Rumor: US government stockpiling millions of bullets

Sarah Palin says the feds are stockpiling bullets to combat "civil unrest." Let’s investigate.

UNCONFIRMED: The U.S government has begun stockpiling ammunition in case of civil unrest

After being unceremoniously let go from her contributor job with FOX News, one-time vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has continued to speak out, though now largely through her own social media outlets. On Tuesday, Palin posted a Facebook message that accused the federal government of "stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest." As the Daily Caller, the Atlantic and Politico report, the comments touch on a right-wing conspiracy theory that has popped up in different incarnations since last summer.

'21,600,000 rounds of ammunition'

Palin’s accusation stems from a supposed government purchase order by the Department of Homeland Security, which calls for three different types of ammunition in quantities said to total 21,600,000 rounds. Articles on conservative websites like InfoWars and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze carried the 21.6 million figure along with dire warning such as "Federal agency has now acquired enough bullets to wage 30-year war." Earlier versions of the theory appeared on the Web last August in which a chain email accused the Social Security Administration of stockpiling bullets in preparation for "civil unrest" following the defaulting of Social Security benefits. This claim was debunked by Snopes.com, which reported the 174,000 bullets being ordered at the time were meant for the 300 armed agents who work for the SSA and is hardly an uncommon order.

A simple miscalculation

In a thorough debunking of the latest stockpiling theory, the Daily Caller explains that the purchase order supposedly for 21.6 million bullets is actually for 240,000 rounds. The site says a calculation mistake was originally made because previous authors mistakenly failed to recognize that the delivery was to be priced per 1,000 rounds. As the sites notes, 240,000 rounds "is equivalent to just one round per employee of the Department of Homeland Security." Since the miscalculation was pointed out The Blaze has issued a correction to its report, while InfoWars continues to carry the 21.6-million-bullet figure.

 

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