Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ammo, Dollars, and OSHA

Yosemite Sam and I went to our favorite gun store yesterday. We keep a fair amount of ammo on hand and also reload calibers we shoot the most. Thus we haven’t had to buy ammo like .45 Long Colt for awhile. Yes we've had to buy .22LR and other stuff, but that didn’t prepare us for sticker shock. As I reached for a box of Cowboy style .45LC, I saw a price sticker of $33.95 on the boxes and quickly snatched back my hand.

This is not a rare caliber people. It's become even more popular with Cowboy Action shooting. I decided that it was time to revisit the loading bench rather than buying new fodder. I know there’s good reasons for the price increase in ammo. I've been keeping up with posts from various people, but this hits home. It could also be very discouraging for those that are new to shooting. It is hard to buy a product for $33.95 that you’re planning to burn up in one short range session.

If you think prices are bad now, there's a proposed OSHA regulation that would treat small arms ammunition just like the most powerful explosives. If promulgated, the regulation would kill sport shooting. Xavier is all over it (as are gunnie organizations), so go do the clicky thing and learn more.

This proposed (and I have to stress it is only proposed) regulation is a perfect example of the law of unintended consequences. Every law, rule or regulation has goals—sometimes good sometimes bad depending on how you look at it. But, every one of them had consequences that no one foresaw. For instance, outlawing certain drugs has led to gang warfare, full prisons, and mayors bleating about banning guns in inner cities.

Let’s assume that OSHA is not ran by a bunch of bed-wetting gun fearing wussies (I know it’s a tretch). The employees who researched and drafted the proposal just want to make us safer. They want to reduce the loss of life of explosions in gun stores. Of course, this is a non-problem, but when did that ever stop a regulator.

The unintended consequence of such a regulation would be to virtually kill ammo sales. Thus a government agency presumably with no intent to damage ammo retailers and manufacturers could accomplish what anti-gunnies have been trying to do for years.

If I thought a box of .45 Long Colt was too expensive, if this rule passes I ain’t seen nothing yet.

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