The Blaze cites Gun Blast on the “stopping power” of the .357 125-grain JHP round, and provides links to earlier ammo purchases by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which had also caught the eye of “Federal Business Opportunities” (FBO) watchers.
(According to the Washington Post, the 46,000-round solicitation for NOAA’s National Weather Service was the result of a “clerical error.” The ammo is intended for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, not for the Weather Service. This makes sense, although fisheries violators had better watch out, since the ammo in question is the Smith & Wesson .40 caliber 180-grain JHP round.)
For the SSA solicitation, deliveries will be to the resident agents in charge of the SSA Inspector General’s regional (and some subregional) Offices of Investigations. The Blaze has the link to the list of recipients for the SSA ammo solicitation. It’s an Excel spreadsheet; please use the Blaze link to pull it up if you want to check it out. (It can also be found at the FBO site at the solicitation page. Look at the bottom of the RFQ block for “Delivery locations.”)
I wondered first of all why Manchester, New Hampshire needed more rounds than any other office listed in the document. Manchester is shown as receiving 15,000 rounds of the .357 125-grain JHP. Los Angeles, Iselin, NJ, and Richmond, VA each get 10,000 rounds, although no borough of New York City is apparently to receive any rounds from this purchase. Chicago gets 6,000 rounds, as do Cleveland and Houston. Oklahoma City gets 8,000. Fairfield, CA – a small Napa Valley burg with a population of 105,000, in rural Solano County, pop. 413,000 – gets 5,000 rounds, the same as Philadelphia. What exactly is going on here?
The address for the ammo delivery in New Hampshire is for the Inspector General’s Office of Investigations in Manchester, and the point of contact for the ammo delivery, Mr. Stueart Markley, is the resident agent in charge. Looking at the recipient addresses in the Excel spreadsheet, all of them show the recipient as “SSA/OIG/OI,” or Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations.
SSA’s OIG does criminal investigations (into Social Security fraud), and presumably, as implied in its recruiting material, its investigators are armed federal officers. What kind of firefights it may be preparing for is an interesting question. Is New Hampshire expected to be the center of a Social Security-related shooting crisis? Will things be worse in Napa Valley and central Oklahoma than in Houston or Chicago? Was there already plenty of ammo in the major cities that aren’t getting much, like Charleston, WV (1,000) and Pittsburgh (2,000)?
It doesn’t look like the ammo is going to the field offices of the Social Security Administration, which in many cases are located miles away from the federal buildings in which the Office of Investigations hangs out. Some offices may be co-located, but it looks on the face of it like this arm-up is related to criminal investigations, and not to crowd control at the customer-service counter. It makes one wonder why the danger of these investigations is apparently expected to, as it were, shoot upward.
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