Ammo Amnesty Coming Up at Texas Bases

The Fort Bliss and El Paso communities turned in a bewildering, somewhat scary array of ammo and explosives at last year's Ammunition Amnesty Day that's organized by the post.

Organizers of the event collected about 16,000 small-arms rounds, 1,000 20mm aircraft rounds, four or five small containers of commercial gunpowder used for reloading and even some homemade fireworks, said Wesley Wolski, a quality assurance specialist in ammunition with the Directorate of Logistics at Fort Bliss.

"We even got a World War II bazooka round," Wolski said. "I believe it was an old training round."

This year's event, set for July 6 at the Texas State Guard Armory, will be free and open to soldiers and the public.

People can drop off unwanted ammunition, explosives and fireworks that day with no questions asked, Wolski said.

"It should be interesting to see what gets turned in two days after the Fourth of July," he said.

Having the event off post makes it easier for the public to participate, Wolski said.

Organizers keep track of what kinds of ammo are dropped off for purely statistical purposes, but they don't ask who you are or take down license plate numbers, Wolski said.

"It's to get ammo out of the community and away from kids," Wolski said. "The important thing is to make the community safer. Bring in any ammo that you don't want, that's rusted, dented. We'll take it."

The Fort Bliss Explosive Ordnance Disposal team will be at the event and will inspect ammo and

explosives that are turned in for safety purposes.

Any military-issued ammo that is turned in is inspected to see whether it is in good working condition. If it's still usable, it is reintroduced into Fort Bliss' inventory and used for soldiers to train with, Wolski said.

If it's not usable, it's destroyed. Any commercial ammo that's turned in is also destroyed within about a week.

"We don't want them to throw it in the trash," Wolski said. "Bring it in and get it disposed of properly."

Two weeks before the event, there's still plenty of time to go through your home, garage or storage areas to find any unwanted ammo, Wolski said.

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