Homeland Security and its cache of bullets

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Online rumors about a big government munitions purchase are true, sort of. The Homeland Security Department wants to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in the next four or five years. It says it needs them — roughly the equivalent of five bullets for every person in the U.S. — for law enforcement agents in training and on duty.

Published federal notices about the ammo buy have agitated conspiracy theorists since the fall. It's even been dubbed "an arms race against the American people."

The government's explanation is much less sinister.

Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as "strategic sourcing contracts," which help the government get a low price for a big purchase. So says Peggy Dixon of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

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