5.56x45mm ammo on M249 belt

It wasn’t until April 18 that Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger” writing for his NaturalNews.com blog, noticed that Alliant Techsystems, or ATK, had announced in March that they had been awarded a huge contract to produce up to 450 million rounds of .40 S&W caliber jacketed hollow point ammunition for the Departments of Homeland Security (HSA) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). And then he got nervous.

ATK is one of the largest suppliers to the Defense Department with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states including the largest small caliber manufacturing facility in the western world located in Lake City, Missouri. With ATK’s 500 buildings located on 4,000 acres, all Adams could see was trouble behind the contract. He asked: “What does DHS intend to do with 450 million rounds of barrier-piercing hollow point ammunition?”

First of all, such ammunition isn’t used for practice—it’s too expensive. Secondly, hollow point ammunition is “the kind of ammo used by police officers who want to shatter the bad guy’s sternum as quickly as possible and thereby bring him to the ground…” Thirdly, DHS is a domestic agency and therefore, according to Adams:

That the DHS is contracting to buy 450 million rounds of hollow point ammo can only mean DHS plans to need this this ammo to be used against the American people.

Adams looked into the matter further and uncovered a presentation that Maj. General Buford C. Blount III made before the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed Services back in 2004. After a careful reading of that testimony, Adams concluded that 450 million rounds is enough ammunition to wage on the American people for ten years.

Adams’ riffing on the HSA’s purposes might be ignored except that ammunition shortages are beginning to show up in gun stores. In Killeen, Texas, for example, David Cheadle, manager for local gun shop Guns Galore, said that “in the last month, I’ve noticed that when I call [my] distributors, there’s really nothing available.” It could just be driven by people receiving their refunds he said but “whether there’s another force behind it, I don’t know.” Johnny Wade, owner of Nocked and Loaded, confirmed Cheadle: “in the market now from the wholesaler perspective there is no inexpensive ammo to be found. About three weeks ago, my people said: ‘if you want to get some inexpensive stuff, it is disappearing by the truckload.’” Wade added: “I don’t know if it is the anticipation that things are going to get bad or if the administration got back in there [for a second term], that there would be a push to get the guns.”

Bob Joly, -certified trainer and gun enthusiast in Peyton, Colorado, tried to order some .223 caliber ammunition from several of his favorite suppliers and each of his orders was put on back order until sometime in September. Said Joly: “None of them would tell me exactly what’s going on, only that all of a sudden demand has jumped and they’re out and won’t be getting any more for a while.”

Massad Ayoob, nationally known supporter and writer, doesn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

Since he is involved in training and match shooting, he already is a big buyer of ammunition personally:

I’m stacking it deep right now. The rumor mill whispers of coming shortages, due to party to the strongly grounded perception that the Obama administration’s anti-gun leanings will come out of the closet once he’s re-elected.

But there are other factors behind any perceived shortages as well. Foreign countries may be stocking up in anticipation of the withdrawal of American troops. And he knows about the ATK contract:

Much has been made of Homeland Security’s recent contract with ATK for 450 million rounds of Federal HST 180 grain hollow point ammo, caliber .40 Smith & Wesson. I don’t see that as a harbinger of martial law and civil war as some do. Being in law enforcement myself, I’ve seen the severe shortages that have plagued even police agencies in the last several years. The contract is for up to all those millions of cartridges, and may mean nothing more malignant than that a huge government agency wants a contractual guarantee that they’ll be able to get enough to train and qualify their people, even if their actual deliveries never come close to the top level to which that contract holds the manufacturer.

In checking with the Texas State Rifle Association legislative director Alice Tripp, she has not fielded any complaints from suppliers. But the Texas affiliate of the (NRA) director Steve Hall said that “a lot of it [the shortage] is driven by fears of Second Amendment rights being taken away or eroding [and Obama] has known members in his Cabinet who are supporters.” A request for information from NRA national headquarters wasn’t returned.

As Ayoob put it:

If you’re a reloader, stock up on components, particularly primers. Keep both components and loaded ammo in a cool, dry place. If nothing else, if runs rampant and turns hundred dollar bills into toilet paper, ammo is always worthwhile for barter…

Even theologian Michael Novak warned:

Our Founders always wondered about how long [our ] would last. The price of is everlasting vigilance. You’ve got to be on your guard every minute or you will lose it.

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