(CNSNews.com) – The Social Security Administration posted a blog on Thursday to explain why it was planning to purchase 174,000 hollow point bullets.
SSA posted a "Request for Quote for Ammunition" on the FedBizOps.gov website on Aug. 7. The request listed the commodity that SSA desired as ".357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition." The quantity listed was "174 TH."
The SSA’s Office of the Inspector General’s said it posted a new blog on the agency’s website, “Beyond the Numbers,” “as we strive to be a transparent and accountable government organization for all of our stakeholders.
“With those goals in mind, we thought it would be appropriate to address recent media reports regarding the organization’s purchase of ammunition for our special agents’ duty weapons,” the blog post states.
The blog states that 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.”
The blog also links to another post about a fight that broke out near an SSA office in Massachusetts that required action by law enforcement officials.
“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, CNSNews.com 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.