As local police departments across the country are beginning to find ammunition difficult to find, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ordered up to 1.6 billion rounds for its more than 100,000 armed agents.
Rep. Timothy Huelskamp (R-KS) has been attempting to get DHS to explain why it is ordering so many rounds, but the Congressman has reported that the department has thus far refused to answer key questions submitted by members of Congress.
In a news report, Police Chief Cameron Arthur of Jenks, Oklahoma says that his department and others are starting to have trouble getting rounds for their officers. Some departments are even starting to barter with each other to fulfill needs because suppliers cannot fill orders.
"Ammunition and assault weapons in general have skyrocketed. In the past, $3,000 would get us several rifles or a great deal of ammunition. But we have seen prices go up 30, 40, 50 percent. In addition... the time to get it could be six months to a year, or in some cases even longer," Arthur said.
Another report details several police departments around the country that are rationing ammunition for its officers and putting off buying new weapons due to scarcity of product.
Meanwhile, helping drive up costs to police agencies and the public, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has also ordered 25 fully automatic AR-15-styled rifles in .223/5.56 MM NATO caliber with a pistol grip and six 30-round magazines for each piece.
Not everyone is alarmed by the billions of rounds being ordered by the U.S. government, though. Andrew Touhy of the Military Times points out that the ammunition orders are not a one-time order but one to be spread out over a five-year contract period. Further, Touhy says that when you divide the amount of ammo by the number of armed officers the federal government is supplying, it figures out to only some 900 rounds per armed agent.