According to the request, the federal agency is seeking weapons that are either semi-automatic or fire 2-shot bursts. The weapons should also be equipped with tritium night sights on the front and rear and rails for attaching a flashlight and scope. According to the request, the firearms should also have either a folding or collapsible stock and a 30-round magazine. The request also says weapons should have an oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.
Dan Cannon said the U.S. Forest Service and its law enforcement division is the "most likely landing place for these firearms." But, he added, the Forest Service is not mentioned in the request.
Nevertheless, one must wonder why the federal agency would need so much firepower.
We reached out to Linda F.B. Josey, head of the USDA's Procurement Management Branch, but received an autoreply stating she was out for training. We also reached out to Desiree Clayton, the contracting officer listed as the secondary point of contact. So far, the only response we have received is an automated reply saying Clayton is "not in the office at this time."
The USDA is by no means the first agency to request such firepower. And it's not just guns being purchased by federal agencies. There is also a tremendous amount of ammunition being sucked up by the federal government.
Recently, Newsmax reported that the U.S. Postal Service joined the growing list of domestic agencies stocking up on what many say is an alarming amount of small-arms ammunition. Just over a year ago, the Social Security Administration requested 174,000 rounds of ".357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow-point" bullets. The Department of Agriculture also requested 320,000 rounds. Even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration jumped on the ammo-purchase bandwagon with a request for 46,000 rounds.
A post at America's Freedom Fighters says NOAA only has 134 agents. NOAA says it needs these agents armed in order to protect “marine resources” and enforce “international treaties.”
"NOAA — really? They have a need? One just doesn't know why they're doing this," said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. "The problem is, all these agencies have their own SWAT teams, their own police departments, which is crazy. In theory, it was supposed to be the U.S. marshals that was the armed branch for the federal government."
The requests and purchases for high-power weaponry and ammunition have many wondering what the federal government is up to.
“I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Washington-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “The amount of ammunition they’re buying up far exceeds their needs. It far exceeds what they’ll use — they’ll never use it all.“
A post at Truth Revolt wondered: "[W]hom are [the USDA] planning to go to war with?"