The Scoop on Ammunition Accountability
by James Dark
Ever since the invention of the internet by Al Gore, a new phenomenon has come into being, one surely as inevitable as death and taxes: the phenomenon of the constantly circulating e-mails, jokes, pictures and conspiracy theories. It seems that about every six or seven months, usually when people discover the Internet for the first time, they have to forward these things to all their friends, and it just starts the vicious cycle all over again.
Those of us who have been on the Internet since good old Al figured it all out, are getting carpal tunnel syndrome from deleting the emails that we have seen ten thousand times since the mid-1990's.
So I thought I would devote my space in this month's magazine to giving you the straight skinny on one of the new myths circulating, in the hope that you will at least know the complete truth about this one before you circulate it. I am talking about the much ballyhooed Ammunition Accountability Act, which is being touted as President Obama's means of controlling guns through ammunition control.
I have to begin by saying something you have never heard me say and likely never will again. The president is innocent on this one! Pure as the driven snow! Let me tell you the whole story.
By now, everyone on the planet has received this e-mail at least 1,000 times. In case you don't own a computer, here is what it says (typos and all):
Remember how Obama said that he wasn't going to take your guns? Well, it seems that his minions and allies in the anti-gun world have no problem with taking your ammo!
The bill that is being pushed in 18 states (including TN, Illinois and Indiana ) requires all ammunition to be encoded by the manufacture, a data base of all ammunition sales. So they will know how much you buy and what calibers. Nobody can sell any ammunition after June 30, 2009 unless the ammunition is coded.
Any privately held uncoded ammunition must be destroyed by July 1, 2011. (Including handloaded ammo.) They will also charge a .05 cent tax on every round so every box of ammo you buy will go up at least $2.50 or more! If they can deprive you of ammo they do not need to take your gun! Please give this the widest distribution possible and contact your Reps!
It's the ammo, not the guns.... I've said for a long time that they wouldn't go for your guns, they'd go for your ammo... guns have a Constitutional protection. Ammo does not.
Heads up to all of you who swore to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign AND domestic. Let your state Legislatures know that we do not want this bill passed, and petition them to vote no on this bill. We should keep after them until the bill is closed by bombarding them with e-mails, phone calls, and letters.
Get to all your politicians to get to work and NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!!! The 2008 Legislative session has begun, and the Ammunition Accountability Act is being introduced across the country. Below is a list of states where legislation has already been introduced:
Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.
More information can be found at: http://www.ammunitionaccountability.org/Legislation.htm
Oh, where to begin...
Let's start with that website mentioned above. Who owns it?
According to the whois.com registry, it is registered to domains by proxy in Arizona , a firm specializing in hiding the identity of its customers by concealing ownership information of websites. So long as you don't post anything illegal, or openly and obviously libelous, this firm will protect your identity from anyone, short of a subpoena being delivered.
So who runs the domain? The lobbying and political consultant firm of Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, which is employed by a company called Ammunition Coding Systems, runs ammunition accountability.org. ACS was co-founded by Russ Ford and Steve Mace, and coincidentally, I'm sure, owns the patent on the system designed to laser-engrave codes on projectiles and casings, as part of the system being proposed in this legislation.
Recently, Russ Ford appeared on the NRA News with Cam Edwards and endured what had to be an uncomfortable and grueling interview with Edwards over the feasibility of his proposal. He also admitted during the interview that his company's lobbying firm runs ammunitionaccountability.org,
claiming that the relationship is "transparent." I guess my question is why is it registered through domains by proxy if the intent is to be transparent?
Significantly, when asked about the Public policy experts Ammunition Accountability claims support this proposal, Ford was unable to provide a single name. But most of the discussion centered on the manufacturing systems.
Ford admitted that this system is essentially a theory. It has never been tested on any manufacturing process, but he doggedly defended that the technology exists to be able to accomplish that which is required by the legislation: the production of 20 or 50 round boxes of ammunition, with all rounds within a box encoded (on both projectile and casing) with a laser-engraved serial number. One mistake in this process results in a $ 10,000 fine to the manufacturer. There has never been any attempt to test this procedure by inserting it into a current running manufacturing process to evaluate the ability to make all the cogs fall into place in a way that doesn't seriously hamper production.
In a sniveling defense of his proposal, Ford stated that his company had sent out more than 400 letters to ammunition manufacturers asking for their assistance in testing their system, and had received only one letter back, and that was one that was misaddressed. In rebuttal, Cam Edwards stated the quite obvious when he said, "No one is under any obligation to help you out with an idea that they think is stupid!"
The bottom line is that this entire legislative scheme is being pushed by a company that stands to make millions of dollars on royalty income if its insane scheme bears fruit. But so crazy is the scheme that the only hope for its eventual use is the bludgeoning of legislation through the state legislatures.
So far, ACS has managed to get this bill introduced into 18 states. Here is the status of all of the bills:
Alabama Senate Bill 541: It was indefinitely postponed in House of origin. It will not pass and would have to be reintroduced.
Arizona House Bill 2833: It never got heard in any committee. Never voted on. It would have to be reintroduced.
California Senate Bill 997: SB997 has no Info on it, and died in committee. SB1471 passed and is now known as the "Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007." It was authored by Assembly member Mike Feuer (D- Los Angeles ) and was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bill is in regard to handguns and microstamping, not ammunition. It also has no wording in it that would indicate that citizens would need to turn in their guns. It could also be rendered moot depending on the technology. It is not a part of the AAA agenda.
Connecticut Raised Bill 603: The bill was raised and had a public hearing. No action was taken. Bill would need to be re-introduced.
Hawaii House Bill 2392, Hawaii Senate Bill 2020 , Hawaii Senate Bill 2076: All bills were deferred to the judiciary with no further action taken. Bill would need to be reintroduced.
Illinois House Bills 4258, 4259, 4269, 4349. Illinois Senate Bill 1095: All bills referred to Rules Committee. No other actions were taken.
Indiana House Bill 1260: Was sent to committee and not acted on again. It would need to be reintroduced.
Kentucky House Bill 715: Was withdrawn.
Maryland House Bill 517: No copy of the report. It didn't pass. Would need to be reintroduced.
Mississippi Senate Bill 2286: Died in Committee.
Missouri Senate Bill 1200: Referred to Judiciary. Would need to be reintroduced.
New Jersey Assembly Bill 2490: Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. Would need to be reintroduced.
Pennsylvania House Bill: Referred to the Judiciary on Feb. 5, 2008. No other action taken.
Rhode Island Senate Bill 2742: Committee recommended measure be held for further study. It would need to be reintroduced.
South Carolina Senate Bill 1259: Was referred to a subcommittee with no further action taken. Would need to be reintroduced.
Tennessee House Bill 3245, Tennessee Senate Bill 3395: Both were sent to the judiciary committee with no other action taken. Would need to be reintroduced.
Washington House Bill 3359: Was referred to the Judiciary with no other action taken. Would need to be reintroduced.
So as you can see, ACS and its lobbying firm have made little progress. But what I find most interesting in this case is that this proposal is not being forwarded by the "usual suspects." The Obama administration hasn't said a word, and even the Brady Campaign (at least nationally), the Million Mom March, Violence Policy Center and the other usual Second Amendment foes are keeping their distance from this stinker of an idea. Even they can apparently recognize a crackpot when they see one.
Interestingly, Russ Ford claimed in his NRA News interview to be a shooter. He even mentioned that he was going to be paying for part of the cost of this proposal himself. Of course, he failed to mention the fact that he would also profit in the millions from every other of the 8 billion rounds of ammunition manufactured in the U.S. every year. Until Ford shoots more than 8 billion rounds of ammo personally a year, he will clearly profit from this.
What is quite obvious from this is that we are not dealing so much with anti-gunners but rather with opportunists. If the Ammunition Accountability folks are in fact supporters of the Second Amendment or shooters, then they are simply modern-day Judas Iscariots looking to make millions of pieces of silver by selling out the Constitution with their ill-gotten idea to mandate a theory that has never been proven to work.
Legislation Status provided courtesy of http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/01/ammunition-accountability-act-e-mail.html
, retrieved January 28, 2009.