Amid increasing reports that the federal government is in the process of purchasing large quantities of handgun ammunition, I spent some time trying to separate internet myth from reality. Most of the recent online chatter from libertarian blogs is that the federal government is busy stockpiling ammo in preparation for some police state crackdown or other oppressive scheme. Although I quickly dismiss most government conspiracy theories, there are in fact official corporate and government press releases detailing large quantities of ammo buys – as part of routine purchasing for federal agencies.
The first and most significant government purchase is a March 2012 ATK contract with the DHS for up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point over five years. If you do the math, 90 million rounds per year for well over 200,000 employees in the DHS is really not a large number (even considering not all DHS employees carry firearms). Also keep in mind that the government has the option to extend the contract to buy a maximum of 450 million rounds if they so choose. These purchases are routine and necessary for DHS agents to effectively do their jobs. As a side note, hollow point ammunition is becoming the new standard for law enforcement and private self defense. I highly recommend any H&K, Sig, or Glock in .40 caliber hollow point for concealed carry or home defense. The online rumors about government agencies “targeting citizens” with unsafe ammo are completely unfounded.
The latest story being circulated is that traditional non-law enforcement agencies are buying .40 caliber ammo for their employees. While federal documents indicate this is also true, branches of the SSA and NOAA perform the same duties as police officers and other government agents in their respective organizations. The NOAA has a law enforcement arm that is responsible for cracking down on overfishing and other environmental violations. Likewise, the SSA employs hundreds of special agents that carry handguns and need ammunition for their firearms.
Most of the hype over the stockpiling of ammunition is due to a lack of literacy with how law enforcement operates among various branches of government. Uninformed bloggers throw out numbers such as “450 million bullets” and create confusion and fear when suggesting that every federal agency is going to start carrying guns and oppressing citizens with high power bullets. In reality, law enforcement officers work together across many government agencies to enforce our nation’s laws.
With that said I understand why more and more citizens are afraid of the out of control growth of government and the installation of various “czars” throughout the Obama administration. Over the last 3 ½ years, we have seen unprecedented growth in government bureaucracy, record deficits, and the longest length of unemployment above 8% since the Great Depression. With this combination, every American should be fearful for the future of our country and should go to the polls this November to cast a ballot for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. These are two honorable men who hold our nation’s best interests at heart and will start reducing the size of federal agencies in an effort to let the private sector return to its proper role of job creation.