For nearly a year rumors have been circulating online about the reasons behind the DHS guns and ammo purchases. Many have voiced concerns that the purchases are intended to thwart dissent at public events and peaceful protests.
DHS officials admitted that the federal agency has posted advertisements for security and tactical gear contractors, but maintains that such postings were to enhance existing programs and typical operations. According to statements published by the International Business Times, the Department of Homeland Security deems all reports to the contrary entirely baseless.
The theories began with a series of DHS actions.
A solicitation by the Federal Protective Services, a division of the DHS, posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website sought a company to fulfill an $80 million contract. According to the online posting, the agency needed trained staffers to perform approximately 400,000 hours as Protective Services Officers in New York State.
Those hired by the Federal Protective Services division would be guarding IRS buildings and other federal properties. An excerpt from the federal jobs posting said the security officers would be used during “civil disturbances, public demonstrations, or other unanticipated events on an as-needed basis.” The DHS has not yet publically released the names or types of public events which the protective services officers requested in the advertisement could be called to control.
Department of Homeland Security representative S.Y. Lee said this about claims that the federal agency had something nefarious in mind:
These reports are false. The referenced Federal Protective Service acquisition request for Protective Security Officers will replace an existing contract due to expire November 2014, which provides security and screening within federal facilities throughout upstate New York. This routine acquisition planning is not in response to, or anticipation of, any potential situation.
Lee went on to state that the estimated 1.6 billion rounds is actually lower than what is usually purchased, and that the department likely won’t buy that many bullets. The projection was a ceiling, he said:
Government Security News magazine published a list of DHS bid requests in a recent report about the federal agency’s buying habits. The list of items purchased includes:
- 111 Centurion CPX2500 Soft Shell Riot Control System upper-body and shoulder protection, which must “effectively protect the torso and shoulders from blunt force trauma.”
- 123 Centurion TPX200 thigh/groin protection systems “designed for blunt trauma protection during riot control situations. … The gear protects the thigh area and has an adjustable and removable groin protector.”
- 110 Hatch TS70 Centurion hard-shell shin guards, which provide “substantial protection from flying debris” and “non-ballistic weapons and blows to the leg.”
- 189 MaxPro-Police riot helmets, which have a “high-impact molded half-shell helmet with integral visor and neck protector.”
The DHS spokesman also vehemently stated that any and all reports alleging that the Department of Homeland Security is prepping for any type of “extraordinary situation or domestic unrest” are wrong. According to Lee, DHS divisions are responsible for security at more than 9,000 federal buildings on a daily basis.
An InfoWars report questions why 120,00 live projectiles in addition to 117,000 training projectiles were purchased by the DHS if the bulk of guns and ammo purchased were slated for officer tactical education purposes. ACLU researchers discovered a Protective Intelligence Bulletin drafted by DHS’ Federal Protective Service that said contained a segment entitled “Civil Activists and Extremists Action Calendar.” The text identified “dozens of peaceful advocacy groups” and gave details about more than 70 demonstrations organized by the organizations. According to the ACLU, criminal activity was expected to occur only at one group’s event. The civil rights group filed a complaint about the government monitoring with the DHS civil liberties office and called for an investigation into the bulletin.
Meanwhile, as previously reported by Off The Grid News, a bulletin issued jointly by the DHS and FBI to state and local law enforcement agencies urged the agencies to be watchful for citizens purchasing large amounts of guns and ammo.
How do you feel about the DHS guns and ammo purchases and the monitoring of specific groups in the United States?