Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Ammo Shortage" Due to War? Not Likely

AP reported that there is an "ammo shortage" which is affecting police departments nationally.

Naturally, it's Bush's fault:

Troops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages hitting police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol.

Of course, that's not really true; the Confederat Yankee did some digging and his comments are re-posted here (quotations from others are in italics.)

There are a couple of factors here which (shock!) AP did not consider.

In the aftermath of the [February 1997] shootout, the LAPD, followed by police departments large and small nationwide, began to feel that rank-and-file patrol officers should be armed with semi-automatic or fully-automatic assault rifles or submachine guns in addition to their traditional sidearms, anticipating an up-tick of heavily armed and armored subjects. The trend has failed to materialize more than a decade later.

So the various locals have "up-armed" heavily, anticipating what has not happened. Naturally, the locals have to purchase .223 rounds for practice, however.

ATK operates ammo plants for civilian and military rounds. They are completely separate entities (the military plant manufactures 1.5Bn rounds/year, about .5Bn more than the US military absorbs.)

The civilian plants? Says an ATK spokesman:

Since 9/11 we've seen a huge jump in demand from law enforcement. In the last fiscal year alone we saw demand from law enforcement jump 40%. By running our civil plants 24/7, hiring hundreds of new employees and streamlining our manufacturing processes we were able to increase our deliveries to law enforcement by 30% in that same period. In addition, we've just announced we'll be investing another $5 million in new production lines at our civil ammunition facilities.

So the locals are buying ammo like it's going out of style--which creates an 'ammo shortage' for the locals. It is NOT the Iraq War. It is NOT Afghanistan. It is NOT military training.

According to two spokesmen for the world's largest ammunition manufacturer, which runs the military's ammunition manufacturing plant and separately, is a major supplier of law enforcement ammunition, it is a massive and unexpected increase in law enforcement ammunition demand that is causing delays in law enforcement ammunition delays, not the war.

And, of course, the locals are USING those AR's. A few years ago, while driving on a major E-W road in the western 'burbs, I was startled to see 6 locals with AR's at the ready--they had pulled over a vehicle after reports of an armed burglary attempt in the area.

And 'startled' is a mild term for my reaction. ARs are extremely powerful weapons.

HT: Confederate Yankee

More on this story, including the bleating from the Milwaukee PD, at Random10

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