Bill Authorizes the Defense Department to Sell Surplus, Once-Fired Small Arms Cartridge Cases to Civilians

Evansville, IN – Today, as part of the House Armed Services Committee’s National Defense Authorization Bill debate, Brad Ellsworth introduced an NRA-supported amendment to direct the Department of Defense to resell used small arms cartridge cases to marksman, law enforcement agencies and off-duty military personnel for hunting and target practice that unanimously passed.

“This seemed like a common-sense solution to help the Defense Department and responsible Hoosier hunters and marksman. I was proud to work with the NRA on this amendment,” said Brad Ellsworth. “As a gun owner myself and a former sheriff, I know that these cases are mostly used for marksmanship training and competition and law enforcement agencies. Authorizing the military to re-sell these casing is a win-win for hunters and marksman and the Defense Department.”

“This is a significant victory for law-abiding sportsmen, especially during these trying economic times. Reloaded ammunition costs considerably less, and military-sourced spent brass cases are of the calibers most widely used for marksmanship training and competition by civilians,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “Also, with widespread ammunition shortages, the passage of this amendment will be well received by NRA members, gun owners and ammunition suppliers. We are grateful for Congressman Ellsworth’s leadership on this issue”

Currently the military may not destroy small arms ammunition and may sell surplus, once-fired small arms cartridge cases collected from training ranges. Military bases now sell the cases for scrap in demilitarized condition or intact to companies that use the cases to produce ammunition. Scrapping cases in demilitarized condition deprives companies of the ability to purchase the cases for use in producing reloaded ammunition, and bases often lose out on much-needed revenue from these sales.

The Ellsworth amendment, which is endorsed by the NRA and cosponsored by a bipartisan group of committee members, compels bases to sell “small arms ammunition and ammunition components” intact, as long as the items aren’t “unserviceable or unsafe”. The Amendment also sets reporting requirements to ensure DOD promptly complies with this new rule.