And Here I Thought I Was Being Frugal

Buying ammunition when it is on sale or even just before an announced (or unannounced due to current events) price hike to me just makes sense. It appeals to my innate sense of frugality.

It also, I am informed, now makes me and thousands of others like me guilty of “suspicious activity” that might “indicate pre-operational terrorist attack planning or criminal activity.”  This is from a joint Department of Homeland Security and FBI “Roll Call Release”.  The example given to justify calling this suspicious activity was the case of the Norwegian killer who murdered a number of children at a summer camp back in 2011.

(U//FOUO) Possession of large amounts of weapons, ammunition,
explosives, accelerants, or explosive precursor chemicals could indicate
pre-operational terrorist attack planning or criminal activity. 


They also referred to “military-grade weapons”. I guess that would mean my Swiss Schmidt-Rubin K-31 rifles as they are actual Swiss Army surplus not to mention my Garand and Springfield 1903A3.

Given I found this due to a story on Off Grid News I wondered if this was just some sort of “survivalist” paranoia with little documentation. No, it isn’t.

The DHS-FBI bulletin does include this disclaimer at the end:

(U//FOUO) Constitutional activities should not be reported in a SAR or
Information Sharing Environment (ISE) SAR absent articulable facts and
circumstances that support the source agency’s suspicion that the
behavior observed is not innocent, but rather reasonably indicative of
criminal activity associated with terrorism, including evidence of pre
operational planning related to terrorism. Race, ethnicity, national
origin, or religious affiliation should not be considered as factors
that create suspicion (although these factors may be used as specific
suspect descriptions).

 After all the hyperbole contained in Roll Call Release, one has to wonder just how many police departments in many areas will even notice the “constitutional activities” disclaimer.

Make Them Buy Their Ammo At Walmart

The House of Representatives passed an amendment to HR 2217 – the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014 – that forbids DHS from purchasing any more ammunition until they report to Congress on their previous ammunition purchases. The amendment passed Tuesday with a bi-partisan majority of 234-192. The amendment was proposed, I’m happy to report, by my Congressman, Rep. Mark Meadows (D-NC11).

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) proposed an amendment to the DHS spending bill for 2014 that would require the report to Congress before it can pursue plans to buy 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition. Meadows said the speed bump is a necessary reaction to news of the huge purchase, which alarmed many Americans and prompted conservative groups to suspect that the government was stocking up on the rounds to fight citizens.

“Given this large purchase, the American people and members of Congress rightfully had concerns and questions,” Meadows said. “This is a responsible amendment which ensures that Congress and the American people are aware of the necessity and the cost of ammunition prior to entering into new contracts for procurement.”

This amendment was opposed by Rep. John Carter (R-TX) who is Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations who said it was unnecessary based upon his talks with DHS officials and that it would interrupt the regular procurement process at DHS. I guess he means their solicitation for 30-30 Winchester and .45 Long Colt (sic) ammunition.

The roll call vote can be found here.

Rep. Meadows had more to say on the issue in this release:

A provision of H.R. 2217 requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit a report to Congress detailing its ammunition purchases by the time the president submits his next budget. Meadows’ amendment complements this reporting provision by prohibiting DHS from entering into a new contract for ammunition purchases until the report is submitted to Congress.

“Over the past year, many questions have been raised about vast purchases of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” Meadows said. “Earlier this year, we learned that DHS solicited bids for 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition. This is more than ten times the amount that the department purchased in fiscal year 2012. Given current inventory, DHS has nearly 4,000 rounds for each employee trained and certified in firearms use.

“Constituents of the 11th District have repeatedly voiced their concerns to me about these purchases. Prior to committing taxpayer dollars for ammunition contracts, we must ensure that government agencies justify the necessity and cost to both Congress and the American people.”

The amendment passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 234-192.

I might have gone further than Rep. Meadows and included a provision that DHS have to buy their ammo over the counter at Walmart or their local gun shop. Oh, and they would have to abide by the usual limitations on purchases that the rest of us do including no more than 3 boxes of ammo per day at a time.

Comment Of The Day

In an editorial published this evening, Investor’s Business Daily is rightly questioning the purchase of over 2,700 armored vehicles – MRAPs – by the Department of Homeland Security. They note that these vehicles were designed to resist mines and ambush attacks in Iraq.

So how does DHS say they plan to use these vehicles?

A DHS officer, Robert Whitaker, stationed in El Paso, Texas, recently proudly described the agency’s new armored toy as “Mine-resistant … we use to deliver our team to high-risk warrant services … (with) gun ports so we can actually shoot from within the vehicle; you may think it’s pretty loud but actually it’s not too bad … we have gun ports there in the back and two on the sides as well. They are designed for .50-caliber weapons.”

This is needed to serve warrants? Perhaps it might have been useful at Waco.