I am shooting enthusiast although I have not been out in quite awhile. I had to dispose of my Spanish Army 9 mm Largo after firing over 2,000 rounds through it over the years. It was cheaply made and started to be unsafe to use. So, how in the world are Department of Homeland Security folks firing 1,000 rounds more each per year than our US Army troops? Seriously? The same people who want to take away lawful gun ownership are stocking up for the zombie apocalypse? If you have tried to buy ammunition lately, you know that there is a big shortage and it takes up to 4 months to get some. Luckily, I have plenty (note to burglars – yes, I have LOTS of ammo and loaded magazines). Now I am not some gun nut, or conspiracy theorist. I hope it is just wasteful spending, but that is way too much ammo.
I was talking to a friend who did not realize that ammunition goes bad. Yep, a dry, climate-controlled area helps, but once it starts corroding or separating, it is not only unsafe to fire, but unsafe to store. So is DHS really going to be smart enough to have a FIFO policy? First in, first out on ammo? Or are they going to buy 1.4 billion rounds and end up throwing most of it away? Or worse, use them?
Reps challenge DHS ammo buys, say agency using 1,000 more rounds per person than Army
Published April 25, 2013
Shown here are Federal Premium hollow point bullets. (AP)
“It is entirely … inexplicable why the Department of Homeland Security needs so much ammunition,” Chaffetz, R-Utah, said at a hearing.
The hearing itself was unusual, as questions about the department’s ammunition purchases until recently had bubbled largely under the radar — on blogs and in the occasional news article. But as the Department of Homeland Security found itself publicly defending the purchases, lawmakers gradually showed more interest in the issue.
Democratic Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., at the opening of the hearing, ridiculed the concerns as “conspiracy theories” which have “no place” in the committee room.
But Republicans said the purchases raise “serious” questions about waste and accountability.
Chaffetz, who chairs one of the House oversight subcommittees holding the hearing Thursday, revealed that the department currently has more than 260 million rounds in stock. He said the department bought more than 103 million rounds in 2012 and used 116 million that same year — among roughly 70,000 agents.
Comparing that with the small-arms purchases procured by the U.S. Army, he said the DHS is churning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer, while the U.S. Army goes through roughly 350 rounds per soldier.
He noted that is “roughly 1,000 rounds more per person.”
“Their officers use what seems to be an exorbitant amount of ammunition,” he said.
Nick Nayak, chief procurement officer for the Department of Homeland Security, did not challenge Chaffetz’s numbers.
However, Nayak sought to counter what he described as several misconceptions about the bullet buys.
Despite reports that the department was trying to buy up to 1.6 billion rounds over five years, he said that is not true. He later clarified that the number is closer to 750 million.
He said the department, on average, buys roughly 100 million rounds per year.
He also said claims that the department is stockpiling ammo are “simply not true.” Further, he countered claims that the purchases are helping create broader ammunition shortages in the U.S.
The department has long said it needs the bullets for agents in training and on duty, and buys in bulk to save money.
While Democrats likened concerns about the purchases to conspiracy theories, Republicans raised concern about the sheer cost of the ammunition.
“This is not about conspiracy theories, this is about good government,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he suspects rounds are being stockpiled, and then either “disposed of,” passed to non-federal agencies, or shot “indiscriminately.”
If that is the case, he said, “then shame on you.”