Broun Addresses DHS Tank and Ammunition Reports
Posted on March 22, 2013
We’ve received a lot of inquiries regarding the reports about DHS purchasing thousands of “tanks” or billions of rounds of ammo. We too were concerned, so we looking into both issues in depth and found both were the result of faulty reporting.

First, regarding the DHS “tanks”-

Someone took a press release from Navistar stating they were retrofitting 2,717 MRAPs (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicles) for the Army, and a video from DHS featuring a Customs and Border Patrol MRAP and explaining how CBP uses the vehicles, and combined them to imply that DHS was buying thousands of these vehicles for domestic use.

The fact is that DHS has 32 MRAPs with no plans for further acquisition. 16 are with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, used in support of ICE Special Response Teams (SRT); and 16 are with Customs and Border Protection, used in support of CBP border tactical units.  These are used for high-risk situations where the SRTs or CBP is likely to need cover from gunfire, such as serving high-risk warrants or breaking into heavily armed drug cells. These were all given to them by the Army out of their inactive stock, and DHS has no intent to procure any more.

To clear up the issue regarding ammunition stockpiling -

The reports that DHS has been hoarding billions of rounds of ammunition is also false, and due to a media misunderstanding of how ammunition contracts function and misreading of individual solicitations.

First and foremost, even if the 1.6 billion number being floated was accurate for the solicitations, it would only represent the “ceiling” of purchases – or the most that could be possibly purchased over a 5 year period – NOT a stockpile. If you’d like to see how much ammo they have on hand, please see the addendum below.

Furthermore, that number is much higher than the actual ceiling due to a misreading of ammunition solicitations. For instance, one widely reported story indicated that the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center was soliciting for “750 Million Rounds,” but in actuality the solicitation called for roughly 63 million rounds if completely realized. And an amendment to the solicitation further clarified that the maximum allowed rounds doesn’t exceed 70 million rounds, NOT 750 million.

You can see how this quickly spiraled into a story about “billions of rounds of ammunition” when a 70 million round maximum solicitation – that will likely generate much less in actual purchases – is counted as 750 million stockpiled today. 

Also, much has been made of the fact that this is “hollow point” or “high powered” ammunition. This is not unusual, as hollow point is the standard issue for law enforcement because it stops when it hits something instead of passing through for potential collateral damage.

For more specific numbers concerning current ammunition procurement and historic numbers: According to DHS, in November of 2012 departmental components reported 263.7 million rounds of all types of ammunition on hand – slightly more than purchased in FY2010 and FY2011 combined.  This is not unreasonable considering that DHS contains around 45% of all federal law enforcement.

After looking into DHS ammunition procurement, we found that the amount of ammunition purchased by DHS has actually declined over the last three years.  The combined sub-agencies of DHS purchased 148 million rounds of ammunition in fiscal year 2010, 108 million in FY 2011, and 103 million in FY 2012. 

The DHS components which purchased the most ammunition are the Customs and Border Patrol, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and the U.S. Secret Service.  Interestingly, while the number of rounds purchased has declined, the number of DHS purchased who carry guns and must train and certify in their use overall has grown.


For more information, see the following  detailed memo:

The opinions expressed below are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent those of this office.
  • Jane Whittle commented on 3/22/2013
    Thank you !! It is difficult to trust sources in these times. I hope your researchers are very honorable Constitutionalists.
  • Cliff Mcloud commented on 3/24/2013
    Thank you Sir for providing this information, facts. I appreciate it given the voracity that some on the internet blow things out of proportion. Our Law Enforcement must have the ability to train, and to protect themselves in adherence to the Constitution. They have a duty to protect us all. MTCS(SS) Mcloud, USN Retired.
  • Richard Holmes commented on 3/24/2013
    Dear Sir, if all this is true, why is there a nation wide shortage of ammuniton? The general public does not trust the government any more with good reason.
  • Clara Herrin commented on 3/25/2013
    And we're supposed to believe this? It's gotten to the point where I don't believe anything that comes out of Washington. We've been lied to about so much over the last four years that it's hard to believe anything. On the one hand, I pray that's not part of the plan; on the other hand, I fear that it is. Probably the best proof would be to simply replace the people who are telling you all this with people who are vetted properly and are proven Constitutionalists. At least that would be a step in the right direction.
  • Ronald Morris commented on 3/25/2013
    Mr. Congressman if this is true why is it from West Virginia all the way To Texas that every Wal Mart every Bass Pro shop every Cablas stores are very very short on Ammunition. Tell us another one.
  • Lyle Felix commented on 3/25/2013
    Have you ACTUALLY looked any farther into the MRAP's to find out where and when DHS has EFFECTIVELY used them to secure our borders? Have you INVESTIGATED further to see if these ammunition purchases by federal govt agencies is typical of purchases in past years back to the Clinton and Bush administrations and compared those numbers to the numbers of federal agents then? Have you seen the empty ammunition shelves and tried to buy ammunition yourself? Lyle Felix, Navy Submarine Vet and Concerned Citizen
  • David Hofer commented on 3/25/2013
    If 1.6 billion rounds of ammo on purchase order is only a "ceiling", then why tie up productive capacity on an order that isn't meant to fully fulfilled. It still doesn't make sense.
  • Mario Vidoli commented on 3/25/2013
    Sir, Please explain your opinion for the nationwide shortage ....
  • Mark Hyams commented on 3/26/2013
    Congressman Broun, Thank you for investigating this issue. My concern is we are being asked to accept a response from the source we are investigating, and dismissing sources providing conflicting information. Should we really expect them to tell us the truth and not verify their story? If what we are told is true, that DHS is making massive purchases at this time "to save money," the timing does not make sense. Exactly when were these purchase orders submitted? Ammunition and certain firearms are extremely expensive and over priced due to panic buying by the public. Orders by the DHS exacerbate the issue. I believe there is more to this than we are being told. I do not trust any spokesperson for this administration (or any other for that matter) to be forthright and honest and provide ALL of the information requested without being forced into a position to do so. History bears this out. I will not be satisfied with any explanation from this administration without corroborating evidence from independent sources. I certainly hope you won't either. Sincerely, Mark Hyams
  • Tim Chrisolm Last Name commented on 3/26/2013
    I know for a fact theres an armored vehicle in the New Braunfels, TX PD. A friend of mine and I took pics of the thing. It doesn't appear to be an MRAP but it is something out of the day to day norm, that you would expect to see in any city PD.
  • Geri McLendon commented on 3/26/2013
    Sorry sir but I do not believe your response. Evidence clearly states otherwise!
  • Stan Stanfield commented on 3/27/2013
    Dear Congsressman Broun, Thank you for looking into this matter. However, given the circumstances: I echo Mark Hyams' comment and concerns. Respectfully, 'Stan' Stanfielfd
  • Richard Helsel commented on 3/27/2013
    Congressman.Let's get real. Explain why a major majority of honest citizens" don't " trust anything involving government. What is it that has brought the honest citizan to this point where we have the distrust of government and all the people that make it up. Like you? Explain that . if you can
  • Rocky Bensch commented on 3/27/2013
    As an Army veteran, a former Peace Officer and a NRA Pistol Trainer I can catagorically say that they don't, commonly, use expensive, hollowpoint ammunition, for typical Training exercises. Far cheaper target ball ammo is used, most often.
  • Joseph DeRuvo commented on 3/31/2013
    Congressman, I am sorry but I and MANY other American Patriots DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD YOU OR ANY OTHER TALKING HEAD SAYS IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!. We are tired of being lied to by this Administration. We are not as Stupid as you think we are!!. . We are not going to believe a word you say!!.
  • Michael Murray commented on 4/14/2013
    Let's do the math. 62,000 agents x 1000 rds/yr (practice) = 62 million rds/yr. DHS said they had 263.7 million rounds "on hand", a 4.25 year supply. The 2012 PO is for an additional 90 million rds/yr for 5 years. WHAT FOR??? If every agent loads 15 hollow-point rds in his service weapon, that requires 930,000 rds total, and 10 years from now they'll still be there, since they are rarely fired in the field. Hollow-points for practice, I doubt it!!!
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