Missouri AG leads coalition of 28 states opposing calls to halt ammo sales from Lake City Plant

Lake City Army Ammunition Plant graphic
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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey led a coalition of 28 states in addressing a letter to President Biden and Stephanie Feldman, Director of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, urging them to disregard the demands of Democratic attorneys general to halt commercial sales from Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. This facility, situated in Missouri, ranks among the nation’s largest ammunition manufacturers.

“I will not allow Joe Biden to compromise the rights of law-abiding gun owners and manufacturers in an attempt to appease the radical left. Lake City Ammunition has not committed any wrongdoing,” stated Attorney General Bailey. “I am honored to collaborate with these attorneys general who share a similar mindset in safeguarding Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”

The attorneys general argued, “The United States Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment provides a personal right for every law-abiding citizen to ‘keep and bear arms.’ However, without access to ammunition, Americans cannot exercise this constitutionally protected right. If your office succumbs to the requests of the Democratic attorneys general, ammunition prices will surge, and its availability will diminish. Such restrictions on ammunition will not address the issues raised by our colleagues.

“These attorneys general have approached you with unfounded accusations, seeking an investigation into Lake City, alleging that the plant’s commercial ammunition has been used in mass shootings. These states might be better served by focusing on crime prosecution to prevent mass shootings, rather than attempting to restrict lawful Americans from accessing guns and ammunition. Their approach is a clear attempt to infringe upon Americans’ exercise of their Second Amendment rights. The undersigned states are unwavering in their defense of the Second Amendment and aim to correct the misconceptions presented.”

They further noted, “The Democrats’ letter is riddled with inaccuracies, showcasing a profound lack of understanding regarding firearms and ammunition. Primarily, they incorrectly assert that ammunition designed for ‘military use’ is not suitable for community use. The ammunition produced at Lake City and sold to the commercial market is not the main rifle cartridge used by the U.S. military, which is proprietary to the Army and not available for commercial sale. Furthermore, the fact that the U.S. military purchases and uses a specific type of ammunition does not automatically classify it as ‘military ammunition’ that should be banned for civilian use. If the military’s use of ammunition were to dictate its availability to civilians, then other common types of ammunition, such as 9mm and 12-gauge shotshells, would also be banned. The Heller decision does not support such a baseless distinction. Lake City only markets ammunition to commercial customers that is legal to manufacture, adhering to all requirements set by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“Ceasing commercial operations at Lake City would severely impact our communities and economy. It would lead to an estimated loss of 500–700 jobs or 30%–45% of the skilled workforce currently employed at Lake City, in addition to numerous jobs throughout the supply chain. The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, covering 3,935 acres in Missouri, is the largest small arms ammunition producer in the nation, manufacturing over one billion rounds of ammunition annually and providing jobs for approximately 1,700 workers.

“Do not be misled. The individuals spearheading this initiative are not genuinely concerned with public safety but are part of a broader, constitutionally questionable agenda aimed at terminating commercial ammunition sales to undermine the Second Amendment. Gun control advocates seek to criminalize the production of ammunition while often opposing the prosecution of criminals who use firearms. The focus should be on penalizing perpetrators of gun violence, not the manufacturers of firearms and ammunition. At a time when crime is rampant and mass shootings are increasing, law-abiding citizens require the means to defend themselves with effective weaponry.”

The attorneys general concluded, “We are living in unstable times. Our nation should be preparing to confront foreign adversaries rather than dismantling the Second Amendment and debilitating the firearm and ammunition market. We must be ready to escalate production at a moment’s notice to supply our military and international allies with the essential ammunition for protection both domestically and abroad. Lake City is crucial to the past, present, and future of the U.S. Military and its preparedness. Instead of pushing Lake City out of business, we should be expressing our gratitude for its contribution to arming our military.

“We strongly recommend against complying with the Democratic attorneys general’s request to investigate Lake City. There are no allegations of misconduct that would warrant imposing such unreasonable restrictions on Lake City or any other firearm, parts, or ammunition manufacturer. Should this approach persist, we are prepared to take any necessary actions to protect our citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”

The coalition, which included every Republican attorney general, was led by Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, and Montana.

The letter is available for reading by clicking or tapping here.

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