Forbes Drinks the ‘1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security’ Koolaid
Yesterday, Ralph Benko relighted the “1.6 billion rounds of ammo” conspiracy along with the MRAP conspiracy over at Forbes in an op/titled “1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation.” My attempt at debunking the MRAP claim in Fact Checking: ‘Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks’ seems to be falling on deaf ears. The NRA is attempting to calm the nerves of their members in piece called Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Buy Ammunition and mentioned a press release by “pro-Second Amendment U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.)” which sums up:
If you take the number of agencies that will be using this ammunition – CBP, Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ICE, the U.S. Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration, the DHS police force, and all the guards that protect the various buildings these agencies are housed in, and spread that out over 5 years, you start to see that 450 million rounds really isn’t that large of an order. Especially considering it is used for training purposes like firing range and live fire exercises, on-the-job use (though that is very limited), and to shore up their supplies. In fact, there are 65,000 – 70,000 law enforcement personnel at DHS who would be covered under this … ammunition contract. If DHS were to purchase all 450 million rounds over 5 years, then that would equate to only about 1,384 rounds of ammo per year per law enforcement [officer] … assuming the lower estimate of only 65,000 law enforcement personnel at DHS. Considering those agents go through training exercises several times per year, that is not a lot of ammunition.
Ammunition manufacturer ATK announced the 450 million round contract back in March 12, 2012.
ANOKA, Minn., March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – ATK (NYSE: ATK) announced that it is being awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS, ICE) for .40 caliber ammunition. This contract features a base of 12 months, includes four option years, and will have a maximum volume of 450 million rounds.
ATK was the incumbent and won the contract with its HST bullet, which has proven itself in the field. The special hollow point effectively passes through a variety of barriers and holds its jacket in the toughest conditions. HST is engineered for 100-percent weight retention, limits collateral damage, and avoids over-penetration.
“We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE,” said Ron Johnson, President of ATK’s Security and Sporting group. “The HST is a proven design that will continue to serve those who keep our borders safe.”
What part of the 1.6 billion round will be used by the federal government is unknown. There are number federal law enforcement agencies as you can see here. If we assume that DHS will get all of these round it’s also important to consider which of services fall under DHS and that includes:
• Federal Protective Service (FPS)
• United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
• Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO)
• Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
• Office of Intelligence
• Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR)
• United States Secret Service (USSS)
The chart below illustrates the organizational structure of DHS.
I have yet to see any documentation backing up the claim that DHS will get 1.6 billion rounds. If they were to be receiving this many rounds it’s important to remember that these contract come with four option years. It is also important to remember that DHS is a massive organization that includes numerous sub agencies beyond ICE.
Update: Added screenshots of said article by Ralph Benko which appears in PrisonPlanet and Infowars.