May 8, 2014. Washington. The accusations and denials over massive government ammunition purchases have gotten so widespread and contentious that even Congress has entered the action. Indeed, these billion-round bullet acquisitions for agents who wear suits, work in office buildings and never fire their arms on duty, is curious even if authorities insist nothing’s out of the ordinary. Even more curious are Homeland Security’s conflicting facts.
Images like this empty shelf, including the ‘ammo shortage’ signs, are going viral online as gun owners show the shortage is real. Image courtesy of Guns.com.
There are two opposite schools of thought regarding federal government ammunition purchases over the past few years. The first is that these multi-billion-round acquisitions are normal and used by the hundreds of federal police agencies like the US Post Office, Social Security Administration, and even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The other side of the debate is asserting that regardless of whether the government is hording the ammunition to create shortages or prepare for Martial Law, it still doesn’t change the fact that US federal agencies with no use for such quantities of bullets are buying them up for some reason.
What’s true, what’s not?
Federal officials and firearm conspiracy-busters alike have admitted that the massive government ammunition purchases over the past two years are a fact. Even the multi-billion-round quantities aren’t in dispute now that Congressional hearings are underway. Where both sides disagree is on the questions of whether or not these large purchases by seemingly needless government agencies are normal, and what all these bullets are needed for.
The General Accounting Office released an announcement at the beginning of the year to put fears to rest. It detailed DHS’s ammunition purchases. The agency insisted its ammunition purchases in 2013 were actually 25% less than the average over the previous five years. DHS officials insist it was due to budget cuts and that the secret domestic spy agency typically uses 1,000-1,200 rounds per agent per year for training. Using the numbers provided in the GAO announcement, with 70,000 armed DHS agents on the force, that comes to 70 million rounds per year.
That fact is cited by a number of anti-conspiracy news outlets and even some firearms advocates. Only watch carefully - many are switching the subject group and claiming ‘federal government’ ammo purchases have decreased when really only ‘DHS’ purchases have. Charts, graphs and summaries of ammunition purchases by all civilian federal agencies show the number of bullets being bought has in fact increased.
Take this example from BearingArms.com from just last week. The author is so determined to defend the federal government’s ammunition habits and acquisitions that he gives authorities blanket immunity from any criticism of any kind regarding bullets. The report not only cites the GAO, but goes on to insist that federal ammunition purchases have dropped during the Obama administration. Unless he’s comparing it to the number of bullets bought during World War 2, it’s hard to imagine how the publication comes to that conclusion.
The Spokane Spokesman-Review took the same position, first citing the GAO report showing DHS ammunition purchases decreasing and then applying that statistic to the entire federal government and even insisting that the massive acquisition by the US Postal Service is, ‘blown out of proportion on the internet’ and ‘insignificant to the market.’
Another website coming to the federal government’s defense and insisting there is nothing out of the ordinary going on is Snopes.com. The ‘ask the experts’ site which ranks incredibly high on Google attempts to refute the often made claim by answering the question, ‘Is the Social Security Administration and Dept of Homeland Security buying arms as preparation for civil unrest?’ The site confirms the purchases but fails to give a source for its insistence that future American civil unrest is impossible. That’s because short of a time machine or a crystal ball, they have no business guaranteeing a future event will never happen, especially one that’s already happening to a limited extent across the US in one form or another.
Ammunition stockpiling confirmed, reasons unknown
Data and statistics from various sources clearly show that the combined purchases of bullets by the dozens of secret and not-so-secret federal agencies has more than doubled from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. As far back as August 2012, we at Whiteout Press documented that debate with the article, ‘History of DHS Ammunition Purchases’.
While DHS and its backers in the firearms community continue to site false statistics claiming both DHS and federal ammunition stockpiling and purchases are not true, it seems Homeland Security officials reversed those claims when called to testify under oath before a Congressional Committee. Last week, federal officials confirmed an Associated Press report showing that the Dept of Homeland Security was planning to purchase 1.2 billion rounds of hollow-point bullets, just for its sub-agency alone.
As detailed by Associated Press and RT News, that’s a far cry from the 70 million rounds the DHS notified the General Accounting Office of just four months ago. Not only that, the DHS official told Congress that the Department now had an army of 100,000 armed domestic soldiers. That’s 30,000 more than DHS admitted to in the same GAO documentation. When asked what DHS planned to do with all that ammunition, officials refused to say other than insist it was for training.
“They have no answer for that question,” US Rep. Timothy Huelskamp (R-KS) told media outlets after DHS Congressional testimony, “We’re going to find out.” Curious as to why domestic federal agencies are increasing ammunition purchasing at a time when our wars are over and the sequester forced mandatory spending cuts, Rep. Huelskamp provided his own suggestion to get to the truth, “I say we don’t fund them until we get an answer.” Supporters of a recent House and Senate Bill to halt federal ammunition stockpiling point out that the amount of bullets DHS is purchasing is the same number that would be needed to fight more than two full Iraq Wars all over again.
Martial Law or cutting gun violence
Some Congressmen insist there is no reason to believe the federal ammunition stockpiling has anything to do with impending Martial Law plans. Instead, Congressmen like Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) believe the effort by the various Executive Branch agencies is a secret plot led by President Obama to cut gun violence in America’s cities by creating a shortage of ammunition.
The Senate sponsor of the Bill just introduced to stop DHS and other agencies from stockpiling ammunition, Sen. Inhofe, released a statement explaining his concerns, “President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans’ access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights. One way the Obama Administration is able to do this is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition.”
One independent media outlet that has been crucified throughout the corporate media for being one of the first to expose federal ammunition stockpiling is Alex Jones’ Infowars. The controversial outlet has been proven correct time and time again regarding this particular scandal. They were right when they warned the Social Security was arming itself. And they were just proven correct again after their recent revelation that the US Postal Service is also buying enough ammunition to fight a war. The publication noted just two weeks ago that even the US Dept of Education is purchasing large amounts of ammunition.
Bloomberg confirms ammunition stockpiling
Another news outlet that jumped on the subject two weeks ago was Bloomberg News, an outlet owned by the undisputed number one gun control fanatic in America - Michael Bloomberg. Even Bloomberg News confirmed the DHS and federal munitions stockpiling and even verified that DHS did in fact seek bids for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, just for that agency alone.
Bloomberg News also re-reported the still-viral revelation that federal agencies like the Social Security Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and even the US Postal Service are purchasing large quantities of small arms ammunition. But the publication was quick to quote officials insisting the hundreds of millions of very expensive hollow point bullets were simply for training.
The news outlet quoted USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer attempting to halt the ever-growing fear of an armed federal workforce in open civil war with America’s citizenry. “The US Postal Service is not hoarding ammunition,” Partenheimer said in a statement two weeks ago, “The Postal Service Inspection Service is a law enforcement agency and its Inspectors carry firearms which require ammunition. Periodically, the Inspection Service must purchase ammunition for activities like firearms training, required annual firing range qualifications and for duty. As the Postal Service’s primary law enforcement arm, the Inspection Service is a highly specialized, professional organization which performs investigative and security functions essential to a stable and sound postal system and the security of the US Mail. The Postal Inspection Service has a proud and successful record of fighting criminals who misuse postal services and products to defraud, endanger or otherwise threaten the American public.”
If readers are curious about just how many Postal Inspectors there are compared to how many bullets the agency purchased, so were we. Because while the USPS spokesman conjures up images of postal inspectors fighting running gun battles with notorious gangsters between the wall of PO Boxes and the case with collector’s stamps, the fact is, postal inspectors could, and probably should, be doing their jobs without being armed.
Unfortunately, while we know there are approximately 1,200 armed US Postal Inspectors, the agency’s public notice of intent to purchase large amounts of various small arms ammunition didn’t include any quantities. It was merely an invitation to manufacturers and distributors to register with the USPS as a munitions supplier.
It seems the conclusion of our Whiteout Press investigation is that while there may be a conspiracy, it’s no theory - the US federal government is purchasing and hoarding large quantities of small arms ammunition. And the fact that dozens of agencies that have no reason to be heavily armed are arming themselves to the teeth, and the fact that agencies like DHS are contradicting their own numbers, both lend credence to the fears that something unusual is going on. What that ‘something’ might be remains to be seen.
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