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Rep. Brad Ellsworth Introduces Amendment to Address Resale of Once-Fired Small Arms Cartridge Cases

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fairfax, Va. – Today, by a unanimous voice vote, an NRA-backed amendment was added to the House Armed Services Committee’s National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5136) that will ensure serviceable and once-fired small arms cartridge cases are available for commercial sale.

The Ellsworth amendment, offered by U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), compels military bases to sell small arms ammunition and ammunition components intact – meaning not demilitarized for scrap – as long as these items aren’t “unserviceable or unsafe.”

“This brings us one step closer to a significant victory for law-abiding sportsmen, especially during these trying economic times. Reloaded ammunition costs considerably less, and military-sourced spent brass cases are of the calibers most widely used for marksmanship training and competition by civilians,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “Also, with widespread ammunition shortages, the passage of this amendment will be well received by NRA members, gun owners and ammunition suppliers.”

Last year a bureaucratic glitch led to the Department of Defense temporarily suspending sales of once-fired cartridge cases. Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester quickly conveyed to the Defense Logistics Agency their judgment that “the destruction of fired brass is unwarranted and has far reaching implications,” including its “impact on small businesses who sell reloaded ammunition utilizing these fired casings, and upon individual gun owners who purchase spent military brass at considerable cost savings for their personal use.”

Recently, NRA-ILA again recognized a loophole that would prevent the sale of surplus small arms cartridge casings and contacted Senators Baucus and Tester to request further review and to determine the best way to assure continued availability to Americans who buy the cases for resale and reloading. Jointly, Senators Baucus and Tester determined that further steps should be taken “to ensure that all interested buyers have the opportunity to purchased once-fired small arms cartridge cases.”

“Serviceable and safe military spent brass cases should be made available for commercial sale, because these cases are reloaded and developed for civilian use, and are a revenue source for military bases,” concluded Cox. “I’d like to thank Brad Ellsworth for his leadership to find a permanent solution to this issue, and I am also grateful for the efforts of amendment cosponsors Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Gabrielle Giffords  (D-Ariz.), Duncan Hunter  (R-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) and Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.).”

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  Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group.  Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime.  The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.