Okla. lawmakers' Ammo Act targets government ammunition 'stockpiling'

Two Republican lawmakers from Oklahoma want to protect the public's supply of ammunition from being hoarded by the federal government.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma introduced legislation Friday that seeks to limit the amount of ammunition the government can purchase.

The goal of the "Ammunition Management for More Obtainability Act" (AMMO Act) is to provide "transparency and accountability of federal agencies’ ammunition supply while also protecting law-abiding citizens access to these resources."

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The blog Think Progress reported that the bill is a response to "far-right conspiracy theories" that claim the government is "stockpiling" ammunition, possibly to "wage a war against the American people" or buy up all the ammunition so that citizens can't buy any more bullets.

The proposed legislation by the two Republican lawmakers — which still has to come before the House and the Senate for a vote — would require that the Government Accountability Office conduct a report on how much ammunition is being bought by federal agencies — except the Department of Defense — and what effect the purchases would have on the supply of ammunition available to the public.

In a statement, Inhofe and Lucas took aim at President Barack Obama's efforts to pass gun control laws.

"President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans' access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights," the duo said. "One way the Obama administration is able to do this is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition."

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Inhofe and Lucas said that they found out at a House committee hearing that the Department of Homeland Security has "two years' worth of ammo on hand and allots nearly 1,000 more rounds of ammunition for DHS officers than used on average by our Army officers."

Think Progress reports that Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., had brought up the "stockpiling" conspiracy in a hearing about the DHS budget with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano on April 18, who said it was “inherently unbelievable that those statements would be made.”

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