Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ammo Shortages And Serialized Bullets

  Most of you probably haven't heard about the scheme to serialize ammunition, and require background checks for its purchase. The idea has been floating around for a few years, and some politician will express an interest in it every few moths. Luckily it hasn't gained any traction thus far, but in today's environment it's likely that we'll hear about it again.
  Ammunition accountability is one of those feel good proposals that is raised after every mass shooting. The plan is to serialize each individual bullet and casing with a unique serial number. Ammunition buyers would fill out paperwork, and have a background check done whenever they buy ammo. This would be much like a gun purchase from a firearms dealer.

  Naturally there's quite a few problems with this idea. The first one is the current shortage of most ammunition. The manufacturers are producing every round that they possibly can, and most of us are still unable to find ammo. The major manufacturers have stated that it would take them a week to produce the same amount of ammunition as they do in a day if they were required to serialize bullets. You can imagine what this would do to the supply and price.
  I suspect that the current ammo drought would look like a time of plenty if ammunition accountability became the law of the land.
  It's a given that ammo prices would greatly increase. One has to wonder if this program is merely a means to price some people out of the shooting sports, and self defense. I find it amusing that any new law regarding abortion or voter ID's is an attack on that right, yet new gun regulations that make firearms ownership more difficult is, "Common Sense Gun Control."

  Then there's the paperwork. Background checks for gun sales can take minutes or days at this time. This is largely due to the increased demand driven by panic buying, and the potential for bans. Regardless of the reason, we're seeing background checks take longer because so many are buying firearms.
  Now imagine that every ammo purchase required a background check. Most of us only buy a gun or two per year. Many only buy a couple of firearms in their lifetime.
  Everyone buys ammo though. Some purchase thousands of rounds per year if they're regular shooters. Hunters, target shooters, those taking training, and those seeking to defend themselves would all have to go through the system. It wouldn't matter if you're buying a single box or a 1,000 rnds. You would be required to go through the same firearms purchase system for every box of ammunition that's bought.
  There would be extremely long waits at the ammo counter. That's a given.  It usually takes about 20 minutes for my 4473 to be filled out and checked over (before it's ran) when I buy a gun. I can only imagine how long the wait would be at Walmart when everyone has to wait on background checks when purchasing a few boxes of ammo. I'm picturing the lines at Disneyworld when thinking about this.
  Suppose the budget is cut for the offices that do these investigations. This happened in my state (VA) several years ago when we had an anti gun governor. The system backed up as waits for approval took half of a day. Again, this was just for gun sales. Imagine the backlog if every box of ammo required a check and no new funding was implemented.

  Ammo serialization is registration. There's no other way to say it, and those defending the scheme cannot pretend that's not the intention. In order for the program to work, all of the ammo purchase forms must be turned over to the government. They must have the information to match the purchaser with the bullet or casing recovered at a crime scene.
  The issue that most of us have is that the government will now know what caliber of firearms you have, and how much ammo you buy per year. This is a bit intrusive. I buy ammunition for the entire family as shooting is our thing. I also buy it for the new shooters that I take to the range (they reimburse me). It's not hard to see that someone like myself would end up being flagged in the system.

  Then there is the effectiveness of the serialization scheme. Ammunition would be made and sold on the black market just like every other illegal material. Reloaded ammo would be available to the career criminals that always plague our society. The bullets would no doubt come from their own molds and the cases from the floor of the closest range. As the serial numbers on recovered cases would be in the system, we'd see innocent people have their doors kicked in by the police.
  So how hard is reloading? Not at all. Remember that we have high school dropouts creating meth labs in their homes. Only a fool would believe that reloading would be beyond their skills. Just as there is a black market for drugs, there would be a pipeline for powder and primers in the criminal world.

  Let's talk about reloading. Ammo serialization would essentially make reloading illegal. Once again we would see law abiding citizens punished for the crimes of others.

  Online ammo sales would also be illegal. This would do a couple of things. Naturally it would make ammunition more scarce. The lines and inconvenience at the local gun stores and/or Walmart would be massive, and convince some retailers  not to sell ammo.
 There would also be added costs for the manpower involved in a store having to run checks on bullet sales. This would be prohibitive for many businesses unless they greatly raised their prices.
  We'd see most of those that sell ammunition dropping this product.

  BTW, did I mention that there's literally billions of rounds of ammo already in the hands of American citizens? Have I stated that it will last for decades if stored at room temperature?

   A lot of people haven't heard of Ammunition Accountability. That will change. None of these gun control schemes ever go away. They're recycled every few years under a different name or by some new politician. The articles below are a couple of years old, but the information is still relevant. We'll see this program surface again, and gun owners should remain wary.

  Ammo accountability is just another backdoor method of registration, and a means to inconvenience people into not buying firearms and ammo. You could actually say that it's a way to strip a civil right from citizens under the guise of crime control.

  Am I really concerned about this program today? Not really. The anti gunners have plenty of other schemes that they're trying to pass. We should concentrate on opposing them but still remain vigilant for new feel good laws like Ammunition Accountability.

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