Apparently the Social Security Administration wants to purchase 174,000 rounds of hollow-point bullets. According to

A solicitation posted by the SSA on the FedBizOpps website asks for contractors to supply 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition.”… Hollow point bullets are designed to expand as they enter the body, causing maximum damage by tearing apart internal organs. reports that according to a blog response by the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General:

…the SSA has 295 special agents who work in 66 offices across the United States.

“These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests,” the blog post states. “Our investigators are similar to your State or local police officers. “They use traditional investigative techniques, and they are armed when on official duty,” the blog post states.

Concern expressed in some media reports about the type of ammunition ordered by the agency is unfounded, the blog states, explaining that the .357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacked hollow point pistol ammunition is “standard issue for many law enforcement agencies” and is appropriate for the work agents perform.

“Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately,” the blog post states.  “They not only investigate allegations of Social Security fraud, but they also are called to respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees, and customers.” …

“SSA is processing more applications than ever, which means more traffic in SSA office,” the blog states. “Employee and visitor safety is the highest priority for OIG, which, together with the Federal Protective Services and local law enforcement, has jurisdiction over SSA workplaces.”

Prior to the blog being posted, had asked the agency specific questions about its ammunition order. Although some of those questions were addressed by the information provided in the blog, the agency did not say why it needed 174,000 bullets and if that quantity was customary or had increased from previous orders.

Why are federal agencies purchasing—with taxpayer dollars—ammunition meant for 100 percent mortality? Protection is one thing. That’s why they have the FSA and local law enforcement. It sounds like the SSA is stockpiling for a major offensive. The real question is against whom.

Let’s put the SSA’ ammo order into perspective. If it’s ordering 174,000 hollow point bullets this year, did the SSA expend 174,000 last year? If so, that means each of the 295 SSA agents actually fired 589 bullets last year and now has to replace them. Why? To investigate fraud?

A Sig 357 is a pistol with a 15-round magazine—that means 11,600 magazines, or 39 magazines per SSA agent. Even if SSA agents do shooting practice and use five magazines, they’d have to practice eight times a year per agent to use up that stockpile. Active Duty military doesn’t even practice that much.

Hollow-point bullets, by the way, are meant to cause massive, deadly trauma—not wound or disable. Oh, and they happen to be almost twice as expensive as more standard bullets, say full metal jacket.

Two years ago the U.S. Department of Education purchased 27 new shotguns. Subsequent reports surfaced that ED raided a California resident’s home as part of a student loan fraud investigation. ED denied this was the purpose for the raid, but given the SSA’s latest purchase request, it’s time to start asking why federal bureaucracies appear to be entering an arms race. If fraud is so rampant in these federal programs, then administration of people’s retirement and education should be returned to individuals.