The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking up to 7,000 select fire (meaning that they are capable of both semi-automatic and automatic fire) 5.56x45mm North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) personal defense weapons (PDWs) on top of the hundreds of millions of hollow-point rounds they recently acquired.
Unfortunately, the reason for both of these major purchases and the continuing heavy armament of DHS agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to go unexplained.
The newest weapons order is for so-called personal defense weapons which would be used in close quarters combat situations when maximum concealment is required.
That last part is interesting, as requiring maximum concealment for a 5.56x45mm NATO weapon is not really a run of the mill request.
The solicitation specifies that the guns be quite small for a rifle at a mere 30 inches or less with the stock fully extended and 20 inches or less with the stock fully retracted or folded.
They also specify that the barrel must come equipped with a flash suppressor and/or muzzle brake, noting, “The muzzle device will be rated on its ability to reduce muzzle signature.”
Furthermore, they state that every firearm will be tested with a whopping 4,000 rounds, meaning that 28,000 rounds will be spent just testing the firearms before they are put into service.
If the guns pass that test, three samples will be tested with an additional 3,500 rounds per firearm while the guns will also be tested for resilience in high temperature, low temperature, salt water immersion, sand and dust and drop conditions.
Unfortunately, the information available for the actual reason behind these large procurements is non-existent.
Given DHS’s history of refusing to explain the reason why they need hundreds of millions of hollow point bullets, it is safe to say that they will likely refuse to explain why they need these thousands of firearms as well.