1077Sign on to letter to stop hollow point bullets for BP
- May 29 9:26 PMPlease 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.
Public Education and Advocacy
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
Text of Letter
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
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.