(Reuters) - The Social Security Administration, which handles U.S. seniors' retirement benefits, is packing heat - not hot water bottles for aging joints but 174,000 rounds of hollow-point bullets.
The federal agency recently discussed the ammunition on its blog, where it aimed to shoot down conspiracy theories that ricocheted through the wider blogosphere after the agency posted a request to buy the ammunition.
Even late night talk show host Jay Leno joked, "What senior citizens are they worried about? I mean, who's going to storm the building?"
As it turns out, the bullets are standard issue for law enforcement agents including the 230 special agents investigating criminal acts against the Social Security administration, according to the agency blog.
Those agents execute search warrants and make arrests - mostly for fraudulent disability claims, the blog said.
"Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately," said the blog, which noted the agents also "respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees, and customers."
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; editing by Todd Eastham)