Enormous DHS Bullet Usage Defies Common Sense

70,000 Agents Used Over 110 Million Bullets

Does anyone remember the big Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gunbattles of the past year? If you don’t, it’s because there weren’t any, and that’s got some in Congress doing some very troubling math.

The DHS is buying just a ridiculous amount of ammunition. They have 260 million rounds in stock, and want to buy 750 million more, noting that they went through 116 million bullets in 2012 alone.

116 million bullets, and 70,000 active agents means that the average agent is going through 1,600 rounds of ammunition in a calender year, despite the DHS not shooting a bunch of people. Rep. Jason Cheffetz (R – UT), one of the House oversight subcommittee heads, noted that the US Army only goes through about 350 rounds per soldier, and that’s in the middle of a war.

The DHS isn’t questioning any of the numbers, but Congress sure is. DHS officials say that they just need their field agents to be super trained and so they’re doing a lot of shooting, some might say a ridiculous amount.

The claims aren’t being taken at face value though, and the numbers are so ridiculous that it has even sparked allegations from Congressmen that the DHS is deliberately buying absurd amounts of small arms ammo in an attempt to crease a shortage for private citizens. The DHS is denying that too, of course, and even mocked the Army comparison by saying that they can’t “contact air support” like the military can every time a fight breaks out. In spite of this surly attitude, the DHS seems to be largely just shutting down websites for copyright violations, and apparently they all go to the gun range after to fire off a few million rounds.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.