FIRST ON FOX – Every republican attorney general in the country blasted their Democrat counterparts for attempting to shutter an ammunition factory in Missouri, a letter sent to the White House Wednesday revealed.
In a letter obtained exclusively by Fox News Digital, all 28 GOP attorneys general asked President Biden and White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention director Stefanie Feldman to disregard their Democrat colleagues’ request to end commercial sales from Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, one of the country’s largest ammo manufacturers.
Democrats had previously asked the administration to investigate the contracting and manufacturing practices of the plant after a New York Times report alleged that “military-grade rounds” were sold commercially and were connected to mass shootings.
But the Republicans say the Democrats’ letter contained a “litany of errors.” “Perhaps those States should focus more on prosecuting crime to stop mass shootings—rather than trying to stop lawful Americans’ use of guns and ammunition. Their tactic is an overt attempt to punish Americans’ exercise of their Second Amendment rights,” they wrote.
Among the list of “errors” the GOP AGs point out that their Democrat colleages allege that ammunition manufactured for “military use” does not belong in communities.
“First, the ammunition manufactured at Lake City and sold into the commercial market is not the primary rifle cartridge used by the United States military. The primary cartridge is proprietary to the Army and may not be sold commercially,” the AGs note.
“Second, while the United States military purchases and uses a particular type of ammunition, that is not determinative as to whether it is “military ammunition” that should be banned for public use,” they write.
“If the United States military using ammunition precluded that ammunition’s use by civilians, then other widely and commonly available ammunition, including 9mm and 12-gauge shotshells, would also be prohibited for public use,” they argued, adding that Supreme Court precedent “does not support such an openly artificial distinction.”
According to the state’s top prosecutors, Lake City only sells ammunition to commercial customers that is legal to manufacture, and it complies with all the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) requirements.
The AGs argued that the Democrats’ efforts would undermine national security. “Gun control advocates are firing blanks when they contend that taxpayers are subsidizing mass shooters. They get causality backward. The law-abiding target shooters and gun owners who buy Lake City ammunition are subsidizing national defense and military readiness,” they argue.
They note that the Defense Department “sought to avoid a situation when the military needs surge due to a real-world conflict, ammunition is not readily available,” adding that ammunition availability requires facilities, production equipment, a skilled workforce, and supply chains to remain in constant operation.
“Machines and production cannot be turned on like the flip of a switch. It takes time to hire and train the highly skilled workers needed to operate production lines to manufacture the highest quality ammunition for U.S. warfighters. Commercial production has allowed Lake City, and its suppliers, to maintain steady labor, maximize equipment run time, ensure a stable supply base, and provide a level of readiness to the U.S. military that would not otherwise be available,” they added.
The attorneys general also said that Lake City cannot halt commercial use without a “detrimental loss” to their communities and economy. If it stopped, the AGs allege it would result in an estimated loss of 500–700 jobs or 30%–45% of the skilled workforce now employed at Lake City and “countless more” throughout the supply chain.
“Do not be fooled. The anti-gun radicals leading this effort are not honest brokers interested in public safety,” they said. “Gun control advocates want to criminalize making ammunition even while many push back against prosecuting criminals that fire weapons.”
“Perpetrators of gun violence should be punished—not the firearm and ammunition manufacturers,” they said.
Montana Attorney General Austen Knudsen in a statement to Fox News Digital called the investigation by the New York Times “highly questionable” and, their latest effort to shut down the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant is based on a highly questionable ‘investigation’ by the New York Times.”
Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird charged that “if the Biden Administration and anti-gun activists were serious about saving lives, they would start by enforcing the laws on the books to combat violent criminals.”
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey echoed those sentiments, adding that “Lake City Ammunition did nothing wrong.”
“We should be focused on the free flow of illegal weapons coming across our border – not taking aim at law-abiding patriots,” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said, adding that the border crisis “is exactly why law-abiding citizens need the liberty to defend themselves.”