The room of Homeland defense is spending much more and an ext on pricey hollow-point bullets because that law-enforcement officers -- even as the plans to enforce furloughs and also other cuts on Customs and also Border security employees as result of sequestration.

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The department of Homeland security plans come buy much more than 1.6 billion rounds end the next 5 years because that training and on-duty purposes. They cite the countless law enforcement agencies contained within the department with employees who lug weapons. Yet the purchases have led to criticism the the firm is safety money ~ above bullets that can price twice as lot as continual ammo -- and questions end whether those bullets space really necessary for cultivate purposes.

"Obviously you want to know how a hollow suggest is going to cycle v your weapon," Scott McCurley, manager because that Maryland-based Horst and McCann firing selection and a former soldier for the U.S. Army, called "But ns don"t think there"s much of a distinction when training. One box of rounds every gun is enough. The expense outweighs the purpose."

It"s unclear how plenty of of the complete rounds sought would be hollow-point, but a recent solicitation specifically referred to as for 360,000 ring of hollow-point bullets.

Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., who last week created a letter to Homeland defense Secretary Janet Napolitano asking about the rationale for the purchases, also questioned the cost.

"With sequestration in effect, and the federal debt pull close a record $17 trillion, members of Congress like Leonard Lance think our federal government should no be safety taxpayer dollars top top the stockpiling that billions of rounds of ammunition," his cook of employee Todd Mitchell said in a statement to "That"s why it"s necessary for DHS officials to explain the require and foundation for this acquisition."

Others disagree, saying the it"s vital to usage the very same equipment during training as in the field.

“I have no idea why they would require 1.6 exchange rate rounds, but the truth is that it is crucial to train with the same ammo as you would usage in actual situations,” Steven Howard, a Michigan-based attorney, and also weapons and also ammunition expert, said

A crate of 25 rounds of hollow-point bullets can cost double the price that regular, complete metal jacket bullets at as much as $40 every box.

A explain issued from the room of Homeland defense maintains the position the firm has take away in current weeks.

“DHS routinely establishes strategic sourcing contracts that integrate the demands of every its materials for typically purchased goods and services such together ammunition, computer equipment, and information technology services. This strategic sourcing contracts aid leverage the purchasing power of DHS to successfully procure equipment and supplies,” the explain reads.

The statement said one solicitation under the Federal legislation Enforcement Training facility has a ceiling of up to 750 million rounds, i m sorry the room said allows "flexibility over the following 5 years for training of over 90 federal agencies."

"A different 5-year department-wide contract enables the acquisition of as much as 450 million ring of duty ammunition for our regulation enforcement officers and agents,” the statement likewise reads. The contract uses to every DHS agencies other than the coast Guard, which provides Pentagon ammo contracts.

“With more than 100,000 armed law enforcement personnel in DHS, significant quantities of ammunition are provided to support regulation enforcement operations, quarterly qualifications, and also training, to include advanced firearms maintain exercises," the department said.

Howard note that use of hollow-point ammo by legislation enforcement officers is much more efficient and also even more secure for the public.

“It (hollow points) cuts down on ricochets which means few bystanders will be hit. Hollow points hardly ever go with one target,” that said.

Officials in ~ the room of Homeland protection told that the lot of ammunition is simply a “ceiling” or estimate and also does not typical that DHS will certainly buy or call for the complete amount of ammo. They also said the the number of rounds purchased each year by the department has remained steady due to the fact that 2009 and also that the amounts ordered room usually much less as they room purchased on one “as-needed basis.”

During the fiscal year 2012, DHS purchased almost 94 million ring of ammo for use throughout the department except for the U.S. Shore Guard.

Ammunition is used on a quarterly basis within DHS in training and firearms re-qualification activities in enhancement to everyday duty among over 100,000 officers and agents.

The news of the plan ammo purchase comes at the same time as automatic budget reductions are collection to take effect throughout the department, including at Customs and Border Protection. The division expects to plan furloughs that employees, reductions to overtime and a hiring freeze to rise wait time at ports of entry, including international come at airports.

Officials native CBP have actually said reductions to Border Patrol overtime will start on April 7 and also furloughs of all CBP employees space expected to begin in mid-April. The agency said “field locations” space reporting sporadic increases in wait time at airports and also land border ports due to reduced primary staffing -- between March 14-20, the firm said virtually 200 flights competent wait times of over 2 hours, and certain ports experienced wait times that were just as long.

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“CBP is working diligently to analyze the fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations bill and also sequestration impacts, and is emerging a arrangement to perform this spending plan in a method that minimizes the influence on operations and our workforce,” a spokesperson said in a statement come Fox News.

But Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, blasted the management for the CBP cuts. He claimed they "amount come nothing brief of a calculated, willful disregard of what have to be a president"s peak priority: protecting the homeland and keeping americans safe."

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter and producer v Fox News Channel"s Investigative Unit. Monitor him top top Twitter in ~

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