So it may come as a surprise to some that in June, New York City sold more than 28,000 pounds of the Police Department’s spent shell casings not to a scrap metal company, as it has in the past, but to a Georgia ammunition store. The store, Georgia Arms, routinely buys once-fired shell casings, reloads them with bullets and sells them to the public.
The store sells bags of 50 bullets, at about $15 each; per Georgia’s gun laws, no questions are asked and no identification or registration is required. It is a transaction that could not occur in New York City, where it is illegal to possess ammunition without a license to own a gun, and where obtaining a license to own a gun is harder than in most other states.
The sale of shell casings to Georgia Arms is perfectly legal and not uncommon; other police departments sell their used casings. And many of its “factory loaded” bullets, as the second-generation rounds are known, are sold in bulk to police agencies for use on their own firing ranges. They are less expensive than new ammunition.