RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The internet is buzzing with conspiracy theories, after the Social Security Administration put out bids, online - to purchase hundreds of thousands of hollow-point bullets. So, why is the agency that provides benefits to retirees, disabled workers, and widows stockpiling ammunition?
The Colonial Shooting Academy in Henrico County is a new, state-of-the-art gun range where federal, state and local law enforcement from all over the region come for firearms certification - even agents under the umbrella of the Social Security Administration.
That agency confirms it is, in fact, purchasing 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S.
Conspiracy theories abound on the internet - check out the headline in the Daily Caller: "Who does the government intend to shoot?" The article goes on to suggests "American citizens must be the target."
Headlines that the Social Security office is arming itself is especially troubling to senior citizens. Just the idea that the agency which provides their monthly check needs bullets sounds crazy to them.
"My question is - who are they arming themselves against? Is it seniors that are angry?" asked Jean Windsor.
"It's very scary - and I think I would think twice before I went into the Social Security Administration to check on anything," said Marie Anderson.
And it gets even weirder. An agency our weather department depends on - NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - solicited bids for 46,000 rounds of ammunition and shooting targets, seemingly to arm workers at the National Weather Service.
Crazy? Well, not really. Both of these agencies have a law enforcement branch. Under NOAA, it's the Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement - an agency that protects fish stocks from depletion. As for Social Security, it's the Office of Inspector General, and their agents have been in on some pretty big cases in this area.
Ulisa Chavers of Louisa County pleaded guilty to first degree murder back in 2010. Agents say she poisoned her boyfriend, threw his body down a well, and then illegally collected his Social Security benefits for years. They claim she did the same thing in Amelia County, to her first husband, to collect his benefits, as well.
The Inspector General's Office help put away the woman dubbed "The Black Widow" for the rest of her life.