Rep. Leonard Lance wants answers as to why the Department of Homeland Security is reportedly planning to purchase 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the next few years — a plan that has fueled conspiracy theories and prompted calls for transparency from several legislators.
And soon, the New Jersey Republican just might get some of those answers.
A spokesman for Lance’s office said Wednesday DHS has answered a letter Lance sent last month, seeking a congressional briefing on the large ammunition purchases. Lance’s office and DHS are working to schedule a meeting.
Lance had been captured on camera during a March 15 tea party meeting in Hanover, answering a question by Harding resident William Baer about the large ammo purchases. Baer cited a Forbes article about the purchases published in March.
“As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers,” the Forbes report says. “Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20-plus years.”
The Forbes post also describes heavily armed vehicles being positioned for use on American streets.
For months, those sorts of details have fueled speculation about DHS’s plans — with conservative talk shows and blogs noting they come at a time when sequestration is forcing large budget cuts across the federal government, and when ammunition is in such short supply even many law enforcement agencies are reportedly having trouble making purchases.
Conservative radio host Alex Jones has been quoted saying the government is in an “arms race against the American people,” and said the government was “gearing up for total collapse, they’re gearing up for huge wars.” In February, Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page: “We’re going to default eventually and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.” Televangelist Pat Robertson questioned the arms purchases in March, asking, “What are they for, the Army going into battle against the enemy? They’re used by Homeland Security against us.”