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John McCartney and Herald staff | jmccartney@heraldnet.com
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 3:37 p.m.

Ammunition for the Weather Service?

Hey, at least it wasn't the Weathermen

Conspiracy theorists hardly need provocation to imagine all manner of apocalyptic catastrophes necessitating tinfoil hats and other gear. But they recently got a bit of red meat to feed their fears.

As our pals at The Post's Capital Weather 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 Infowars.com (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 NOAA (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," the spokesman says.
Story tags » FederalFishingWeather

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