The Washington Post

Weather Service ammo-procurement notice stirs conspiracies theories

Even dolphins need protection. (KATE CHARLTON-ROBB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

As our pals at the CapitalWeather Gang reported, a procurement notice by the National Weather Service seeking 46,000 rounds of ammunition for semiautomatic pistols stirred up the doomsday crowd.

What would a bunch of weather geeks want with guns? Some people had their theories.

“The federal government is clearly gearing up for the likelihood of civil unrest on a scale that could outstrip what we’ve already seen in countries across Europe,” claimed a writer on (the site’s tag line: “BECAUSE THERE IS A WAR ON FOR YOUR MIND”).

Turns out there was just a little “clerical error” and the ammo was actually destined for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, a NOAA spokesman says. “Ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement personnel in their firearms qualifications and training,” he says.

The guns, apparently, are needed to protect Flipper and his friends. “NOAA officers and agents enforce the nation’s ocean and fishing laws to ensure a level playing field for fishermen and to protect marine species like whales, dolphins and turtles.”

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters