swat team door entry raid confiscation
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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By Lee Williams

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst introduced a bill last week titled “Why does the IRS Have Guns Act,” which would prohibit the IRS from buying or storing guns and ammunition, transfer all IRS firearms to the General Services Administration so they could be auctioned off to licensed gun dealers to reduce the national debt, and move the agency’s Criminal Investigation Division to the control of the Justice Department. 

“The taxman is fully loaded at the expense of the taxpayer,” Ernst said in a statement. “As the Biden administration has worked to expand the size of the IRS, any further weaponization of this federal agency against hardworking Americans and small businesses is a grave concern. I’m working to disarm the IRS and return these dollars to address reckless spending in Washington.” 

While the prospects for Ernst’s legislation isn’t promising — Joe Biden will likely veto her bill, should it ever reach his desk — the Senator’s efforts have drawn much-needed attention to the massive arsenal that the IRS has amassed – is amassing. 

The IRS is preparing for battle. Some of the weapons and tactical equipment currently in their inventory are used by elite military commandos, not American law enforcement officers. To be clear, none of this extreme militarization occurred until after Biden took office. 

“Who are they preparing to battle?” asked Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and Founder of OpenTheBooks.com, the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Andrzejewski’s watchdog efforts have led to federal legislation, grand jury indictments, congressional hearings, subpoenas and convictions, as well as audits by the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service reports. 

“It looks like it’s for domestic tax and law enforcement objectives, but the IRS has blurred the lines between civil and administrative agencies, civil and administrative duties and federal law enforcement capability. After grabbing legal power, the IRS is amassing firepower. It’s time to scale back the federal arsenal,” Andrzejewski told the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project Wednesday.  

In one recent report, Andrzejewski found that IRS has spent $35.2 million taxpayer dollars on guns, ammunition and tactical gear since 2006, but the agency’s purchasing increased dramatically under Biden. 

“The years 2020 and 2021 were peak years at the IRS for purchasing weaponry and gear. Just since the pandemic started, the IRS has purchased $10 million in weaponry and gear,” the report states. 

The purchases included: 

  • $2.5 million on ballistic shields and various other gear for criminal investigation agents
  • $1.3 million for tactical lights, tactical gear bags, ballistic helmets and body armor 
  • Nearly $1 million on Smith & Wesson M&P15s and Beretta tactical shotguns
  • 3,000 tactical holsters for handguns with optical sights and weapon lights (As of this week, the IRS only has 2,100 armed agents.) 
Graphic from “The Militarization of the U.S. Executive Agencies,” (Courtesy of OpenTheBooks.com, and used with their permission.)   

Trigger-pullers wanted 

The IRS is recruiting people who won’t hesitate to put another American behind their front-sight post. 

In a recent job posting, the agency says special agent candidates, “must be willing to use force up to and including the use of deadly force.”

Those who qualify will receive the best guns and gear taxpayer dollars can buy. 

Here is a partial list of some of the agency’s recent purchases. 

Night Vision Rifle Scopes 

American law enforcement – even the IRS – does not operate with Rules of Engagement like the military when it encounters armed resistance. The last time law enforcement used ROE rather than the law, things went very wrong. Whatever the tactical situation, police are subject to criminal laws and deadly force policies, which are predicated upon the sanctity of human life. 

Force – up to and including deadly force – must be reasonable. An American law enforcement officer must use the minimum amount of force necessary and can use deadly force in defense of their life or the life of another. Verbal warnings and other de-escalation attempts are always considered after deadly force is used to determine whether the force was justified. 

That said, it’s difficult to understand why the IRS is equipping its agents with night vision rifle scopes, which are capable of hitting man-sized targets at distance in total darkness. 

How does shooting a suspect who is hundreds of yards away and unaware of an agent’s presence – at night, without warning – comply with use-of-force statutes and policies? How is this not murder? What tactical problem are the night vision rifle scopes intended to resolve? 

(Photo courtesy IRS:CI Annual Report 2021

Ballistic Shields

When the threat level is extreme, such as a report of an active shooter, SWAT teams will deploy a ballistic shield, which is designed to complement their personal body armor and further reduce the threat. 

Ballistic shields come in all shapes and sizes and are rated by bullet resistance. A Level II shield will stop 9mm and other handgun rounds. A level IV shield will stop .30 caliber armor-piercing ammunition. The greater the bullet resistance, the heavier the shield. Operators must train constantly to carry the shield and shoot a pistol one-handed. It’s awkward and requires a lot of practice. 

The Los Angeles Police Department has guidelines concerning the use of ballistic shields. Officers must first pass a Ballistic Shield Operator course before they can carry one into harm’s way. The course specifies the type of tactical situations where a ballistic shield should be deployed. They include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Breaching (doors and windows)
  • High-risk vehicle stops 
  • High-risk handcuffing 
  • Door entries
  • Room clearing
  • Hallway movement
  • Rescuing wounded officers under fire 

These type of tactical situations are the purview of SWAT teams and military special forces, not the IRS. 

Weapons of war 

The IRS issues Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifles to most of its special agents. It’s a good, serviceable patrol carbine, more than adequate for most needs. However, the agency issues HK416s to select agents.

The difference between an M&P15 and an HK416 is staggering. Smith & Wesson designed their carbine for civilian end users. Heckler & Koch designed the 416 for special operations forces. It’s currently the weapon of choice for the most elite units in the world, including Tier One JSOC teams. IRS even issues Heckler & Koch magazines with the rifles, which are much more reliable, but cost as much as 10 times more than traditional AR magazines. 

Why do IRS agents need the same rifle carried by Navy SEALs or members of the Army’s most elite special missions unit?  

While the IRS issues .40 cal. GLOCK handguns to its agents, documents show the agency has purchased a limited number of 5.7x28mm handguns and ammunition, although the type of ammunition has not been specified. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives classifies the 5.7x28mm SS190 duty round, which has a steel penetrator, as armor-piercing handgun ammunition. The manufacturer restricts the ammunition to military and law enforcement customers. 

The 5.7x28mm weapon system gives IRS agents the capability of defeating most civilian body armor with a handgun. 

(Photo courtesy IRS:CI Annual Report 2021

ATF responds 

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project asked the IRS to explain why they need ballistic shields, HK416s, night vision rifle scopes and other highly specialized equipment. 

Here is their response: 

“IRS-CI special agents are sworn federal law enforcement officers who conduct criminal investigations into tax violations, money laundering, cybercrimes, as well as organized crime involving drugs and gangs. The agency’s approximately 2,100 IRS-CI special agents regularly execute and serve search, arrest, and seizure warrants; conduct covert operations; and interact with the public in law enforcement settings. They must participate in annual firearms training, briefings, and practical exercises to demonstrate they are proficient to carry firearms. Firearms and related tactical gear are – and have been – necessary equipment for CI special agents for more than 100 years,” said Carissa Cutrell, a member of the IRS Criminal Investigation division. 

Takeaways

It’s clear the IRS has geared up so they can engage in more “dynamic” situations.

Last week a joint IRS/ATF team raided Highwood Creek Outfitters in Great Falls, Montana. ATF agents were prohibited from seizing the gun shop’s 4473s, but the IRS agents weren’t. They seized thousands of the forms. 

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen expressed concern over the seizure, asking “What the hell does the IRS need with 4473s?” By now I’m sure he realizes they were all handed over to the ATF. 

History has shown us that whatever gear a federal agency buys, it will eventually use. The only question is who will IRS point their HK416s and night vision rifle scopes at. 

Most Americans are sick of watching President Biden weaponize federal agencies to further his partisan political objectives. The ATF was weaponized first, and they’re going door-to-door right now, conducting unconstitutional knock-and-talks under the guise of firearm inspections. 

If Joe Biden is allowed to fully weaponize the IRS like he did the ATF, he will be able to exert his executive authority whenever he wants without congressional oversight. Anyone who objects or complains could be shot without warning, at distance, at night, without ever seeing who fired the fatal round. 

As Senator Ernst noted, this is a grave concern. 

 

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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59 COMMENTS

  1. Ever hear the phrase; “Whole of Government”? That applies to the IRS as well as every other agency and arm of FedGov, and it means everybody gets to arm up as much as the budget allows in order to impose the tyranny that FedGov has been actively pursuing for the last 22 years and more. Obama made it plain as day – Fundamental Transformation.

    • Ever hear the phrase ” No one is coming to take your guns ” ?
      Ever hear the phrase ” Shoot first, ask questions later ” ?
      Ever hear the phrase ” We’re from the government, we’re here to help ” ?
      Ever hear the phrase ” Civil War 2.1 is long overdue ” ?
      Ever hear the phrase ” Is ANYONE paying attention ? “

      • Ever hear the phrase ” Due to computer indicated anomalies on your tax return, you are hereby ordered to respond to an in-person audit at XX IRS service center. Please bring with you ALL of the following…. “

        • To which your legally protected reply should be:

          “I am in receipt of a demand for xx documents as relating to your allegation of anomalies on my tax return. Pursuant to Amendment 5 of the U.S. Federal Constitution, you must present a valid warrant duly ordered by a Federal Court. If you are able to procure such an Order, I will abide and present only those materials specifically demanded within the Order. In the absence of a warrant, you are invited to apply repeated manual pressure to a mound of granular sand.”

      • Add….”First American Revolution over taxation without representation.
        Second American Revolution over taxation BY representation.”

        You’ve filed your 2nd Quarter Estimated Taxes last week. Now, spend your time setting up your neighborhood effective overlapping Fields of Fire for when Slo Joe sends his Gestapo to contest your 1040 math errors.

    • That mfer Obama had the perfect opportunity to unite this country. The fact that he didn’t tells you everything that you need to know about satan’s little bitch.

  2. I find it somewhat curious that Republicrats, nationwide, are quite aggressive at limiting govt power when they are assured their legislation is highly unlikely to be enacted into law.

    • 20 years ago sure now it’s just readily apparent neocons being the other wing of the same bird swooping on the taxpayers.

      • “20 years ago sure now it’s just readily apparent neocons being the other wing of the same bird swooping on the taxpayers.”

        Even aircraft are heavily dependent on the left wing.

    • Well that’s what republtards DO. And good ole Lindsey Graham campaign’s for a (real!) war with Russia. Even so come LORD JESUS🙄

      • That pool hall Men’s Room creeper (she was raised in one) and protoge’ of John “I Massacred 127 Of My Shipmates” McStain, Lispy Scram, takes boatloads of money from defense industry executives for her campaign and political action committee, no wonder she never met a war she didn’t support. Additionally Sen. Scram is a “stolen valor” sort of girl, as a member of the reserves and lawyer she garnered herself a combat medal despite never actually serving in a combat zone, she briefed pilots at a base on the East Coast on rules of engagement prior to their deployment and the Pentagon gave her a ribbon.

    • Fiscally conservative Republicans are a myth. It’s right up there with “for the little guy” Democrats.

      • It’s easy for some gun talkers to say what they want and then cut and run when asked to ask 10 average people to Define Gun Control. The forum’s tough guy gun talkers who dismiss History cannot even man up and ask that simple question. Perhaps they fear the answers will be something that makes them eat their own words.

        And then there is the gun talking ahole who talks guns and turns around to join hands with democRats to bad mouth DJT and his voters. One does not have to look far to find blowbags that are worse than wimpy congressional Republicans.

        • “It’s easy for some gun talkers to say what they want and then cut and run when asked to ask 10 average people to Define Gun Control. The forum’s tough guy gun talkers who dismiss History cannot even man up and ask that simple question.”

          You seem to be establishing a false dichotomy: that when informed of the racist background, people will be persuaded to oppose gun control. Being informed of a matter does not automatically translate to desired action (Ignorant = Lack of information; Stupid = Not acting IAW acquired knowledge).

          When dealing the Dims, one must remember that Planned Parenthood was a Dim program of genocide of blacks (highly racist), yet Dims continue, without embarrassment, to endorse mass murder (regardless of race, or social standing) because it fits a portion of their agenda (elimination of people of color).

          No matter the fact of racist gun control, Dims will not be dissuaded; nor will those “unaffiliated/undecided” who might be persuaded, make any measurable difference to the number of gun owners who could potentially swing the tide in favor of elimination of gun control laws.

        • samyouareadancingqueen…I don’t need a lecture from a “keep ’em stupid” spinning blowbag like you…Just stfu, put on your big boy pants and ask 10 average people to Define Gun Control. Please do not attempt to cite any Gun Control History because your heart isn’t in it; attempts would just display your ignorance.

        • What the fuck is wrong with you Debbie? Everything Sam said is true! Why are you so confrontational with those that on the most part agree with you?

        • “What the fuck is wrong with you Debbie? Everything Sam said is true! Why are you so confrontational with those that on the most part agree with you?”

          Lil deb is an example of going off the deep end. She’s managed to alienate everyone who tolerated her tirades, and now has no one left.

          She’s little more than a slightly different dacian now, at this point. Kinda sad, in a funny kinda way.

          And roughly as relevant… 🙂

  3. Lv4 shields are typically pistol or lightweight rifle (uhwpe love) with a level 4 plate insert to cover a smaller area and even then stupidly heavy. If they make a full edge to edge lv4 plate I would imagine it would need wheels to be moved effectively. That however is just nerdy nitpicking the proposed law is a great idea even if utterly doomed to fail passing. The discussion it will generate however is important and could change some behavior.

  4. They are arming up because they will kill you if necessary to get your assets to pay any tax debts. Just like the government is allowed to kill you in order to protect government property.
    But you’re not allowed to kill criminals who try to steal your private property.

    • Stop equivocating.

      “They are arming up because they will kill you if necessary to get your assets?” – full stop

      (or the chicoms want the assets and call Obiden/crooked “DOJ”)

      • The government will kill you if necessary and assess your body for property taxes. Just like the Communists used to charge the cost of bullets used to kill the tax debters to the surviving family members.

        • “The government will kill you if necessary and assess your body for property taxes.”

          And, if your body is outside your dwelling, government just might dun your estate for littering.

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…The IRS is being armed up to confiscate firearms under tax codes instead of firearms laws under which they can not be confiscated. Its easy for the IRS to say they are investigating something tax related, they have jurisdiction to simply say that and income is always tax related and income is used to purchase firearms.

    The IRS has their own judges and court system and its easy for them to get a warrant where in the normal judge and court system they would not be able to do so. The IRS is also not bound by restrictions on the ATF through firearms laws.

    Plus, when you NFA register you are not actually registering with the ATF. Instead you are registering for the tax stamp with the treasury department for which the IRS is their ‘enforcement’ branch in tax code matters.

    • I’m going to send them dacians address and information and tell them he has a stockpile of guns he’s been selling to the criminal elements and has not reported the income or paid taxes on it. I’ll send it very anonymously of course.

      😁

    • I think you are on to something, they’re gearing up to go after all the tax cheats that didn’t register their pistol braces as SBRs.

      • As I noted previously in another article comments….

        When you register an NFA item, or are required to register and NFA item, the agency that has actual jurisdiction over that for the tax (‘fee’ which is most likely unconstitutional) and tax stamp is the Treasury department. Its not the ATF.

        So lets look at the obviously unconstitutional ATF (Everytown created) ‘pistol brace’ rule for a second in this context.

        First, for the collection of temp injunctions – those covered by those injunctions are only protected against the ATF enforcing the rule against them – those injunctions does not keep the IRS from coming after you under tax code because the rule has not yet been struck down and is still, wrongly and unconstitutionally, ‘codified’ basically under law.

        Second, if you are not covered by one of the injunctions and did not register you are in the same trick bag if the IRS wants to come after you under tax code.

        The IRS can come after you under tax code because; They have jurisdiction to collect taxes due to the government (treasury department). And if you were suppose to register under NFA for the tax stamp and you didn’t register (no matter if protected by the temp injunctions or not) you owe that tax (opinion of unconstitutional or not) because the NFA is law (opinion of unconstitutional or not) even if its unconstitutional in some or all aspects and the pistol brace rule placed a pistol braced firearm under NFA as a SBR and SBR’s are suppose to be registered for the tax stamp under NFA.

  6. The IRS knows that the pot farmers are armed. And since they are so happy to pay their sin taxes like the tobacco growers. The IRS is going in armed just to make sure the pot growers don’t suddenly change their minds, about paying their fair share of taxes.
    Since they supported making pot legal by publicly saying that pot should be taxed like tobacco. So that the government could get even more money. According to the potheads.

    Interesting how this is being done under the Democrat Biden ministration. Since it was Obama who sent thousands of machine guns to civilian police departments for free all over the country.

    And there are members of the “gun community” who actually say there is no reason for a civilian to own a machine gun. Many of them even say it’s just silly for you to have a bayonet on your long gun. Like government guns do.

    The government banned the importation of long guns with bayonet lugs on them in 1968.

    • “And there are members of the “gun community” who actually say there is no reason for a civilian to own a machine gun.”

      Thinking there is a notable, gross, difference between legal gun owners, and the “gun community”. You know. Like the difference between Fudds and POTG.

      • No they did not. But they did support raising taxes in California. And they supported gun control. And they said if they could make pot legal. They said, “There will be no reason for the black pot dealers to have guns.”

        The potheads are s0ci@list pr0gressive in their p0litical [email protected] have never supported liberty. Because they want avoid the responsibility and consequences that go with it.

        Like piloting a passenger airplane, working on someone’s automobile breaks, or performing brain surgery. All under the influence of marijuana.

        Instead of staying in California and paying their fair share. They moved to the low tax state of Colorado. And took their politics with them. And proceeded to “F” up that once free state.

    • I own a Chinese SKS that I bought in 1994, with a bayonet lug..

      Even got the bayonet with the gun, just not attached to the gun, cause the ATF at the time told the importers, they couldn’t be sold with bayonet attached!!!

  7. Isn’t it easiest to just replace this article with “because they’re a law-enforcement agency that needs to contend with violent criminals, and she’s an idiot also playing to idiots like the people who read TTAG dot com, who think the ‘IRS is armed OMGWTFBBQ!’ narrative is a threat to them?”

    • “…idiots like the people who read TTAG…”
      saves me the trouble of calling you an idjit, dunnit?

    • “…also playing to idiots like the people who read TTAG dot com,…”

      You’re finally admitting you’re an idiot, ‘jsled’?

      It’s about damn time.

      *snicker*… 😉

      • Somethings don’t need to be stated. As Brandon does not need to tell the Clinton/Obama/Obiden hires at fedgov what “should” be done. They already know the prog/marxist agenda.

  8. The truth is that the IRS is its just a new group of jackbooted thugs for the department of homeland security… all of our military is being transformed to the United Nations… the charter says that each country can have an internal security force, but not a Standing military… so now they are giving us our version of a KGB, Stasi, Gestapo,and as.. now you see why they are so easily, giving our weaponry away to a so-called war in the Ukraine, and presumably in Taiwan…

  9. Joni Ernst is dead to me after she voted to push unconstitutional red flag laws. She’s no friend of the 2nd Amendment.

    • Also is NOT a “combat vet”. Mitchie’s puppydog. Best can say about her is substantially better than Tommie Harkin.

      Recall her 1st campaign “gun tottin mama”? I’d like to know how many days she has observed Article 1 Section 6 of the Constitution:

      “They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; ” EVERY Rep with a pair should be carrying 24/7 ignoring DC’s BS regulations.

      • Joni is trying to regain the large number of automatic supporters who bailed on her after the Safer Communities (red flag carrot), and her essentially-LGBTWTF “defense of marriage” BS thar essentially only protected the queers and anti-Christians, demanding everyone bow down and support many principals that have been accepted basically as taboo for 5000 years.

        She’s ditched her conservative base almost entirely. Her Ride and Roast event would’ve been a complete bust were it not for all the republicrat POTUS candidates who came due to the impending IA Republican Caucuses in Jan. For those of you who do not live in IA, it’s difficult to step outside right now without tripping over some blow-hard presidential guy or gal candidate hawking for support.

        • If she works really hard at winning us back I might consider not voting for her opponent in ’24. I’m sure the Dem will suck balls but at least we’ll be able to take another shot at getting a conservative in in 2030. Right now she ranks one slot above Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on my RINO list.

  10. One of the Most Critical Days in the History of the Second Amendment (June 29, 2023)

    • I doubt they have to worry about pit bulls. If they have half a brain they won’t bother getting out of their car before leaving the trailer park. No money to be made there anyway.

  11. Just tell us what this senators voting record is.

    How much of Biden’s spending did this person vote for? Was there a vote against Trump?

  12. Politicians funding them then acting surprised and “demanding” answers is laughable
    Don’t fall for it

  13. @Debbie W.

    I admit that there were two objectives in my response: demonstrate that facing people with the racist history of gun control convinces no committed gun controller to alter their vote; put you on display riding a dead horse.

    Reminding people (such as newbies to TTAG) that gun control is at the core racist once served a potential purpose. Such has become a useless obsession with you. You took information, and education, and turned it into failed diatribe that influences no one to act on the information/education you once provided.

    Today, you ignored all the times I defended your providing education/information to newbies as a service to TTAG, and launched on screeching attack on my attempt to point out that your demands produce nothing of effect you hope it would/will.

    For your future planning, no matter that you occasionally stumble across the truth and you pick yourself up and proceed as if nothing happened, I will not defend you on the forum (i.e. respond to any of your commentary); you should find great satisfaction in that.

    You were once good as an educator putting forth historical fact, but you are hopeless as a thought leader.

      • A broken clock is right twice a day.
        Now imagine a cuckoo clock stuck at 12:00 o’clock.

        • “Now imagine a cuckoo clock stuck at 12:00 o’clock”

          we have one of those here at TTAG, we call it dacian.

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