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Rand Paul Tweets About Federal Hollow Point Bullet Purchases

By Peter Barbour

A hollow point bullet is an expanding bullet that has a pit or hollowed out shape in its tip, often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon entering a target in order to decrease penetration, causing the target to absorb more of the impact and disrupting more tissue as it travels through a body. Hollow point bullets are designed to inflict maximum damage to their targets. They’re not practice rounds. The purpose of hollow points is to kill and maim.

In a trend that has received little attention from the media, various US domestic government agencies have been quietly purchasing millions of rounds of these hollow point bullets and other types of ammunition this year. Senator Rand Paul (KY) took some criticism earlier this week for tweeting about these strange hollow point bullet purchases, which include some of the following examples:

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). The HST is a hollow-point round that holds its jacket even after passing through barriers. Ron Johnson, President of ATK’s Security and Sporting group said, “We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE. The HST is a proven design that will continue to serve those who keep our borders safe.”

Recently the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement (initially reported incorrectly as the National Weather Service, NWS) purchased 46,000 rounds of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) bought 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets. The primary reason given by SSA for the purchase? Training. Here is an excerpt from that statement:

“Media reports expressed concerns over the type of ammunition ordered. In fact, this type of ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies. OIG’s special agents use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety. Additionally, the ammunition our agents use is the same type used at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately. They not only investigate allegations of Social Security fraud, but they also are called to respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees, and customers.”

Finally, there are reports from Reuters reporter Jason Reed and Irish Daily Mail columnist Mary Ellen Synon (who was also a London-based associate producer for CBS News 60 Minutes) that both say, “The DHS is also planning to purchase a further 750 million rounds of different types of ammo in a separate solicitation…including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.”

Such large acquisitions of such deadly ammunition by so many federal domestic agencies– including some puzzling ones like the Social Security Administration– all over such a short period of time might reasonably be expected to elicit some kind of response or comment from the White House and Congress. But they haven’t, with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul, whose reaction last week was to tweet: See Here

Senator Paul was blasted immediately for his tweet by various sources (e.g. Daily Kos, Think Progress) because he incorrectly identified the rounds as going to the National Weather Service instead of NOAA. Paul didn’t even make an accusation, nor ask a question. He simply tweeted what was originally reported by media sources– that the NWS had purchased 46,000 rounds of ammunition.

Because millions of rounds of deadly ammunition have been purchased this year, primarily by DHS, it’s not unreasonable for voters and policymakers to ask questions about it. Why purchase so much ammo, and how will it be used? Why purchase hollow point bullets for training, as SSA is claiming, instead of cheaper firing range bullets? And how does this year’s quantity and type of ammunition purchases by DHS and other government agencies compare to the quantity and type of ammunition in prior year purchases?

And why isn’t the mainstream media asking these questions more?

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Fed’s explanation of hollow point bullets raises more questions

By: Anthony Martin

News reports indicating that multiple agencies of the federal government have ordered and are stockpiling multimillions of rounds of ammunition have pressured the Feds to offer an explanation. But the official explanation has only raised more questions.

On Friday the government stated that the hollow point bullets it has procured are “standard issue” and that they are used to train security agents used by each of the various federal agencies.

However, according to retired Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, a decorated Army war veteran, the Feds’ explanation about the bullets fails to pass the smell test.

When this reporter first heard the government’s explanation for the hollow point bullets, the warning bells immediately rang indicating a cover up. As every gun owner knows if they are serious about developing and maintaining their shooting skills, the type of bullets used for practice at the firing range are normally different from the ammunition one would use when getting the firearm set to be used in the event of a home invasion or other situations in which one’s life is in mortal danger.

Firing range bullets are much less expensive and are not designed for the day to day use of the gun for maximum self protection. One uses the more expensive variety, such as hollow point bullets, for real-life danger.

Thus, immediately this reporter knew that when the government claimed that its agencies had purchased multimillions of rounds of hollow point bullets for “practice and training” at the firing range, something was amiss. Most citizens are likely unaware that such ammo is not used for practice and will accept the government’s explanation at face value. This is in all likelihood what the Feds are counting on.

And when Maj. Gen. Curry confirmed these suspicions in his article for The Daily Caller, it became clear that the Obama Administration has not been honest with the public concerning the current mass stockpiling of ammunition.

Curry stated,

Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don’t just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body’s organs. Death often follows.

In addition, Curry noted that during the Iraq War the U.S. military used 70 million rounds of ammunition per year. Compare that with the 750 million rounds of hollow point bullets that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered in March. And then it further ordered another 750 million rounds of various types of ammunition, some of which can penetrate walls. Curry declared,

This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen. Is this something we and the Congress should be concerned about? What’s the plan that requires so many dead Americans, even during times of civil unrest? Has Congress and the Administration vetted the plan in public.

I fear that Congress won’t take these ammunition purchases seriously until they are all led from Capitol Hill in handcuffs. Why buy all this ammunition unless you plan to use it. Unknown to Congress, Does DHS plan to declare war on some country? Shouldn’t Congress hold hearings on why the Administration is stockpiling this ammunition all across the nation? How will it be used; what are the Administration’s plans?

The other factor that is raising significant concerns about the ammo purchases is that the U.S. military and various law enforcement agencies at both the federal and local levels have enough fire power to adequately respond to any emergency or threat. But DHS now has enough ammo on its own to kill every single American citizen plus potential invaders such as Syrians, Iranians, or Mexicans.

Why? And for what purpose?

As a career Army officer, Maj. Gen. Curry believes that the stockpiling of this ammo is enough to warrant a congressional investigation, including an order from Congress that the purchases of hollow point bullets be stopped immediately.

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