Why is DHS stockpiling so much ammo?

posted at 9:31 am on April 28, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Even realizing that he was going to immediately be labeled as a Right wing conspiracy theorist by the Left, Congressman Jason Chaffetz posed a rather pesky question to the Department of Homeland Security this week which is sure to get a lot of tongues wagging. Why do they need to purchase huge stockpiles of ammunition? Far more, in fact, than the Army buys on a per capita basis.

Homeland Security’s procurement officer is grilled in Congress on why federal agents who rarely fire weapons need several times more bullets annually than an Army officer. Who or what are they shooting at?

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz on Thursday asked Nick Nayak, DHS’ chief procurement officer, a question we and others have been asking: Why has the Department of Homeland Security been buying so much ammunition?

Dismissed as a concern only of right-wing conspiracy theorists, the reported amounts as high as 2 billion rounds have varied and been explained not as a one-time purchase but a bulk buy over five years to reduce costs. It’s one of the rare instances, apparently, a government agency has actually cared about such a thing.

Chaffetz notes that DHS is currently sitting on more than 260 million rounds of ammunition. Their current claimed rate of expending bullets works out to between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer each year, while the Army averages 350 per officer. Nyak agreed with the math, but insisted that DHS goes through roughly that amount every year, almost exclusively for training. But if it’s for training, there’s another question to be answered.

Jonathan L. Lasher, the Social Security Administration’s assistant inspector general for external relations, has previously explained the purchase of 174,000 hollow-point bullets by saying they were for the Social Security inspector general’s office…

Another question is why so many hollow-point bullets are being purchased?

As former Marine Richard Mason recently told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania, hollow-points (which make up the bulk of the DHS purchases) are not 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.

That’s a lot of ammo. And that’s one heck of a lot of hollow points to be wasting on paper targets. If you click through to the IBD editorial you’ll find some of the alternate theory explanations of where all this ammunition is going and why the government would want so much. I don’t need to expand on that here. But even if there is a legitimate need for that many rounds just for training in one federal department every year, how much money is being wasted by not using standard rounds for target practice? I wonder if the cost would have kept a couple more airport towers open?


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You made me laugh. Is he really good at making a bucktoothed moron of himself usually or just sometimes?

arnold ziffel on April 28, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Unfortunately he’s this site’s version of Rush Limbaugh: topically he can be on point and very good when he is. And I mean like in the top 10.

But his cornball ravings and denial on the “potheads & current events” thread is not endearing him to much of anyone.

MelonCollie on April 28, 2013 at 7:20 PM

OBOZO’s blackshirts and brownshirts in his Dept of Homeland (i.e., “Fatherland”) Security, with their BILLIONS and BILLIONS of rounds of ammo, remain the biggest threat to American democracy, the US Constitution and our rule of law. Be afraid, be very afraid of them and their dictatorial ruler.

TeaPartyNation on April 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Why dose DHS need so much ammo? The answer is right there in front of you on there web sites and in their budget. The problem is you need to have 6 years of advanced forensic auditing and the Government and OMB accounting codes. To do comparisons with the DHS is fun but meaningless.
1. They have more gun carrying officers then the US Marines.
2. They have more training facilities in the United States then the US Army.
3. They supply more on-line, for free, how to do it courses in terrorist activities then any one else. Upon completion will even give you a certificate of achievement. Heck that’s more the al-Qaeda will do.
4. They have 6 over seas training sites which includes Area 51 at Roswell New Mexico. Not sure that I am as worried that they have 6 over seas training sites so much as why do they consider area 51 to be over seas.
5. They were NOT formed up in 2002 but were in existence decades prior to that date. In 2002 they were only fattened-up.

The answer is that the US Government likes to do “things” off the books. To budget for such “things” they need to launder monies, people and equipment down black holes that no one will find. A recent example was the DHS Bag Pipes. The DHS makes a great front since no one will question the need for home land security or Mothers Apple Pie. That’s also why Napolitano gets such a pass on stupid.

jpcpt03 on April 28, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Why is DHS stockpiling so much ammo?

To kill us.

long_cat on April 28, 2013 at 7:36 PM

And those who stockpile food, power, and water will supply those who stockpile a year’s worth of ammo. You don’t think this through to its logical conclusion, do you?

James on April 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Since I have enough ammo and other resources to deal with the ammo hoarding morons …

… and have spent years on studying actual SHTF scenarios (hint: marauding bands of pillagers are not the ones who come out on top in the real world) …

… and have worked through the revised priorities of a SHTF world with those near and dear to me.

Yes, I have thought through lowest two 20% tiers of situations, options and responses.

If you knew anything beyond what Hollywood sells you (going in with guns blazing always wins), you might have met people who would laugh uproariously at your “those who stockpile food, power, and water will supply those who stockpile a year’s worth of ammo” conclusion.

PolAgnostic on April 28, 2013 at 7:44 PM

The better to kill you with, my dear.

S. D. on April 28, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Every gun will run FMJ, not every gun will reliably RUN every JHP out there.

KevinB on April 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Sorry, but that is something handled when procuring the weapon, not on a month-by-month basis on the firing range. If it won’t handle JHP, then it shouldn’t be a weapon in the arsenal. Period.

Most armed DHS LE are going to go through a LOT more than 1,300 rounds in a year. That’s more like what they will shoot in a month.

Really? In a month? Because that’s 50 rounds a day. You’re telling me that every DHS LE shoots an entire course of fire every single day? Maybe we could hire a few less LEs and save some money on rounds and wages?

GWB on April 28, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Won’t do them any good. We still outnumber then and we still have more guns and ammo. Just America’s deer hunters dwarf DHS. Throw in all the others who know how to shoot and these government goons won’t last 3 days if they try to use those stockpiled rounds on American citizens.

Besides,if there is anything I have faith oin our government to do it is to screw up pretty much anything they set out to do by tying their own hands with red tape and weapons grade stupid.

It’s just all more kabuki theater. I can’t wait until it all goes on sale in government surplus for 2 cents on the dollar. Meanwhile, folks, keep your powder dry and stay locked and loaded.

MikeA on April 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM

Or…assuming each round is at least 1 in long, placed end to end, that calculates to over 31,000 miles of bullets.

diogenes on April 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Every gun will run FMJ, not every gun will reliably RUN every JHP out there.

KevinB on April 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Sorry, but that is something handled when procuring the weapon, not on a month-by-month basis on the firing range. If it won’t handle JHP, then it shouldn’t be a weapon in the arsenal. Period.

Most armed DHS LE are going to go through a LOT more than 1,300 rounds in a year. That’s more like what they will shoot in a month.

Really? In a month? Because that’s 50 rounds a day. You’re telling me that every DHS LE shoots an entire course of fire every single day? Maybe we could hire a few less LEs and save some money on rounds and wages?

It’s a wonder there wasn’t collateral damage. Like that would bother them.

davidk on April 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Dude, there was definitely collateral damage. Have you not seen the pics of the computer chair and the wall behind it? Good thing no one was sitting there.

the American flag is my shield and the Constitution my gun!

nonpartisan on April 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Now I have to wipe my screen off!

GWB on April 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM

GWB on April 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM

*FACEPALM* sorry about duplicating the first comment. *shakes my head*

GWB on April 28, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Even if they are using it just for practice, it is absolutely disturbing that we have so many armed federal agents among us. Who are all these armed government people? How many of them are in my town? Who do they work for, and how do we hold them accountable if they abuse their positions? Do we have a secret police force?

bitsy on April 28, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Even if they are using it just for practice, it is absolutely disturbing that we have so many armed federal agents among us. Who are all these armed government people? How many of them are in my town? Who do they work for, and how do we hold them accountable if they abuse their positions? Do we have a secret police force?

bitsy on April 28, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Taking your questions in order:

1) In proper Marxist nomenclature, they are referred to as “the coercive organs of the State”.

2) Probably more than a few, depending on how urban and Leftist your town is and how connected they are to the Federal government.

3) They work for the Executive Branch, and if you have ever talked to any of them, they believe that the Executive Branch supercedes any constitutional limits on government actions.

4) Legally? Not possible.

5) Certainly, but keep in mind that historically; the “secret police” is but a small part of the coercive organs of the State, regardless of ideology. The Geheime Staatspolizei and the RHSA/SD were but a small part of the far larger Schutzstaffel, and they both depended on day to day powers of the Kriminalpolizei on the streets. The Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti(KGB) was far larger than its Second Chief Directorate – counter-intelligence, internal political control, Fifth Chief Directorate – censorship and internal security against artistic, political, and religious dissension, and Seventh Directorate (Surveillance) – of Soviet nationals and foreigners; being comprised of 15 Directorates, a bunch of Bureaus and Departments, and incidentally Soviet SpecOps forces. And still depended on the presence of the militsiya (police). Similar divisions occur within the Chinese Public Security Bureau.

If a state is going totalitarian, the existence of large and intrusive forces to keep internal order automatically imply the existence of covert and extralegal forces to support the regime.

I suspect that the last remaining thread is uncertainty [or perhaps worried certainty] as to the loyalty of the majority of the regular police and military to the Constitution -v- their political masters.

YMMV

Subotai Bahadur on April 28, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Subotai Bahadur on April 28, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Yikes.

I say, hoarders keep on hoarding!

bitsy on April 29, 2013 at 12:02 AM

It doesn’t matter if there is a ‘good explanation’ for all this ammo.

It is too much. I simply don’t trust the government with it all.

Instead of talking about disarming law abiding citizens, we need to talk about disarming the paramilitary groups in our federal government.

bitsy on April 29, 2013 at 12:10 AM

So they are prepared when the right-wing Tea Party counterrevolutionaries make their move.

farsighted on April 28, 2013 at 10:02 AM

because President Obama is preparing for the inevitable bagger uprising…what else?

nonpartisan on April 28, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Somebody got Bishop’d.

unclesmrgol on April 29, 2013 at 1:37 AM

This is sort of like the housing bubble, which was also manufactured by the Government. Since the Government doesn’t have the resources to keep the bubble inflated, sooner or later it will deflate.

I don’t put any store about herding people into camps, but I do put a great lot of store in deliberate attempts to prevent gun owners from getting ammunition in a lame attempt at back door gun control.

For the people who asked about .22 and 30-30 ammo — none of which is used by DHS, the answer is simple — when someone monopolizes the means of production, they halt competitors.

unclesmrgol on April 29, 2013 at 1:43 AM

Lot’s of folks making claims that HP rounds are not carried by the U.S. Military due to Geneva convention. Wrong. As it became available, we (U.S. Marines) carried it in place of ball rounds starting about 2004/2005 in Iraq. Not everyone got it, but many of us did. I always had 210 rounds of HP loaded up at all times outside the wire. Guess somebody forgot to read the Geneva Convention.

gator70 on April 29, 2013 at 9:16 AM

The real question is who DHS intends to shoot with all that ammunition.

We got our answer. Just watch the militarized cops clamping down on Boston looking for one lame teenage terrorist. An entire city of millions was put under martial law while cops in military fighting gear driving armored cars and tanks suspended all Constitutional rights and held the city at gunpoint.

DHS is obviously preparing for this type of contingency on a colossal scale. Why?

Rogervzv on April 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Well, suppose that’s true. If the free market is allowed to operate, then a bunch of new ammo manufactures will pop up to meet demand. Or, existing manufactures will expand. So this “nudge,” if it exists, would backfire because ammo would end up costing less as supply eventually outpaces demand.

visions on April 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Sure, start an ammo company tomorrow. Good luck finding the raw materials to make ammo with however. There is only so much lead, copper, brass, & powder available and no more until those producers ramp up.

roy_batty on April 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM

For the people who asked about .22 and 30-30 ammo — none of which is used by DHS, the answer is simple — when someone monopolizes the means of production, they halt competitors.

unclesmrgol on April 29, 2013 at 1:43 AM

To expand, if you have massive outstanding orders for 9mm, .40, .223 etc., you make that not .30-30. OTOH, there is .30-30 in every store around me as well as .22WMR, .243, 7MM, the odd ducks in other words. Parting shot, there is no issue with 5.45×39 in bulk. Great round, great rifles to shoot it too.

roy_batty on April 29, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Sure, start an ammo company tomorrow. Good luck finding the raw materials to make ammo with however. There is only so much lead, copper, brass, & powder available and no more until those producers ramp up.

roy_batty on April 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Good luck also with the guaranteed butt-load of extra regulations, etc, that are sure to be there as barriers to entry…

affenhauer on April 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Obama did say in 2008 that he wanted a civilian security force as well-funded as the US military. He’s buying all this ammo to keep his promise, while the budget “sequester” cuts back on military spending.

Of course, military ammo is intended to kill enemy combatants when necessary. Whom are DHS’s ammo intended to kill?

Dismissed as a concern only of right-wing conspiracy theorists, the reported amounts as high as 2 billion rounds have varied and been explained not as a one-time purchase but a bulk buy over five years to reduce costs.

Enough to put 6 rounds into every American citizen.

Long live Big Brother.

Steve Z on April 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Need I point out that the USMC and the military in general never use hollow point ammunition as it is illegal for military forces to do so in combat.

I also need to point out that all Federal law enforcement agencies practice with their duty ammunition. There is generally no such thing as “practice” ammunition. The only time I used “practice” ammunition was during initial training back in the days of the revolver, where we used what are called “wadcutters,” which is practice ammuntion in .38 Special. After the first few days we moved up to regular duty .357 magnum ammunition. But nowadays, we practice with what we carry.

So people, let’s not get stuck on stupid. Also, I doubt if this so-called Marine officer was actually a Marine officer. A real Marine officer would have said that he never used hollow point ammunition. And I am pretty sure that officers don’t do alot of shooting. Most USMC and Army personnel who do alot of shooting are enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.

federale86 on April 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Wake up you silly little rabbits, or as Pravda likes to refer to it as Obama’s herd control. You gave away your country to a mad man and mad woman. Worried about the ammo? How about the 2717 extra armored personal carriers that the have recently started taking delivery of and are starting to show up on City Streets. This goes along with the $50M in new stylish uniforms to set them off from the run of the mill agency all to the tune of the new Bagpipe Corp. In 2008 Obama said he wanted a private army to operate inside the US. Guess what he kept his promise and YOU are now the heard to be kept in control.

jpcpt03 on April 29, 2013 at 4:40 PM

This is to limit ammo supply. Just talked to my shooting supply store owner. Limit of two boxes of ammo per customer so she can keep the shelves stocked. Nothing but an expensive way to tie up the producers so they cannot fill store orders. Ask your gun.store why prices are up and stock levels are down.

DocKen on April 29, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Yeah, ask them.

If they’re honest, they’ll tell you it is panic buying – not the government. If they’re telling you anything different, then they’re stoking misinformation- which is easy to understand as this thread is full of it.

A lot of popular rounds for civilians are also used extensively by the government hence the continuing shortages in those calibers.

But as another commenter stated above there is plenty of ammo to be had in calibers less popular with both.

Shotguns are also popular with the government and civilian populace, yet shotgun ammo continues to be had, no problem.

There are more civilians in this country who buy ammo -collectively – than there are government agencies buying it up.

catmman on April 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Make wax slugs while there is a supply of target loads.

trs on April 30, 2013 at 7:55 AM

HotAir: “Just asking questions”

nottakingsides on April 30, 2013 at 11:23 PM

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