The Guns of DHS (Updated 9 Dec, 2013)

DHS Agents With an Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Armored Personnel Carrier
DHS Agents With an Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Armored Personnel Carrier

Some of you have already heard the rumors swirling around the Internet for the past year that the US government – specifically the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently in the process of purchasing…

• 7,000 assault weapons

• 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) – that’s almost 5 bullets for every man, woman and child in America!

• And more recently… 2,700 armored vehicles

I’ve been following each of these stories, the latest of which was about the armored vehicles.  You can hide 7,000 weapons and 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in a large warehouse, but 2,700 armored vehicles is another matter entirely.  So when this last story broke recently I started really digging around on the Internet to see what I could find by way of hard evidence.

What I have found is that all three stories are true, and I have provided detailed evidence below.  What is unclear is why this volume of weapons and equipment are being purchased, and for what purpose they are intended.

However one fact is clear.  While the main-stream media has only recently (this past couple of months) begun to pick up on these stories, the “blogosphere” has been carrying these stories for more than a year.

The “established” main-stream media would have us believe that these shady “bloggers” are a bunch of whackos posting to their reactionary websites from their parent’s garage.  In many cases that’s true, and we all have to be careful with what we find on the Internet.  And yet these “bloggers” had the real story more than a year ago.

No wonder the government is so intently looking for ways to monitor, control, and even cripple the Internet… but “only for short periods of time”, and “only in a real emergency”… of course.


Ammunition (2012):

Claim: DHS is buying a huge amount of ammunition.  This rumor started up on the Internet in early 2012 in the “blogosphere”, but has only recently been investigated by the main-stream media.

Fact: DHS is buying a huge amount of ammunition, as documented in an April 2012 government purchase order for roughly 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition of various calibers (download the PDF of that purchase order as a 91-page PDF here) to be purchased over five years.  The sheer volume of this planned ammunition purchase is many times more ammunition per DHS agent than any of the branches in the US military have ever allocated to train and equip their troops.


“Aaaaaahhh”… you’re saying, “but Fox News are a bunch of lying liars that lie all the time!  I can’t believe anything they publish… cause it’s all lies”  But wait.  What about these sources:

Some of these reports were written by the Associated Press, such as the story in The Denver Post.

Now in the interest of full disclosure many of the sources listed above provide some measure of explanation about why DHS is purchasing this much ammunition (like that they apparently need a tremendous shit-load of ammo to burn up on the range), but none deign the fact of the purchase.

Some in Congress are investigating the DHS ammunition purchase and are calling for additional purchases to cease at least until their investigation is over, especially in light of the “sequester” but the fact remains that this is happening.

The pure and simple fact is that DHS is currently in the process of buying up more than a billion rounds of ammunition for itself.  According to some who have been before Congress DHS has already purchased at least half of this order, although it is supposed to cover a 5-year period.

The purchase order noted above covers:

• Over one million rounds of hollow-point .223 rifle ammo

• Over half a million rounds of non-hollow-point .223 rifle ammo

• 220,000 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun #7 ammo (target ammo)

• Over 200,000 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun #00 buckshot ammo (tactical anti-personnel ammo)

• 66,000 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun slugs (tactical anti-personnel, anti-vehicle rounds)

• Over two million rounds of hollow-point .357 Sig JPH (hollow-point) pistol ammo (anti-personnel)

• Over four million rounds of .40 S&W JPH (hollow-point) pistol ammo (anti-personnel)

• Over 60,000 rounds of .308 match grade anti-personnel sniper rounds (BTHP)

… plus, hundreds of thousands of additional rounds of .38 special, .45 auto, 9mm, 7.62×39 (AK rifle) ammo, and other calibers.

Many of these calibers are not even used by DHS which only deepens the mystery.

Some conspiracy theorists believe that the purchase order was intended to drive up the price of ammunition and decrease the supply of ammunition available to the general public.  One thing is certain as can be attested to those of you who own weapons and have tried to buy ammunition lately… there has been both an increase in price and a decrease in supply of ammunition across America.


Weapons (2013):

Claim: DHS is buying a lot of assault weapons.

Fact: DHS is buying a lot of assault weapons.

Source(s): I won’t list the sources here but you can easily find dozens – perhaps hundreds – in any Google search.  But unlike the older “ammunition” story these are all still within the “blogosphere.”  Will the main-stream media pick up on this too… maybe in a year or so?

So why do I declare that this Internet rumor is fact?  New York State Senator Greg Ball wrote this article which is posted to the official government website of that body.  It discusses his investigation of a “General Service Administration (GSA) request for proposal (RFP) on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security and “member components” [more on that below] such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seeking over 7,000 AR-15’s and matching 30 round clips.”  Turns out that the “bloggers” were right!

So far none of the main-stream media have chosen to take up this story, which as I noted is only a few months old.  Maybe they’re afraid they will have their phone and e-mail records confiscated by the Justice Department, or that maybe they would be audited by the IRS.

Maybe the media is distracted by other “shiny objects.”


Armored Vehicles (2013):

Claim: DHS is acquiring armored vehicles.

Fact: DHS is acquiring armored vehicles; specifically these are Navistar MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Armored Personnel Carriers.  Click here for details on these vehicles.


Thousands of these vehicles were purchased and delivered to military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I’ve seen them.   Many of those same vehicles were brought back to the United States, but many were left in Iraq for use by their military and security forces.  The same will happen when we leave Afghanistan.

Navistar sells these around the world as well.  2,700 vehicles – whether that’s a new production run or if these are used vehicles that were recovered from Iraq – are well within the production capacity of Navistar.

So how do I know that this is true?  Because there are photos of these vehicles being used by DHS’ Homeland Security Investigations Directorate and their Special Response Teams (SRT) all over the Internet.

Do a Google search for “department of homeland security armored vehicles” and you’ll turn up quite a few photos of these vehicles.

… and now the “why”


The Department of Homeland Security:

(And the new Homeland Security Investigations Directorate)

It is speculated that all of this equipment is intended to equip a new arm of the Department of Homeland Security designated the Homeland Security Investigations Directorate which is organized into Special Response Teams (SRTs.)  These teams are described here, and here, and a PDF of their intended use can be downloaded here

“The HSI directorate is a critical asset in the ICE mission, responsible for investigating a wide range of domestic and international activities arising from the illegal movement of people and goods into, within and out of the United States.”

“HSI investigates immigration crime, human rights violations and human smuggling, smuggling of narcotics, weapons and other types of contraband, financial crimes, cybercrime and export enforcement issues.  ICE special agents conduct investigations aimed at protecting critical infrastructure industries that are vulnerable to sabotage, attack or exploitation.”

“In addition to ICE criminal investigations, HSI oversees the agency’s international affairs operations and intelligence functions.  HSI consists of more than 10,000 employees, consisting of 6,700 special agents, who are assigned to more than 200 cities throughout the U.S. and 47 countries around the world.”

The term “member components [of the DHS] such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)”  was mentioned above as cited in the General Service Administration’s request for proposal for those 7,000 AR-15 assault rifles is enough to equip every one of DHS HIS-SRTs 6,700 agents with a 5% overage to account for damaged weapons, for example.

By the way the majority of the weapons used by the HSI are chambered for .40 caliber which accounts for their large purchase of that caliber.

See this article for more about these teams;

At the moment it would seem that DHS HSI amounts to a force organized into Special Response Teams of about 35 agents each (about 6,700 agents across 200 of the largest cities in the US by DHS’ own press release.)

Check out this list of major US cities by population.  It is likely that the top 200 of these are where the DHS HSI-SRTs are located.  Dallas is number 9 on that list.  Albuquerque is number 32.  Colorado Springs is number 41.  Spokane is number 103.  Tacoma is number 108.

Chances are pretty good that there is already one of these teams in your home town… and probably another in the next large town over.

Near Tacoma for example are the cities of Seattle and Vancouver in the top 200 for (perhaps) a total of about 100 DHS-HSI SRT personnel within about 150 miles.

Scattered across Texas, the most populace state in the Union, are the cities of Huston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Laredo, Lubbock, Garland, Irving, Amarillo, Grand Prairie, Brownsville, Pasadena, McKinney, Mesquite, McAllen, Killeen, Frisco and Waco… a total of 22 cities in the top 200 most populace cities in America.  If there is an SRT in each of those cities that would be a total of 770 agents statewide.

What do you think would happen if the President of the United States declared a state of emergency in a given area and empowered the DHS HSI-SRTs to take control of the state and county SWAT teams which would automatically multiply their strength by a factor of perhaps 10?  What if he alluded that state-level acceptance of that might impact Federal disaster relief money?  Do you think that there would be any resistance to that?

Now that this structure is already in place how hard will it be to slowly increase the size of these forces… build larger facilities to house them… hire an expanded base of support personnel… a larger Intelligence section… provide additional up-armored SUVs (it’s a sure bet they already have those in addition to any MRAPs)?  Once the large purchase of weapons, armored vehicles and ammunition has taken place and the public furor has died down it will be a simple matter to allocate additional funds to maintain and slowly increase the size of this force… “as needed.”

Of course if something really tragic happens like a series of deadly terrorist attacks the government will have an established framework on which to build an even larger force – a force equipped with assault rifles and armored vehicles.  You trust them… don’t you?

With our 2nd Amendment rights already under continuous assault is this something that makes you feel more safe… or less safe?

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