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AG Nessel Joins Multistate Coalition to Stop Domestic Consumer Sales of Military-Grade Ammunition Used in Mass Shootings

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a multistate coalition of 20 attorneys general calling on the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to investigate recent reports that a federally funded contractor has produced military-grade ammunition for sale to civilians, including to perpetrators of horrific mass shootings. The coalition sent a letter asking the Office to investigate the contracting processes that led to military-subsidized ammunition manufactured in a facility overseen by the U.S. Army, Lake City Army Ammunition Plant to be sold on the civilian market, and asked the Office to ensure that future military production contracts prohibit the sale of military-subsidized weapons and ammunition to civilians.

“I stand firmly with my colleagues in asking the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to investigate the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant’s contracting and manufacturing practices to better protect our neighborhoods, our places of worship, and our schools from the scourge of gun violence,” said Nessel.  “Ammunition manufactured for military combat cannot be diverted to fuel terror in our communities.  The people of this nation, especially those whose lives have been shattered by mass shootings, should not be subsidizing with their tax dollars the ammunition used against them in acts of domestic terror.”

Lake City is a manufacturing facility in Independence, MO operated by a private contractor and overseen by the U.S. Army. It is one of the country’s largest manufacturers of military ammunition, able to produce some 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition per year, much of it for use in AR-15-style rifles. Its commercial operations have sold billions of rounds onto the civilian market and recent reporting from the New York Times has shown its products have been used in recent mass shootings and other crimes. 

The coalition of attorneys general notes that Lake City rounds have become the “ammunition of choice” for use in mass shootings, citing shootings at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York; Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, as recent examples where Lake City rounds were used. The Buffalo mass shooter even praised Lake City ammunition as “the best barrier penetration ammo I can get.”

The federal government has invested over $860 million to improve production at Lake City, meaning taxpayer funds are subsidizing the production of these dangerous rounds sold to civilians. The coalition is calling on the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention to investigate the contracting and manufacturing practices that led to military-grade and military-subsidized rounds being sold to civilians, issue a public report with recommendations about how to keep military ammunition out of civilian hands, and take steps over the long term to ensure that future production contracts prohibit the sale of military weapons and ammunition to civilians.

Joining AG Nessel in sending the letter to the White House are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. 


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