A large number of House Republicans have formally spoken out against reports of the White House considering a ban on specific types of gun ammunition.
Last week, the Washington Examiner reported the Biden administration had apparently informed Winchester Ammunition it was "considering restricting the manufacturing and commercial sale of legal ammunition produced at the Lake City, Mo., facility," citing a source familiar with the correspondence.
Approximately 50 Republicans signed a letter Monday to President Joe Biden, urging the White House to reconsider the speculated proposal, which could potentially curtail 400-500 jobs affiliated with Winchester Ammunition.
"Having the ability to produce this product for commercial sale allows the operating contractor to maintain capacity and keep the facility at a high state of readiness, at no cost to the government," the letter read. "This ensures the Army is ready to ramp up production in the event of a national emergency.
"Not only will this decision have significant negative consequences for the workforce at the facility, but it will compromise Army readiness by further delaying the deployment of the Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW)."
Citing a different passage from the letter, House Republicans likened an ammunition ban to a de facto prohibition of rifles.
"Additionally, the decision will exacerbate an already serious shortage of ammunition in the commercial market currently facing law-abiding gun owners," the letter explains.
"Severely limiting the commercially available 5.56 mm ammunition, which is most popularly used in modern sporting rifles (MSRs), is effectively a politically sanctioned semi-automatic rifle ban. This blatantly infringes on the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution by limiting law-abiding gun owners' ability to legally purchase or use lawful semi-automatic rifles."
Currently, Winchester Ammunition is licensed for selling surplus ammunition on the civilian market, after meeting the military's needs.
However, Mark Oliva, an NSSF spokesman, warns changing the ammo policy would "significantly reduce the availability of ammunition in the marketplace and put the nation's warfighting readiness at risk. Both NSSF [National Shooting Sports Foundation] and Winchester strongly oppose this action."
Recently, a bipartisan group of senators announced a "framework" legislation deal for imposing additional restrictions on guns.
But the final details have seemingly reached a snag, putting the overall agreement in jeopardy.
The new provisions would reportedly cover:
- State crisis intervention orders
- School safety resources
- Mental health and suicide prevention programs
- Enhanced review process for gun buyers aged 20 and younger
- Penalties for straw purchasing
- Red flag provisions
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