A hollow point bullet is an expanding bullet that has a pit or hollowed out shape in its tip, often intended to cause the bullet to expand upon entering a target in order to decrease penetration, causing the target to absorb more of the impact and disrupting more tissue as it travels through a body. Hollow point bullets are designed to inflict maximum damage to their targets. They’re not practice rounds. The purpose of hollow points is to kill and maim.
In a trend that has received little attention from the media, various US domestic government agencies have been quietly purchasing millions of rounds of these hollow point bullets and other types of ammunition this year. Senator Rand Paul (KY) took some criticism earlier this week for tweeting about these strange hollow point bullet purchases, which include some of the following examples:
In March, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed a 5 year contract with ATK (an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company) for the purchase of up to 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point bullets (HST). The HST is a hollow-point round that holds its jacket even after passing through barriers. Ron Johnson, President of ATK’s Security and Sporting group said, “We are proud to extend our track record as the prime supplier of .40 caliber duty ammunition for DHS, ICE. The HST is a proven design that will continue to serve those who keep our borders safe.”
Recently the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement (initially reported incorrectly as the National Weather Service, NWS) purchased 46,000 rounds of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) bought 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets. The primary reason given by SSA for the purchase? Training. Here is an excerpt from that statement:
“Media reports expressed concerns over the type of ammunition ordered. In fact, this type of ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies. OIG’s special agents use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety. Additionally, the ammunition our agents use is the same type used at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately. They not only investigate allegations of Social Security fraud, but they also are called to respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees, and customers.”
Finally, there are reports from Reuters reporter Jason Reed and Irish Daily Mail columnist Mary Ellen Synon (who was also a London-based associate producer for CBS News 60 Minutes) that both say, “The DHS is also planning to purchase a further 750 million rounds of different types of ammo in a separate solicitation…including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.”
Such large acquisitions of such deadly ammunition by so many federal domestic agencies– including some puzzling ones like the Social Security Administration– all over such a short period of time might reasonably be expected to elicit some kind of response or comment from the White House and Congress. But they haven’t, with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul, whose reaction last week was to tweet:
Mad a/b the weather or bad forecasts? I wouldn't complain, Nat'l Weather Svc just ordered 46k hollow-point bullets http://t.co/rKWCCPVC
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) August 14, 2012
Senator Paul was blasted immediately for his tweet by various sources (e.g. Daily Kos, Think Progress) because he incorrectly identified the rounds as going to the National Weather Service instead of NOAA. Paul didn’t even make an accusation, nor ask a question. He simply tweeted what was originally reported by media sources– that the NWS had purchased 46,000 rounds of ammunition.
Because millions of rounds of deadly ammunition have been purchased this year, primarily by DHS, it’s not unreasonable for voters and policymakers to ask questions about it. Why purchase so much ammo, and how will it be used? Why purchase hollow point bullets for training, as SSA is claiming, instead of cheaper firing range bullets? And how does this year’s quantity and type of ammunition purchases by DHS and other government agencies compare to the quantity and type of ammunition in prior year purchases?
And why isn’t the mainstream media asking these questions more?
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
Thank YOU Sir. It is about time an individual of your standing took up our case of Total Gun Cotrol
Did you also know about the curtailment by our "government" of any firearms being imported?
What is going on? Are we approaching the script of the book and movie 1984??? God Bless You and those around you for the backbone that we, the American Citizen have so long been denied!
Why do you use a "conspiracy peddling" (your term) source to support your claim? All I see here is you're whipping up the fanatical circle-jerking peanut gallery audience your existence depends on; the lowest class of what you like to address as "liberal".
buy your own bullets the are getting ready to take complete control, afraid for my children and grandchildren if you take my rights to buy firearms and ammo only criminals will have them because they do not buy their supplies from local gun shops!
The fact that they are hollw point is pretty irrelevant. 100K rounds is NOT a lot. That being said...750 MILLION rounds for what ammounts to DNR officers is actually pretty disturbing.
Where is the NRA on this? Hollow point ammo doesn't kill people...blah blah blah. Too bad Ryan doesn't care about the arming of Neo-Nazis in this country.
Homeland Security(?) is a misnomer to the nth degree, y'all. National Security Agency is the same way. Go ahead and think all that ammo is just gonna sit in bunkers until it is too old to use, if that helps.
Entertaining crap La'Dene, kindly take your partisan bullshit to another page. Leave us open minded Americans alone.
GOP planning ahead for their orchestrated revolution/civil war. They picked one i n the middle east to cover the Bush illegal activity, just a repeat - they will blame Afro / Mexican Americans for it. They can count on the rampant racism of this US to allow it. Never expecting a foreign power to take advantage - Once again, greedy racists cutting off their collective noses to spite the rest of us.
If it cannot be outlawed, then buy it all up so it cannot be used against our law enforcement people. Simple, logical, no conspiracy. As always, Rand never knows when to stfu.
The government does a lot of creepy stuff, but this is not an example.
Almost all police agencies in the US use hollow point bullets. They incapacitate assailants faster and more reliably than other types of bullet and pose less overpenetration risk to bystanders. Jacket separation generally results in worse performance, and almost all premium self defense ammunition is designed to resist it. The HST is not unusual in this respect. .40S&W is the most popular caliber for law enforcement sidearms in the US. .357 Sig is .40S&W modified to use a smaller bullet to duplicate the performance of .357 Magnum. It is also popular for law enforcement use, and is likely what DHS bought. It's standard issue for CBP and air marshals, IIRC.
Police usually train and practice with the same ammunition they carry in the field. It is desirable to have the same recoil and point of impact. Perhaps more importantly, any problems with reliability, quality control or incompatibility between gun and ammunition can be revealed at the range instead of in an emergency.
There is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary going on here. Go back 15 years and you'll find similar purchases; only the agency names have changed.
DHS Buys 1.5 Billion Bullets For War On The American People (Mohawk Guy Included)
We are not all neo-nazis. Sure some are, but most of us will be the ones protecting you because you chose not to protect your self. The system, BOTH parties, are behaving oddly these past 12 years.
My God,you're stupid! Afro, Mexican americans, vs. Racist WHITES. Left wing vs. right wing.
They don't count on the rampant division of this US to allow it. Never expecting a foreign power to take advantage. Once again, STUPID, DIVIDED, SHEEPLE, cutting off their collective noses to spite the rest of us. If only you were half as smart as you are gullible!
Excuse me, but you're an idiot. The DEMONCRAPS are the ones buying all this ammo , NOT the republicans.
My agency, like most others, used range ammunition for qualification. Only ten rounds of duty ammo was fired due to the high cost. Get your facts straight.