There he goes again. President Obama's anti-gun administration, which recently pushed legislation banning assault weapons and large ammo magazines, is proving again that it is the industry's No. 1 customer.
On the heels of major purchases of AR-15-styled weapons for agencies like the IRS and millions of bullets used by assault-weapons and similar semi-automatic arms owned by federal forces, the Army has just announced that it is buying nearly 600,000 high capacity AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle magazines.
The gun is popular among collectors and target shooters, and was the weapon of choice used by this week's Georgia school shooter. But while fans of the gun help keep small weapon accessory companies in business, the Army's purchase is a major boost for an industry the president and his grassroots campaign, Organizing for Action, has spent the summer attacking.
It's just one purchase in a string of AK-47 equipment buys from the Feds.
Army officials told Secrets that the 30-round magazines, which would be banned under Obama's gun control proposals, are going to Afghanistan. But unlike the Pentagon's controversial purchase of Russian helicopters for Afghan special forces, the Soviet-Russian-styled AK-47 magazines are likely to be purchased from an American firm.
They can cost about $20 each, but can be found online in bulk for about $8, putting the value at $4.7 million to about $10 million.
The bid was put out by the the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. They are specifically seeking: "592,825 (approx) AK Rifle Magazines: 7.62x39mm caliber, new production, steel, 30 round capacity."
An Army official said that the purchase is being conducted by Foreign Military Sales program. "Each sale of equipment to overseas customers comprises the same 'total package' of quality materiel, facilities, spare parts, training, publications, technical documentation, maintenance support and other services that Army Materiel Command provides to U.S. Army units," said the Army.
The AK-47 is the old Soviet standard issue weapon and it is not used by American forces. It is commonly used in Afghanistan and also by terrorist forces.
The website infowars.com had some fun putting the size of the purchase in perspective. "Assuming an individual, unloaded magazine weight of 0.95 pounds, all of these magazines combined weigh more than the operating weight of a Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy, one of the largest aircraft in the world. The C-5 Galaxy wouldn't even be able to carry all of these magazines. Two trips would be necessary. To put it in another perspective, all these magazines combined weigh more than seven 18-wheelers at the maximum legal weight of 80,000 pounds," they reported.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.