Online rumors about a big government munitions purchase are true, sort of.
The Homeland Security Department wants to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years. It says it needs them—roughly the equivalent of five bullets for every person in the United States—for law enforcement agents in training and on duty.
Really? Has DHS ever fired a single shot in the line of duty? Not that I’ve ever heard.
But they buy the ammo for all the alphabet agencies that “need” to carry guns, especially the kind of “assault weapons” you the citizen aren’t allowed to own. 73 agencies. Like the Post Office. And the Department of Education. And the VA. And the BLM. The EPA. The FDA. The NIH. The Library of Congress. The Bureau of Reclamation. The zoo at the Smithsonian. The 33 branches of the OIG, whose job is to inspect other parts of the government. Yeah, they all need guns too. And the list goes on and on and on.
Published federal notices about the ammo buy have agitated conspiracy theorists since the fall. That’s when conservative radio host Alex Jones spoke of an “arms race against the American people” and said the government was “gearing up for total collapse, they’re gearing up for huge wars.”
The government’s explanation is much less sinister. [ but is it honest? ]
Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as “strategic sourcing contracts,” which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga . 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.
Dixon said one of the contracts would allow Homeland Security to buy up to 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years for its training facilities. The rounds are used for basic and advanced law enforcement training for federal law enforcement agencies under the department’s umbrella. The facilities also offer firearms training to tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers. More than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents and officers used the department’s training center last year.
Really? 750 million divided by 5 is still 125 million rounds per year for 70,000 agents ... 1786 rounds per agent per year? 3/4 of a box per week? For guys who usually shoot two or three times a year for qualification? It still doesn’t really ad up, but if it’s true I guess we can expect the feds to soon be able to shoot much better than the LAPD ...
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.
ICE’s ammunition requests in the last year included:
--450 million rounds of .40-caliber duty ammunition
--40 million rounds of rifle ammunition a year for as many as five years, for a total bullet-buy of 200 million rounds
--176,000 rifle rounds on a separate contract
--25,000 blank rounds
This is the same ICE that can’t deport any illegals, and throws their agents in jail when they actually do shoot drug runners and coyotes sneaking across. So WTF do they need enough ammo to run a frakkin’ war for?
The Homeland Security ammo buy is not the first time the government’s bullets purchases have sparked concerns on the Internet. The same thing happened last year when the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was buying 174,000 hollow point bullets.
Jonathan L. Lasher, the agency’s assistant inspector general for external relations, said those bullets were for the Social Security inspector general’s office, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes.
Do you seriously expect me to swallow this bilge-wash? 174,00/295=590, about 12 boxes of ammo per agent. And just when the heck does lame-ass Social Security ever actually shoot anyone? Or at anyone? Or anything? “Hold it right there granny! Put the $116.32 monthly check down and step away from the mailbox!!” You’ve got to be kidding me. Not even Oliar could tell a whopper like this.
Welcome to the party. This has been bouncing around the internet for a long time. Note one of your sources is dated last August. I looked up the actual RFQ for the order on a government purchasing web site when I first heard about it on Alex Jones’ web site. It’s real.
I looked into the Social Security order a while ago, it mostly makes sense (trust me). The rest of the 1.6 billion round order is just plain scary. My best guess is that DHS has something in mind that we aren’t going to like.
We may be looking at barricades in the future.
Do you think that will finally wake up the liberals that there is something seriously wrong with the Obama Admin?
I’ve spent some time the last few days trying to find out how much ammunition is produced in the U.S. each year. Not an easy task. Best I can tell is that world wide about 13 billion rounds are made with 40%, about 5 billion rounds, manufactured in this country. Of that Lake City make about 1.2 billion, almost all of which goes to the U.S. military.
Lake City is not keeping up with military expenditure. The various services are looking to purchase as many as 500 million rounds from normally civilian sources but I do not know how much of this might come from overseas. Most of this will be rifle and light machine gun rounds, .223 and .308.
So how much ammunition would be enough for civilian use? Since 1998 the feds have performed more than 160 million background checks, not all were for new weapons and not all of which were approved. Last year there were 12 million checks 43% for long guns 57% for hand guns.
In 2011 the U.S. produced about 6 million new firearms, I would guess the number is up for 2012. With about four million or more new weapons purchased each year for civilian use, and figuring 5 boxes with of ammo with each purchase, a wild ass guess, split between hand gun and rifles, that would easily amount to a billion rounds per year. But that leaves still a hundred million target shooters and hunters to service.
When it comes to hunting I use less than a box per year. I hunt deer with a 30-30 Winchester and only check the sight-in with a few rounds each year before hunting. Most hunting rifles are probably used that way. I do however shoot far more rounds for target and hand gun proficiency being fortunate in living in a rural area and having my own range. I also reload a few hundred rounds per year which does not affect the ammo shortage much except that primers are also in very short supply.
There are about 15 million hunting licenses purchase per year in the U.S. and a box or two of rifle ammo each would add at most another quarter billion rounds. Yet because hunting rounds are made on the same machinery as other similarly sized ammunition they are in short supply as well.
Targets shooting numbers are again hard to quantify. I have seen estimates of 20 million. Say it is only ten million and at two hundred rounds each and you have 2 billion. It becomes obvious that even before the shortage much ammunition shot in the U.S. came from overseas. These numbers surely do not fluctuate so much as to be the cause of an ammo shortage.
When all is said and done it seems that people are stockpiling because of mistrust of government and what with the government stockpiling, this is driving the shortage. If only five percent of firearm owners, say 5 million determined they needed a thousand rounds in reserve, that is 5 billion rounds all by itself.
We have been in a state of shortage or near shortage for over a decade and I don’t see it ending. Time for more manufacturing lines and jobs. Good for the economy, good for America.
Doc, you don’t think that a list of federal agencies with guns has become SMALLER since August, do you? If anything, there’s probably another one or two that have been added on.
And yes, if you’re trying to get good at target shooting, it’s easy to fire 100 rounds a day. Every day. I used to go through 500 rounds a week when I was doing it. A good progressive press was a great investment that saved me piles of money.
Yup, we’ve had an ammo shortage since 9/11, or slightly before. It’s not going to get better any time soon. We can’t even import the stuff from the Russians fast enough to keep up with demand.
All I can add is that I’m finding .38 caliber and 12-guage hard to find, and the prices have skyrocketed. About $1/rnd, and that’s at Wal-Mart! Just for lead slugs for target practice. I haven’t even priced any hollow-points. (obviously this is for the .38. I’ve still got a few hundred rounds for the 12-guage.)
Funny you bring this up as just today my Buddy went to the local scrap dealerto buy brass because its cheaper, his loads are better and more consistant, And he can sell the excess to subsidize his own needs.
I am in a good spot here myself as my Biz partner holds a FFl and can go to the front of the line if he needs to although he actually rarely shoots, he’s a collector/trader type. Best part; I get to play with lots of rare shit around here and just hand it back when I’m done.
And who uses HPs for target practice? Yeah, you should run some of what you plan to carry through to make sure your gun will eat it, but seriously, this is a load of buncombe. These guys have other plans. I’m glad I got stocked up before the fever struck.
Hey, in order to have a “civilian national security force” that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded as the military (man, that sounds so familiar, but I can’t quite place it), we need a two prong approach: we need to weaken military spending, and we need to waste a lot of money on this “civilian” thingy. I reckon they’re going to be buying up a few truckloads of UMP40s to use that .40SW HP in. I’ll enjoy some of those, once I’ve cleaned off the bloodstains.
Storage locations, and transportation routes to same. Start jotting these things down now folks, that information may well be needed later.