Feds Respond – Why is the Department of Homeland Security buying so many bullets?

Online rumors about a big government munitions purchase are true,…

Online rumors about a big government munitions purchase are true, sort of.

The Homeland Security Department wants to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years. It says it needs them — roughly the equivalent of five bullets for every person in the United States — for law enforcement agents in training and on duty.

Published federal notices about the ammo buy have agitated conspiracy theorists since the fall. That’s when conservative radio host Alex Jones spoke of an “arms race against the American people” and said the government was “gearing up for total collapse, they’re gearing up for huge wars.”

The government’s explanation is much less sinister.

Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as “strategic sourcing contracts,” which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga . The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.

Read more at Fox News

Load Comments
  • John

    its much simpler than all that. what the gov is doing crating a shortage buy ordering mssive amounts of ammo. ammo suppliers have to shift prioriteis to fill gov contracts thus the civilian supply dwindles. anyone remember not deing able to find federal hydra-shok .230 grain .45s a couple of yrs ago? prices go way up and boxes get smaller. used to be $40 for a 50 rd box. can’t find a 50 rd box anymore but its $35 for a 20rd box now. they really can’t control guns, but they are worthless w/o ammo

  • Victor

    … and yet they want to limit us to 500 round max purchase, and want to stop us from buying it online. If all these number are reasonable, why are we the people limited to “less than reasonable” amounts?

  • GothDog

    Overbuying to get a cost reduction is not unsual government behavior.

    Do you have any idea how much battleship gray paint the US Navy has? One of my my squidly friends indicated that when he served (in the Eighties) they had enough gray paint to last the entire Navy for decades.

    So overbuying on ammunition seems normal enough behavior to me. Might help explain why .45 ACP is $30 per box of twenty where I live these days.

  • dave

    the article states that ONE training center (out of an unknown number of others) uses *UP TO* 15 million rounds per year in training.. Divided by 365 days, that’s roughly 42,000 rounds per day. Say there are 30 agents (officers, etc) per day on the ONE range, that’s roughly 1400 rounds per agent. That’s believable. When I go to the range, it’s normal to run through 500 to 1000 rounds. So- Sorry, the explanation is valid. (true-or-not)

  • kjatexas

    FYI: this is the ammo use by one agent –
    Two handguns – primary & back up weapon –
    2 X 4 quals per year X 100 rds = 800 rds
    2 X 12 monthly practice X 50 = 600 rds,


    1 rifle X 4 quals X 100 rds = 400 rds
    1 rifle X 12 practice X 50 = 600 rds,


    1 shotgun X 4 quals X 5 slugs = 20 slugs
    1 shotgun X 4 quals X 10 #4/00 buckshot rds = 40 rds
    An agent could draw practice shotgun ammo, but not many used it,

    MP5 SMG

    1 SMG X 4 quals X 100 rds = 400 9MM rds

    1 SMG X 12 mos X 100 rds = 1200 9MM rds.

    This example is for an agent issued 2 handguns, a .223 caliber rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun. The MP5 SMGs are generally used by SRT members. Nonetheless, a lot of ammo use by one agent.

  • Tinfoil Free

    They don’t because they’re more expensive. Except when you buy them in 1.6 billion bulk. And now they can train with the exact same rounds they use.

  • Jackery

    They’re not worried about the unnecessary cost of using hollow points for training. It’s not like it’s their money.

  • john hagaman

    so they are buying ten years of bullets to get a better price on top of what they already have bought when will they think they have enough and hollow points for practice sounds kinda funny to me and in every caliber along with department of education ordering full automatic rifles for use as personal defense weapons ok if you beleive them i have a bridge you can buy

  • FatherPatriot

    Sure, because everyone practices with hollow points.

  • Joe Armstrong

    In this article it does not say what kind of rounds are purchased ie hollow points, ball or soft point. The general public doesn’t know what the difference is between rounds used for training and rounds used for duty. I see this as a smoke screen. There is not enough information in this article.

  • Bryan S.

    I took it this way. they get first dibs on orders. Super high orders mean that we the people dont.

    Not like the administration is adverse to spend money on whatever they like.

  • Gary Newbold

    That is enough for 20the years.

  • RLPGuy720

    Not buying it. The math doesn’t work. If they’re using 15 million rounds/year in training…it would take 106 years to consume 1.6 billion rounds. Even if you double or triple the amount of ammo that DHS is consuming in training…it would still take 20 years to use that amount of ammo up. That means that you have to come up with climate controlled and secured storage for 1.6 billion rounds of ammo for say…a minimum of 20 years and more like 100. That would wipe out whatever savings that DHS is claiming by buying such large quantities of ammunition.

  • none ya bidness

    1.6 BILLION rounds they want…they use 15 million per year…well when i did math a few years ago 15 million times 5 yrs is 75 million…….so they are buying 21.33333 years worth
    and we’re paranoid???????????????

  • greylock

    What I read leads me to believe they are buying hollow point ammunition to the virtual exclusion of other types. People and organizations of my acquaintance do not practice with hollow point ammunition because it typically costs about a third again as much or more. Their “explanation” doesn’t have a credible smell.

  • Rich

    If they are only shooting 15 million rounds per year then their 1.6 BILLION rounds to br purchased over the few 4 years ought to last them 100 YEARS.
    So you see their explanation is sheer baloney.