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Crapo, Risch, Emmer Demand Administration Evaluate U.S. Supply Chain for Smokeless Gunpowder

Washington, D.C--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo, Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) and U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer (R-Minnesota) introduced the Ammunition Supply Chain Act requiring the Biden administration to submit a report to Congress about the current state of the domestic supply of necessary components for smokeless gun powder.

“America’s ability to protect its people and allies during times of combat depends on the robust supply chain of goods that allows our military to conduct training and combat operations," said Crapo.  "This legislation preempts a shortfall in necessary supplies ensuring the U.S. military remains prepared for combat operations at any time.”

“This administration creates as many ridiculous hurdles as possible to restrict law-abiding gun owners’ access to affordable guns and ammunition,” said Risch.  “The Ammunition Supply Chain Act forces transparency from the Biden administration about the status of our domestic ammunition supply chain.  This is vital to protect our right to bear arms and to ensure our military has the ammunition it needs to protect our country.”

 “As threats to our nation’s security evolve, it is more important than ever to take proactive measures to secure our ammunition supply chain.  This is not only about enhancing our military readiness but also supporting American manufacturing and ensuring law-abiding Minnesotans and Americans can exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Emmer said.

U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisana), John Kennedy (R-Louisana), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Rick Scott (R-Florida) joined Crapo and Risch in introducing the legislation in the Senate.  U.S. Congressmen Rick Crawford (R-Arkansas), Pete Stauber (R-Minnesota), Brad Finstad (R-Minnesota), Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas), and Michelle Fischbach (R-Minnesota) joined Emmer in introducing the legislation in the House.

The Ammunition Supply Chain Act has received support from several outside groups.

“The ammunition market depends on a robust supply of nitrocellulose to make powder,” said Jason Vanderbrink, CEO of The Kinetic Group and co-CEO of Vista Outdoor. “A global strain on supply threatens freedom and impacts those who protect and serve and our nation’s hunters and shooters.  The Ammunition Supply Chain Act is a great step toward action to grow supply and protect sourcing. It highlights the importance of this key component to America.”

“Any good, dependable supply chain requires multiple sourcing points,” said Tyson Schmidtke, Vice President of Supply Chain Operations for The Kinetic Group.  “Our current situation on powder adds potential risk to the domestic supply of ammunition.  This act is a welcome advancement to put emphasis on the need to expand our NC production domestically to ensure strong American ammunition production.”

“The ammunition industry relies on robust and dependable sources for parts and material to provide the finished ammunition to Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights, hunters and target shooters across our country as well as to state, federal and Tribal law enforcement agencies protecting our communities and America’s warfighters protecting our nation,” said Lawrence G. Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  “The Ammunition Supply Chain Act would ensure there would be inherent resiliency in the supply chains that source necessary material to our industry, which provides the critical tools that are the means to protecting our nation, our freedoms and our hunting and shooting sports heritage.”

The Ammunition Supply Chain Act would:

  • Reiterate Congress’ concerns about the domestic supply and production of nitrocellulose; and

  • Require the administration submit a report to Congress on the domestic supply chain for smokeless gunpowder including nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, and acid production, essential to ammunition manufacturing.

Background on smokeless gunpowder

  • Nitrocellulose is the most common ingredient in modern, smokeless gunpowder. 

  • For the last several years, the global supply chain for components of smokeless gunpowder, including nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, and acid production has been strained, resulting in higher costs and greater difficulty acquiring ammunition.

  • The U.S. military, firearms and ammunitions producers rely on the availability of these materials to produce gunpowder.

  • Nitrocellulose is also used in health care and pharmaceutical testing, paint, wood finishes, and more.