Several weeks ago, IJReview picked up on a story seemingly verified by the AP that the Department of Homeland Security purchased 1.6 billion bullets. Media outlets demanded answers and now they’ve got them.
DHS released a letter divulging the ammunition purchase statistics, which are in the process of being verified by independent sources. And so far, the math isn’t adding up to the 1.6 billion rounds claim.
Tom Stilson wrote up an analysis and published it at Breitbart.com, which was then recirculated through FoxNation and other outlets. It has a number of fact-checking items that show the recent purchases of DHS are not out-of-line with historical trends or those of its incorporated agencies, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Among the items:
- “The DHS contract never stated 750 million rounds at any time. It is a five year contract with a maximum purchase of 70 million rounds over the life of the contract. Military Times recently addressed this issue as well.”
- 1.6 billion rounds is not what the military would expend in a 20-year shooting war like Iraq. It is more like the annual expenditure, if one accounts for training exercises. Even Forbes misreported this.
- DHS did not purchase 21.6 million rounds for its New Mexico training center. It was more like 240,000 rounds.
The following passage from the lengthy article seems to put the coup de grâce to the DHS stockpiling story (not that people should stop tracking its purchases):
A recent response by the Department of Homeland Security to Senator Tom Coburn reflects even lower numbers. In 2013, DHS expects to purchase $37 million of ammunition. This total is in between the last two years of purchases and puts their total round count closer to 105 million rounds. In reality, DHS has closer to 1.05% of the total market share for this year and far less than the last three years.
The reason there’s a shortage of ammunition, quite simply, is because citizens are buying it up. Let’s not forget that the American people are the unofficial department of homeland security.