Although we’re told that nothing unusual is going on, DHS’s extraordinary level of ammunition purchases in recent months continues to cause consternation and concern among many on the right.
Fox News tried to separate fact from fiction in this recent report that purports DHS has made even larger ammo purchases in past (Obama) years, although the numbers are substantially lower than the 1.6 billion rounds we’ve been hearing about.
Senator Tom Coburn concluded that this is much ado about nothing.
In a Forbes oped, Ralph Benko wrote, 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation:
It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America. Add to this perplexing outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation.***It is utterly inconceivable that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning a coup d’etat against President Obama, and the Congress, to install herself as Supreme Ruler of the United States of America. There, however, are real signs that the Department bureaucrats are running amok. About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division. And is wise to the ways. The answer to “why would DHS need such a vehicle?” almost certainly is this: it’s a cool toy and these (reportedly) million dollar toys are being recycled, without much of a impact on the DHS budget. So… why not?
Investors Business Daily reported that fifteen members of Congress have written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding to know what’s going on.
Freshman California Republican Doug LaMalfa and 14 of his House colleagues, who signed on to his March 5 letter, are asking the Department of Homeland Security to explain why it is buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition of various calibers. They aren’t happy with explanations provided so far in the press by lower-level officials, answers meant to debunk “unfounded” concerns.
As we have noted, DHS has been buying lots of ammo, enough by one calculation to fight the equivalent of a 24-year Iraqi War.
Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., told the Associated Press that the training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.
The massive purchases are said to be spread out over five years and due simply to the best practice of saving money by buying in bulk what comes down to five rounds of ammo for every man, woman and child on the U.S. That’s a lot of practice and training.
But Richard Mason, a former told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania recently the hollow-point bullets being purchased by DHS are not generally used for training because they are more expensive than standard firing range rounds .
“We never trained with hollow points, we didn’t even see hollow points my entire 4-1/2 years in the Marine Corps,” Mason said.
Homeland Security has also acquired a number of Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles which have been retrofitted for possible service on the streets of the U.S.
They were formerly used for counterinsurgency in Iraq. These vehicles are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks.
As we noted in a recent editorial, DHS is also seeking to acquire 7,000 5.56-by-45-millimeter NATO “personal defense weapons” — also known as “assault weapons” when owned by civilians.
If there are plausible explanations for all this, some congressmen would like to hear them.
Maybe DHS can answer Congress’ questions in a series of bullet points.
At CPAC a little over a week ago, Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change, asked Congressman Timothy Huelscamp about the large ammunition purchases made by the DHS. Huelscamp said that the Regime refuses to “let us know what’s going on.” (start at 1:12):
Fox News reported that local law enforcement agencies across the country are facing an ammo shortage, as gun owners across the nation stock up on firearms and bullets.
Meanwhile, according to CNSNews.com, Rep. Timothy Huelskamp, R-Kan., said he still hasn’t heard back from the Department of Homeland Security on why it’s buying 1.6 billion rounds.
The Homeland Security Department, though, has said it needs the bullets for law enforcement agents in training and on duty.
Published federal notices about the ammo buy have agitated conspiracy theorists since the fall. The government’s explanation is much less sinister.
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., and others like it run by DHS use up to 15 million rounds a year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.
More than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents and officers used the department’s training center last year.
The rest of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition would be purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second largest criminal investigative agency.