Feds Say Possession of “Large Amounts” of Weapons May Indicate Terrorist Activity

An example photo of a “weapons cache” included in a Department of Homeland Security and FBI bulletin to law enforcement. Photo via Maine State Police.

Public Intelligence

A joint bulletin issued in early August by the Department of Homeland Security and FBI warns state and local law enforcement agencies to look out for people in possession of “large amounts” of weapons and ammunition, describing the discovery of “unusual amounts” of weapons as a potential indicator of criminal or terrorist activity.

Citing the example of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who reportedly “stockpiled approximately 12,000 pounds of precursors, weapons, and armor and hid them underground in remote, wooded locations,” the bulletin instructs law enforcement to look for “large amounts of weapons, ammunition, explosives, accelerants, or explosive precursor chemicals” that “could indicate pre-operational terrorist attack planning or criminal activity.”  Weapons do not have to be “cached” in remote locations to meet the standard for suspicious activity.  According to the bulletin, weapons could be stored in an “individual’s home, storage facility, or vehicle” and may include common firearms such as “rifles, shotguns, pistols” as well as “military grade weapons.”  The illegal possession of large amounts of ammunition is also listed as a potential indicator of “criminal weapons possession related to terrorism.”  While the bulletin never clarifies what constitutes a “large” or “unusual” quantity of weapons or ammunition, it does say that such a quantity would “arouse suspicion in a reasonable person.”

The joint DHS-FBI Roll Call Release distributed to police, first responders and private security throughout the U.S. is part of a series of bulletins describing activities “reasonably indicative of criminal activity associated with terrorism.”  The suspicious activities described in the bulletins are derived from criteria in the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) Functional Standard for Suspicious Activity Reporting signed in 2009.  The ISE Functional Standard governs the collection of information for the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI), an interagency program to collect suspicious activity reports from law enforcement agencies around the country.  Other bulletins in the series focus on everything from surveillance and theft to photography and even “eliciting information,” an activity described as “questioning individuals at a level beyond mere curiosity.”

Like other bulletins in the DHS-FBI series on suspicious activity reporting, the document notes that “constitutional activities should not be reported” unless the circumstances “support the source agency’s suspicion that the behavior observed is not innocent, but rather reasonably indicative of criminal activity associated with terrorism, including evidence of pre-operational planning related to terrorism.”  However, no guidance is provided on potential legal issues related to the reporting of constitutionally-protected activities.

DHS-FBI Roll Call Release: Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Weapons Discovery (Text)

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90 comments for “Feds Say Possession of “Large Amounts” of Weapons May Indicate Terrorist Activity

  1. Bill
    October 17, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Is someone is using Thermold magazines, are they really serious?

    • Chris
      October 18, 2013 at 1:14 am

      That’s funny Bill :) !

    • Robert M
      October 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Several Armies do, Canada chiefly among them.

    • Henry Bowman
      October 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      What do you have against Thermold mags ?? – I use them exclusively in my mini 14 and have never had an issue with them.

    • Maryland_Shooter
      October 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      Bill, funny you noticed that. Made from melted Pringle can tops LOL

    • Jack Arse
      October 23, 2013 at 3:32 am

      Heck that is not eve a good start…

    • Tony
      October 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      maybe they hit up a deal at a yard sale …

  2. Chris
    October 18, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Hmmm according to this… there must be huge amounts of “potential” terrorist living amongst us, because I am still having hard time getting magazines and ammunition because someone is buying them all up. Oh wait… that’s right is was Obama scaring the hell out of people by trying to ban everything, and the White House buying enough weapons and ammo to give the DHS the equivalent firepower of a Third World Army…

  3. ten smiths
    October 18, 2013 at 3:15 am

    wonder if that police ball cap was what tipped them off that these guys were criminals or terrorists.

    • Mike
      October 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Either that or the ACU pattern rifle case.

      • Behind Enemy Lines
        October 23, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        I would have thought that if these ‘terrorists’ were planning to create some chaos they would have taken the magazines out of the pakages?

        This just looks like a trip to the gun range to me.

  4. berational
    October 18, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Yeah Chris, except for the fact that Obama hasn’t tried to ban anything. Do you have any sources for that statement?

    The DHS thing is worrying, though. Not exactly Obama’s fault though, as he doesn’t have direct control over that department.

    • Joe McFarland
      October 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Are you kidding me. Are we living on the same planet. Obama has been trying to ban assault weapons, 30 round magazines , and almost anything semiautomatic. He has just failled so far is all

    • Robert M
      October 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      “he doesn’t have direct control over that department.”

      Because it’s not like he’s the President, Commander in Chief, and Direct supervisor over any segment of his government regardless of size or anything…OH WAIT!
      He TOTALLY is that!

    • Henry Bowman
      October 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      His voting record in the Senate is all the proof you’ll ever need of his anti gun beliefs.

    • Eric
      October 19, 2013 at 2:24 am

      “except for the fact that Obama hasn’t tried to ban anything” How big is that rock you have been living under?

    • Slim934
      October 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      …..yes he does.

      DHS is an executive agency. It is an agency in which congress passes a law, and DHS is an enforcer (and in most cases nowadays) a generator of the law. This is an executive function, and Obama is Highest Executive official in the Federal government. He could overturn all of these notices and whatnot else with a wave of his hand.

    • Rureallythatstupid
      October 24, 2013 at 4:26 am

      Berational, you really ought to educate yourself. The President of the United States is the head of the Executive Branch of the Government. DHS is a Department within the Executive Branch. The President is in fact not only responsible but he is also accountable for everything they do. And the don’t do anything without his approval, actual or implied.

    • SKINUT
      October 25, 2013 at 6:46 am

      But down the crack pipe, please.

      Obama endorsed the reauthorization of the Federal AWB and endorsed Feinstein’s new much more draconian bill. He wants mags limited to 10 rounds and most semi-auto guns banned. When he was a Illinois state senator he went much farther, supporting and defending the Chicago gun ban and mandatory registration.

      Obama doesn’t have direct control over DHS? He appointed the last two DHS cabinet secretaries. He gets their intel summary daily in the Presidential Daily Briefing that he avoids reading.

      These low information voters have apparently taken to displaying their ignorance in the comment pages between riveting episodes of The Voice, Two Broke Girls and Survivor.

  5. Amy
    October 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Here is what it all boils down to: the government is afraid of its own citizens and why? because they know we know we are no longer a free country. I don’t own one gun….but I do have a big mouth. I am so over the crap laws that take away my right to be free and the BS that comes along with it. Medicaid and now Obamacare…..just over the top

    • Josh
      October 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Well, Amy, you should buy a gun. The 2nd Amendment exists so that the 1st may flourish.

  6. Elliot
    October 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Last time I was at Cabela’s they had hundreds of guns just sitting there! They MUST be a terrorist organization!

    • TSgt B
      October 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Well, my last ex took exception to my collection that I had when we met, waiting until after we married to voice her concerns. Not long after that, she was free to express her opinion(s) to future possible spouses (that’s why she’s an EX).

      If I pick up a strange gun, my others don’t get upset.

    • liam armstrong
      October 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      omg i been to cabelas before,

      iv seen the thousands of rounds and the hundreds of rifles they have :O

      sure to be terrorist orginization :O

      • DanO
        October 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

        So true! Best response ever! Thanks for the laugh!

        • Mike Catalano
          October 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

          I laughed out loud when I read your comment as it absolutely true!

          • Tony
            October 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm

            that is awesome !

  7. Jason Smith
    October 18, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    The only thing that large amounts of guns and ammo is a sign of, is a man who makes a decent living, and has the ability to convincingly lie to his wife about how much such things cost.
    Like my $75 Glock, and my $150 AR-15.
    That each came with 20 free magazines.


  8. Rob
    October 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    No mention of the actual crimes that lead to the seizure of the fellows property …

    “Criminal weapons” is not quite as clear a Federal or state penal codes and don’t particularly see and obviously banned weapons on that table.

    No Federal statute on possession or ammunition quantity … never heard of a state statute either.

    • Maryland_Shooter
      October 19, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Yeah, like illegal ammo? What made it illegal?

  9. Michael
    October 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    LoL Jason I wish my gf would fall for that crap she is a gun enthusiast too so she just catches me later after she looks in my ammo cans. LMFAO

  10. TAM
    October 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Hey I know who has a ton of ammo and weapons, looks like the DHS is a terrorist organization.

    • Henry Bowman
      October 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      They are. — The Reichssicherheitshauptamt was the main office of the Nazi SS, the parent organization of the Gestapo. The German word Reich is translated as state or homeland. Sicherheits is translated as Security and Hauptamt literally means main office which could reasonably be translated as Department.

    • Maryland_Shooter
      October 19, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Don’t forget the MRAPs

  11. Randy
    October 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Is the weapons cache hiding under the table?

  12. James
    October 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Its time to take Washington by force! Only a corrupt Government comes up with this shit!

  13. October 18, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Obama is on his knees on his prayer rug praying for civil unrest so he will have a excuse to use his military against the American people. The problem he will have with that is his military will turn around and bite him in his Muslim ass.

    • Conservativesniper
      October 19, 2013 at 2:33 am

      But, will the military follow illegal orders? I think not.

  14. Brady
    October 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Hey i have a bunch of weapons like two 30-06 about five shotguns and two muzzle loaders but i keep my amunition in a safe but i use my guns for hunting only

  15. Brian Stevens
    October 19, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I guess that puts DHS on the watchlist since they’ve been purchasing suspicious amounts of weapons and ammunition.

  16. Trevor Robinson
    October 19, 2013 at 11:22 am

    terrorists? or maybe Aliens

  17. Dannyboy53
    October 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Molon labe

  18. Death Knight
    October 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    That pic…..You call that a fucking weapons cache?! LOL I call that newbie gun owner cache. I know several friends who would make that collection look like a tupperware party

  19. lew
    October 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    True BHO hasn’t tried to ban anything. They’re using the back door approach. Restrict ammo types, ie:lead as in CA. And increasing persons restricted from owning guns, no longer just felons. Have a fight wife the spouse and you loose, no more gun rights.

  20. Daeglan
    October 20, 2013 at 7:17 am

    I like how they don’t define “Large amount” What is considered a large amount?

    They already arrested someone for having a collection of firearms. they noticed when he called the cops about a break in.

  21. Soldier_Medic
    October 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Just so everyone here knows we are sworn to the CONSTITUTION of the United States, and NOT a person. So Obama could not call upon us to quell an insurrection. And no, we do not have to follow any orders we see as “unethical, immoral, or illegal” just so ya’ll know.

  22. October 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Wow, I went to bed a perfectly ‘legal’ citizen last night, and this morning woke up a terrorist!?!

  23. October 20, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Quisling Twats do not get to make their own rules.
    There has never been a limit on anything relating to ownership of specific amounts of anything by anyone. Arbitrary limits insinuating conspiracy or any activity pretending to be illegal based on unofficial interpretations of laws that don’t even exist is ILLEGAL even with the traitor act.

    I would like to think that DHS and the mis-daventurous law enforcement had good intentions but their activities suborning our rights and violating the law have proven otherwise. Since the law no longer applies equally to all, it no longer applies to anyone. That’s the bed they made.

    Yank lll

  24. Bill
    October 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Nice starter kit.

  25. WilliamPenn
    October 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Yeah, and by “large amounts of weapons” Comrade Obama and his commie thugs mean more than zero weapons.

  26. Patrick Henry
    October 22, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Give me Liberty with 20,000 rounds, or, Give me death….!

  27. Joseph White
    October 22, 2013 at 5:03 am

    By this logic, since the DHS, FBI, DEA, IRS, and other governmental agencies are purchasing mass amounts of weapons and ammo, they too should be considered to be plotting terroristic acts.
    Don’t ya think?

  28. October 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I’m going to sell all but one rifle, all but one handgun and all but 10 rounds of ammunition so the Feds won’t break in to my home, shoot my dog and abuse my family because I’m a law abiding citizen merely exercising my 2nd Amendment responsibility. NOT!

  29. Tripwire
    October 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    terrorist acts..Waco, Ruby Ridge, and all the poor folks killed when they reached for a weapon when their door got blown off the hinges in a swat raid at the wrong address.

  30. Johnny-truth
    October 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I see roughly 12 firearms in that picture, some mags, a hat and a couple of ammo cans….
    This is a ‘large cache’?….. I am in deep doo-doo then.

  31. Mr. Jonz
    October 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Crummy weapons cache without at least one shotgun.

  32. Ralph
    October 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Inspect THEIR basements, and inspect the cop’s basements for “ILLEGAL weapons dumped by criminals”….. Anyone who is collecting ARMORED VEHICLES is a TERRORIST too…….
    And MANDATORY steroid-AND-drug testing for EVERYone in government

  33. Sean
    October 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    …after an unfortunate boating accident, I now only have a .38 special and a .22!?!?!?

  34. Dave
    October 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    When our government classifies roughly 5% of the nation as terrorists, you will know that our government is morphing into a tyranny.
    Now more than ever we need to acquire our tools of defense.
    Our biggest threat isn’t Muslims, it’s Washington DC.

  35. Don Barksdale
    October 23, 2013 at 2:28 am

    The plan is something like this: Register all guns and continually increase the list of people who cannot own firearms. This may take years and include people who use prescription drugs, persons with a DUI (they already have excluded holders of medical marijuana cards in some areas), anyone who has any use of prozac etc., certain misdemeanors and just about anything they can think up. Kamala Harris already has teams of officers out rounding them up in California as we speak. After a few years when most firearms have been taken, they will simply take the rest by force. They have the facilities in place to put people away who resist. The key to confiscation is registration. This should be resisted at all costs. I totally agree that the military will not turn on its own. I was a soldier and was in Vietnam, soldiers do what they are told….up to a point. That said, a bunch of former flower and fruit inspectors, some Border Patrol guys and new hires that are the DHS are going to run like the wind if things go bad.

    • October 25, 2013 at 3:14 am

      Well said Don Barksdale, I hail from FEMA Region 1 and as of October 1st. unless you have the proper $35 dollar picture ID…guess what NO AMMO for you…there are so many Pissed of just plain old pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, etc hunters, who can’t even get shot gun shells. as of Dec. 31 2013, you better claim how many magazine’s, and don’t forget you have to give prints along with the registration process…and it doesn’t end there….I use to get on the school bus with my 12 gauge (no case, shells in my book bag), put the gun in the cloak room, ” Going hunting after school today Kev, Yes Sister Rose, well good luck, don’t forget I love pheasant to… I am ASHAMED of what this once GREAT REPUBLIC has become. Heavenly Father please Forgive us for turning this Great Land, that was a gift from you into what it is today.

  36. October 23, 2013 at 4:36 am

    No shit. Which is exactly why We need to disarm the US military.

  37. Lou
    October 23, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Yep DHS just bought 3 billion rounds of hollow point ammo and 28,000 Urban Tanks.

  38. George
    October 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Don’t forget the UN “Small ARMS Treaty” which the Administration is pushing. I think its time to move the dammed UN to another country and let someone else support them. And if I’m not mistaken the Senate has to ratify that treaty. Be sure to let your Senators know how you feel.

  39. George
    October 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Another thing since my blood is boiling……These are the idiot people who say “returning Vets” might be terrorists….and the ones who called the massacre at FT. Hood workplace violence instead of a terrorist attack which is what it was…..and oh yeah the same folks who won’t use the terms Muslim Jihadists, or Muslim terrorists and have had those terms taken out of military and FBI training materials….These DC idiots wouldn’t know a dammed terrorist it they saw one……and the proof in that pudding is the number of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists who have sat in on White House briefings.

    • October 25, 2013 at 3:22 am

      Well said George, its right in your face now they don’t care, I truly believe God has given them over to their own devices, just as He did with Pharaoh.

  40. Steven Clark
    October 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I understand they’re trying to be vigilant and protect us from terrorist activity, but this is getting ridiculous…..

  41. Phuc Yaul
    October 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Using their criteria, then DHS, & Homeland security, should be listed as Domestic Terrorist Organizations !

  42. Buck O'Fama
    October 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    If that paltry display is an example of a large amount of weapons, then most American gun owners are terrorists.

    The regime must be getting ready for it’s big push.

  43. Jim
    October 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I have desperately tried to get someone in authority to define “large quantiries” and when owning/possessing firearms and ammunition became illegal. To date, I have been unable to get an answer. My local PD contact said they’ve been informed to be on watch for large purchases etc. Since he’s a range buddy, he even laughed that most folks there are better equipped than our PD and would love to see who’d try to make them take action agains legal owners. I mentioned the new DHS nomination and eve he thinks its an onerous sign. Be ready folks.

  44. Chris
    October 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I guess dhs employees who run websites that preach hatred and the need for a race war do not qualify. Wtf???

  45. Colin
    October 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I’m getting suspicious about all of the weapons and ammunition being stockpiled by DHS, local police, the IRS, dairy inspectors, and dog catchers. Who do I report this possible terrorist activity to?

  46. Doug Nicholson
    October 23, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Could someone please tell me what constitutes “illegal possession of large amounts of ammunition” and cite a law, any law, limiting the amount of ammo a person may possess.

  47. crye
    October 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Why find facts when it’s easier to believe rumors, let someone else do all the work, misinterpret misread misquoted rumors and turn them into frantic conspiracy theories.


    (this comment has nothing to do with the article posted here, only is a response to certain comments made)

  48. LuLu
    October 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    once again the Feebs are right on top of the conspiracy list…many of the folks I know will be an issue for the Feebs. Who is to say the victim with 5k rounds and seven firearms was not going to a week long training course; that would be just enough ammo and gear for a class.

  49. Fredx10sen
    October 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Getting very scary out there! WTF is wrong with this government!! ” Unusual Amounts”?? according to WHO!!! Weapons could be one of the best investments one could make! Besides the “Protection Value”, guns have only appreciated in value over time. A rifle bought in the 70’s for a $100 is now worth three times that!! It’s a hedge against inflation and a perfect way to keep criminals, government or people that would do you harm in CHECK!! Right now there are those, that are laughing all the way to the bank, for having the insight to invest in ammo and are now, reaping it’s profits. So WTF is sooooo “UNUSUAL” about collecting extra guns and ammo!!! If I had the money I would sure as hell invest it wisely in what I thought would bring in the BEST PROFITS!! These A$$HOLES don’t have a clue as to what they are supposed to do for This COUNTRY! So QUIT… going after it citizens DAMNIT!!!

  50. robertsgt40
    October 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    In a way the feds are right about large caches of weapons. Let’s inventory the military and the militarized police forces. I’m guessing they’re exempt. “Large” for civilians is anything over one weapon.

  51. Clint
    October 23, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Its not the governments job to protect us. Its job is to protect against invasion its my responsibility to protect myself and my country I’m a big boy and a disabled combat vet of Iraq and I’ll be dammed if someone who’s wants to play gestapo will call me a terrorist or that I shouldn’t have guns. If us reading this gestapo cab scouts don’t quit,run, or hide as they say come and try to take them I’m not good at math but over 180,000,000 American s own guns or damn right the military won’t fight its not good odds espesially when a lot of them are vets looks like dhs and FBI are on there own

  52. The Rifleman
    October 23, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    What a ridiculous premise this who assessment is based on. Most rural police officers I know have more weapons than are on that table. That does not even count the thousands of sport shooters that make far more money than government employees and can afford dozens of firearms BECAUSE IT’S A HOBBY YOU MORONS !!!

  53. BigBear
    October 24, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Feds Say Possession of “Large Amounts” of Kool-Aid May Indicate Democratic Party Activity

  54. October 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Possession of large amounts of weapons might also indicate you’re into home defense and/or a collector. As for the issue of ammunition shortages the koolaid drinkers who think the government is buying it up are actually the ones creating the shortage by buying it up themselves. Possessions of large amounts of tea and tinfoil tricorn hats indicate the stupidity of the right wing has infected you.

  55. Crag
    October 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    If the picture is indicative of a terrorist, then I’ve been a terrorist for a LONG time, and every man in my family is a terrorist too!

  56. Jamie
    October 24, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Geez, that would not fill one of my seven safes!

  57. JustMe
    October 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    What a load of crap.

    I guess they have never heard of collectors or Enthusiasts.

  58. Ex Nihilo
    October 24, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Around here, that display is a normal day at the range.

  59. JD
    October 26, 2013 at 2:32 am

    zero credibility.
    meanwhile, the NSA Chief admits nsa has only “foiled one or two terror plots” (and that one he claims is widely known to be bogus)…
    meanwhile, DC police (as close to feds as you can get w/o actually being) are running illegal guns to the Nat’l Cathedral to promote gun control and illinois jail cops are stripping female DUI suspects naked…

  60. JD
    October 26, 2013 at 2:36 am


    After Westgate, Interpol Chief Ponders ‘Armed Citizenry’


    INTERPOL Chief: ‘Armed Civilians’ Could be Key to Preventing More Westgate Mall-Style Terror Attacks

    NSA Spying Did Not Result In a SINGLE Foiled Terrorist Plot …
    Oct 15, 2013 – [The NSA chief himself admits the numbers are wildly inflated, and there were only “one or two” terrorist plots foiled. …. hijackers’ every move prior to the attacks, and sent agents to film the attack on the World Trade Centers.

    NSA chief’s admission of misleading numbers adds to Obama …
    Oct 2, 2013 – Keith B. Alexander admitted that the number of terrorist plots foiled by the … made in or to America was only one or perhaps two — far smaller than the … are relevant to an authorized investigation and involve a foreign agent.

  61. Peter
    October 26, 2013 at 4:55 am

    After purchasing the amounts of weapons and ammunition they have purchased, it sounds like the DHS is the biggest terrorist group of them all.

  62. April 26, 2014 at 4:32 am

    That asshole is still the best thing that could happen for a retail arms shop..

  63. Retired HMC
    May 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Hell if the number of weapons and ammo in that picture classifies one as a terrorist I’m in deep shit because that isn’t even a good starters package

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