Here We Go Again – Feds Buying Up More Ammo

From Las Vegas Sun:


A view of the Hoover Dam during the Flags Over the Dam parade Sunday, May 24, 2015, from the dam to Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

In a move that’s prompting questions about the stockpiling of weapons by the federal government’s nonmilitary agencies, the Bureau of Reclamation wants to buy 52,000 rounds of ammunition for use in law enforcement at Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

After learning about the purchase request, Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei vowed to inquire with the bureau about its operations, number of officers carrying firearms and how much ammunition it uses, according Brian Baluta, a spokesman for Amodei.

Department officials declined to provide specific information to the Sun regarding details of the ammunition purchase request. “We want to limit the amount of information any bad guys might have about our protection capabilities,” said Rose Davis, a Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman.

A review of federal procurement records by the Sun shows that the Bureau of Reclamation, best known for its management of Western waterways and dams, solicited bids in June for 41,600 rounds of hollow-point ammunition along with 10,400 rounds of shotgun ammunition.

The agency declined to say how many armed officers work at Hoover Dam and how many security threats it faces each year, but according to a 2008 review of federal law enforcement, the bureau had 21 officers patrolling Hoover Dam.

The bureau’s Boulder City office oversees the agency’s operations at Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a vacation destination that sees more visitors than Yellowstone National Park every year.

The bureau works in conjunction on Hoover Dam security with the Department of Homeland Security, Metro Police and other law enforcement officials. The bureau’s armed officers are “there for the protection of employees, visitors and the dam,” Davis said.

According to Davis, funds for the ammunition are drawn from revenues generated by utility companies that buy electricity from Hoover Dam, rather than from tax dollars.

The department’s request is likely to stir debate over the stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by nonmilitary federal agencies. The BLM faced questions last year over its role in an armed standoff with militia members supporting Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s refusal to pay more than a million dollars in back taxes and grazing fees.

Two months later, Amodei was one of 17 GOP congressmen to sponsor a bill that would have prevented certain agencies, like the Bureau of Reclamation, from using or purchasing weapons. That bill failed to pass.

The Bureau of Reclamation is not the only federal agency to have amassed weapons and ammunition — or to have faced controversy. In 2013, the Department of Homeland Security put out a bid to purchase more than 1 billion rounds of ammunition for its more than 100,000 law enforcement officials. That same year, agents from the Environmental Protection Agency inspected the offices of a mining company in Alaska while wearing body armor and carrying M16 rifles and shotguns, leading to an investigation by House lawmakers.

The most recent order is not the first time the Bureau of Reclamation has purchased large quantities of ammunition. Its last requisition was in 2013, according to federal purchasing records. Since 2008, the agency made at least 19 requests for ammunition at offices nationwide.

Hoover Dam’s most recent publicized threat was in 2012, when a man drove his truck past a security checkpoint, prompting an hour-long standoff with officials. He was later found to be unarmed.


Okay, I get it – the whole idea of keeping secrets from the bad guys about our capabilities, but they only had 21 people in the agency in 2008. Publishing that information is all they need anyway, so telling them how much ammo you have isn’t going to matter. But for argument’s sake, and since our government grows rapidly, let’s assume the numbers have doubled since then to 42. That’s still nearly a thousand rounds of hollow points per person and almost 250 rounds of shotgun shells.

Considering they’ve made 19 requests for ammo in seven years and have had one scary moment recently with an unarmed man, I’d say that ordering that much ammo is a bit of an overkill.

Perhaps they’re bracing themselves for when the folks in California run out of water and try to take the dam by force.


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11 Responses to Here We Go Again – Feds Buying Up More Ammo

  1. Hardnox says:

    The regime is keeping the price of ammo high… again.

    In 2017 we can then purchase it as government surplus. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Good point – I hadn’t thought about that, lol.

      We’ve credited O with being the best gun salesman to come along in years, and every agency is proving to be the best ammo salesmen we’ve seen in a long time too. At least they’re keeping the manufacturers busy.

  2. BrianR says:

    A thousand rounds of cartridges and 250 of shotshells really isn’t that much. I easily go through that much in a year.

    • BrianR says:

      As I think about it, I probably chew that much up in less than 6 months, and I don’t have any full-auto weapons.

      They probably do, and if they’re practicing with them, they’ll chew through that amount of ammo in no time. A single M-16 mag is 20 rounds.

      • Kathy says:

        You might save some of that, Brian, because when California starts the water war these guys are going to need some help, lol.

  3. Uriel says:

    Isn’t there a base near this. Conspiracists have long targeted this area as hidden bunkers. They Don’t need that much unless they are planning to shut down the dam and stop water and electricity flow in that case umm yeah I’m thinking they will need to defend themselves from rioters.

    • Kathy says:

      Honestly, some of these ammo purchases may be business as normal, because nobody paid attention to this area before O came along. That’s because nobody worried about our government declaring war on its own people until recent years. Bust since he’s been in office everyone’s more cynical and distrusting than they ever were.

      • Garnet92 says:

        I think that there’s a lot of truth to your point Kathy. Although some of the govt. purchases that we’ve seen in the past year do seem excessive, but we can really only judge that when compared to previous purchase and usage. I know that when I visit the range, I generally shoot two guns, 100 rds. each and over a year that amounts to over 2,000 rds./year. So, I’m agreeing that the purchase may not be worth getting alarmed over. Some of the others made previously were suspicious.

        • Kathy says:

          One of the most puzzling things about all the ammo purchases has been that it’s spread across so many departments, but we have to remember that our government has gotten so huge and practically every agency has law-enforcement power, thus more guns and ammo.

          I’m still suspicious about some of the earlier ones too partly because their reasons for it are so flimsy.

  4. I.R. Wayright says:

    If the federal employees have any smarts, they are probably swiping a little bit of ammo at a time and stockpiling it at home.