First the Department of Homeland Security ordered 450 million rounds of ammunition, then the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) submitted an order for 46,000 rounds of high powered ammo, and now Business Insider reports that the Social Security Administration is asking to purchase 174,000 rounds of .357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point bullets.
This type of ammunition is arguably one of the more powerful available. R.K. Campbell at Gun Blast describes his experience with the .357 ammo:
"I observed the effect of the .357 Magnum 125 grain JHP once over the top of my own sights. The effect was gruesome. A solid hit that produced a severe blood flow AND dramatic effect from the rear, including lung tissue thrown perhaps three feet."
The purchase request from SSA was discovered at FBO.gov. What the agency plans on doing with these bullets is still unclear at this point, but the move has set the internet ablaze with speculation.
Business Insider has more details on the story:
The 125 grain and JHP (jacketed rounds) are exactly the ones requested by the SSA and their offices of Inspector General and Office of Investigation.
The FBO has a link that lists all locations slated to receive the batches of bullets. Offices like Greensboro, NC are getting a mere 1,000 rounds while offices like Iselin, NJ are getting 10 times that number.
Alex Jones' InfoWars is quick to point out that this acquisition jibes with a DHS operation in January where the agency swarmed a Leesburg, FL social security office and posted armed guards outside the doors.
Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that a "clerical error" led to the National Weather Service requesting to buy 46,000 rounds of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols, the Washington Post reported.
Despite the solicitation specifically naming the National Weather Service, NWS spokesman Chris Vaccaro said the ammunition is not for the agency. Instead, he says the solicitation indicates that the ammo is to be delivered to "NMFS" or the National Marine Fisheries Service, also under the NOAA umbrella.
NOAA's website describes NMFS's law enforcement function as "dedicated to enforcing laws that conserve and protect our nation’s living marine resources and their natural habitat. Our goal is to assure that the many people who enjoy these resources for recreation or rely on them for business follow the rules that will maintain the species for future generations."
Shortly after the initial reporting of the story, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen emailed the following statement to the Washington Post, clarifying the ammunition order is for NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement:
"Due to a clerical error in the federal business vendor process, a solicitation for ammunition and targets for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement mistakenly identified NOAA’s National Weather Service as the requesting office. The error is being fixed and will soon appear correctly in the electronic federal bidding system. The ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement agents in their twice annual target qualifications and training."
The Washington Post points out that NOAA is not a stranger to odd solicitation orders. The agency previously withdrew a $5,000 solicitation for a magician to motivate employees at a leadership training seminar.
In March, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) awarded defense contractor ATK with an "Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement" for .40 caliber hollow point ammunition. According to the ATK press release from earlier this year, U.S. agents are scheduled to get 450 million rounds over a five-year period.
This story has been updated for clarity.