Gun Rights Examiner has confirmed a report published yesterday by U.S. News’ Whispers that the Government Accountability Office is launching an investigation into ammunition procurements by the Department of Homeland Security has the blogosphere ablaze.
Whispers quoted Chuck Young, GAO spokesman, who said the investigation is “just getting underway.” In a telephone conversation with this column, Young confirmed that an investigation is in getting started, but that the scope and methodology has not yet been established, so he could not estimate when a report would be forthcoming.
Via e-mail, he noted that the investigation was in response to a request from Congressmen Michael T. McCaul, chair of the House Homeland Security committee and Jeff Duncan, chair of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency.
DHS ammunition purchases became a hot issue earlier this month when two subcommittees of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a joint hearing after the proposed purchase of 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition was reported. At the hearing, DHS officials backed off that figure, down to about 750 million rounds, but curiosity evidently remains high on Capitol Hill why the agency would need that much ammunition, even if obtained over a five year period.
One source with a government enforcement agency did tell this column that such an amount of ammunition should not raise too many eyebrows, considering training needs.
Last week, following the joint House hearing, Sen. Jim Inhofe and Congressman Frank Lucas introduced the “Ammunition Management For More Obtainability (AMMO) Act of 2013. The bill would require the GAO to “conduct a report on the purchasing of ammunition by federal agencies, except the Department of Defense, and its effect on the supply of ammunition available to the public.”
In his e-mail, Young said “we will be following up with Sen. Inhofe’s staff to see how his proposed legislation might differ from the request we received from the House side.”
MEANWHILE, this column has opened a poll on six different Washington and Northwest firearms forums, asking gun owners whether they would support or oppose “universal background checks.” So far, reaction is overwhelmingly against, though a relative handful of respondents have indicated they would support expanded background checks.
Reactions from forum members has been instructional and blunt. The poll will run for 15 days, which should give the majority of members on all six forums the opportunity to participate.
The poll is running at:
Considering the results so far, one might have some doubts about the veracity of claims by gun prohibition groups that a majority of gun owners support efforts to expand background checks beyond their current level.