– DHS agencies to buy up to 7,000 new 5.56x45mm NATO ‘personal defense weapons’ (Activist Post, June 12, 2012):
The behemoth Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking up to 7,000 select fire (meaning that they are capable of both semi-automatic and automatic fire) 5.56x45mm North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) personal defense weapons (PDWs) on top of the hundreds of millions of hollow point rounds they recently acquired.
Unfortunately, the reason for both of these major purchases and the continuing heavy armament of DHS agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to go unexplained.
The newest weapons order – which was originally posted on June 7, 2012 and has a response date of July 9, 2012 – is for so-called personal defense weapons which would be used in close quarters combat situations when maximum concealment is required.
I find that last part quite interesting, as requiring maximum concealment for a 5.56x45mm NATO weapon is not really a run-of-the-mill request.
Each prospective vendor has been asked to provide to the DHS their weapons, which will be tested at the National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit (NFTTU) in Altoona, Pennsylvania, which is run by ICE.
The DHS solicitation (PDF) says that each vendor is to provide, “Only one specific nomenclature firearm … for solicitation testing [to be] considered for contract award.”
It is also interesting that the solicitation specifically states that, “The awardee or awardees of the subject contract agrees to allow DHS to release testing data of their firearm samples to Federal agencies, Military, and law enforcement.”
The solicitation also specifies that the guns will be quite small for a rifle at a mere 30 inches or less with the stock fully extended and 20 inches or less with the stock fully retracted or folded.
They also specify that the barrel must come equipped with a flash suppressor and/or muzzle brake, noting, “The muzzle device will be rated on its ability to reduce muzzle signature.”
Furthermore, they state that every firearm will be tested with a whopping 4,000 rounds, meaning that 28,000 rounds will be spent just testing the firearms before they are put into service.
If the guns pass that test, three samples will be tested with an additional 3,500 rounds per firearm while the guns will also be tested for resilience in high temperature, low temperature, salt water immersion, sand and dust and drop conditions.
At the time of writing the contractors who have expressed interest are Ohio-based Ares, Inc., Florida-based Material Integration, Inc., and Virginia-based FNH USA, LLC.
Unfortunately, the information we have on the actual reason behind these large procurements is non-existent.
If we can take the DHS’s history with the refusal to explain the reason why they need hundreds of millions of hollow point bullets, it is safe to say that they will likely thwart any attempt to get them to explain why they need these thousands of firearms as well.
Personally, I find this quite sickening in a time when our national debt – against which the American taxpayer is being used as collateral – is rising to unimaginable heights.
With the levels of debt we have right now and no cutbacks in government spending in sight, I seriously doubt that we will ever realistically be able to pay back these ludicrously massive sums of money.
Yet the government continues to spend like there’s no tomorrow between hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition, thousands of new weapons and even hundreds of millions on drones we don’t even use because they don’t work (see below).