Last month, the Obama administration showed support for the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) – global control over eligibility of citizens to own a firearm.
Another step toward destroying the 2nd Amendment has come from an executive action by admission of the Vice President Joe Biden and with the assistance of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The Importation of Defense Articles and Defense Services (IDADS) empower Attorney General Eric Holder “to designate defense articles and defense services as part of the statutory USML for purposes of permanent import controls.”
IDADS takes language from the ATT and applies it to gun control measures domestically. The DHHS will support the IDADS by providing research and studies that legitimize its existence and need for implementation.
Kathleen Sebeilus, Secretary of the DHHS, explained: “In order to protect our children and communities, we must ensure that information on potentially dangerous individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms is available to the background check system. At the same time, it is important to note that the vast majority of Americans with mental health conditions are not violent and that those with mental illness are in fact more likely to be victims than perpetrators. We do not want to discourage individuals who need help from seeking mental health services, and our actions will be carefully tailored to ensure patient confidentiality as well as public health and safety.”
Senators Jim Inhofe and Frank Lucas have proposed the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability (AMMO) Act of 2013 that “would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a report on the purchasing of ammunition by federal agencies, except the Department of Defense, and its effect on the supply of ammunition available to the public.”
AMMO would also “restrict agencies from obtaining additional ammunition for a six-month period if current agency stockpiles are higher than its monthly averages prior to the Obama Administration.”
Inhofe explained: “President Obama has been adamant about curbing law-abiding Americans’ access and opportunities to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” said Inhofe. “One way the Obama Administration is able to do this is by limiting what’s available in the market with federal agencies purchasing unnecessary stockpiles of ammunition. As the public learned in a House committee hearing this week, the Department of Homeland Security has two years’ worth of ammo on hand and allots nearly 1,000 more rounds of ammunition for DHS officers than is used on average by our Army officers. The AMMO Act of 2013 will enforce transparency and accountability of federal agencies’ ammunition supply while also protecting law-abiding citizen’s access to these resources.”
This legislation was inspired by the enigmatic attitude of the Department of Homeland Security concerning their recent purchases of hollow point bullets totaling in the 1.8 billion.
DHS told House Representative Jason Chaffetz at a House Oversight Subcommittee hearing that they were purchasing so many rounds because it was cheaper to buy in bulk and their concern was to save taxpayer money.
They also pointed out that because of extensive training; they were using 116 million for an estimated 70,000 agents. Chaffetz replied that is added up to “roughly 1,000 rounds more per person” and that “their officers use what seems to be an exorbitant amount of ammunition.”
Nick Nayak, chief procurement officer for DHS, asserted that the solicitations for ammunition are for the next 2 – 5 years and because it is not an immediate call for stock then this does not constitute a “hoarding” by the department.
It is estimated that $37 million in taxpayer money is being used to purchase this massive amount of ammunition admit shortages in the private retail sector.
Humberto Medina, training officer for DHS, claims that DHS is not attempting to cause a shortage in the private sector for ammunition and that these purchases are legitimate.
Scott McCurley, manager of a shooting range in Maryland and US veteran said: “Obviously you want to know how a hollow point is going to cycle through your weapon. But I don’t think there’s much of a difference when training. One box of rounds per gun is enough. The cost outweighs the purpose.”
In a statement concerning the bullet purchases, DHS wrote that the agency “routinely establishes strategic sourcing contracts that combine the requirements of all its components for commonly purchased goods and services such as ammunition, computer equipment, and information technology services. These strategic sourcing contracts help leverage the purchasing power of DHS to efficiently procure equipment and supplies.”
The statement goes on to say: “A separate 5-year department-wide contract allows the purchase of UP TO 450 million rounds of duty ammunition for our law enforcement officers and agents. With more than 100,000 armed law enforcement personnel in DHS, significant quantities of ammunition are used to support law enforcement operations, quarterly qualifications, and training, to include advanced firearms training exercises.”
For target practice, hollow point bullets train the agents and officers on how to shoot multiple targets with one bullet and would succeed in the kills-to-targets ratio by teaching armed agents how to kill more people.
Initially, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of DHS, did not want to publically acknowledge Congress questions into the solicitations for 1.8 billion rounds of hollow point bullets.
House Representative Tim Huelskamp said: “They have no answer for that question. They refuse to answer to answer that…. They refuse to let us know what is going on, so I don’t really have an answer for that.”
A letter to DHS was signed by House Representative Doug LaMalfa and 15 other supporters in Congress that demanded an explanation for the “stockpiling” and addressed concerns of Americans that the DHS were purposefully causing a shortage in the public sector.
Local police departments have begun rationing out bullets to officers because of the shortage manifesting in the private retail sector which is believed to be a by-product of the purchases by DHS.
The shortage has increased demand and caused prices to rise. “Panic-buying” has caused US citizens to wait in long lines for bullets at retailers all across the nation.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that there are “spot shortages” due to gun owners buying as much as they are allowed at one time. Some retailers have begun limiting the amount of rounds customers can purchase which also adds to the frenzy.
Retailers say that customers are afraid that with federal gun grabs looming and state laws passing to restrict the 2nd Amendment and the threat of an economic collapse, there is an intensification of need and want for guns and bullets.
Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Gun Shop explained: “We absolutely are in uncharted territory. Our store is 53 years old, and we have never seen anything like this. We have had some spot shortages and busy gun times in the past. This is a level (of demand) never before seen. The political turmoil is intensifying it. People feel like this administration is very anti-gun, and they are going for the legal gun owner.” Among the rumors he hears, he says, are that taxes on ammunition are going up and that background checks for ammunition purchases are coming. Whether true or not, this information is out there, and people are getting it while they can.”
For manufacturers, this controversy has meant boosts in sales for both ammunition and firearms.
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