USPS responds to wing-nut hysteria over ammo “hoarding”

Screenshot 2014-04-19 at 7.56.03 AMIn January the US Postal Service announced on the Federal Business Opportunities web site that it was planning to buy “assorted small arms ammunition”. People who know anything about the USPS wouldn’t have been particularly surprised about the announcement, given that the USPS has a sizable armed police force, the Postal Inspection Service. But right wing commentators quickly went, well, postal about the news: “USPS ANNOUNCES GIANT AMMO PURCHASE” crowed WND.com. The fact that no quantities were specified in the solicitation wasn’t mentioned.

The claims were so outlandish that even one anti-gun control site felt the need to debunk it. In February, gunssavelives.net carried a post pointing out that the USPS “contains within its organization the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country – The United States Postal Inspection Service.” The post continues:

So the Postal Service has most likely been purchasing “assorted small arms ammunition” for over 200 years. The department has over 1,000 armed agents. Fourteen USPIS agents have been killed in the line of duty.

Move along, nothing to see here.

But conspiracy theories continued to make the rounds. This past week, Newsmax.com, the most popular right wing extremist news site carried the news. (Newsmax may be popular, but it’s apparently a bit slow on the uptake). While the story made passing reference to the Inspection Service, it also pushed a new theory- that the USPS was trying to drive up the price of ammunition.

Finally this week the USPS issued a statement denying the bizarre story:

U.S. Postal Service PR manager sets the record straight on 4-15-14 Newsmax.com article that USPS hoards ammunition.

The U.S. Postal Service is not hoarding ammunition. The Postal Service Inspection Service is a law enforcement agency and its Inspectors carry firearms. Periodically, the Inspection Service must purchase ammunition for activities like firearms training, required annual firing range qualifications and for duty. As the Postal Service’s primary law enforcement arm, the Inspection Service is a highly specialized, professional organization, which performs investigative and security functions essential to a stable and sound postal system and the security of the U.S. Mail. The Postal Inspection Service has a proud and successful record of fighting criminals who misuse postal services and products to defraud, endanger or otherwise threaten the American public.

Dave Partenheimer
Manager, Media Relations
U.S. Postal Service

The USPS statement probably won’t carry much weight with the committed gun nuts out there, but on the bright side, the conspiracy theory seems to be confined to the usual lunatic fringe outlets like Newsmax and Fox News.

If there is a conspiracy behind all the hysteria, the real culprit is probably the gun lobby itself. The big gun companies that underwrite the NRA and the rest of the so-called “second amendment advocate” groups are the only ones who would profit from all this. Like the fella said, “follow the money”! Smith and Wesson are no doubt laughing all the way to the bank!

  • http://postalnews.com/ hollywood

    Postal Service is hoarding rubber bands also , trying to run up the prices !

    • Malecarrier204b

      Rubber bands and idiot POOMS

  • PistolPeterson

    Gosh, I’ve read your article about the USPS buying 20 rounds of ammo, oops, wait, I don’t see the amount listed. Maybe I missed it. Could you rewrite the article reflecting the amount and type of ammunition the USPS is trying to acquire? Seems logical to make that one of the facts supporting your position. History and quotes from the USPS are of little value otherwise. (Get your money back from the journalism school you attended.)

    • postalnews

      Golly, I’ve read your comment about us trying to hide the amount of ammo the USPS wants to buy, oops, wait, the solicitation we linked to didn’t specify an amount, so it would have been a bit difficult to hide it, wouldn’t it? Could you rewrite your comment reflecting the actual facts? Excellent detective work, by the way, in noting that the WND story was a repost of an infowars item. Why do you find that relevant? We simply said that WND carried the headline “USPS ANNOUNCES GIANT AMMO PURCHASE”, which is a verifiable fact.

      Could you also explain what you mean when you say “History and quotes from the USPS are of little value otherwise.” Otherwise? Otherwise what??

      Also- sorry that you find us “myopic” for “Focusing on USPS and ignoring every other agency”, but that’s kinda what we do here- maybe you missed the name of the web site? That might give you a hint? It ain’t NOAAnews.com, is it?

      And thank you for flattering us by assuming we went to journalism school, but we didn’t!

      Anyway, thanks for playing our game, and be sure to put your tin foil hat back on real tight, ‘cuz we’ll be sending the black helicopters out to git you any moment now!

  • Steve Manos

    The “gun lobby” doesn’t have to to do anything. The gun- grabbing liberals shoot themselves in the foot on such a regular basis that they don’t have to. As far as being paranoid about the government’ s gun toters, could you explain why the Railroad Retirement Board has a SWAT team, as does the the Department of Education, Dept. of Agriculture, the TVA, the Office of Personnel Management, the EPA, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I understand the need for for security guards, but full blown SWAT teams? You can blow these off if you want, but just think about how you’ll feel if a Republican President and Congress decides to get a little rough on YOUR side in the future with the intimidation of black garbed, helmet and body wearing “police” armed with automatic weapons. Like they say, it depends on whose ox is being gored ( or shot like Bundy’s prize bulls in Nevada).

    • postalnews

      Steve- yikes! Gun-grabbing? Golly- I must have missed that! Last I heard, all the gun nuts were still stockpiling weapons and ammo ‘cuz they were afraid someone was going to force them to be able to have affordable health care or some other socialist plot!. Sorry that I can’t come up with an explanation for all the weird stuff you’re worried about. Maybe you need to check your meds?

      Just a suggestion!

  • Steve Manos

    I see that you say that you don’t focus on anything but Postal news. As a retired clerk of 35 years, I would suggest that you start looking for a new topic to write about. Between the bad management and the decline in the work ethic of a lot of the newer employees in the USPS ( yes I know that the job is not as good as when I had it, but you know that going in, don’t like the deal don’t take it) the news on the USPS might completely disappear.

    • postalnews

      Steve- thanks for the advice!

  • IIlIIl111

    Look at who the people were who commented on the original Newsmax website…………. NRA flunkies, gun nut spokesmen, Mouthpieces for the gun and ammo manufacturers………… Of course they want to scare the cr#p out of all the gun owners in the US. “Hey BIG GOVERNMENT just bought a
    billion rounds of ammo!! THEY ARE GOING TO COME AFTER YOU!! THERE IS GOING TO BE A GOVERNMENT MASSACRE OF ITS POPULATION!!

    BE AFRAID….BE VERY AFRAID…………. But MOST OF ALL — GO OUT AND BUY MORE GUNS AND AMMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Remember the first time Obama was elected!! BIG
    headlines from the NRA. “Obama is going to STOP ALL AMMO SALES !!!” So all the gun owners went running out and cleaned out every gun shop, ammo dealer, Walmart, etc etc etc until they had a 6 month back order.
    Did Obama stop ammo sales? NO………. The ammo makers are still laughing over that one………………….