Some of the more outlandish headlines out there today might make you think the United States Postal Service is gearing up for some sort of armed conflict.
According to The Federal Business Opportunities website, the USPS is accepting proposals to acquire “assorted small arms ammunition”. Here is the exact wording of the request:
The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for “assorted small arms ammunition”.
If your organization wishes to participate, you must pre-register at https://uspsesourcing.emptoris.com, the Postal Service’s eSourcing tool. From the login page, click on the “Register Supplier Organization” hyperlink and provide all required information. Organizations are encouraged to have each participating representative registered individually. When registering, include 332992 as one of your NAICS selections.
Registered organizations will receive log-in credentials to the USPS eSourcing application. A separate electronic message will be sent notifying registrants when the event is opened and inviting them to participate in the solicitation.
Organizations may register at any time during the event; however, it is recommended prospective offerors complete their registration early.
This message is only a notification of our intent to solicit proposals.
If you aren’t familiar with post office operations, this may seem strange. However, the USPS contains within its organization the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country – The United States Postal Inspection Service.
According to Wikipedia,
The Postal Inspection Service has the oldest origins of any federal law enforcement agency in the United States. It traces its roots back to 1772 when colonial Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin first appointed a “surveyor” to regulate and audit the mails. Thus, the Service’s origins—in part—predate the Declaration of Independence, and therefore the United States itself. As Franklin was Postmaster under the Continental Congress and was George Washington’s first Postmaster, his system continued.
In 1801, the title of “surveyor” was changed to Special Agent. In 1830, the Special Agents were organized into the Office of Instructions and Mail Depredations. The Postal Inspection Service was the first federal law enforcement agency to use the title Special Agent for its officers. Congress changed this title to Inspector in 1880.
So the Postal Service has most likely been purchasing “assorted small arms ammunition” for over 200 years. The department has over 1,000 armed agents. Fourteen USPIS agents have been killed in the line of duty.
Move along, nothing to see here.