Twenty Democratic Attorneys General Call on White House to Take Action Against Ammunition Manufacturer

Nineteen Democratic-led states, along with the District of Columbia, are calling on the White House to intensify its scrutiny of an ammunition manufacturer. Led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, the group penned a letter to the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention expressing concerns about the widespread sale of military-grade ammunition from the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in the commercial market.

The letter, citing instances like school shootings and the Buffalo supermarket incident, urges the Office to investigate and prevent such ammunition from reaching civilian hands. Notably, it emphasizes that the bullets used in the Buffalo incident were subsidized by American taxpayers, with the federal government investing over $860 million to boost production. The 5.56-millimeter rounds in question are commonly used in AR-15 rifles, a firearm owned by one in twenty Americans, according to the Firearm Industry Trade Association (NSSF).

“Compounding the horror, the bullets used in this [Buffalo supermarket] violence were subsidized by American taxpayers, as the federal government has apparently invested more than $860 million to improve production,” the letter stated.

Operated by Winchester Ammunition on behalf of the U.S. government, the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant has been associated with mass shootings, prompting Democrats to advocate for heightened oversight on ammunition sales.

The letter calls on the White House to scrutinize contracting and manufacturing practices that facilitated the sale of military-grade rounds. It further urges the issuance of a public report containing recommendations to prevent the diversion of such ammunition into civilian hands. Additionally, the letter calls for future production contracts to explicitly prohibit the sale of military weapons and ammunition to civilians.

“In the short term, we ask your Office to investigate the contracting and manufacturing practices that led to so many billions of military-grade rounds being sold into our communities, and to issue a public report with recommendations about how to end the diversion of military ammunition into civilian hands,” the letter continues. “In the long term, we ask the White House to ensure that future production contracts prohibit the sale of military weapons and ammunition to civilians.”

The states supporting the letter encompass Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

This initiative coincides with continuing legal disputes over a California law that prohibits firearms in most public places. A U.S. District Judge had previously blocked the law, deeming it “sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment, and openly defiant of the Supreme Court.”