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House votes to curb DHS ammunition purchases

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Reuters

The House of Representatives voted late Wednesday to limit the amount of ammunition the Department of Homeland Security can purchase and stockpile.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., proposed the amendment to the annual DHS spending bill. The House approved the proposal by a 234-192 vote.

The amendment blocks funds from being used to buy ammunition until the department submits to Congress a comprehensive report on its ammunition usage and purchase history.

Lawmakers and Second Amendment advocates have fumed over reports that DHS and other agencies were buying millions of rounds of ammunition, thus fueling the national shortage and driving up prices.

Nick Nayak, a DHS procurement officer, said at a House oversight subcommittee hearing in April that the department planned to purchase about 750 million rounds over five years.

The rounds are used for basic and advanced law enforcement training for federal law enforcement agencies under the department's umbrella. The facilities also offer firearms training to tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers.

The rest of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition the department reportedly aims to obtain would be purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government's second largest criminal investigative agency.

ICE's ammunition requests in the last year included:

--450 million rounds of .40-caliber duty ammunition

--40 million rounds of rifle ammunition a year for as many as five years, for a total bullet-buy of 200 million rounds

--176,000 rifle rounds on a separate contract

--25,000 blank rounds

The amendment must still be approved by the House as part of an overall DHS spending bill, and then reconciled with a Senate measure.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.