Following Committee Briefing with Army Officials, Ranking Members Raskin and Garcia Press for Information on Ammunition Produced on Government Property for Commercial Sale
Washington, D.C. (February 8, 2024)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and Rep. Robert Garcia, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, requested documents and information from the U.S. Army related to its contract with Olin Winchester, one of the nation’s largest ammunition manufacturers, to manage the operations of the government-owned Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri.
“Information provided to the Committee by senior Army officials reveals that the Army is subsidizing production of commercial ammunition produced on government property with limited oversight mechanisms, such as tracking the use of ammunition manufactured at the Lake City plant in mass shootings and sales to foreign commercial customers,” wrote the Ranking Members. “As a result of the pervasive devastation of the gun violence epidemic on American communities, and with more than 46,000 firearm deaths and 656 mass shootings in 2023, the role of the Army in supporting the commercial ammunition industry must be evaluated.”
Following reports that the Lake City plant has manufactured billions of rounds of AR-15 style ammunition for domestic and international customers on the commercial market, including ammunition used in deadly mass shootings, Oversight Democrats requested and received a bipartisan briefing with senior Army officials on December 19, 2023.
At the briefing, the officials confirmed the Army has limited oversight of commercial operations at the Lake City plant. The Army officials also acknowledged that Olin Winchester is required to maintain the plant so it could support the Army’s surge capacity of 1.6 billion rounds, but the Army purchases only an average of 535 million rounds of ammunition per year. In addition, the Army admitted that that it does not track who acquires the commercially-sold ammunition produced at the Lake City plant.
The Ranking Members’ letter requests that the Army provide all documents and information related to its role in supporting the commercial ammunition industry no later than February 22, 2024.
Click here to read the letter.