Border Patrol Now Experiencing an Ammunition Shortage

Katie Pavlich

4/5/2013 7:40:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Despite the Department of Homeland Security recently putting in orders to purchase billions of rounds of hollow point ammunition for a purpose of what officials say is target practice, training and quarterly qualifications, Border Patrol agents were told yesterday afternoon that they will not be issued any new proficiency ammunition for next quarter.

Townhall has obtained an email that was sent to Border Patrol agents stationed in the El Centro border sector by a supervisor.

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.

According to information obtained and published by Senator Tom Coburn, Customs and Border Protection [CBP] purchased 36,475,000 rounds of ammunition at a cost of $12,255,040 for fiscal year 2012. CBP plans to purchase more for fiscal year 2013 at a cost of $12,528,146. In total, DHS plans to spend $37,263,698 on ammunition for all sub-agencies this year. As of November, 20, 2012, CBP had 94,404,329 rounds of ammunition in its inventory. DHS had 263,733,362 rounds available.

The information released by Coburn also states, "Approximately 70 percent of CBP ammunition is used for quarterly qualifications, mandated firearms training, advanced firearms training, as well as testing and evaluation. Twenty percent of CBP ammunition is allocated to maintaining CBP’s operational posture. This includes rounds for duty use, as well as for maintaining CBP’s special response teams. The remaining 10 percent is dedicated to maintaining ammunition reserves at both the national and local levels."

Local chapter 2554 of the National Border Patrol Council asks on its website, "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?"