Spiking ammunition refers to replacing a bullet's propellant with a high explosive, causing it to detonate upon firing. Additionally, mortar rounds and grenades can also be altered to detonate instantaneously. This can cause serious injury and even death. It's impossible to tell if a bullet has been altered, and often surplus ammunition is what is altered. This means that anyone who uses surplus ammunition (for recreation or otherwise) has the potential to be injured/killed by these weapons. Historically, the practice was used as a means of counterinsurgency in Vietnam, and was used again in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, because it is impossible to control the spread of the spiked ammunition, it puts civilians at risk. It's too difficult to control the spread of surplus munitions, as well as determine who is a member of a counterinsurgency movement.
Seven marines were killed during a mortar round training exercise earlier this year - the Pentagon ordered a worldwide ban on using mortars. The Pentagon has declined to comment on the spiking of ammunition within the Middle East. Spiking of munitions in Iraq and Afghanistan as a counterinsurgency practice has potentially spread into Syria, and could be circulating back to our own surplus stocks. Serbia has already experienced explosions in their weapons stockpiles believed to be caused by spiked ammunition. NATO is working with this country to dispose of their surplus munitions in hopes of avoiding this in the future.
The United States must stop distributing spiked ammunition - it's a tactic that accomplishes little, and will cause harm to innocents.
We must establish laws that will put a stop to this practice and create consequences for countries that continue to use it. Further, we must create protocols to dispose of surplus ammunition, as there is no way to tell if the surplus munitions are tampered with - the U.S. only disposes of surplus small arms.
The goal of this petition is to bring the need for this type of legislation to the attention of Congress, and potentially, international bodies. For further reading on this issue, please refer to the links box.