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1077Sign on to letter to stop hollow point bullets for BP

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  • Donna Dove
    May 29 9:26 PM
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      Please do not hit reply to sign on. There is an email address below if you
      wish to sign on or have questions or comments.


      Sign-on letter to DHS Secretary Tom Ridge opposing the future use of
      hollow point bullets by Immigration Enforcement Officials

      Deadline May 30th

      The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is circulating a
      sign-on letter to the Department of Homeland Security opposing the
      continued use of highly lethal hollow point Ammunition. The Bureau of
      Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) of the Department of
      Homeland Security is currently soliciting contracts for up to 225
      million rounds of ammunition for immigration enforcement personnel.
      Under the INS, all agents used hollow point bullets as standard
      ammunition. Hollow point bullets expand 160% on impact and cause
      excessive damage in the human body, usually resulting in great injury or
      death. Many police departments in major cities use this ammunition
      because it is less likely to pass through a human body and hit an
      innocent bystander, and it is also less likely to ricochet when fired in
      confined buildings. These reasons to do not apply to the remotely
      populated border area where most shootings have and will occur.

      The contract solicitation does not specify whether the ammunition is to
      be hollow point or not, which gives us an opportunity to pressure the
      DHS to use ammunition that does not have the devastating lethality of
      hollow points. The contract is for 4 years worth of ammunition, meaning
      we may not have another chance to alter policy for some time.

      Please join this organizational sign on letter to Secretary of the DHS,
      Tom Ridge. The text of the letter is pasted below.

      If you have any questions or want to sign on, please contact me at
      jfremont@... or 202-635-5812. Please provide the name and
      location of your organization as you would like it to appear.

      Jon Fremont
      Public Education and Advocacy
      Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
      202-635-5812 phone
      202-635-2649 fax

      Text of Letter

      May 2003

      Tom Ridge
      U.S. Department of Homeland Security
      Washington, D.C. 20528

      Dear Secretary Ridge,

      We write to express our opposition to the use of hollow point or
      "controlled expansion" bullets used by immigration personnel at the
      Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Last year, immigrant rights
      groups were informed by Michael Sheehan, Chief of Policy of the Firearms
      and Force Board of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS),
      that all INS law enforcement officers were issued S&W .40 caliber
      155-grain ammunition with a controlled expansion projectile. Since then
      the INS has transitioned into the DHS, and the National Firearms Unit
      has indicated that stockpiles of this ammunition are low. The Bureau of
      Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) of the DHS is currently
      soliciting proposals for up to 225 million rounds (Solicitation Number
      ACB-3-R-0029) of new ammunition. While the specifications of the
      ammunition are very detailed, the Contract Specialist for this
      solicitation confirmed that it is not determined whether or not the
      ammunition is to be hollow point. This presents the DHS with an
      opportunity to acquire effective ammunition that is not associated with
      the heightened lethality of hollow point bullets.

      As you may know, hollow point bullets expand upon hitting a target. The
      impact forces the bullet to mushroom open, expanding to 160 percent its
      original size. This causes a large wound cavity, and usually results in
      death. Originally designed by the British for hunting big game, hollow
      point bullets have been controversial for more than a century. During
      the Hague Disarmament Conference of 1899, representatives of 26 nations
      decided to disallow the use of hollow-point bullets during wartime
      (Declaration III). The subsequent Versailles and Geneva peace treaties
      also outlawed the use of the ammunition.

      Although many police departments in major cities use hollow point
      bullets, their justifications for doing so do not apply to immigration
      personnel at DHS. The New York City Police Department argues that this
      type of ammunition is less likely to ricochet or pass through a target,
      thus reducing the likelihood of hitting innocent bystanders. In a
      report to the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board by the
      Committee on Hollow-Point Bullets, the Committee noted that "Ricochet
      bullets were particularly problematic in the steel and concrete
      environments of housing project halls and subway stations. Pass-through
      bullets were particularly problematic in crowded urban situations."
      These justifications do not hold true in the border area patrolled by
      DHS agents, which is characterized by remote, unpopulated areas.
      Furthermore, according to a 1989 study published in the Journal of
      Forensic Sciences, 80 percent of the shots fired in police shoot-outs
      miss their targets. Innocent bystanders are much more likely to be hit
      by a missed shot then a pass-through bullet, and in the case of hollow
      point ammunition, they are much more likely to die.

      The DHS has an important duty to protect the borders of our nation,
      however this role can be effectively accomplished without the use of use
      hollow point ammunition. Thank you for your attention to this matter,
      we look forward to your reply.


      CC: Asa Hutchinson, Undersecretary, Border and Transportation
      Eduardo Aguirre, Director, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration
      Robert Bonner, Commissioner, Bureau of Customs and Border
      Michael Garcia, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Immigration and
      Customs Enforcement
      Michael Sheehan, Chief of Policy, Firearms and Force Board

      Que todos se levanten, May all rise up,
      que ni uno ni otro May all be called
      se quede atras de los demas. May no one be left behind.
      --Pop Wuj the others.