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Bill by Oklahoma lawmakers would restrict federal ammunition purchases

Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas, of Oklahoma, say federal government purchases are preventing people from buying ammunition.
by Chris Casteel Published: April 27, 2013

At a U.S. House subcommittee hearing on Thursday, a Department of Homeland Security official testified that the department had more than 246 million rounds of ammunition in its inventory on April 15 — more than twice as much as it plans to use this year.

Nick Nayak, the top purchasing official for the Department of Homeland Security, said the department has 72,000 federal agents and officers that carry one or more firearms in the line of duty.

Those include border patrol agents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers, Secret Service Agents, Uniformed Division Officers, Physical Security Specialists, Federal Air Marshals, Federal Protective Service Officers and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, he said.

Those civilian officers and agents are required to qualify four times a year with their weapon, Nayak said.

In addition to the civilians, more than 41,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard train with and carry firearms; and the department has four law enforcement training sites that provide ammunition for more than 70,000 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement personnel every year, Nayak said.

The amount of purchased by the department has remained relatively constant compared with its employee base since 2006, Nayak said.

“On average, over the last three fiscal years, DHS procured approximately 120 million rounds of ammunition per year of all calibers and types and fired approximately the same number of rounds per year, almost exclusively for training purposes,” Nayak said.

“In Fiscal Year 2012, for example, DHS estimates that it procured just over 100 million rounds, and we anticipate the purchase and use of ammunition in the current fiscal year to be similar to previous years.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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