Ammo & Politics, is There a Concern?
Terry Nelson 03.26.19
It’s not just guns that are at risk today, it’s your ammunition as well. So yes, there is a concern. The liberals and poorly informed politicians are at it again; in fact they have never stopped. The attacks are unrelenting these days. If you haven’t noticed, ammunition is now constantly in the crosshairs of the anti-2nd Amendment crowd.
My suggestion: get informed as to the issues and attempts being made to violate your rights and then get involved. I am constantly amazed at the number of gun people that are not aware of anti-gun/ammo legislation in their own state much less at the federal level. While we enjoy the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, it’s worth noting that the same protection may not include ammunition. Ponder, if you will, the prospect of having firearms sans ammunition.
While many folks are surely prepared when it comes to ammo, I’ll venture a guess that most are not. The question is not just for you, but perhaps generations to come. In my work with civilian students I find it not uncommon for students to worry with finding a couple hundred rounds of handgun or carbine ammo just for training. I would suggest folks lay in a good supply of ammunition they utilize on a regular basis and keep a minimum level. If you shoot 500 rounds this weekend, replace it as quickly as feasible.
The following are some typical ways at gun/ammunition control and how those controls are sometimes packaged. Early recognition of the signs of infringement is key in making the most of your efforts to educate and influence both friends and elected officials. Take heed; no jurisdiction is exempt!
Public Safety: attempts to eliminate 5.56 green tip or other “ballistic tip” ammo because it could penetrate law enforcement body armor. In reality most high-velocity rifle rounds have this capability depending on caliber and the rating of the body armor. It is just another way for politicians to keep up the attack any way possible.
Taxation: taxation on ammo is a never-ending method of control including a current tax on every round of ammunition in states such as California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and of course the recent tax of guns and ammo in Seattle Washington and now Oregon and other states following suit.
Must have your fingerprint on file or show a permit to purchase ammo: continued efforts about these control methods in states such as California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts and others. Such programs have potential as a precursor to a registry of gun owners, the NICS itself is.
Environmental: this claim has been around for decades. In a nutshell, the belief is that lead-based projectiles will poison certain wildlife species and the human race if ingested or physical exposure occurs. The end result is an effort to restrict or eliminate lead-based ammo in certain areas or states. This has been accomplished in some wildlife areas when it comes to hunting. Make no mistake that ingestion of lead can be a toxin and fatal to wildlife, especially birds. But an all-out attempt to ban lead based bullets is not reasonable. California continues to pursue this avenue of control.
Quantity restrictions: already there are restrictions on buying ammo via the internet in some states. In addition, some retailers restrict how much of certain calibers one may purchase at any given time. Recently the Oregon legislature was considering a restriction on ammo purchase to 20 rounds per month. https://www.koin.com/news/oregon/oregon-bill-requires-gun-buy-permits-limits-ammo/1701553864
Import restrictions: talk of import restrictions never goes away, a continuing discussion on limiting or banning importation of foreign made ammo in such highly used cartridges as 7.62×39, 5.45×39 and 7.62x54R.
Non-availability: Ammo manufacturers often limit how frequently they produce certain calibers based on the market demand. While this may not be legislative in nature it is none the less a limitation. This means you better have a good supply of all necessary reloading components if you own a less common caliber. A few that we have personally encountered difficulty in finding factory ammo for are; 218 Bee, 38-40, and 348 Winchester.
So, how much ammo is reasonable to keep and store? Well, it depends on what your primary, secondary, or other uses may be. That of course varies from person to person. Aside from fact that many folks are very accomplished hand loaders requiring a good supply of powder, primers, casings, and bullets in their own right, while many don’t have the time or inclination for hand loading.
Here are some thoughts and reasons to keep building a good supply of ammunition aside from the above mentioned political control efforts;
- Defensive: Store several hundred rounds of good quality handgun, shotgun, and rifle ammo that fits this category. A sub category here would be the battle rifle or fighting carbine, at which point there is no such thing as too much ammo.
- Training: This is where things could get interesting. Shooting well is a perishable skill, though dry fire can take place of live fire to some extent. I shoot on an almost weekly basis, at least with a handgun. That may not be sustainable in tough times. I focus most weekly handgun shooting on 9mm to keep it economical. I like to keep a minimum of 5,000 rounds available. What sounds like a lot can be depleted very fast!
- Bartering: The sky’s the limit. All common calibers and rim fire ammunition is in high demand even now. Imagine over-the-counter availability being gone overnight! In really tough times or during a run on the supply, ammunition will always retain a high trade value. The question is, how much do you need to have for yourself and family versus how much you can afford to sell or use for barter?
- Hunting/Survival: For most big game, I could probably get along for quite some time with a couple hundred rounds. But thinking down the road for many years.. I would like to have 500-1,000 rounds per caliber of any hunting rifle. Small game means shotgun and rim fire, for which the round count could increase exponentially.
- Sport/Competition: If it’s USPSA, IDPA, 3Gun, Trap, Skeet, Silhouette or others, start thinking in the thousands of rounds or even higher for the long term.
- Bartering: The sky’s the limit. All common calibers and rimfire ammunition is in high demand even now. Imagine over-the-counter availability being gone overnight! In really tough times or during a run on the supply, ammunition will always retain a high trade value. The question becomes how much do you need to have for yourself and family versus how much you can afford to sell or use for barter?
It goes without saying that the cost, long term storage, and transportation of ammunition must include planning. Ammunition is heavy! Storage can have its own challenges. Basically, storage should be durable, cool and dry. Military style 30- and 50-caliber ammo cans or the sealed spam cans of ammo make good long-term storage options and assists if moving ammo becomes necessary.
No matter what approach you take, please stay informed and get involved in the political process. Sending emails, calling your congressman and legislators, signing petitions, and contributing to organizations that will take the fight to the highest levels of government are all essential for your voice to be heard.
Times today are very political and therefore unpredictable. Now is the time to plan ahead for your long term ammo needs. After all it’s not just our immediate future but that of generations to come that may be at stake.