Graves, 49 colleagues urge Biden against banning commercial ammo production at Missouri plant

The United States Army is reportedly considering a ban on the commercial production of certain types of 5.56mm caliber ammunition produced by the government-owned, contractor-operated Lake City Army Ammunition Plant and U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) and 49 of his Republican colleagues aren’t happy about it.

“This is the second time President Biden has tried to force devastating layoffs at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in the last two years,” Rep. Graves said on Monday. “This underhanded attack on the highly skilled union workers of Lake City is disgraceful, it threatens to severely degrade our ability to produce ammunition for our military, and it undermines the right of law-abiding Americans to fully exercise their Second Amendment rights. This has to stop.”

Specifically, the decision would negatively impact the workforce at the Independence, Mo.-based facility and compromise Army readiness by further delaying the deployment of the Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon, according to a June 20 letter that Rep. Graves and his colleagues sent to President Joe Biden.

“This decision will result in the immediate termination of up to 500 highly skilled employees and undermine the facility’s ability to hire and retain the skilled workforce needed to carry out the contract with the Department of Defense,” wrote the lawmakers. 

Additionally, the decision would exacerbate an already serious shortage of ammunition in the commercial market currently facing law-abiding gun owners, according to Rep. Graves and the GOP members.

“Severely limiting the commercially available 5.56mm ammunition, which is most popularly used in modern sporting rifles, is effectively a politically sanctioned semi-automatic rifle ban,” they wrote. “This blatantly infringes on the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution by limiting law-abiding gun owners’ ability to legally purchase or use lawful semi-automatic rifles.” 

The members urged Biden to immediately end consideration of such a decision, which they called “a backdoor attempt” to bypass Congress and ban legal commercial ammunition and certain semi-automatic rifles.