During the 14 December incident in which CBP agent Brian Terry was killed by gunmen as he and other agents responded to armed illegal immigrants near Nogales, Arizona, the CBP agents were required to use "bean bag" rounds in their shotguns, according to a FoxNews.com report.
Agent Terry was part of a BORTC unit - CBP's equivalent to a SWAT team.
"These guys go in when we have a serious problem. It would be like sending a SWAT team into a bust with bean bags. ... They were outgunned by far," Andy Ramirez, the founder of Friends of the Border Patrol, told Foxnews.com.
The order to use non-lethal ammunition first reportedly stemmed after an incident where a border patrol agent shot a Mexican teenager who was throwing rocks at the agent.
Customs and Border Patrol has denied that agents were ordered to use the "bean bag" rounds. However, CBP spokesman Mark Qualia said, "Why do law enforcement personnel carry Taser guns? If you’re in a confrontational situation where you do not need to use lethal force."
Qualia also told Foxnews.com that agents were issued with a sidearm and two additional magazines.