NRO: Ammunition purchases by government not a conspiracy

posted at 3:21 pm on March 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

We have been getting plenty of e-mail about purchases and contracts for ammunition by government agencies, which seem to have prompted a run on ammunition by private consumers and the shortages that these runs usually entail.  The e-mails usually express concern over the supposedly massive amounts of ammunition being stockpiled and the threat to American liberty that it represents.  At National Review — not exactly a shill for Barack Obama — editor Charles C. W. Cooke looks at the actual numbers and debunks the conspiracy theories:

Nonetheless, one could reasonably ask why the Social Security Administration would need any ammunition at all. Are the elderly especially unruly these days? Jonathan L. Lasher, in the SSA’s external-relations department, explained to theHuffington Post that the ammunition is “for the 295 agents” in the outfit’s office of inspector general “who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes.” Divide the rounds by the number of agents, and you get about 590 per agent; in a given year, that’s about ten rounds a week. “Most will be expended on the firing range,” Lasher continued.

Okay. And why does the USDA need 320,000 rounds? Because it runs the Forest Service, which covers “155 national forests” and “20 national grasslands” on a total of “193 million acres of land.” As well as agents in the field, the outfit has a law-enforcement unit based in Washington, D.C., whose responsibility it is to enforce federal laws and regulations. In context, those 320,000 rounds look a lot less threatening: If the U.S. Forest Service were to distribute ammunition at the same rate as the Social Security Administration, they would have enough for just 542 agents — not bad for an organization that covers an area the size of Pakistan (or twice the size of Japan or Germany).

It’s all about scale. Forty-six thousand rounds also sound like a lot for the National Weather Service. (Actually, the ammo was requested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, which is overseen by the same department.) In reality, it’s not that much. The service has only 63 armed personnel, which brings the purchase out at around 730 rounds per officer. This, suffice it to say, does not present a great threat to the Republic. As the NRA has noted, “more than a few NRA members would use that much ammunition in a weekend shooting class or plinking session.” There are enough risks to the right to bear arms and to American liberty in general, the NRA continued, without “inventing threats.”

Cooke also explores the more significant contracts of over 500 million rounds combined for the FBI and DHS, both obviously law-enforcement agencies, which have been the subject of other e-mails.  The DHS contract runs for five years, Cooke explains, and doesn’t require DHS to make the purchases.  It’s a pricing-contingency arrangement, one that makes a lot of sense for cost stability and control, that reserves as much as 450 million rounds over the period of the contract.

We get a lot of e-mail with various doomsday scenarios built on conjecture, and we don’t address most of them for the simple reason that we’d rather focus on actual issues. This particular meme has built up some staying power, however, and Cooke’s column should get wide distribution in order to set minds at rest and put them to more productive use.  And Cooke has a suggestion where we can start:

Questions do still abound: Whether it is in possession of one bullet or 1 million bullets, should the federal Department of Education be armed in the first place? If so, why? Should its OIG be investigating external fraud rather than handing it over to the police or the DOJ or the FBI? For those federal departments that play no role in combating domestic and foreign threats — such as the DoE — what would constitute a threat requiring armed confrontation with malefactors?

Read this all the way through to see what happens when organizations without a criminal law-enforcement mission try to go it alone; it doesn’t end well.  Shouldn’t agencies like the DoE work through the FBI or US Marshals in order to enforce the law?  This seems like a ripe area for reform and consolidation within the federal government, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we couldn’t wring out some significant savings by eliminating duplication in law enforcement.

Update: Patriot Perspective addressed this a year ago, and has more thoughts today.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Ron Paulbots and Alex Jones Freaks don’t want to hear it.

The Notorious G.O.P on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/14/why-is-department-homeland-security-buying-so-many-bullets/

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.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Here we go…again.

The headline thread wasn’t enough?

You just have to give the conspiracy nutballs another place to rant?

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Ron Paulbots and Alex Jones Freaks don’t want to hear it.

The Notorious G.O.P on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Only more proof of the conspiracy /s

Marcus Aurelius on March 5, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Sure. Sure. and Contrails and Fluoride aren’t Government made mind control conspiracies either.

portlandon on March 5, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Bullets everywhere
Bullets in my hair

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Bad Ed.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:27 PM

One question. What about the order for 2700 MRAPS by DHS? Just curious.

Now, where is that tin foil? :)

evilned on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Spanking time?

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Anyone who fails to believe their government propaganda will be shot with a hollow point round and run over with a MRAP. The killings will continue until morale improves or all citizens are dead. Your body will be liquefied in an effort to save energy.

Yours Truly,

Benevolent Government

trs on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I’d better start packing, ’cause I’m getting relocated to Lubbock’s FEMA camp today.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Always trust Dear Leader and all his agencies in everything they do. They only want what is best for you.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Spanking time?

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Shut it.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Some on our side should stop spreading the insane conspiracy theories and one of them is that the government is buying ammo to kill us… It is like the left wing lunatics conspiracy theories of the GW Bush years when they were talking about FEMA prison camps to jail the opposition…

mnjg on March 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Oh mom…

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

We have been getting plenty of e-mail about purchases and contracts for ammunition by government agencies, which seem to have prompted a run on ammunition by private consumers and the shortages that these runs usually entail.

State ammunition acquisitions didn’t prompt a run on ammunition, by the People.

Dictators who would disarm the People prompted those runs.

This was, first and foremost, about firearms, not bullets.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Read this all the way through to see what happens when organizations without a criminal law-enforcement mission try to go it alone; it doesn’t end well. Shouldn’t agencies like the DoE work through the FBI or US Marshals in order to enforce the law? This seems like a ripe area for reform and consolidation within the federal government, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we couldn’t wring out some significant savings by eliminating duplication in law enforcement.

So… Each of the government agencies adds their own police force… Then, for cost savings, Obama merges them all into one federal police force…

Kinda like he wanted all along… Ain’t it?

Skywise on March 5, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Always trust Dear Leader and all his agencies in everything they do. They only want what is best for you. You’ve got there word on it.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:31 PM

mnjg on March 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

But the conspiracy nutballs on our side are so much more fun to play with.

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Empty ammo shelves for prolonged periods of time is alarming to those who have never seen it before. I used to go shooting every week. I don’t think I have been shooting since Oct.

tom daschle concerned on March 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

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.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

They damn sure can’t say that they need the ammunition for the purpose of border enforcement.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

How about we get rid of the Department of Education entirely.

rbj on March 5, 2013 at 3:33 PM

tom daschle concerned on March 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Yup, it’s keep what you buy time.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Intriguing pic. Does she buy ammo?

a capella on March 5, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t out to get you.

freedomfirst on March 5, 2013 at 3:34 PM

This isn’t the first time the ammo shelves have been empty.

When Obumbles was first elected, the same runs in ammo occurred.

There were no government orders then. It was simply panic buying.

The government orders now aren’t causing this, simply exacerbating it.

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 3:35 PM

No reason to burn expensive hollow point ammo at the range.

We are under sequestration!

Valiant on March 5, 2013 at 3:35 PM

They damn sure can’t say that they need the ammunition for the purpose of border enforcement.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

No, they are too bust working on amnesty to bother with that dang fence…besides, the border agents have plenty of beanbags!

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 3:35 PM

I’d better start packing, ’cause I’m getting relocated to Lubbock’s FEMA camp today.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Wait until you see the showers!

trs on March 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

They damn sure can’t say that they need the ammunition for the purpose of border enforcement.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

I think they shoot out EBT cards at the southern border.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:37 PM

If billions of rounds of ammo isn’t a conspiracy how about 2700 light amoured vehicles?

Predator drones?

darwin on March 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I think whatever they would think if Bush were pres.

Ben Hur on March 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I’d like to see someone look into the business side of this. There are a lot of angles to explore.

1) Given prolonged shortages, what efforts if any have manufacturers made to increase production? Have they been hindered in any way, esp. in building new plants or obtaining new permits?

2) Are ammo manufacturers making a lot of money, or are their profits being limited by the shortages?

3) Why have prices for ammo not gone up more? Basic economics proves that price increases would dissuade people from hoarding and stockpiling ammo they don’t need, while at the same time inducing suppliers to make more ammo available. Why haven’t prices gone up sufficiently to clear the market of excess buyers?

On (3), I know people are going to say that prices have gone up a lot, but anyone who has tried to buy, for instance, .22LR rounds knows that even if prices have doubled in the last few months, you still can’t find any on the open market. Why is it taking so long for the market to clear?

Nessuno on March 5, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Sure. Sure. and Contrails and Fluoride aren’t Government made mind control conspiracies either.

portlandon on March 5, 2013 at 3:27 PM

I just hope you’ve been preserving your bodily fluids.

peski on March 5, 2013 at 3:41 PM

We poor, bitter people, who desperately cling to our guns and religion.

We should just trust and obey the State.

We’re lost, and they’re just trying to put us back on course.

We love and trust the State.

We love and trust the State.

We love and trust the State.

We love and trust the State.

We love and trust the State.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Remember that all these armed Social Security Administration and Department of Education employees get to walk past metal detectors at airports and carry their guns aboard airline flights. Do you feel safer?

Socratease on March 5, 2013 at 3:42 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YvAYIJSSZY Official thread theme song.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:42 PM

We have no reason not to believe our government…#Benghazi.

d1carter on March 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Wait until you see the showers!

trs on March 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

What? We get to see alt in the shower? Wait, what was this thread about, again?

GWB on March 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

If billions of rounds of ammo isn’t a conspiracy how about 2700 light amoured vehicles?

Nothing to wory about at all as they are all scheduled to be converted into Oscar Meyers Wiener trucks.

Predator drones?

darwin on March 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM

They are to shoot down incoming asteroids.

Nothing to worry about. Dear Leader is always looking out for us as to him, it’s always about protect and defend the American people.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Wait until you see the showers!

trs on March 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

I’ve heard that they’re a gas.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Ron Paulbots and Alex Jones Freaks don’t want to hear it.

The Notorious G.O.P on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Beck also. I heard him on the radio yesterday ranting about gun control and government control and then said something along the lines of “why else do you think they are buying all the ammunition?”

Gatekeeper on March 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

DHS claims they need 15,000,000 rounds for practice each year. 1.6 billion rounds equates to over 100 tyears of practice. Add in MRAPS and new AR-15s and you have to start wondering…

Tuna Tugger on March 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I mentioned this on the Headline thread. Here is the link from Sierra if interested.
http://www.sierrabullets.com/WhyCantIFind.pdf

fourdeucer on March 5, 2013 at 3:45 PM

We have no reason not to believe our government…#Benghazi.

d1carter on March 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

What difference does it make!? And we got that damn video maker who insulted the prophet in prison! #Clinton+Obama

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Nothing to see here. Move on. You can trust me. I want you well armed.

- Barack Obama

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM

We have no reason not to believe our government…#Benghazi.

d1carter on March 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Don’t be a conspiracy nut. The government would never lie to its people and ignore that Fast and Furious nonsense as well. /sarc

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Ed: National Review — not exactly a shill for Barack Obama

Right Ed. National Review is like you – the voice of the GOP establishment. Buckley moving Rich “Pretty Boy” Lowry up the ranks was about as smart as Reagan selecting Bush as his VP.

bw222 on March 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Add in MRAPS and new AR-15s and you have to start wondering…

Tuna Tugger on March 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Nothing to see here. Move along. Always trust Dear Leader.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:47 PM

If it weren’t for the good people, who would have to live under it, I would wish tyranny and dictatorship for those fools amongst us, who think that it can’t happen here.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Dear Leader might lie to us but he would never inflict pain on Americans over not getting his way…#Sequestration

d1carter on March 5, 2013 at 3:49 PM

“Most will be expended on the firing range,” Lasher continued

.

He’s either LYING, or the DHS is being utterly irresponsible with our money. I own a .40 cal Sig. I have hollowpoint loaded in my magazines for home defense. When I go to the range, I do NOT use hollowpoint, as it’s atrociously expensive compared to plain old ball ammo. If they want ammo for the range, they can save a huge amount of money and buy ball. This ammunition is not for the range, it’s for shooting people. Period.

quikstrike98 on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

One question. What about the order for 2700 MRAPS by DHS? Just curious.

Now, where is that tin foil? :)

evilned on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

There are only sixteen of them

Update: An earlier version of this post included a figure of over 2,700 vehicles, as cited from the original RT link. This figure likely comes from a press release from Navistar Defense, mentioning delivery of 2,717 to the U.S. Marine Corps. A DHS Spokesman confirmed with Business Insider that they have only 16 nationwide.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/homeland-security-serving-warrants-mrap-2013-3#ixzz2MhUrBO8g

Gateway Pundit should have checked their facts before they published that Modern Survival Blog story from last September.

JannyMae on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Nesshuno,

Here where I live, I’ve been able to find .22lr, though the supply is limited. The box stores simply don’t have it, but gun shops I frequent have had limited supplies two weeks running.

Almost all sellers have implemented buying limits. Some depend on caliber, others amount. One store here limits purchases to three boxes of ammo, perd, regardless of caliber.

Prices for the 22 have only been slightly higher, less than a dollar a box (depending on the weight, bullet type, etc)

I have also noticed many shops have had supplies of other calibers: .45 Auto, 9mm, .40 S&W , to name a few.

Specialty/defense loads (those typically sold in 20 rounds boxes) have lays been available here, though their cost already makes them prohibitive for most who don’t carry concealed.

One very popular store here started gouging – and I do mean gouging – almost right after Sandy Hook. All their ammo went up. In some cases they TRIPLED the cost of their AR and AK variant rifles. People still fill in the store though because of hysteria, IMO.

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

1,600,000,000 (1.6 B rounds) over five years = 320,000,000 rounds per year
In 2005 Glynco (Federal training facility) 47,560 students went through one or another course. Most likely every student fired 100 rounds (New officers tend to need more time and ammo to learn to shoot straight).
So just for round numbers 50,000 students each firing 100 rounds is 5 million rounds. Per year and that doesn’t count the instructors, and assuming new federal cops are decent shots.
That’s at one Federal training facility. Not counting the FBI or several other largish agencies that have their own training centers for their new hires.
Throw in officers firing 50 rounds a month to stay proficient that’s 600 rounds per Federal officer per year.
Then you have the specialty teams (SWAT types) that fire even more.
Marcinco of SEAL TEAM SIX claimed that his group fired as much pistol ammo as the rest of the Navy.
1.6 B rounds is very small for as many Federal police as we have.

LincolntheHun on March 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Oh, and pay no attention to those armored vehicles, you silly conspiracy theorists!

Midas on March 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

DHS claims they need 15,000,000 rounds for practice each year. 1.6 billion rounds equates to over 100 tyears of practice. Add in MRAPS and new AR-15s and you have to start wondering…

Tuna Tugger on March 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

15,000,000 rounds for how many people?

MRAPs? That is funny. But not surprising.

Do get to freaked out.

Gatekeeper on March 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

One very popular store here started gouging – and I do mean gouging – almost right after Sandy Hook. All their ammo went up. In some cases they TRIPLED the cost of their AR and AK variant rifles. People still fill in the store though because of hysteria, IMO.

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

That is not gouging. It is called retaining their business and ensuring they have stock for those truly in need instead of allowing a few people who want to flip that gun for 300% profit themselves.

I’d buy more guns myself if the price was the same as 6 months ago. It is a real shame I am out of my home state and was not able to buy more before the election.

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

… and the drones…

… and the claimed authority to use them domestically against citizens, without due process…

Silly conspiracy theorists, omgz!

Midas on March 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

OT: CPAC just died…

d1carter on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

quikstrike98 on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

.
or they’re following the old rule of “train with what you use.”
.
You fire the cheap stuff but carry the good stuff because you pay for what you use.
.
If you were using someone else’s money to buy ammo, someone you’d never meet, and your life depended upon it, would you still buy the cheap stuff ?

LincolntheHun on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

JannyMae on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

LincolntheHun on March 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

If it didn’t get through the tinfoil hats of the conspiracy nutballs all the other times it was explained to them, what makes y’all think it will register this time?

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

“Most will be expended on the firing range,” Lasher continued

.
He’s either LYING, or the DHS is being utterly irresponsible with our money. I own a .40 cal Sig. I have hollowpoint loaded in my magazines for home defense. When I go to the range, I do NOT use hollowpoint, as it’s atrociously expensive compared to plain old ball ammo. If they want ammo for the range, they can save a huge amount of money and buy ball. This ammunition is not for the range, it’s for shooting people. Period.

quikstrike98 on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Yes, as he doesn’t even cover hollow points, his whole song and dance is worthless.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 3:57 PM

I think that the State should limit its firearm use to hunting and plinking cans.

After all, it’s good enough for us …

Oh, and the political pigs in perpetuity should be subject to IPAB “recommendations,” too.

After all, it’s good enough for us …

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I’d better start packing, ’cause I’m getting relocated to Lubbock’s FEMA camp today.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Ewwww, Lubbock? You must’ve been especially bad to warrant such a punishment…

I kid, I kid! :)

Midas on March 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

…Most likely every student fired 100 rounds (New officers tend to need more time and ammo to learn to shoot straight).

Throw in officers firing 50 rounds a month to stay proficient that’s 600 rounds per Federal officer per year.
..
1.6 B rounds is very small for as many Federal police as we have.

LincolntheHun on March 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I actually think 100 rounds is way too low for that purpose, and 50 rounds per month is too low as well.

I support your point–that when you look at the size of the federal police force, the ammo buys are proportional. I’m just saying you’re even being conservative in your use estimates. The number of the gun carrying feds could justify even more ammo purchased.

Nessuno on March 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM

The media, protecting the American People from overreach of the government 1784-1900 maybe…

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM

1,600,000,000 (1.6 B rounds) over five years = 320,000,000 rounds per year
In 2005 Glynco (Federal training facility) 47,560 students went through one or another course. Most likely every student fired 100 rounds (New officers tend to need more time and ammo to learn to shoot straight).
So just for round numbers 50,000 students each firing 100 rounds is 5 million rounds. Per year and that doesn’t count the instructors, and assuming new federal cops are decent shots.
That’s at one Federal training facility. Not counting the FBI or several other largish agencies that have their own training centers for their new hires.
Throw in officers firing 50 rounds a month to stay proficient that’s 600 rounds per Federal officer per year.
Then you have the specialty teams (SWAT types) that fire even more.
Marcinco of SEAL TEAM SIX claimed that his group fired as much pistol ammo as the rest of the Navy.
1.6 B rounds is very small for as many Federal police as we have.

LincolntheHun on March 5, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Department Of Homeland Security says that it uses 15 million rounds per year.

Argue with them.

http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/firearms-division/interesting-facts-about-the-firearms-division.html

Training requires the use of approximately 15 million rounds of ammunition annually.

450 million rounds would be 30 years worth.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

If you were using someone else’s money to buy ammo, someone you’d never meet, and your life depended upon it, would you still buy the cheap stuff ?

LincolntheHun on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

In the Field Artillery “drills” for firing atomic warheads were done. Regular HE was used, not actual atomic warheads.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 4:01 PM

The State wouldn’t even have to bother with ammunition purchases, if it wasn’t for those damned gun nuts.

- Barack Obama/Anti-Conspiracists

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 4:01 PM

I wrote this in a headline thread earlier.

I did some rough math last night. At one base I was firearms superintendent (just one shop mind, but the biggest one in base) for when I was n active duty, we went through over ten MILLION rounds a year. That wasn’t all for training, but much of it was. Some for qualification, some for deployment quals, stuff like that.

10 million rounds a year for one base in one state. Of course this is DoD and not completely analogous but it is illustrative that unless you’ve ever been. I the business, numbers without and context can be alarming.

I also recently inventoried my own personal ammo. It was a lot. It was a number large enough that if it were ever splashed across the headlines or the local news, people would start throwing around the kook theories, etc. however, that number, when you look at it divided amongst all the calibers of firearms I have it doesn’t look like a lot.

Someone who has ten bricks of .22lr at home all of a sudden is transformed into the weirdo with over ten thousand rounds of ammo terrorizing his neighborhood given the proper media template.

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Ok, fine. Drudge had a link up over the weekend that DHS purchased 2700 light tanks.

So how many tanks is that per agent?

JellyToast on March 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

450 million rounds would be 30 years worth.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

They were just looking out for our hard earned money, like they always do, and had to buy that much to get a bulk discount. they saved you a lot of money and all you can do is complain.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Your gov’t is run by criminals.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 4:04 PM

One very popular store here started gouging – and I do mean gouging – almost right after Sandy Hook. All their ammo went up. In some cases they TRIPLED the cost of their AR and AK variant rifles. People still fill in the store though because of hysteria, IMO.

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 3:50 PM

That is not gouging. It is called retaining their business and ensuring they have stock for those truly in need instead of allowing a few people who want to flip that gun for 300% profit themselves.

I’d buy more guns myself if the price was the same as 6 months ago. It is a real shame I am out of my home state and was not able to buy more before the election.

astonerii on March 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

I totally agree, which is why I made my earlier post.
In a free market, ammo prices should be MUCH higher in places where the shelves are empty, like near me.

When prices are far below what people are willing to pay, you get hoarding, which is exactly what we are seeing.

I’d rather see .22LR prices up 300% but still be able to purchase them then see an empty shelf and not be able to buy any at all.

Nessuno on March 5, 2013 at 4:04 PM

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Oh yeah, that is the only place feds can shoot.

And only Homeland Security is shooting, or buying.

Geesh, some of y’all are reporter grade stupid.

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Yeah, just sit down, shut up and embrace the Suck.

This isn’t the first time in the history of these organizations that they’ve purchased ammo…not like they’re just starting out and these are some kinds of initial expenditures, and if they are indeed going through this many rounds in practice, then it becomes more of a fiscal/taxpayer issue. If you cannot master your weapon in say fifty rounds or less, then you may as well hang it up in the accuracy department.

I don’t believe I fired any where near these numbers of rounds through both an M-16 and an M1911 combined in the years I was in the Army.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Maybe the conspiracy is not about how the Feds are arming themselves but how they are simultaneously trying to disarm us?

katy on March 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

They were just looking out for our hard earned money, like they always do, and had to buy that much to get a bulk discount. they saved you a lot of money and all you can do is complain.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

It’s just not right.

Sharrukin doesn’t trust the State.

It’s just not right.

When will he evolve?

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

You fixed the grammatical errors. Do you think the nutballs will understand it this time?

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM

If you were using someone else’s money to buy ammo, someone you’d never meet, and your life depended upon it, would you still buy the cheap stuff ?

LincolntheHun on March 5, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Gee let’s see. When I was training to shoot people while under the FedGov’s pay in the Marine Corps, I was a gunner on a LAV-25. We were using such things as a subcaliber training device mounted to the barrel of the 25mm (a M16 on a POS aluminum bracket that kept warping after repeated firing of the M16), and lots of money was being invested in computerized gunnery simulators where we’d shoot no rounds at all. So yeah, the Federal Government *does* have a history of trying to conserve ammo costs. I’ve lived some of it. They’re buying the expensive stuff, because it’s the best stuff to use to put big fat holes in their fellow citizens.

quikstrike98 on March 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Gateway Pundit.
Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/03/obama-dhs-purchases-2700-light-armored-tanks-to-go-with-their-1-6-billion-bullet-stockpile/

This is totally normal. Go back to sleep you paranoid wackos.
It’s not like our President ever said “We should have a national police force as well funded and armed as the military.”

“Oh snap, he did say that.
You get accused of being an extremist when all you do is listen to what the left says and take them at their word.

JellyToast on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Astoneril,

It’s not retaining your business when you’re selling a DPMS .223 carbine, without sights, a plain Jain basic service rifle that sold for around $800 in November 2012 is being sold for over $3,000 four months later. Or selling a yugo SKS for over $1,800 when you could buy them at the gun who for less than $300 less than a year ago.

I’m all for a business taking advantage of a situation and making a profit but gouging is gouging

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM

The first rule of tyranny -

1. Trust and obey the State.

The second rule of tyranny -

See Rule 1.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Ok, fine. Drudge had a link up over the weekend that DHS purchased 2700 light tanks.

So how many tanks is that per agent?

JellyToast on March 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Oh c’mon, Mr. Tinfoil Emerick Hat…everything’s fine. Obummer’s just a tax and spend Liberal is all, and good times are just around the corner. This time next year, you’ll just swear it’s 1957 all over again!

/s

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 5, 2013 at 4:09 PM

We get a lot of e-mail with various doomsday scenarios built on conjecture, and we don’t address most of them for the simple reason that we’d rather focus on actual issues.

Pffft. So, Charles Cooke doesn’t focus on actual issues?

You’ve got your nose too high in the air, Ed. Cooke pointed out a couple serious issues in the process of debunking the “doomsday scenarios built on conjecture”. What was needed was some actual ‘leg work’ to be done in the process of preparing a report debunking it — checking out the actual purchase terms gathering data of the reason for the orders, doing the calcs to point out the reasonableness of the purchases, most of it necessary, or at least providing an better context to press the issues.

Look, Cooke did some actual reporting here. That HA doesn’t really do that sort of thing, doesn’t mean it’s not important or that it isn’t an actual issue.

Dusty on March 5, 2013 at 4:10 PM

JellyToast on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM

You don’t even pay attenetion to the threads you post in.

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 4:10 PM

They were just looking out for our hard earned money, like they always do, and had to buy that much to get a bulk discount. they saved you a lot of money and all you can do is complain.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I am so ashamed.

Perhaps I need sensitivity training?

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM

This is totally normal. Go back to sleep you paranoid wackos.
It’s not like our President ever said “We should have a national police force as well funded and armed as the military.”

Oh snap, he did say that.
You get accused of being an extremist when all you do is listen to what the left says and take them at their word.

JellyToast on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I move that the thread stop here.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Pros do practice with what they carry for duty.

Not that I’m accusing any federal cops of being professionals, understand. But people who believe that their lives depend on precise shooting do use on the range what they carry for duty.

LegendHasIt on March 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Gee let’s see. When I was training to shoot people while under the FedGov’s pay in the Marine Corps, I was a gunner on a LAV-25. We were using such things as a subcaliber training device mounted to the barrel of the 25mm (a M16 on a POS aluminum bracket that kept warping after repeated firing of the M16), and lots of money was being invested in computerized gunnery simulators where we’d shoot no rounds at all. So yeah, the Federal Government *does* have a history of trying to conserve ammo costs. I’ve lived some of it. They’re buying the expensive stuff, because it’s the best stuff to use to put big fat holes in their fellow citizens.

quikstrike98 on March 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

When I was in basic we used M-16, M-14 and BB guns. Yes BB guns for training. Actual BB guns to shoot nickle sized slugs tossed in the air. You could see the BB in flight and see how much you missed by and in what direction.

VorDaj on March 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Ed, you might want to post this link as an update.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/03/foghorn/ask-foghorn-whats-with-the-ammunition-shortage/

When Barack Obama was re-elected, there was a mini panic buying spree. But this time, the gun stores and distributors were ready. Remembering how crazy things were during the last Obama election, they ordered extra ammunition ahead of time and there was plenty available on the shelves. The demand by gun owners was sufficiently satiated by the available supply, and life returned to normal pretty quickly.

Thanks to the mini-panic, the ready reserve of ammunition was completely gone. Manufacturers had nothing in stock, and distributors were sold out. While the lack of ammunition available might be concerning to some, seeing nothing on the horizon, manufacturers continued their slacked production schedule. Since everyone who wanted ammunition had bought it already during the panic, demand was way down and they figured that they could gradually re-fill the reserves.

For a few weeks, life was good. Distributors were starting to build up their ready reserve of ammunition once again, and store shelves had ammunition in stock at normal prices. Then, Sandy Hook happened. Almost overnight, the demand for ammunition shot past the peak of the mini-panic from a month before, completely draining the ammunition reserves of manufacturers and distributors. The shelves were literally empty.

Right now, we’re dealing with the aftermath. Ammunition manufacturers quickly ramped back up to 100% production, running their lines day and night, but that’s proving to be too slow to replenish the supplies of the distributors and gun stores. Ammunition is being sold as fast as it can be manufactured. There is no slack in the distribution system whatsoever.

Normally, there’s a built-in relief valve for panic buying. Namely, people run out of money and then stop buying stuff. People would still want ammo, but they wouldn’t have the money to get it. Unfortunately, this has happened at the absolute worst time — tax refund season. The government is handing people tons of spare cash, which they are dumping immediately on more ammo. Which in turn leads to the ammunition scarcity.

Since ammunition manufacturers are producing at 100% capacity and distributors are selling what they get as soon as they get it, that means that distributors are continuously adding new orders to the queue. And the queue continues to grow, since orders aren’t being filled fast enough.

Let me put it this way. Right now, ATK (manufacturer of Federal ammunition) has an order queue that will take them three years to fill. That’s for orders through today. The line will inevitably grow tomorrow.

As the demand for ammunition slows down, we’ll see more availability and lower prices. There’s a massive cliff on ammunition prices coming as market saturation (or rather market bankruptcy) is reached, and life will once again be good. But for right now, it’s still insane. And showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.

.
If you want to see things “get back to normal” … STOP the panic buying.

If everyone stopped for one month – the distribution chains would build up slack, orders for three years out would be cancelled and prices would start to come down.

Oh … and a hat tip to the online retailer MidwayUSA – they’ve reached 1 million active customers during this panic (while keeping their prices down near normal) and have donated $ 1,000,000 to the NRA to show their appreciation by helping to fund the defense of our Second Amendment rights.

PolAgnostic on March 5, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Yeah, sharrukin…

15 million at FLETC, that’s one training center in GA. a big one sure, but one training center.

You could argue I guess….

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 4:13 PM

I’m all for a business taking advantage of a situation and making a profit but gouging is gouging

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Taking advantage of noobs who most likely will never learn to use them properly or take care of them like they ought to.

When this latest round of panic buying is over, there will be plenty of almost new firearms on the market. And since it will be individuals selling them, no ATF forms.

Yeah, I ain’t above buying cheap from an idiot who just wanted to be on the bandwagon.

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Dissent used to be “patriotic”…until the leftist thugs came to rule.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Ok, fine. Drudge had a link up over the weekend that DHS purchased 2700 light tanks.

So how many tanks is that per agent?

JellyToast on March 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Oh, and I’ll save others the trouble…they aren’t “tanks”…you paranoid nutcase…they’re modified “mine resistant protected” vehicles. So they are in no way dangerous, do not even begin to suggest violence, and nobody will notice them driving through their neighborhoods.

Yeah, they’re actually mobile bounce houses for the kiddies, and they’ll park them at schools on career days, you know, like when firefighters bring in their big shiny fire trucks.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 5, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I move that all of those who trust the State, hand in their weapons and ammo.

After all, if you trust the State … you trust the State, and what better way to say … I trust you.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 5, 2013 at 4:15 PM

You could argue I guess….

catmman on March 5, 2013 at 4:13 PM

That one would argue with a rock about being hard.

cozmo on March 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3