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Alarms being raised over new government ammo buys

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Newsmax is reporting today that alarms are being raised about a new surge of government ammunition buying, and a Bellevue-based gun rights advocate is among those keeping a close eye on these purchases.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, told Newsmax that “a highly unusual amount of ammunition (is) being bought by the federal agencies over a fairly short period of time.” The U.S. Postal Service is reportedly soliciting for 1.5 million rounds, while the State Department has a Friday deadline for a separate ammunition purchase.

Whether this could spark a new run on retail ammunition remains to be seen, but gun stores are just beginning to recover from a rush that erupted last year over fears of new gun control laws. Sporting goods stores still have some trouble getting some types of ammunition, but supplies have improved over the past several weeks, Examiner has learned.

It is the sort of news that can ignite conspiracy theories, especially in the wake of recent events such as the Bundy Ranch confrontation in southern Nevada, and reports that as many as a million gun owners in New York could be in defiance of the SAFE Act deadline today. Forbes contributor Frank Miniter wrote Sunday that legions of Empire State gun owners appear ready to ignore today’s deadline for compliance with last year’s hastily-passed Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.

Violators could face a “Class A misdemeanor” charge that might land them in jail, the Forbes article noted. Many gun owners in Connecticut also appear to have ignored their state’s Dec. 31 compliance deadline, which also puts them in legal jeopardy.

All of this is happening just four days before the anniversary of the first failed attempt at government gun control on American soil. This Saturday, April 19, marks the 239th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord; a date traditionally observed as the start of the American Revolution. On that day, troops under the command of British General Thomas Gage, marched on the two Massachusetts villages to seize arms and ammunition from the local militias.

Today is also the deadline for filing income taxes with the embattled Internal Revenue Service. That agency is under increased scrutiny for allegedly targeting conservative groups.

As for the ammunition purchases, Gottlieb is hardly out of the mainstream, wondering about government ammo procurements. A major flap erupted last year over bid requests for tens of millions of rounds of ammunition, which resulted in the aforementioned rush that left many gun store shelves bare.

It appears much of that was simply the law of supply and demand at work. Ammunition manufacturers, despite running two or three shifts seven days a week simply could not keep up with the demand. It drove prices up, and in many cases, stores put limits on the amount of ammunition one person could purchase.

However, many gun owners are wondering why government agencies all seem to be bidding for and buying ammunition in the same general time frame.

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