- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Sequester, tight budgets means DHS buying less ammunition
Homeland Security officials tried to mollify Congress’ concerns over the department’s ammunition purchases Thursday, but they may have made things worse by providing conflicting information that left House members fuming.
Department officials testified that their agents and officers average about 1,300 rounds of ammunition a year for training, qualifying and operations — about 1,000 more small-arms rounds than are assigned for every member of the military.
But lawmakers on a House investigative committee said the department contradicted itself on several accounts, including Secretary Janet A. Napolitano, who testified last week to another committee that her employees go through about 150 million rounds of ammunition in a year. The number is closer to 110 million.
“When the secretary of Homeland Security says it’s 150 million rounds, and it’s off by tens of millions of rounds — who’s minding the store?” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and chairman of the national security subcommittee.
Mr. Chaffetz said he took a trip to the southwest border earlier this month and heard from three Border Patrol agents in three different sectors who said their ammunition supply has just been cut.
Nick Nayak, Homeland Security’s chief procurement officer, said in his written testimony that the department is actually trying to cut down on its ammunition purchases because of tighter budgets. And he said the total number of rounds the department has options to buy is about 750 million over the next five years.
“I have no idea where the billion or over ever came from,” Mr. Nayak said.
Mr. Nayak and Bert Medina, director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit, also rejected fears of some gun owners that the ammunition purchases are meant to crowd the market so civilians can’t buy any.
They said Homeland Security’s purchases come to about 1 percent of the total number of rounds manufactured in the U.S. every year.
The department is trying to recover its footing after months of speculation about the ammunition buys, which officials initially ignored.
Ms. Napolitano said last week that she didn’t think anyone would actually believe the reports, and she specifically questioned the credibility of the Drudge Report, which linked to several of the stories posing questions.
Since then the department has tried to clarify what it’s doing — though with varying success.
“You’ve got a credibility problem — plain and simple,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican.
Homeland Security said it had 263 million rounds of ammunition stockpiled as of November, which is more than two years’ worth.
In 2012, the department used 88.3 million rounds for training, and 27.9 million rounds for operational purposes. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, used the most ammunition at nearly 38 million rounds, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement used more than 28 million rounds.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting
- Obama conciliatory on immigration
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Oil production lags on federal lands
- Eric Cantor rejects latest Obama immigration outreach
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- KEENE: Familiar refrains from Britain's 'Tea Party'
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.