I have received word that some people think that simply reporting on what the federal government is doing with our money, especially when it comes to purchases of ammunition on the domestic front that is in excess of a billion rounds within six months, is somehow sensationalizing the issue. That is not my intent. My intent is to inform and in that vein two very curious organizations have also purchased substantial amounts of ammunition.
However now we are discovering the Social Security Administration is requesting ammunition. Yes that's right, The SSA is set to purchase 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets that will be distributed to forty-one locations across the country. Those locations are listed in a spreadsheet at the FBO website.
A solicitation posted by the SSA on the FedBizOpps website asks for contractors to supply 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition.”
While we can speculate all day long what in the world the SSA needs weapons and ammunition for, it is even more interesting to find that the National Weather Service is also purchasing ammunition. That's right, the NWS put in a request for 46,000 rounds of hollow points and 500 paper targets.
According to a solicitation that appears on the FBO website the federal organization,
16,000 rounds of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols to be factory-loaded .40 S&W caliber, 180-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP).
8,000 rounds to: Ross Lane DOC, NOAA, NMFS, OLE, NED 130 Oak Street, Suite 5, Ellsworth, ME, 04605
24,000 rounds of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols to be factory-loaded .40 S&W caliber, 180-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP).
6,000 rounds of frangible, 125-grain CFRHT .40 caliber.
LI 004, 500 Transtar II blue 24" x 40" paper targets to locations below:
200 paper targets to: Ross Lane DOC, NOAA, NMFS, OLE, NED 130 Oak Street, Suite 5 Ellsworth, ME, 04605
200 paper targets to: Troy Audyatis DOC, NOAA, NMFS, OLE, NED 53 North 6th Street, Room 214 New Bedford, MA, 02740.
100 paper targets to: James Cassin DOC, NOAA, NMFS, OLE, NED 3350 Highway 138, Suite 218, Wall, NJ, 07719, 500, Items;
Some will make the argument that the targets are disproportionate to the ammo. That is true in a sense, but if you figure on putting a couple of full magazines in each target, then it works out. However, if that is all this is for then why not purchase ammo to carry as well? Furthermore why does this federal agency need it in the first place?
The National Weather Service is one of six agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen emailed a statement to the Washington Post that read:
Due to a clerical error in the federal business vendor process, a solicitation for ammunition and targets for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement mistakenly identified NOAA’s National Weather Service as the requesting office. The error is being fixed and will soon appear correctly in the electronic federal bidding system. The ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement agents in their twice annual target qualifications and training.
In addition to that WAPO reports,
NWS spokesman Chris Vaccaro said the ammunition is not for the NWS. And, in fact, despite the fact the solicitation says NWS “requires” the ammunition, the same solicitation indicates the ammunition is to be delivered to the “NMFS” - which stands for National Marine Fisheries Service. Like the NWS, NMFS is housed under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
What NMFS is doing with the ammunition is another question. It may support its law enforcement function, described by NOAA accordingly:
NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement is dedicated to enforcing laws that conserve and protect our nation’s living marine resources and their natural habitat. Our goal is to assure that the many people who enjoy these resources for recreation or rely on them for business follow the rules that will maintain the species for future generations.
NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement protects fish stocks from depletion and marine mammals from extinction. We also protect the livelihoods of commercial fishers, the hobbies of recreational fishers, and the health of seafood consumers.
Again, I understand training. I really do. I understand you can go through ammunition fast, but seriously, does the Social Security Administration or the National Marine Fisheries Service need guns, let alone ammunition? As of yet there is no explanation from either agency as to why the people working for them need any of this.