Republican Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced a bill last week intended to combat an imagined threat to Second Amendment rights. Republicans believe that the Obama administration is buying up high amounts of ammunition in order to limit the number of bullets available to the American public, and this time, even the NRA is calling them out for their deceptive fear mongering.
The proposed legislation would prevent every government agency, except the military, from “buying more ammunition each month, than the monthly average it purchased from 2001 to 2009.”
In the words of Sen. Inhofe, “President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding American’s access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights. 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.”
This conspiracy theory has been spread around on the internet for the past year. In August 2012, the NRA addressed the fabricated threat in an article on their website. The article breaks down the fictional concerns about government acquisition of ammunition in order to deprive the public of access, saying that the concerns “stem from a lack of understanding of the law enforcement functions carried out by officers in small federal agencies,” and calling the rumors “an effort to stir up fear.”
The piece also addresses one of the typical focuses of conspiracy theorists, who claim it is suspicious that the Department of Homeland Security would buy hollow-point bullets:
Perhaps most strangely, some have cited the purchase of hollow-point ammunition as evidence of the federal government’s evil motives. Hollow-points are the defensive ammunition of choice for federal, state and local law enforcement officers across the country, just as they are for private citizens. These attacks are eerily similar to statements made by gun prohibitionists… The attacks also ignore the fact that federal agents, unlike average taxpayers on more limited budgets, normally train and qualify with their duty ammunition.
“As most gun owners will agree, skepticism of government is healthy. But today, there are more than enough actual threats to the Second Amendment to keep gun owners busy… there is no need to invent additional threats to our rights,” the article concludes.
Incidentally, it’s not difficult to figure out why there might be a shortage of ammunition at local retailers, at the same time that an extreme conservative fear mongering campaign is spreading like wildfire, about a shortage of ammunition.
Alisha Mims is a writer and researcher for Ring of Fire.