Government Long on Hollow Point Bullets, Short on Answers

Government responses to two recent stories involving the purchasing of hollow point bullets by government agencies are raising more questions than they've answered.

First, a clerical error led to false reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was looking for 46,000 rounds of the ammunition for the National Weather Service. It turns out that NOAA was actually purchasing the ammunition for their wildlife law enforcement division. That raises the question as to why NOAA would be using such an expensive and deadly round for training purposes. Hollow point bullets are actually outlawed during time of war by the Geneva Convention.

“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,” Bales-Sherrod said.

Hollow-point bullets, which are designed to expand when they strike their target, are standard issue for many law enforcement agencies, including the 63 NOAA law enforcement personnel that will use the rounds for their firearms qualifications and training, according to Bales-Sherrod.

Later, more questions were raised when the Social Security Administration announced their plans to purchase 174,000 rounds of the deadly ammunition. The administration has been attempting to tamp down any concerns about the purchases; however, they still seem to be less than cooperative when it comes to answering questions from the media.

Prior to the blog being posted, had asked the agency specific questions about its ammunition order. Although some of those questions were addressed by the information provided in the blog, the agency did not say why it needed 174,000 bullets and if that quantity was customary or had increased from previous orders.

The Social Security Administration also stated that the expensive and deadly rounds were primarily for training purposes and are standard issue, routinely carried by agents. Ihat's increasingly clear is that the military is no long the nation's only standing army when it comes to killing power. It also remains unclear why federal agencies use such expensive and deadly ammunition for training purposes.

The Department of Homeland Security has been busy purchasing ammunition, as well. That drew the attention of Senator Rand Paul.

In March, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed a 5 year contract with ATK (an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company) for the purchase of up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point bullets (HST).


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