Fenix Ammunition shared a Penalty Notice from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Twitter the other day. Apparently a police officer “was dispatched” to their business in November of 2020. What prompted this dispatch is unclear. The police officer, Matthew Chaylaszek, reported seeing a sign on the door that read “We do not wear masks, make your own decisions.” Chaylaszek says he entered the shop and saw the owner, Justin Nazaroff, unmasked and helping a customer. Now, come January, they’ve been fined $1,000 by the State of Michigan for the mask violation. As a result, Fenix Ammunition has suspended ammo sales to law enforcement agencies.
The decision not to sell ammunition to law enforcement agencies is a big one. You should take note. It’s also a decision you should consider asking your local gun store about.
What’s In It For Us?
Ammunition sales to law enforcement agencies is a staple of the gun industry. And it’s lucrative, too. Departmental budgets are huge. In a post-9/11 era, many agencies are outfitted more like elite military units than like traditional police departments.
Dealers can make quite a profit selling ammo, guns, armor, and accessories. But for any vendor concerned with interests outside of profit margins, there’s a nagging question: is this the right thing to do?
After all, when law enforcement agencies buy ammo, what does it get used for?
Selling Crowbars To Burglars
The police certainly didn’t use any ammo to protect your neighbor’s small businesses from looters this summer, did they? And I don’t remember the cops using any of their ammo to oppose the unconstitutional closure of churches last fall. Come to think of it, I don’t recall very many cases at all where the police did anything other than closely follow the orders of politicians.
So what do the police use ammo for?
Civilians — the people left to fend for themselves against mobs of rioters — can barely find ammo in stock anywhere. And the little ammo that is available is selling for inflated prices.
If ammo manufacturers are still serving law enforcement agencies — especially at discounted rates — it begs the question: “Which side are they on?”
What word would you use to describe a neighbor who runs a crowbar store and offers a discount to burglars? “Friend” probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind.
Feeding The Mouth That Bites
Sure, agency contracts are big money. But there’s no lack of demand on ammo right now. For an ammo vendor, snubbing your law enforcement customers certainly might be viewed as ‘biting the hand that feeds.’ But at some point, vendors are also feeding the mouth that bites.
Selling government agencies the tools they’re going to use against you and your customers doesn’t seem like such a bright idea on closer inspection.
This $1,000 fine isn’t going to put Fenix Ammunition out of business. But every dollar lost represents one less dollar that Fenix can use to pay workers, support the local economy, or put school supplies in their kids’ backpacks.
The overall scenario is insulting. Do you, dear reader, genuinely believe that because some guy in a blue outfit saw a business owner — in his own store — working without a cloth over his face, that the owner now owes a faceless bureaucracy a thousand dollars worth of his labor as retribution? If you do, click here to search for circus tickets near you, since you want to act like a clown.
Reconsider Our Reality
Maybe it’s time more ammunition dealers reconsidered the nature of their relationships with law enforcement agencies. Times have changed. There’s a concerted effort to significantly erode or outright abolish the second amendment, and it will be the cops who do the dirty work. Ammunition sales to law enforcement has different implications in 2021 than it has in the past.
A moratorium on ammo sales to law enforcement agencies is a peaceful, lawful, free-market solution that both sends a clear political message and makes more ammo available to citizens. I’d encourage manufacturers and vendors to think about it.
As for me, I’ll be placing my ammo orders with dealers like Fenix moving forward. I’d suggest you consider doing the same.