Commentary

DHS Explains Plans To Buy 1.6B Rounds Of Ammo: We're Buying in Bulk to 'Significantly Lower Costs'

By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | April 2, 2013 | 6:01pm EDT

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has responded to a letter dated November 13, 2012 from Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) regarding the agency's ammunition purchases.

Sen. Coburn published the response on the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs website yesterday, April 1, 2013.

The response, dated February 4, 2013, says that DHS buys ammunition in bulk to "significantly lower costs."

The letter states:

"DHS routinely establishes strategic sourcing contracts that combine the requirements of all its Components for commonly purchased goods and services such as ammunition, computer equipment and information technology services.  These strategic sourcing contracts help leverage the purchasing power of DHS to efficiently procure equipment and supplies at significantly lower costs."

While it has been previously reported that DHS has solicited the purchase of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next four to five years, the government agency shows only 263,733,362 rounds in its current inventory.

But, DHS estimates it will spend $37,263,698 on ammunition in FY 2013.

Last year, DHS spent $36,535,910, a decrease from 2011's ammunition expense of $38,237,305.

Also, over the last three years the number of rounds purchased by DHS has declined.

In 2010, the agency purchased 148,314,825 rounds.  In 2011, 108,664,054 rounds were purchased; and in 2012, 103,178,200 rounds.

In response to how the ammunition will be used by DHS, the various component agencies answered specific to their usage:

  • CBP (Customs & Border Protection) said that "70 percent of CBP ammunition is used for quarterly qualifications."
  • ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) says it "allocates 1,000 rounds of ammunition per firearm per year for quarterly qualifications and training."
  • TSA (Transportation Security Administration) says "35 percent of TSA ammunition is allocated for operational use (qualifications and duty carry)."

For Full DHS Response, Click Here.

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