US Postal Inspectors Need Ammo, internet goes crazy

Remember when DHS put that bid out to buy a bunch of ammo and the internet lost their collective mind? Even though the ammo shortage was not a conspiracy, that didn’t stop my Facebook Paranoia and Nonsense News Feed from being chock full of links to dubious sites about how DHS was buyin’ up all the boolits so they could put us in FEMA camps or something. Thankfully, that’s mostly died down and the people who believe it have gone back to catching rabbits and making tin-foil underoos to protect themselves from the government’s cancer rays (because prostate cancer is a government conspiracy).

That was until the increasingly irrelevant Drudge Report put a link up to a FedBizOps RFP from the US Postal Service to buy more ammo. I didn’t know anything about it, until I got this email today.

I hope you’ll share this link with your fans (link redacted because it’s awful – ed) about how the Post Office is purchasing ammo for SWAT Teams. Becaue the post office has employees out every day, they’re the perfect force to begin undercover ops on American soil.

It went on for a bit, but that’s the fun part.


The US Postal Service is not buying ammo to put you in camps or do anything. They’re buying ammo for the United States Postal Inspection Service, which has about 4000 employees, of which approximately half are sworn/armed officers. The US Postal Inspection Service actually predates the Constitution. Before the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin was the Colonial Postmaster General. During his tenure, Franklin created the position of mail surveyor; the surveyors were responsible for auditing and regulating the mail in the American colonies. In the early 1800s, the position’s title was changed to Special Agent, and in the 1830s was organized into a more formal structure.

The Postal Inspectors are sort of the forgotten arm of federal law enforcement, despite having the daunting task of “protecting the mail” with less than 1/3rd the manpower of LAPD. What I’m saying here is that people need to chill out – the US Postal Service isn’t going to come to your house and spy on your for DHS or anything like that. They really just want to make sure you’re not sending child porn or drugs through the mail, or using postal money orders to launder money for your child porn and drugs.


    1. So, you would think it’s a good Idea to have NON Armed Agents to combat those who use the USPS to traffic in large quantities of Illegal Drugs??

      I think not!!

        1. Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don’t get that here. See, uh, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony’s not really a, a high priority.

          -C.D. Bales, Fire Chief

  1. Thanks for the sane post Caleb. I think for many of us, it wasn’t a conspiratorial thing, it was the sheer amount which was purchased, which may have contributed greatly to soaring prices and lack of availability. I personally saw that a significant portion of the shortage was caused by “us”, the gun owners of america, buying every box we/they could get their hands on. Any idea to the amount they ordered? I certainly hope this doesn’t spark another panic buy…Please everyone, let’s remain calm and not empty the shelves at high prices…

  2. All the sources that are buying ammunition via Federal Gvt. purchase orders have been doing so for as long as there has been ammo and the agencies in question. The reason it’s Big News, is because our freedom of press reports a lot more stuff a lot quicker to a lot more people thanks to modern technology. Then people blow the whole thing out proportion as if it’s some Big ordeal, even though it isn’t; it’s just that they never knew about these before.

  3. I’m sure that given the great financial problems at the Post Office that they would want to spend money to keep ammo out of the hands of their customers, rather than make money delivering it.

  4. A good shooting buddy of mine from Puerto Rico and former CBP Agent is now with the USPS as an inspector!! And YES, we DO need Armed Agents to fight Drug Smugglers and they DO catch them!!

    1. When was the last time you heard of a big drug bust by USPS? I can’t remember one. I’d love to see the figures of big drug shipments vs. arrests of fellow Post Office employes for stealing packages and Social Security checks.

      1. We just had one a few months ago!!

        But the Shamestream Media WILL NOT cover it!!

        I know about it because they had their Pre Raid Huddle at my Local Chick Fil A, but they had Breakfast first…

        And yes, it wasn’t for a Priority Envelope with 4 Joints either..

  5. Good posting,as a retired Postal Inspector, I can informed those that didn’t know, we are federal agents just like the FBI, SS, ATF, DEA, etc; that USPIS is the oldest federal law enforcement agency and yes it was established by Benjamin Franklin. It is called the Silent Service because not too many people know about it and we like it that way.

    1. The USPS Postal Inspectors are so tough that when they needed reinforcements to guard mail trains only the US Marines would do. 🙂

  6. There is nothing new about the U.S. Government purchasing ammunition. What is (relatively) new is easy access for the average person to this otherwise benign information. Sort of how once we got really good at detecting and tracking tornados, hurricanes, and even earthquakes it seemed that in comparison to our historical record there was a significant increase in such events when the reality was that we simply became more aware of what was happening all along.

    My only point of contention is the notion that the Drudge Report is “…increasingly irrelevant…”. To whom and by what measure? And if so, what is becoming more relevant? Sure, some of the headlines are sensational, but as a news aggregator I’m not sure of any other website that even competes.

    1. I tend to agree refrence Drudge. Sensationalistic headlines but I like the basic format of links to stories of interest.

      Another practice people don’t mention is agencies initiating buys that other agencies piggyback on. So NOAA might buy a ton of ammo, but a good portion (cost and actual rounds) with another agency. The government figured out that they can do that and save money. Amazing that the government ever figured that out.

      Finally for the whack-a-loons, I would point out that while training expends a lot of ammo, operations, even fairly intensive operations expends comparitively little ammunition. Case in point is before OIF I myself shot more ammo through my M9 than all the 9mm issued to my company in theater.

  7. We don’t need armed USPS agents, we just need tougher laws against drug smuggling via the USPS, that’ll stop them. Just like all the gun laws prevent improper use of firearms. ; )

  8. This story didn’t bother me in the least. I’ve known postal inspectors and understand the job they do. Now I did hear that NOAA is buying ammo and that strikes me as weird. I have no idea what laws they enforce. I thought fisheries and maritime laws were the province of the Coast Guard.

  9. Thanks for the sanity, Caleb. As a gun owner with MORE than 2 brain cells to rub together I appreciate it when other similarly intelligent people call the loonies out on their looniness. Keep it up.

  10. I kind of wonder what the crossover between “people who forwarded this message on FB” and “people who feel they need to OC an AR everywhere they go” is?

      1. It would make an interesting Venn diagram, and there’s likely a lot of overlap twixt “AR OCers”, “Ammo Story Forwarders” and “Shelter Building Preppers”

  11. So who keeps drugs and child porn from being shipped via UPS or FedEx? The cost of next day air with Saturday delivery is nothing compared to prison time.

    I have no problem with law enforcement agencies buying ammo. What I don’t understand is why every agency needs an enforcement arm. If they really wanted to save taxpayer money, they would roll them all into one and eliminate the redundant administrative positions.

    1. I tend to cut an agency some slack if they’re ~200 years old. So basically the US Marshals, the USPI, and the Secret Service. The Coast Guard gets a pass too for their LE activities.

      In fact, that’s all the federal law enforcement we really need.

  12. I have found that the tin foil underoos chafe a bit so I have to use runner’s Body Glide.

    Happy (non) conspiracy and shooting, dv

  13. Rob S. — A., FedEx and UPS are entitled to hire their own armed security forces to protect the packages they deliver (oh, yes, another function of the Mail Cops is to ensure the sucrity of the mails), and the FBI and local cops handle any criminal investigations needed. I do not have a problem with a Constitutionally authorized government agency having federal LEOs to handle their in-house security and investigative needs instead of hiring mall cops.

    Caleb, I’d give the ICE guys a pass as well (NOT TSA!). Customs agents are not exactly something invented by FDR or LBJ. In fact, the USCG LE mission DERIVES from customs emnforcement agents.

    Tax enforcement agents (IRS and ATF, basically) would ALSO get a pass by your standards of longevity — them revenuers been skulking about the hills with guns from the beginning of the Republic.

    I think the defining line is a matter of function, not longevity. And whether or not you need a SWAT team. I don’t think ANYONE in the federal government needs a SWAT team except the US Marshal’s Service, USCG (not only do they have a dual Armed Forces mission, but maritime SWAT operations are a specialty role), USSS (for the protective service side, not the counterfeiting side), DOE (special training and clearances to do SWAT operations in nuclear facilities) and DoD civilian police (not every DoD LE mission is best handled by MPs, and civlian SWAT teams that ONLY train for “civilian” SWAT ops inside the US and under US civil law are cheaper than keeping extra Tier 1 SOCOM units sitting around).

    I don’t mind various armed LEOs for authorized government agencies for investigative work and low-risk arrests — if your LE responsibilities involve specialized information or skills, you should be allowed to have your own LEA. And any investigating officer who is looking into federal felony offences runs the same risk of ending up in a gunfight vecause the suspect doesn’t want to go to jail as any plainsclothes detective on a local PD. (I do think that, where the LE mission is “guard this property and enforce general laws” on federal property, we could use one big federal uniformed LE service as a pool resource.)

    But for SWAT type missions, unless there is something inherently unique in how their missions are compared to EVERY OTHER SWAT TEAM, the agency should just call up the Marshal’s Service to serve the federal warrant. There is nothing special about serving a high risk DEA, IRS, or counterfeiting warrant over and above the kinds of warrants LAPD SWAT handles. Likewise, while I am OK with each agency’s investigative LEOs having arrest authority, by and large if the arrest is being made under a federal warrant (as opposed to on the spot for probable cause), the Marshal’s Service should go hook the guy up.

  14. With 4000 sworn officers, you would need a boatload of ammo to train and qualify. And the Post Office is specifically authorized by the Constitution. However, we all know the volume in the Post Office has been declining for years as there has been massive migration to email/UPS/FedEX. Presumably, the criminal class has followed the larger trend. One does wonder whether the staffing has followed the workload down. Anybody out there know?

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