Over a dozen mass shootings have been linked to an ammunition factory from the World War II era, which was originally designed to supply the United States military with ammunition.
Since 2011, the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant has transitioned towards commercial sales and is now one of the largest producers of AR-15 ammunition in the US. As per The New York Times, the plant has been churning out “hundreds of millions” of commercial rounds annually since then.
According to The Times, the facility was constructed during World War II and has been under the management of US government contractors for ammunition production. However, as military demands have declined, the facility’s focus has gradually shifted towards commercial production.
According to The Times’ investigation, the facility’s commercial production rate surpassed the rate of production for military ammunition by more than two-fold in 2021.
According to The Times, a large portion of ammunition rounds sold from Lake City to retailers are purchased by law-abiding citizens. However, there have been instances where these same rounds have been involved in several mass shootings. As reported by Business Insider, these incidents have been some of the deadliest in US history.
According to a report, rounds originating from Lake City have been linked to a dozen mass shootings, among them the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, and the 2017 Las Vegas Strip mass shooting, which was the deadliest in US history. Victims’ families from some of these shootings have expressed concerns about the use of Lake City rounds.
According to the National Criminal Justice Association, semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 have become the most frequently used weapon in mass shootings across the United States. As of May 2022, there were already 20 million AR-style rifles in circulation, out of the nearly 400 million guns owned by civilians in the country. Business Insider reported these statistics, highlighting the concerning trend of these types of firearms being used in such devastating acts of violence.