When the numbers are put in perspective, the federal government’s extraordinary buildup of ammunition looks even more ominous than critics already have portrayed it.
An analysis by Forbes contributor Ralph Benko shows the 1.6 billion rounds of ammo that the government is acquiring would be enough for more than 100 years of training.
As WND previously reported, it also would be enough ammunition to fight a war for more than 20 years.
It would give the federal government enough ammunition to shoot every American more than five times.
The Department of Homeland Security argues it is buying in bulk to save money, explaining it uses as many as 15 million rounds a year for training law enforcement agents.
Forbes columnist Benko, who worked for two years in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division, doubts the government’s explanation.
“To claim that it’s to “get a low price” for a ridiculously wasteful amount is an argument that could only fool a career civil servant,” he writes.
But it’s not just the amount of ammo the feds are buying, it’s the type of ammo that’s also is causing concern.
Last month, Palin said the feds were afraid of what might happen if the sequester went into effect and if the government eventually went broke.
She wrote on her Facebook page: “If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion-dollar annual deficits, then we’re done. Put a fork in us. We’re finished. We’re going to default eventually, and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.”
Weeks before Palin’s warning, WND CEO Joseph Farah paired the ammo buildup with a statement made by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 calling for a “civilian national security force” as big, as strong and as well-funded as the Defense Department.
In Colorado July 2, 2008, Obama said: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
Farah asked: “Why does the civilian Department of Homeland Security need billions of rounds of ammunition? This is the agency that is responsible for policing the border. But it doesn’t. This is the agency that is responsible for catching terrorists. But it doesn’t. So why does Homeland Security need so many weapons and enough hollow-point rounds to plug every American six times?”
The federal stockpiling of ammunition could cause a problem for local law enforcement agencies. WND reported in January that police and sheriff departments around the country were beginning to experience an ammo shortage.
Brownells, the largest supplier of firearm accessories in the world, reported it had sold several years’ worth of ammunition in just a matter of hours.
The company released a statement apologizing for the delay in fulfilling orders, explaining it had experienced “unprecedented” demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines since earlier in the week.
Gun companies are already fighting back. Olympic Arms of New York, which sells AR-15s and other firearms, says it will no longer sell guns to police. A company statement says that’s because legislation “recently passed in New York outlaws the AR-15 and many other firearms and “will make it illegal for the good and free citizens of New York to own a large selection of legal and safe firearms and magazines.”
“Olympic Arms would like to announce,” the statement said, “that the State of New York, any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee of such an entity – will no longer be served as customers.”
In Texas, LaRue Tactical is refusing to sell its AR rifles to police in states that limit the features of civilian rifles.
Magpul, a gun magazine manufacturer based in Erie, Colo., says it will not sell gun magazines to law enforcement officers unless they pledge to uphold the Second and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Magpul also vows to leave Colorado if House Bill 1224 passes. The bill would limit gun magazines to 15 rounds.
WND has reported growing federal police power across dozens of government agencies for more than a decade and a half.
In 1997, WND exposed the fact that 60,000 federal agents were enforcing more than 3,000 criminal laws. The report prompted Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America to remark: “Good grief, that’s a standing army. … It’s outrageous.”
Also in 1997, as part of a ongoing series on the militarization of the federal government, WND reported armed, “environment crime” cops employed by the Environmental Protection Agency and a federal law enforcement program had trained 325,000 prospective federal police since 1970.
WND also reported on thousands of armed officers in the Inspectors’ General office and a gun-drawn raid on a local flood control center to haul off 40 boxes of paperwork.
WND further reported a plan by then-Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to hire hundreds of armed Hong Kong policemen in dozens of U.S. federal agencies to counter Asian organized crime in America.
In 1999, Farah warned there were more than 80,000 armed federal law enforcement agents, constituting “the virtual standing army over which the founding fathers had nightmares.” Today, that number has nearly doubled.
Also in 1999 WND reported plans made for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to use military and police forces to deal with Y2K.
In 2000, Farah discussed a Justice Department report on the growth of federal police agents under President Clinton, something Farah labeled “the biggest arms buildup in the history of the federal government – and it’s not taking place in the Defense Department.”
A 2001 report warned of a persistent campaign by the Department of the Interior, this time following 9/11, to gain police powers for its agents.
In 2008, WND reported on proposed rules to expand the military’s use inside U.S. borders to prevent “environmental damage” or respond to “special events” and to establish policies for “military support for civilian law enforcement.”