Rumors about the federal government purchasing large quantities of ammunition, possibly for use against the American populace in case of civil unrest, have made their inevitable journey from postings and blogs on various Internet sites two weeks ago to phone calls to conservative talk radio programs more recently.
Because rumors are usually based on a kernel of truth that is misconstrued, exaggerated and then propagated, let’s be very clear: There is nothing out of the ordinary going on.
U.S. government procurement practices are baffling to begin with, as any federal contractor will tell you. All of them employ experienced specialists who spend countless hours just to do business with Uncle Sam.
So, when complex purchasing process is combined with an eye-popping number of up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber to be purchased over five years by the Department of Homeland Security for its array of agencies, added to lesser amounts sought by smaller agencies with law enforcement responsibilities, it seems to some that something nefarious must be brewing. As the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, we want to get the facts out.
Our members confirm what we are seeing is the normal functioning of the Feds’ procurement apparatus. When you do the math in the case of the DHS purchase, even the maximum purchase would add up to less than 1,400 round per year for all 65,000 DHS law enforcement personnel. That doesn’t seem outrageous considering training and qualification requirements.
And you don’t just have to take our word for it. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action took on this rumor last week in a well done post. To its credit, the office of U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland, who is well respected for his support of the 2nd Amendment, looked into the issue and posted this helpful research.
“It behooves you to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government,” President Andrew Jackson said in his farewell address. We agree, but some perspective is also required. This particular rumor should be put to rest.