220514sigThe TSA has issued a solicitation requesting 24 million rounds of .357 SIG “duty ammunition” over a five year period, prompting fresh questions as to whether the federal agency is planning to arm its workers. “Estimated quantity is approximately 4,800,000 rounds of .357 Sig duty ammunition per year, totaling 24,000,000 over the life of the contract,” states the solicitation, posted on FedBizOpps, which adds that the ammo is for use at “DHS component locations nationwide.” The ammo purchase is likely to spark new questions about whether the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to arm TSA agents, an idea that has been pushed by the TSA’s union, the American Federation of Government Employees, but has received scant support elsewhere. Although Federal Air Marshals acting under the jurisdiction of the TSA are currently armed, other indications, such as the hiring of shooting ranges near airports, suggests the federal government could be preparing to arm some TSA workers. There are only 4,000 Federal Air Marshals currently operating in the United States, a figure that doesn’t appear to match with the 4.8 million rounds a year the TSA is set to purchase under this solicitation alone. More