The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant was built in Independence, Missouri, during World War II, and has made nearly all of the rifle cartridges used by the U.S. military since it pulled out of Vietnam. In recent years, The New York Times reports, the plant, now operated by a private contractor with Army oversight, has produced billions of rounds of military-grade ammunition for the commercial market, making it one of the country’s biggest manufacturers of rounds for the AR-15. Today, its casings, marked with its “LC” signature, are found at crime scenes nationwide, including at the sites of some of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.
The Times’s investigation found that the plant’s ammunition has been tied to at least a dozen mass shootings involving AR-15-style weapons, including at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater; the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh; a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York; and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
What to Know Today
A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit called the ATF’s ghost gun regulation “unlawful,” ruling that the Biden administration lacked authority to adopt such a measure. The Supreme Court has twice decided to keep the regulation — which requires ghost gun manufacturers to follow federal firearms laws — in place while litigation against it plays out. [Reuters]
Private gun ownership isn’t new in Latin America, but there are often strict regulations around obtaining and carrying them. Many conservatives in the region historically supported firearms restrictions, but now, right-wing politicians are increasingly calling for the rules to be relaxed. Their rhetoric looks remarkably similar to the pro-gun politics the National Rifle Association has spent decades trying to export. [Americas Quarterly]
Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia who has voiced support for raise-the-age measures, announced that he will not seek reelection and hinted that he might launch a presidential bid as a third-party candidate instead. The move makes the Democratic Party’s path to retaining its thin Senate majority even more difficult. [Politico/Associated Press]
In Philadelphia neighborhoods where shootings are frequent, residents have long shouldered the hazardous and traumatic work of cleaning up blood from the scene of a crime — and oftentimes, loved ones of victims undertake the task while they grieve their loss. After years of calls for the city to address this problem, the Police Department is launching a pilot program to provide that service. [WHYY]
A North Carolina orthodontist partnered with a local gun club to offer free handguns or club membership to patients who signed up for Invisalign treatment, drawing pushback nationwide. It’s not the only business using firearm giveaways as a sales incentive. [The News & Observer/USA TODAY]
Tavariyuan Williams is considered one of the best high school basketball players in Illinois — but he’s spent the past year recovering from a shooting that also wounded two of his brothers. The senior is back to full strength this season, and ready to prove himself during a varsity season that could expose him to college recruiters. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Why Is It Easier to Buy Bullets Than Cold Medicine?: Ammunition isn’t regulated like guns. But it used to be. Advocates and lawmakers say it’s a missed opportunity. (January 2023)