When I was first elected to Congress in 2010, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. It is an oath I take very seriously, and therefor cannot support any efforts to change gun laws in this country. Rather than disarming law-abiding citizens, I believe we need to fully enforce the laws already on the books, look at the mental health system in this country, and evaluate areas of improvement in order to help those suffering from mental illness.
I do not support the current gun control legislation, because it does nothing to fix the problem. As I said in an interview with the Austin-American Statesman this week, “Everyone seems to forget that the shooter stole the guns from his parent that he used at Sandy Hook.” To read that full article, click here.
A great amount of emotion surrounds this debate and I hope logic and facts will guide our solutions, not a knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy.
AMMUNITION SHORTAGES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Several people have contacted my office with concerns about media reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is purchasing large quantities of ammunition rounds– some have even said the number purchased is in the billions. Like you, I was extremely alarmed by these claims. These reports raise many questions – but the most glaring to me is why would DHS need such a high volume of ammunition? My colleagues and I have been actively investigating DHS to get this answer, among others, on its seemingly excessive purchase. Here is an update on our latest findings:
- DHS claims that purchasing ammunition in bulk quantities helps ensure the lowest price possible and save taxpayer dollars.
- Last year, DHS trained nearly 70,000 law enforcement agents at its training centers and used approximately 20 million rounds of ammunition in the course of that training.
- According to DHS’ latest inventory audit, it currently has 263.7 million rounds of ammunition on hand – slightly more than the number purchased in FY2010 and FY2011 combined.
- The combined sub-agencies of DHS purchased 148 million rounds of ammunition in fiscal year 2010, 108 million in FY 2011, and 103 million in FY 2012.
- The DHS agencies that purchased the most ammunition are: CBP, ICE, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and the U.S. Secret Service.
- DHS is purchasing “hollow point” ammunition because it is the standard issue for law enforcement. According to DHS, hollow point is preferred ammunition for officers throughout the country because it stops when it hits something – rather than passing through for potential collateral damage.
THE PRESIDENT’S INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR OUR TAX DOLLARS
The President’s budget represents his insatiable appetite for more of our tax dollars. It calls for $1.1 trillion in new taxes, which means even more taken out of every single paycheck.
As a countermeasure to the President’s bloated budget, I introduced H.R. 1457, the Fiscal Instruction for a Vibrant Economy (FIVE) Act this week. It will require federal departments and agencies to submit to Congress budget plans that reflect a 5 percent reduction from the amounts proposed in the President’s budget. To learn more about the FIVE Act, click here.
TWEETS FROM THIS WEEK
AROUND THE DISTRICT
On Tuesday, Carol from my staff attended Veterans Appreciation Day in Hallettsville, where nearly 900 local heroes, veterans, and their families’ attended. Today and every day, we are grateful for their service to our country.