In the middle of December 2012, the Customs and Border Protection Agency presented a pre-solicitation for 50,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W caliber ammunition, ostensibly for training. The contract would provide a total of 250,000,000 rounds over the life of the 5 year contract. The contract was to be issued on 20 January 2013. CBP, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has included the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency with this solicitation.
Today, CBP and ICE announced via the solicitation process that they will be awarding the contract on or about October 7, 2013. Added to the original solicitation was this sentence:
“Resulting award will be used for training/qualifications only, not for duty use, and will be used as a direct substitution in lieu of procuring like quantities of duty ammunition.”
From their individual websites:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in offices in all 50 states and 47 foreign countries.
CBP is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for securing the border and facilitating lawful international trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations, including immigration and drug laws.
ICE and CPB both have approximately 21,000 employees. This number is not solely agents, but administrative staff who would never be allowed to train with a firearm.
However, if every employee was allowed to train with a firearm, using this one solicitation alone, each employee would have the opportunity to fire 1,190 rounds a year.
This sort of ammunition purchases is what led to the US House of Representatives to stop DHS from entering new contracts. There have been no news reports of this limitation being removed from DHS.
We will keep you updated on this matter as information comes available.