Department of Homeland Security Purchases 450 Million Hollow Point Bullets From ATKThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has awarded defense contractor ATK with an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement for .40 caliber hollow point ammunition. According to an official ATK press release, U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over a five-year period.

The following is an excerpt from the press release:

ATK announced that it is being awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS, ICE) for .40 caliber ammunition. This contract features a base of 12 months, includes four option years, and will have a maximum volume of 450 million rounds.

ATK was the incumbent and won the contract with its HST bullet, which has proven itself in the field. [...]

“We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE,” said Ron Johnson, President of ATK’s Security and Sporting group.

The hollow point, of course, features a pitted or hollow tip intended to expand upon entering its target. ATK says its ammunition is “engineered for 100-percent weight retention, limits collateral damage, and avoids over-penetration” — all hallmarks of the hollow point.

This is not the first time DHS has placed such an order, however. In 2009, it signed a contract with Winchester for the procurement of 200 million hollow points.

The order may seem unusually high, but gun experts I talked to said it is not necessarily unusual and simply reflects a long-running practice by DHS and law enforcement agencies to use any remaining budget surplus on items routinely used and that would not be called into question. The idea being that if an agency does not use its entire budget in expenditures, the government will lower its budget the following year.

On the other hand, the decreased retail availability for hollow points does drive up demand, and hence price for such ammunition. Whether the consequence is an intended one, remains to be seen.

So is this a calculated move by the government to curb ammunition availability to civilians or is it simply another way for it to spend money? Weigh in with your thoughts below.

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