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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Georgia Arms

 Q: Did the Obama administration shut down a Georgia ammunition supplier? Is it trying to create an ammo shortage?

A: Georgia Arms still is doing a booming business in reloaded military cartridges. The Pentagon quickly reversed a move to stop selling spent casings.


I received this from a friend who thinks Obama is out to destroy America. Can you confirm the below statements.

Finally….the "back-door-attack" is exposed…"TAKE NOTICE AND ACT ACCORDINGLY…!"

Georgia Arms is the 5th largest retailer of .223 Ammo in America . They sell 9mm, .45, ..223 ammunition. They normally buy spent brass from the US Department of Defense. Spent brass is "one time used" shell cases used by our Military for training purposes.

They buy the brass, recondition it, and then reload the brass for resale to Law Enforcement, Gun Clubs, Gun Shops, and stores like Wal-Mart. They normally buy 30,000 lbs of spent brass at a time.

This week the DoD wrote a letter to the owner of Georgia Arms and informed him that from now on the DoD will be destroying the spent brass, shredding it. It will no longer be available to the ammo makers, unless they buy it in a scrap shredded condition (which they have no use for). The shredded brass i s now going to be sold by the DoD to China as scrap metal, after the DoD pays for it to be shredded. The DoD is selling the brass to China for less money than the ammo makers have been paying, plus the DoD has to pay to have the brass shredded and do the accounting paperwork.

This sure helps the economy now doesn’t it? Sell cheaper to China , and do not sell at all to a proven US business. Any hidden agenda working here? Obama going after the Firearms Industry and our ammunition!!

The Georgia Arms owner even related a story that one of his competitors had already purchased a load of brass last week. The DoD contacted him this week and said they were sending someone over to make sure it was destroyed. Shell cases he had already bought!

The brass has no value to the ammo maker if it is destroyed/shredded/melted. The ammo manufacturer only uses the empty brass cases to reload different calibers, mainly .223 bullets.

The owner of Georgia Arms says that he will have to lay off at least half of his 60 workers, within 2-3 months if the DoD will no longer sell spent brass cases to the industry. Georgia Arms has 2-3 months of inventory to use, by summer they’re out.

If the Reloading Industry has to purchase new manufacture brass cases, then the cost of ammunition will double or even triple, plus Obama want to add a 500% tax on each shell.

You can read the information and see the DoD letter to Georgia Arms here:
The Shootist Site


If you’re not outraged at what this administration is doing you should be! Be Afraid! Be Very Very Afraid! Get involved! It’s Your Freedom and Our Country They’re Stealing! If You Fail to Act Now, there may not be a Free United States tomorrow!

I implore you to get involved and forward this to as many people you can. Contact your legislators and put them on notice, We’re fed up with what’s going on! This is a call to action. Act now while you still can, or stay silent, roll over, and watch our country die!


Call this one a "zombie" e-mail: Whatever truth it once contained died quickly, but still it lurches on.

And on, and on. 

NRA: "Theories and Rumors" Put To Rest

We’ll leave it to readers to judge whether the Obama administration was ever "stealing" the country, whether there was any chance that "there may not be a Free United States tomorrow!" or whether gun owners would "watch our country die!" if they remained silent. Those are opinions with which people are free to agree or not. But even the National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist says the Pentagon’s fast reaction to the situation described in this message "put to rest various theories and rumors that were circulated on the internet."

Or, it should have put them to rest. But we keep getting copies of this zombie message forwarded to us by readers who are unaware that the situation it describes was resolved – weeks ago – almost as quickly as the Pentagon received the first complaints.

What Really Happened

Here are the facts about what happened.

March 12: Georgia Arms, a major supplier of reloaded military small-arms cartridges located in Villa Rica, Ga., is notified that it can no longer obtain empty brass casings from the military because of a new policy. All small-arms casings must be mutilated before sale, preventing their reuse in reloaded cartridges.

March 15: Small-arms columnist Gordon Hutchinson raises an alarm in his blog "The Shootist." The item is headlined "DOD Ends Sale of Expended Military Brass to Remanufacturers. " He speculates that "the new administration" is making "an end-run around Congress" by trying to choke off ammunition supplies. "All they have to do is limit the amount of ammunition available to the civilian market, and when bullets dry up, guns will be useless." He urges readers to contact their House and Senate representatives.

March 17: Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Montana Democrats, write a letter to the Defense Logistics Agency (the procurement arm of the Pentagon) asking that the new policy against brass sales be reversed. They say "the destruction of fired brass is unwarranted" and a burden on gun owners and small businesses that sell reloaded cartridges. "[R]eloading brass is [a] part of our outdoor heritage," they write.

March 17, 4:30 p.m.: Georgia Arms is notified that the policy has been reversed and their supply of spent cartridge casings has been restored. The company later posts an announcement to customers on its Web site:

Due to the diligent and overwhelming effort of many thousands of you, calling, writing, and emailing our elected officials, DOD Surplus, LLC, has rescinded its prior directive that ALL small arms spent casings be mutilated rather than recycled. … (Below is a copy of the email we received from DOD on 3/17/09 @ 4:30pm)

March 18: The National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, posts a statement saying that the policy had been reversed and adding: "[W]e were assured from the beginning that efforts were underway to resolve the issue favorably." He said that no empty cartridges had actually been destroyed during the brief time that the policy had been in effect.

Meanwhile, a Defense Logistics Agency official writes a letter to Sen. Baucus, and another to Sen. Tester, stating that the policy had been reversed.

March 19: The conservative Web site Newsmax reports the reversal.

Why It Happened

What emerges from the DLA’s letters and the accounts of the NRA’s lobbyist and the Newsmax reporter is that the policy had originated with an order the previous year (during the Bush administration) from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to prohibit the sale of uniquely military items controlled by the Department of State through its munitions list. This order eventually worked its way down to the DLA’s Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, the department responsible for selling military surplus items. DRMS found that small arms cartridge cases were listed as "sensitive" munitions items, according to the DLA letters, and thus sales of empty cases were halted.

Cox, the NRA’s lobbyist, said the DLA’s explanation "put to rest various theories and rumors that were circulated on the internet, concerning the reason for the suspension." He said the sales had been stopped "in the interest of national security." Newsmax’s reporter said the order was intended "to keep sensitive military hardware from making it into the hands of liquidators and, potentially, the enemy."

An Undead Theory

But those facts haven’t buried the zombie claims that the Obama administration is trying to eliminate the supply of reloaded military small-arms ammunition. We keep getting those messages. The most recent carries the subject line: "Why Ammo is Scarce."

Ammo may well be scarce: Georgia Arms warns buyers on its Web site that shipping times are delayed five to seven weeks. But the reason isn’t any Obama administration move to shut down reloaders. Georgia Arms states that it is "due to a huge increase in demand."

And it’s logical to think that surge in demand is coming from gun owners who are needlessly concerned by groundless but undead claims like this one.

-Brooks Jackson


Cox, Chris W. "Military Surplus Cartridge Case Issue Resolved." National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. 18 Mar 2009.

Gonsalves, Chris. "Feds Lift Rule That Threatened Ammo Shortages." Newsmax. 19 Mar 2009.

Johnson, Tonya. "Small Arms Cartridge Case Policy Revised." Defense Logistics Agency. 20 Mar 2009.