Obscure federal agencies triggered a firestorm of conspiracy theories this week after they put out orders for thousands of rounds of deadly hollow-point bullets.

But the agencies, most recently the Social Security Administration, are trying to put a damper on the speculation — noting the ammunition is “standard issue” and simply used for mandatory federal training sessions.

“Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately,” said a message on the official blog for Social Security’s inspector general office explaining the purchases.

The bullet purchases drew widespread attention as the website Infowars.com published several stories on them that were linked off the widely read Drudge Report and other sites. Infowars.com catalogued a string of recent purchases — first by the Department of Homeland Security, then by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and then the Social Security Administration.

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