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.

Thanks.

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.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

43 Responses to CBP Email to Agents: Qual Ammo Only

  1. avatar2nd Amendment Rules says:

    So where’s the one billion plus bullets the government bought?

    • avatarJesse says:

      Was just wondering if that was being facetious

    • avatarLeo Atrox says:

      I believe that that was a contract for UP TO 1.6 billion rounds, indefinite quantity/indefinite delivery. It is basically a guarantee from the seller that DHS will get the agreed upon price, without any actual guarantee from DHS that they will buy any (or if they do, when they will demand delivery of it) during the term of the contract.

    • avatarLee says:

      That is over a 20 year period. That us a false report as is this email about this quarters qual. Welcome to conspiracy tahirt dealers spreading lies to sell you their gear

  2. avatarWilliam Burke says:

    “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.”

    Oh. THAT. MSNBC and CNN “explained” that already. Just a “conspiracy theory” spread by the feeble-minded and terrorist pro-gun groups. Nothing to see here. ICE CREAM!!! Wouldn’t you like some RIGHT NOW? Wash your fears and doubts away with delicious Napolitano Neopolitan ICE CREAM!!!

    MMMmmmmm…..

  3. avatarAZGuy says:

    CPB = Customs and Porder Batrol??

  4. avatarMr Pierogie says:

    All that video is missing is a good old MST3K riff…

    Probably my favorite short:
    youtube.com/watch?v=_Hh4M4vipAo

  5. avatarHuman Being says:

    “Hanlon’s Razor baby: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    Heinlein dammit, Heinlein’s Razor.

    • avatarBruce says:

      I do like a man who knows his Heinlein.

      • avatarDallas Warrior says:

        Hanlon’s Razor is considered to be a corruption of Heinlein’s Razor which is along the lines of “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.”.

        So they say…

        • avatarPatrick says:

          Stupidity is sugar coated carelessness.
          Carelessness is sugar coated malice.
          A shot to the heart will kill, no matter from cold blooded assassination or misplaced aim at a deer standing in front of a crowd.

        • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

          Which in turn may be a derivative of Grey’s Law – “Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.” Itself a humorous rendition of Clark’s Third Law – “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

      • avatarThomas Paine says:

        don’t they talk about razors on that other site? TTAK?

  6. avatartwood says:

    Maybe the ammo gets shipped over the border to supply those Fast and Furious guns???

  7. avatarChrisCicc says:

    Ignoring for the moment they may have ammo sitting unused, didn’t DHS say they need thousands of rounds per user per year for training? And this is saying the quarterly allotment for practice is 150 rounds, so 600 per year?

    I’m not saying the government is stocking up and I’m not saying they’re not, but I am saying their answers have been mighty inconsistent.

  8. avatarBruce says:

    It seems that Customs used about 14,000,000 rounds per year, and Secret Service used about 1,800,000 rounds per year for the last three years on Operations. Just what is Operations? If they are using that much ammo per year just what are they shooting at, and why don’t they seem to be hitting anything?

  9. avatarfrankgon4 says:

    I viewed the link and did the calculations for 2012
    http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=9cde768f-bb3a-4fd9-8176-1745c21519c2
    Total Rounds Purchased 103,178,200
    Total Cost $ 36,535,910
    This comes up to 35 cents a round. I would think they would get a better discount than this.

    • avatarJoke & Dagger says:

      The Government isn’t exactly in the business of getting discounts. It’s other people’s money.

    • avatarChuckN says:

      With the way Big O and the progladytes are keeping the
      economy in the gutter, many companies not only won’t
      give discounts anymore but will refuse government or
      municipal money. Sounds strange but I’ve seen both
      large and small businesses do this because they can’t
      count on being paid in a timely fashion, if at all.

      • avatarMike Crognale says:

        “Progladytes” I LIKE that. Can I steal that from you and post it to othr blogs?

        • avatarcurz says:

          We are already forgetting again how counter productive doing something stupid as that is?

    • avatarDirk Diggler says:

      they bought hollowpoints not FMJ

    • avatarMike in NC says:

      If earlier discussions were accurate, those purchases were for hollow point duty rounds which *would* make 35 cents a bargain price. Retail pricing was from around 50 cents to over one dollar before SHTF (Sandy Hook Total Freak-out).

      • I’ve bought LE surplus .40 HPs for .35 a round (Surplus Ammo, Lakewood WA but this was early 2012). And that’s at retail. Of course, county govs in WA are a little better at procurement and discounts than the feds.

  10. avatarblahpony says:

    So first there’s an article about the Mexican cartels gearing up. Then two articles later is a story about the Border Patrol barely having enough ammo to carry, much less practice.

    That doesn’t sound like a good mix at all.

    • avatarShenandoah says:

      All the more reason why the 2nd Amendment is so important…the gov’t can’t be relied upon for protection, and anybody who thinks otherwise is a fool.

      In fact, I want a tax break for guns and ammo purchases because I’m improving and ensuring domestic security!

    • avatarmark_anthony_78 says:

      Where are the Mexican cartels getting their ammo?

      • avatarJSW says:

        Europe? USSR? US factories? Home made?
        Not that it matters: we know that American shooters are the low end of the totem pole and that shit ammo that rolls downhill is what we get. Oh, and empty shelves at LGS’, et al.

  11. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Take the ammo from o’s guards, the SS(secret service) & the double naught spies. This bloated buerocracy can pound sand. Pare that abomination down to size & there will be plenty of ammo, Randy

  12. avataruncommon_sense says:

    F.Y.I.
    That 1.6 Billion rounds of ammunition that the Department of Homeland Security ordered covers a few years — and most if not all of the pistol ammunition is hollowpoint.

    I love it. The Department of Homeland Security issued purchase requisitions for enough combat ammunition (hollowpoints) to wage a domestic war for 22 years — at the same consumption rate as the peak of foreign operations in Iraq/Afghanistan — but they don’t have any training ammunition.

    Maybe that explains why they purchased so much combat ammunition: they knew their agents would be poor marksman (because they have no training ammunition) so they ordered lots of extra combat ammunition.

    Their strategy actually kills two birds with one stone:
    (1) DHS gets all the ammunition they want.
    (2) Their giant order consumes almost all domestic production capacity resulting in extremely scarce ammunition availability for citizens who become relatively defenseless.

  13. avatargemalo says:

    Like these chuckleheads actually shoot someone? Last I heard, they only had bean-bag roumds, and were ordered to help the mules get their bales of drugs safely over the border. The SW border is probably safer then the streets of Chicago.

  14. avatarjwm says:

    I’ve said this before. If you think the government is capable of planning and implementing a complex and long term conspiracy it’s obvious that you’ve never worked for them. 30+ years at federal state and local has left me with the certain knowledge that if there is a vast government conspiracy it’s quite accidental and is not being controlled by anybody.

    Sort of like that old line about a 100 chimps banging on a typewriter over a 100 years will get you a shakespeare play. Or something to that effect.

    I have no doubt that if the government had over a billion rounds of ammo delivered it was lost in the system, stolen by the people handling it and used to make up shortages in other programs to hide the ineptitude of various managers and bean counters.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      “I have no doubt that if the government had over a billion rounds of ammo delivered it was lost in the system, stolen by the people handling it and used to make up shortages in other programs to hide the ineptitude of various managers and bean counters.”

      Oh, now that’s priceless!!! : )

    • avatarMikeP says:

      This word you keep using, “conspiracy” … I do not think it means what you think it means. These aren’t “secrets”, and these weren’t deals made behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms. The contracts were on http://www.fbo.gov for all (who were curious) to see … and add up with a calculator. But to be precise, the total amounts (upwards of 2B at this point) have not been delivered yet – only a fraction of that has so far.

  15. avataral formerly from chgo says:

    Perhaps in a warehouse in Vera Cruz? Just a guess, no positive info..

  16. avatarSlappy says:

    “Budget cuts” being the key phrase, I smell another unintended consequences of the sequester gimmick.

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