GARDAI are stocking up on ammunition and plan to buy over one million rounds.
Though a largely unarmed force, gardai need the ammunition for training and for use by detectives and specialist units like the Emergency Response Unit and the Regional Support Units.
The force is seeking one million rounds of 9mm ammunition for use in Sig P226, and Walther 99c pistols.
It has also put out tenders for 100,000 rounds of 4.6mm copper-plated steel bullets for the specialist units armed with the Heckler and Koch Mp7 submachine gun. The bullets can penetrate body armour.
Gardai also want 50,000 rounds of 38 ammo for the Smith and Wesson revolver still used by the force.
Normally, around 3,000 gardai are licensed to carry firearms, but a spending review has recommended this be reduced to 1,000 to save around €2.7m a year.