Commerce Department says it's "rapidly" processing requests to send arms, ammo to Ukraine

Commerce Department says it's "rapidly" processing requests to send arms, ammo to Ukraine
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

I’d love to be able to accept this claim at face value, but given the absolute cluster**** over the transfer of MiG fighter planes from Poland to Ukraine, which was apparently derailed by Sleepy Joe himself, I’ll believe the Commerce Department is expediting the shipping of equipment and ammunition to Ukraine when companies like Vista Outdoors and Ammo, Inc announce that their million-round donations are in the hands of the Ukrainian military, and not a moment before.

Still, Voice of America reports some encouraging anecdotes.

Americans are donating thousands of sets of body armor and millions of rounds of ammunition in response to Ukraine’s pleas for military support.

Equipment donors and U.S. volunteers for Ukraine’s armed forces must navigate U.S. export license requirements for items like military-grade bullet proof vests.

Controls at airports on volunteers carrying such body-armor appear to have eased, a U.S. volunteer in Poland said.

“From the latest wave of people carrying plates this week, not a single person has been stopped,” said the volunteer, who asked not to be named, referring to the ceramic plates that make vests bullet-proof.

Two Americans shipping military supplies to Ukraine, who asked to remain anonymous, said they had seen rapid export license approvals.

Voice of America also reports that Nassau County, New York Bruce Blakeman has asked the Biden administration to expedite the process of shipping 50 guns that he collected from local residents over to Ukraine, but honestly, after taking a look at what was donated, I think he’d be better off trying to sell them here and use the money to buy some firearms that would be of more utility for Ukrainians.

You can click the link to see a bigger photo from the NY Post, but it looks like the vast majority of the guns donated from New Yorkers are in line with what you’d expect to see a “gun buyback”; old firearms in varying states of disrepair, mostly bolt-action rifles with a few shotguns thrown in as well.

“The people of Nassau County have done their part,” Blakeman said in a letter sent Wednesday to the commander in chief.

“We are now asking for your assistance to secure immediate federal approval to ship the weapons to the Ukrainian Government. These weapons were collected from ordinary citizens who have watched the heart-wrenching scenes of Ukrainian soldiers and citizens bravely defend their country.”

He continued, “Time is of the essence… We stand ready to take the necessary steps to immediately get these weapons to the people who need them most.”

I’m sure that Blakeman’s heart is in the right place, but this experiment in gun-giving proved to be a pretty underwhelming experience from both a quality and quantity perspective.

So what can those Second Amendment supporters who want to show their support for the Ukrainian people, including the number of newly-armed citizens fighting for their country’s survival do, especially if they don’t have a million spare rounds to give away?

One possibility: local gun clubs and ranges hosting a charity shooting event, with the proceeds benefitting the Ukrainian armed forces. The National Bank of Ukraine has set up a special account for donations, and that seems to be an easy and effective way to lend a hand. Donating guns may sound good in theory, but the results in Nassau County indicate that most of us would prefer to help Ukrainians get guns and ammo of their own without giving up our own arsenal of democracy. It just so happens that there is a public range in Nassau County, which seems like the perfect place for Blakeman and other gun owners to show their support for the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom while supporting our own right to keep and bear arms at the same time.