By Paul Bedard
Expectations that Democrats will ram through their latest spending package today in the House are drawing attention to the plan to give the Internal Revenue Service $80 billion to hire a massive army of 87,000 agents.
A Secrets report this week that the agency is hiring armed special agents and telling them that they should be ready to use “deadly force” against their targets has put a spotlight on IRS policing in the country, raising questions about what they do and just how armed the agents are.
Americans for Tax Reform just issued a report trying to answer those questions.
Citing audits and a report from OpenTheBooks on arms spending by over 100 federal agencies, many with their own police forces, ATR said even before spending a dime of the new money, the IRS already has an arsenal of 4,600 firearms and five million rounds of ammo.
It’s no surprise that the IRS has an armed police force. In fact, they have a storied history of dangerous investigations, including seizing Al Capone and solving the Lindbergh kidnapping. Today the agency is deeply engaged in fraud, tax evasion, terrorist financing, and narcotics trafficking.
The details of its arms cache, and the likelihood that it will surely grow with the new spending, show how well armed it is.
From fiscal year 2015-2019, the IRS ranked 8th among “general and administrative” agencies in arms, equipment and ammo spending at $8,697,142, said the OpenTheBooks report.
That included $855,000 on Glock Model 19 hand guns and $3.5 million on ammo. It preferred .40 cal. Glocks, Smith & Wesson and H&K AR-15s and Remington shotguns for its more than 2,000 special agents.
The report said the agency also purchased “Hitman Suits,” though no further explanation was provided.
The IRS is just one of over 100 agencies with an arms budget. Overall, the federal government spent more than $2 trillion dollars in the last decade on guns and ammo, according to a 2020 OpenTheBooks report on the militarization of the federal government.