The US Post Office is now counted among the federal agencies posting advertisements to buy copious amounts of bullets, and some Second Amendment advocates are concerned about the large amounts of ammunition being purchased.
The USPS posted a notice on its website requesting bids for various types of bullets, according to a NewsMax report. The notice on the government website said, “The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for assorted small arms ammunition. If your organization wishes to participate, you must pre-register. This message is only a notification of our intent to solicit proposals.”
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is questioning the need for arming US Post Office staffers.
“We’re seeing a highly unusual amount of ammunition being bought by the federal agencies over a fairly short period of time,” said Committee Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “To be honest, I don’t understand why the federal government is buying so much at this time.”
Jake McGuigan of the National Shooting Sports Foundation also is puzzled by the massive ammo purchases by federal agencies. McGuigan told Newsmax that the unusually large ammunition bid requests by the USPS and others have prompted “conspiracy-type fears” among many gun owners. According to McGuigan, some firearms owners are concerned that the federal government is attempting to impact the Second Amendment rights of Americans via a backdoor effort to limit the availability of ammunition on the open market.
After the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, ammunition and guns flew off the shelves when firearms owners grew concerned about the enactment of gun control laws limiting weapons and ammo. Many popular types of bullet calibers are still in short supply today.
The requests to fill ammunition orders by a host of federal agencies that are not regularly viewed as needing law enforcement functions continue to ignite questions and angst.
In late 2012, the Social Security Administration posted a purchasing request for 174,000 rounds of .357 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point bullets. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) began seeking 320,000 rounds of ammo around the same time. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also posted a notice seeking 46,000 rounds of ammunition.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, asked Newsmax the question many Americans were asking: Why does the weather service need bullets?
“NOAA — really? They have a need?” Van Cleave asked. “One just doesn’t know why they’re doing this. The problem is, all these agencies have their own SWAT teams, their own police departments, which is crazy. In theory, it was supposed to be the U.S. marshals that was the armed branch for the federal government.”
The fact that multiple agencies have police forces is “something our Founding Fathers did not like and we should all be concerned about,” he added.
At least 70 federal agencies are now equipped with their own “armed divisions” to serve in either a protective or law enforcement capacity. Even staffers at the Government Printing Office, the Library of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board are now counted among the thousands of federal employees who are trained and licensed in weapons use.
A Fox News report from last year focused on the armed EPA officers converging upon Chicken, Alaska, a small mining community. The EPA agents arrived in the town clad in full body armor to take part in a task force investigation searching for possible violators of the Clean Water Act. Miners were understandably shocked to see armed men maneuvering around. Armed officers from the BLM, Coast Guard, NOAA, and US Fish and Wildlife Service were also on-site to lend the armed EPA agent a hand.
When questioned about the use of armed agents to seek Clean Water Act violation issues, an EPA representative said, “Environmental law enforcement, like other forms of law enforcement, always involves the potential for physical, even armed, confrontation.”
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell ordered an investigation into the armed EPA raid. “This level of intrusion and intimidation on Alaskans is absolutely unacceptable,” Parnell said. Republican Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski and Democratic peer Mark Begich deemed the EPA intrusion in their state a “heavy handed and heavy armor” approach.
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