CBP Email to Agents: Qual Ammo Only

Here’s an email that’s surfaced from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to its agents:

Enforcement Personnel,

Due to budget concerns and ammunition availability, we will not be getting issued any proficiency ammunition for next quarter. In addition to these reductions, we are also being limited to qualification ammo only. What this means to you is that you will not receive the normal 150 rounds for practice and we will not have any extra ammunition for a combat course following normal qualifications . . .

If you have the ammunition available and would like extra practice during your qualification day, the firearms instructors will have a training course available for Indio Station Personnel, keeping in mind basic marksmanship skills as well as tactical training with a limited amount of ammunition.  You are not required to bring your own ammunition.

If you do not have extra ammo to bring, you will be given extra time to clean and maintain your issued handgun as well as station long arms.

If you have any questions about this quarters quals please feel free to send me your concerns.


You may be wondering WTF. Didn’t you read somewhere that the DHS bought billions of rounds of ammo over the last year or so? Yes. Yes you did. Thanks to Senator Coburn, you can click here to read who’s got what, who needs what and where all the cartridges are going.

CPB certainly gets the lion’s share of the DHS’ ammo cache. But it seems that CBP’s allocation is shrinking; down from 66m rounds in 2010 to 36m (saving tax payers $5m!).  That said, CBP has 94m rounds in inventory. So what up with the shortage at the sharp end?

Hanlon’s Razor baby: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Or, in the case of government, inefficiency. Some DHS bean counter screwed-up somewhere and there the ammo sits, waiting for bureaucrats to get a clue.

The CBP’s union (NBPC Local 2554) disagrees. They have this to say about that:

Didn’t we (DHS) just get a massive ammunition contract? El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents were just informed (3/28/13) that due to budget cuts, they would not be issued any ammunition (in this quarter) for maintaining proficiency beyond the number of rounds needed to complete the quarterly qualification itself. We get a 32% pay cut, even though Congress gave CBP enough money to cover salaries, and now we can’t even maintain proficiency with our service weapons to defend ourselves in the field…

Why is there an ammunition shortage? Why can’t Border Patrol agents get enough ammunition to maintain proficiency, especially at a time of increased cross-border smuggling and illegal activity? Where is all this ammunition going?

Like I said, nowhere. Fast. And Furious? Sorry. Couldn’t resist.