Why did federal agencies buy hollow point ammunition?

A firestorm was triggered when it was discovered that several federal agencies put out orders for thousands of rounds of deadly hollow-point bullets.  But the agencies most recently, one being the Social Security Administration, are trying to put a damper on the speculation — noting the ammunition is  “standard issue” and simply used for mandatory federal training sessions.


“Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately,” said a message on the official blog for  Social Security’s inspector general office  explaining the purchases.

Fox News

These bullet purchases have drawn widespread attention as the website Infowars.com published several stories on them that were linked  off the widely read Drudge Report and other sites. Infowars.com catalogued a  string of recent purchases — first by the Department of Homeland Security, then  by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and then the Social  Security Administration.

The Social Security Administration solicitation, posted Aug. 7,  called for 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point  pistol ammunition.”

Infowars.com speculated that the  purchases  were being made in preparation for “civil unrest,” imagining a scenario of  economic collapse where seniors could cause “disorder” if denied their Social  Security benefits.

Fox News

But the SSA said Thursday that their agents need firearms and ammo in the course of training,  investigations and responding to threats against offices and employees.

“As we said in a recent post, our office has criminal investigators, or  special agents, who are responsible for investigating violations of the laws  that govern SSA’s programs,” the office said.  The agency said it has 295 special agents across 66 offices in the country.  “These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing  search warrants and making arrests,” the statement said.  Fox News

As for the hollow point bullets, that expand upon impact, the statement said the type is “standard issue” and is used during “mandatory  quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, found itself  scrambling to respond to a similar report this week about an order for 46,000  rounds of ammo. Though the agency initially indicated it was for the National  Weather Service — leading to questions about why the National Weather Service  could possibly need so many bullets — a spokesman clarified the bullets are  actually meant for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement. A “clerical  error” resulted in the order saying the ammo was for the weather service.  So now we have a clerical error as the cause for so many ordered.

Spokesman Scott Smullen said the error has been fixed, and that hollow points are standard issue.  He said the 46,000 so called “error in ordering” bullets will be used to train 63 employees.

“NOAA officers and agents enforce the nation’s ocean and fishing laws to  ensure a level playing field for fishermen and to protect marine species like  whales, dolphins and turtles,” he said.

According to NOAA, the specialized agents are supposed to have 200 rounds in  their “duty bag,” and qualification and training requires another 500-600 rounds  per agent.

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3 Comments

  1. Figgy

    Why do they need it for civil use when it’s banned for use in war by the Geneva Convention?

  2. SoapboxJill

    I would like to know the precedent for all these federal agency purchases. I would like to know how many hollow point bullets or any other ammo these agencies purchased prior to this year, year by year. I would like a comparison of each year to come out into the open.

    You have to be blind to not add up the massive surveillance and forceful power potential being grown by this administration, including drones, agency rifles, bullets, new presidential powers to shut down communications, the smart grid data mine and ability to shut it down, the change to be able to hold (or kill) Americans at home who are suspected of terrorist involvement (leaving the terms undefined). Apparently the feds also ordered bunches of ‘body bags.” And Obama very early said he wants to build a Civilian Military Force larger than the regular military to deal with “problems at home.” Add in the invasive TSA. And AmeriCorps groups that can be sent to communities in times of emergency.

    Every single one of these can be explained away and seem normal by itself. But if you add these all up, even a citizen not prone to paranoia has a REASON to be quite concerned.

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