- The Washington Times - Friday, May 16, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put in an acquisition request to buy body armor — specifically, “ballistic vests, compliant with NIJ 0101.06 for Level IIIA Ballistic Resistance of body armor,” the solicitation stated.

The request was put in writing and posted on May 7 — just a few days before the same agency sought “the commercial acquisition of submachine guns” equipped for 30-round magazines, Breitbart reported.

The May 7 solicitation reads: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, [seeks] Body Armor [that’s] gender specific, lightweight, [containing] plate/pad (hard or soft) and concealable carrier. [Also a] tactical vest, undergarment (white), identification patches, accessories (6 pouches), body armor carry bag and professional measurements,” Breitbart reported.

The solicitation also reads that “all responsible and/or interested sources may submit their company name, point of contact and telephone number,” the media outlet reported. And “timely” respondents “shall be considered by the agency for contact,” Breitbart said.

Add it to the list of federal agencies making requests for guns and ammunition in recent months.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service requested the go-ahead to buy “assorted small arms ammunition,” via a website posting. A year ago, the Social Security Administration put in a request for 174,000 rounds of what that agency described as “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow-point” bullets.

And the Department of Homeland Security raised eyebrows with its recent request for 450 million rounds — at about the same time the FBI asked for 100 million hollow-point rounds.

On top of that, the Department of Agriculture itself sought 320,000 rounds within the last year or so.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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