All that Ammo

Bob Beauprez
Posted: Apr 28, 2013 12:01 AM

An enraged Barack Obama lashed out at Congress and "willing liars" who defeated efforts to expand federal gun control laws. Obama and Joe Biden spent weeks – and millions of taxpayer dollars – campaigning for a federal registry of gun owners, ban on entire classes of firearms, and capacity limits for magazines and clips.

But, at the same time that Obama was trying to limit or deny the rights of citizens, the government was loading up – literally – in an unprecedented way, including 174,000 hollow-point bullets for the Social Security Administration.

Some of the truth was exposed in a recent Congressional hearing and a subsequent IBD editorial.  As the editors say, "The government that would limit law-abiding citizens to some seven bullets to defend their families and their homes still has some explaining to do."

Following are some key excerpts from the IBD editorial and link to the entire feature:

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.

Comparing that with the small-arms purchases by the U.S. Army, he said the DHS is churning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer per year, while the Army goes through roughly 350 per officer.

"What does not make sense in the information you provided is that Customs and Border Control used (around 14 million) rounds for operational purposes when they rarely fire their guns," a skeptical Chaffetz said, citing just one example of a particular allocation.

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. Its 295 agents investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes. Read more here