Here’s some information that’ll be handy to have the next time someone tries to argue exactly how much ammunition any one person needs. Seven rounds? Ten rounds? Two shotgun shells? Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has finally received answers to his November letter asking about the Department of Homeland Security’s ammunition purchases, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has posted the DHS’ response to his website.

If true, the numbers aren’t quite as large as the billions of rounds that some have suggested, and they even show that the number of bullets purchased has dropped each year since 2010. Still, DHS says that it plans to purchase $37 million of ammo in fiscal year 2013, which amounts to somewhere above 100 million rounds. Note also that the DHS reports that it currently holds more than 263 million rounds in inventory. That does sound like a lot, considering that citizens have reported trouble finding ammunition on shelves.

Where is all of that ammo going? The DHS reports that most of its component agencies budget 1,000 rounds per firearm each year for training and quarterly qualifications. The number doesn’t sound so extreme in that context, but you know Sen. Dianne Feinstein could make it sound positively evil in the hands of a private, law-abiding citizen. And what did she say about “drying up the supply“? The (belated) response from DHS answers some questions, but plenty remain. has posted its own (April Fools’ Day) explanation.