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Gun conundrum: Why is ammunition still in short supply?

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That last one may sound as if it belongs in the annals of conspiracy theories, but many gun rights advocates and at least some members of Congress take it quite seriously. On Friday, two Republican lawmakers – Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas, both of Oklahoma – introduced legislation that would require an audit of the effect of government bullet purchases on the broader market and would limit the US government's ammo stockpile to six months' supply, rather than the current two years' worth stored in federal armories.

“One way the Obama Administration is able to [curb Second Amendment rights] is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition,” said Senator Inhofe, sponsor of the proposed AMMO (Ammunition Management for More Obtainability) Act, in a statement.

Ire in pro-gun circles about the government's ammo-buying habits surfaced in February, when the influential online news aggregator The Drudge Report featured a report that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had contracted to buy 1.6 billion bullets. (About 10 billion bullets total are sold in the US each year, according to the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, compiled by the State University of New York at Albany.)

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