Sunday, April 28, 2013
Reps Challenge DHS Ammo Buys, Agency Using More Per Person Than Army
Fox News -- Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security is using roughly 1,000 rounds of ammunition more per person than the U.S. Army, as he and other lawmakers sharply questioned DHS officials on their "massive" bullet buys.
"It is entirely ... inexplicable why the Department of Homeland Security needs so much ammunition," Chaffetz, R-Utah, said at a hearing.
The hearing itself was unusual, as questions about the department's ammunition purchases until recently had bubbled largely under the radar -- on blogs and in the occasional news article. But as the Department of Homeland Security found itself publicly defending the purchases, lawmakers gradually showed more interest in the issue.
Democratic Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., at the opening of the hearing, ridiculed the concerns as "conspiracy theories" which have "no place" in the committee room.
But Republicans said the purchases raise "serious" questions about waste and accountability.
Chaffetz, who chairs one of the House oversight subcommittees holding the hearing Thursday, revealed that the department currently has more than 260 million rounds in stock. He said the department bought more than 103 million rounds in 2012 and used 116 million that same year -- among roughly 70,000 agents.
Comparing that with the small-arms purchases procured by the U.S. Army, he said the DHS is churning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer, while the U.S. Army goes through roughly 350 rounds per soldier.
He noted that is "roughly 1,000 rounds more per person."
"Their officers use what seems to be an exorbitant amount of ammunition," he said.
Nick Nayak, chief procurement officer for the Department of Homeland Security, did not challenge Chaffetz's numbers.
However, Nayak sought to counter what he described as several misconceptions about the bullet buys.
Despite reports that the department was trying to buy up to 1.6 billion rounds over five years, he said that is not true. He later clarified that the number is closer to 750 million.
He said the department, on average, buys roughly 100 million rounds per year.
He also said claims that the department is stockpiling ammo are "simply not true." Further, he countered claims that the purchases are helping create broader ammunition shortages in the U.S. The department has long said it needs the bullets for agents in training and on duty, and buys in bulk to save money.
While Democrats likened concerns about the purchases to conspiracy theories, Republicans raised concern about the sheer cost of the ammunition.
Blog author's comments - I believe this is about gun control. Until the Obama administration can pass the gun control bill they want they are making it difficult for those who own guns to find ammunition for them.
"The department has long said it needs the bullets for agents in training and on duty, and buys in bulk to save money." This is total nonsense. When has this administration given any thought about saving money? They can't spend it fast enough.
This news concerning the huge amounts of ammunition being purchased by the DHS has been all over the internet for months and it has taken our legislators this long to wake up and acknowledge it.