.0

Feds undercut ammo supply

But wait ... there's more!

As soon as I announce the End of The World, there's a new story to tell.

This has to do with the U.S. Military announcing that they will no longer make used Military brass available for public purchase.

Well, things have changed.

A couple of Congressmen (Democratic Senators from Montana) heard about the Department of Defense (DOD) plan to 'mutilate' all used brass before offering it for resale. They realized that it would constitute a serious lack of availability to reloaded ammunition in Military calibers, and they responded by encouraging the "Defense Logistics Agency" (DLA) to reconsider the decision.

Again, the reason was that it would reduce the amount of affordable ammunition to the public, which they (rightly) decided was A bad Thing.

Given the concerted Senatorial attention, the DOD and DLA crawfished as fast as they could, and today released a notice that they have reconsidered their plan and scrapped it.

The policy already had taken a bite out of the nation's stressed ammunition supply, leaving arms dealers scrambling to find ammo for private gun owners.

Mark Cunningham, a legislative affairs representative with the Defense Logistics Agency, explained in an e-mail last night to the office of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., that the Department of Defense had placed small arms cartridge cases on its list of sensitive munitions items as part of an overall effort to ensure national security is not jeopardized in the sale of any Defense property.

The small arms cases were identified as a senstive item and were held pending review of policy, he said.

"Upon review, the Defense Logistics Agency has determined the cartridge cases could be appropriately placed in a category of government property allowing for their release for sale," Cunningham wrote.

The Defense Department liaison was responding to a letter yesterday to the Defense Logistic Agency's Vice Admiral Alan S. Thompson from Tester and fellow Montana Democrat Sen. Max Baucus. The senators argued "prohibiting the sale of fired military brass would reduce the supply of ammunition – preventing individual gun owners from fully exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We urge you to address this situation promptly."

That's right. Once-used Military brass will once again be available for resale to the Public (eg: private ammunition remanufacturing companies such as Georgia Arms) in un-mutilated form.

Note that this offers little or no direct benefit to the hope that more brass will be made available to other cartridge manufacturers who are experiencing a market down-turn on the availability of raw materials to form 'new cartridge cases' from raw materials. The availability of alloy appropriate to 'New' cartridges made in the United States will remain low, if only due to the increased Military demand for ammunition.

Consequently, those of us who use a LOT of 'new cartridge cases' in non-military calibers will continue to pay premium prices (often over twice the price at which they were available only a couple of years ago).

Still, this is overall Good News if only in that some members of Congress realize that military expedience and Political Correctness should not, and (now) will not, take precedence over protection of the Second Amendment.

Specifically, any Governmental rules which infringe upon the free access to affordable ammunition also infringes upon the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

After all, if you can't afford or Can't Get the ammunition, a firearm is nothing more than a doorstop, or an expensive club.

This facet of the Second Amendment has been made clear, now, and although we will probably have to fight the same battle again, under a different scenario, at least this small battle has established a precedence which confirms the right of private citizens to not only "Keep and Bear Arms", but also to be able to feed those arms rather than to allow their utility to be undermined by the lack of affordable ammunition.

Take THAT, Daniel Patrick Moynihan!

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