I listened to Tom Gresham's Gun Talk show via podcast this afternoon. The second hour he had Gordon Hutchison, author of The Great New Orleans Gun Grab, on to discuss the subject, and Tom also got Larry Haynie, owner of Georgia Arms on the phone, since this whole thing apparently started with him. Haynie reported that he had bid on and won an auction for 30,000 lbs of brass, mostly 5.56, with some 7.62 and .50BMG. He had sent his check, and was making arrangements to ship the brass late last week when he received notification that new DOD rules were in effect and that the brass had to be destroyed rather than reloaded. He immediately sent out emails to all and sundry, and Gordon Hutchinson was on his email list. After the show on Sunday, Gordon posted an extensive piece. Quoting:
From now on, remanufacturers of military brass will not be able to buy surplus brass from DOD--actually from Government Liquidators, llc.--the corporation that sells surplus materials for the U.S. government. At least, not in any form recognizable as once-fired brass ammunition.Actually, during the conversation Haynie stated that Georgia Arms loads approximately 1.2 million rounds of just .223 a month, and has about three months worth of inventory left before he will have to start laying people off.
Now all brass ammunition will have to be shredded, and sold as scrap.
Georgia Arms, who brought this to our attention, is the 5th largest ammunition manufacturer of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition in the U.S.
"We're right up there behind Hornady," Larry Haynie told me.
He also told me with the cancellation of his contract to purchase this brass, and the ending of his ability to purchase any more expended military ammunition, he will have to severely curtail his operation--laying off approximately half his 60-person work force.
Haynie further pointed out this move is a stupendous waste of taxpayer money--reducing the worth of the brass some 80%--from casings, to shredded bulk brass.
He stated most of this will now go to foundries where it will be melted down, cast in shippable forms, and likely be sold to China, one of the largest purchasers of U.S. metals on the open market.
Haynie was manufacturing over 1 million rounds of .223 ammunition every month, which he sold on the civilian market to resellers, and to law enforcement agencies across the country.
He will start tomorrow sending cancellations of orders for .223 to law enforcement agencies all over the country.
I recommend you read the whole piece.
And write your Congresscritters.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: 3/17 - It's over. We won. Georgia Arms now has this message up on their homepage:
Dear Loyal Customers,Damn! That was quick! Good for us!
Thanks to your voice, DOD has rescinded the order to mutilate all spent cases as of 4:30 pm on 3/17/09. We appreciate the time and effort that you expended, together we all made a difference. We will be posting the email we received from DOD as well as any additional information within the next 12-16 hours. Thanks so much and lets get to work!!!