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H&K .40 submachine gun (courtesy Christian Shepherd @ flikr)


“The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, located in Washington, DC, pursuant to the authority of FAR Part 13, has a requirement for the commerical acquisition of submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burts trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsilbe or folding, magazine – 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation. NO SOLICITATION DOCUMENT EXISTS.  All responsible and/or interested sources may submit their company name, point of contact, and telephone.  If received timely, shall be considered by the agency for contact to determine weapon suitability.” [h/t]

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  1. They need something for when they raid all those terrorists selling unpasteurized milk, or farming with seeds that don’t come from Monsanto.

      • should remind Shannon Twats of MAIG, the former mouthpiece for Monsatan that her former employer is responsible for more farmer suicides worldwide, along with genetic mutations, and deaths resulting from their chemicals, napalm, GMO, than all non-state gun-wielding criminals combined.

        funny how statist ‘liberals’ who tend to be anti-GMO/Monsatan, are now willingly following a degenerate born-liar, whose only past job has been to be a mercenary PR-lackey for corporatists.

        • They don’t know, because such things are never discussed in the NYT, network news, or CNN.

        • Sure…but those millions of deaths don’t get 24-hour coverage on CNN, so they’re not important.

    • or the drug dealers growing funny weed in the back 40. They are standing guard with AK-47’s they bought from fast and Furious people in the ATF. Better yet why don’t you go on one of the raids and see what they need before you open your mouth .

      • Maybe because they’re too bashful/proud/stupid to ask a better-armed agency for an assist instead of tooling up themselves?

        Oh, and what exactly does the USDA Inspector General need with SMGs and body armor? Maybe take out those smart-mouthed Agricultural Extension Service wiseguys?

      • Well right there’s your problem. What legitimate reason could the Dept. of Agriculture have to go on a ‘raid’? I would argue that there isn’t a single thing they do that warrants a gun to get it done. If there is a criminal concern it’s a good time to call for actual law enforcement. If there is a regulatory concern it’s a good time to call the lawyers. There is never a good time to point guns at citizens over regulatory issues.

    • Farmers on average are better armed and schooled in their firearms than the majority of the population. That said, the USDA shouldn’t be in the business of arming itself but I guess it has Fish and Wildlife envy.

      Most things the USDA wants accomplished can be completed by threatening to take away a subsidy, loan, or conservation approval of an operation.

    • Well, those fascist farmers from Nebraska just selected a TeaPartier as GOP Senate candidate. If that doesn’t call for subs and iron underwear, I don’t know what does. /sarc

    • The rowcrop farmer with 3000acres of corn can afford and shootin iron he wants. Barrett being a favorite in my area. In my area they are all well armed and aren’t buying the Obuma brand of fertilizer.

      • Lessee, .40 subgun vs Barrett. Don’t guess they’ll need much ammo, since they’ll never get in range.

  2. Ok, it’s just getting out of control.

    Why does the Department of Agriculture need ANY armed personnel?

    I know I sold like an old fogey, but back in the day if someone from the Agriculture department had some need of law enforcement, they just grabbed a local county mountie and had them go with them. My grandfather was very familiar with the local Agriculture Rep since he made his living as a farmer. For the most part it was some college educated schmuck who didn’t know the throttle from the clutch on a tractor who understand farming as a theory but never bothered to learn how it applied to farming as a way to earn money.

    • The Forest Service falls under the DoA. Lots and lots of federal land with illegal pot plantations, meth labs, moonshine stills, etc.

      • Sounds like a job for the DEA then.

        My issue here is that just because you are a Federal agency doesn’t mean you are automatically a law enforcement agency.

        There is something really perverse about a government that has become increasingly militarized even when the function has no real law enforcement mission while at the same time trying to restrict the rights of average citizens to own guns. This does nothing to dissuade the tinfoil hat crowd.

  3. I’ve been waiting for this to pop up on TTAG. It has been in the news for two or three days. TTAG comments usually have some reasonable explanation for this sort of thing.

    I’m not sure I am buying the idea that the USDA is the front office for government gun running to some middle eastern civil war… the prominent theory for the purchase, according to what I have read. Maybe I am only looking at the crazy stuff?

    • I think it’s a simple issue: each bureaucracy wants to be relevant and important. Through circular logic, they expand their scope so that they have a reason to exist. And the more they expand, the more gear they need. With more gear, they can do more stuff. And so on and so on.

      Not an evil Alex Jones type conspiracy, just the nature of scope creep and lack of proper budgetary controls on these federal agencies.

      • I think there could be a lot of truth to that. Another way of putting it may be, as my dad more or less used to say, “Once an organization gets to a certain size, its primary objective is to preserve itself.”

      • I think sometimes we think too much. Picture yourself working for the gubt, what would YOU suggest? “Hey, boss, how ’bout we get us a few hundred subguns and a potful of ammo and spend every Tuesday going shooting? Won’t cost us a thing! This work is boring!”

  4. Sigh…we already have a Federal law-enforcement agency for the purpose of enforcing Federal law. Every ABC agency doesn’t need its own law enforcement personnel. If the enforcement burden is so great, perhaps that is because the regulatory structure is too burdensome.

    But hey, what do I know?

    • You may be correct, but the US Marshall’s Office is probably too busy to do a midnite raid on Earl and Edna’s RV if they overstay their campground permit accidentally.

  5. This is ridiculous. Another in the long line of government agencies going full auto militarized. And if you got them you’re going to use them. The food police just went SWAT.

  6. OK, I can see that there can be federal law enforcement situations under the auspices of Dept of Agric where they may need to be armed. But really? SWATted up and everything? help me out here….any clear reason from them why they need this? There must be some “official” justification

    • I have seen two articles over the past two-ish days regarding the USDA purchase. The articles simply report that it has happened, not why. I am with you. I want to know why.

  7. What’s interesting is the specification for a two-shot burst trigger group. That’s rather uncommon, and I’d honestly be more willing to believe that’s a typo on the part of the USDA than a deliberate choice.

    • i played a video game where a smg could use a 2 shot burst maybe that is where the idea came from. are they gonna order that new double barreled ar-15

    • Hmmm. I’d love to see something like that new AK subgun (Vityaz?) with a 2-shot burst like the AN-94. That would be fun.

    • It’s also possible they are simply butt ignorant about guns. That requirement makes it an NFA weapon anyway (machine gun), why not simple select fire?

  8. Tooling up for all those terrorist ranchers out there.

    Wait, do sheep fall under the Department of Agriculture? 😉

  9. The government already put the screws to the ranchers. Maybe they are going after the farmers next and can see the writing on the wall?

  10. USDA has “tick riders” all along the border, they spray maverick cattle from Mexico that cross onto US soil. That might be the reason they are looking to tool up a little, it can get a little hairy. Feel free to adjust your tinfoil hats.

    • Maybe, maybe not. but the potatoes are watching and the corn is listening. What they are planning? Beets me. But lettuce take heed before they gas us with beans and paste us with tomatoes.

  11. Since this administration mostly ignores subpoenas and other requests for documents, it looks like the USDA Office of Inspector General has discovered a new way to obtain documents from the Department of Agriculture for its investigations of internal agency misconduct.

  12. Ok, ignorati, who here knew the DOA IG has been doing criminal work for over 40 years? In the ghettos, in the meth lab farms, and more. On the streets, with informants, undercover agents, raids, the usual. This is routine. But if anyone wants to flex their paranoid alarmist knee jerks, be my guest.

    • As I point out in my post below, I know this isn’t a new thing. But that doesn’t make it a good thing. USDA, Social Security Admin, EPA and dozens of others have geared-up SWAT teams as well as the usual “special agent” investigators. I can see specialized investigators, but every agency having its own SWAT team is over the top.

      • You know what else they’ve been doing for 40 years? Spending money we don’t have. As koolaidguzzler points out, now that this has gone on for 40 years, you are a paranoid alarmist if you think we can’t keep doing this forever.

        • And if they’ve been doing it for 40 years, what’s wrong with the guns they already have?

    • Oh, so the government needs more of my money to stop my neighbor from poisoning himself? Or to stamp out a drug problem its’ been working on for 60 years now with negative net results?

      Oh, and raids and citizens informing on each other is routine? Well, nothing to see here.

      I guess when my grand children are $170 trillion in debt, I’ll tell them I was gonna bitch about how we were spending their money back in ’14, but I didn’t want to sound all paranoid and alarmist.

    • OK ignoratus, since when did it become illegal for the USDA IG to request a tooled-up agency to provide support? Happens all the time on Earth.

    • Why is the DOA doing the job of the DEA and the FBI and local law enforcement? Isn’t this called “mission creep”? Certainly creeps me out. Its just like the DHS, started out as an administrative agency to coordinate various LE and intelligence agencies, and now is tooling up too. Why is the whole government needing firearms? Instead of a bunch of yahoos running around with bullet proof vests with minimal training, we should delegate between agencies to dedicated LE.

      • “Why is the DOA doing the job of the DEA and the FBI and local law enforcement?
        NO, it isn’t.

        Isn’t this called “mission creep”?
        NO, it isn’t.
        There are over 60 fed LE agencies, and only a few of them have jurisdictional overlap. The IG structure is large, but each one rarely has over 300 sworn members. Funny that most cops that work with feds think the feds are far too cautious in how they enforce the law. YEt so many civilians are irrationally scared of feds.

        Don’t believe all the hype fed to you by the gun rights extremists. Nothing is occurring in fed LE that hasn’t been going on for several decades.

        • WTF is a “gun rights extremist?” Somebody who believes that the Constitution is supposed to be obeyed to the letter? If so, then call me extremist! Extremism in defense of Liberty is no vice.

    • I have a thought for you; How about the USDA shouldn’t be doing any of that. If they are they should stop, not for a SWAT team.

  13. Oh, and by the way . . . WE’RE BROKE!

    If we had zero debt, we could debate the merits of this purchase. I don’t care if this is the greatest deal on the most needed government purchase in history, WE’RE BROKE!!!!!!!!.

    • Not to worry. When the G runs out of money, it will just print more.

      Now, if the G were to run out of ink, then I’d be worried.

      • And every time they print a buck it dilutes the value of the one in you pocket. Been to the grocery store lately?

        • HA! You blubbering fool. Entertain us, why would you assume that the grrrrreat and powerful Federal Reserve doesn’t desire this outcome!? *cackles evilly while lightning flashes behind Castle Greyskull*

          ^ Make sure you read this in your best Skeletor impersonation

  14. To be fair, the Forest Service and BLM do have to deal with a lot of bozos in remote areas without backup.

  15. Guys, this ain’t new. At least 10 years ago, maybe more, I would troll the Federal job sites for law-related jobs (Even then, it was a myth that federal workers are underpaid). I had worked in a meat-processing plant in my youth, remembered the USDA inspectors touring the plant, and it really struck me when I saw a solicitation for applicants for a SWAT-type LE team from USDA.

  16. If you remember “Green Acres”, then you’ll remember “Mr. Hank Kimball”, the county AG agent, no worries here…

  17. OK, I can see if you’re out on solo patrol in the sticks that you might need some extra firepower, but I agree with what others have said, they need an AR not a subbie. Unless they just want something in a pistol caliber that is compact.

    USFS officer was shot and killed here in Washington State in 2008, and I see that an officer and his K9 were killed just this past March looking for a homicide suspect in a forest area in North Carolina. They do face legitimate threats, just curious about this choice of firearm.

    • There have been armed rangers for years-especially in the areas where the grow operations started in the National Forests in the northwest. I am surprised at the spec for full auto, though.

  18. They want body armor to go along with the guns.

    Added: May 07, 2014 2:24 pm
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, located in Washington, DC and Regional Offices, pursuant to the authority of FAR Part 13, has a requirement for the commerical acquisition of ballist vests, compliant with NIJ 0101.06 for Level IIIA Ballistic Resistance of body armor.  Body armor is gender specific, lightweight, trauma plate/pad (hard or soft), concealable carrier, tactical vest, undergarment (white), identification patches, accessories (6 pouches), body armor carry bag, and professional measurements.  NO SOLICITATION DOCUMENT EXISITS.  All responsible and/or interested sources may submit their company name, point of contact, and telephone number.  If received timely, shall be considered by the agency for contact.

    Contracting Office Address:
    1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 40-E J.L. Whitten Fed Bldg
    Washington, District of Columbia 20250
    Place of Performance:
    USDA, Office of Inspector General – Investigations
    Headquarters and Regional Offices

    Washington, District of Columbia 20250
    United States
    Primary Point of Contact.:
    Linda F. Josey,
    Chief, Procurement Management Branch
    [email protected]
    Phone: 2027208337
    Secondary Point of Contact:
    Desiree Clayton,
    Sr. Business Analyst
    [email protected]
    Phone: 202-720-5931
    Fax: 202-690-1282

  19. Rather than answer individual posts, I’ll just put this here. The Forest Service has, and does need, its own LEOs. They focus on some pretty specific areas of enforcement and investigation, and every ranger station has at least one designated LEO, no matter how small.

    As I (and others) mentioned above, there are pot plantations, meth labs, and moonshine stills dotting federal land all over the country. There are poachers to be dealt with. Suspicious wildfires need to be investigated. There’s also the more mundane stuff, like dumping of trash, vandalism, speeding on ATV trails, illegal camping, etc. Any of those can easily turn into an armed standoff at the drop of a hat.

    As for why .40 PCC, probably so they don’t have to purchase another type of ammo. Just a guess.

    • Wouldn’t the FS be soliciting under their own name if that’s what this was about? I think this has to do with the Dept of Ag’s IG’s office.

      • They originally might have. Requests generally go through the chain of command, up to each next higher office, where they are re-written and revised.

        Honestly, I was just pointing out an example I know of where someone working for the DoA might have a use for such items.

        • Anybody that upchanneled the SOL to the IG WITHOUT DOCUMENTATION is either retarded or a wannabe Fast and Furious II player. That is well beyond stupid. Did they think they could just put the procurement on their travel card? WTF?

    • This is a natural (non conspiratorial) consequence of the growth of government but that doesn’t make it okay.

      1.) The Gov’t steps into the market place and collectivizes private land.
      2.) Naturally, people treat a collective good as any economist would predict–illegal activity, poaching, growing drugs, littering,
      3.) The solution of course is more collectivization. In this case, my money is taxed to pay for more men, more guns.

      If the government can’t control the land it owns it should sell it and pay down the debt. Private owners take care of their land.

  20. I’ve never understood the near cult like worship of the military from the republican base, the most powerful military force on earth,yet oddly at the same time the utter paranoia from those same people that springs up when a different branch of the federal government puts out a bid for firearms or ammunition. You do know the military is controlled by the federal government?

    • Rick,
      I’ll take another stab at explaining it:
      Sometimes we might get sloppy and say that we want the central government to be “weak” when in fact it might be more accurate to say we want the government to be “confined” to its proper sphere of influence–defending the rights and property of its citizens. Within that sphere, I want the federal government to kick ass. Outside of that sphere, I don’t want it to do anything.
      I think when we all left the constitutional convention in 1789, we knew we had created a thing that would include armed forces. I don’t think any of us thought we’d created a thing that would insure my corn against hail, or tell me I had to boil my milk, or shoot me if I refused.
      Also, an F-22 is designed to kill foreigners when they defy the will of the U.S. government. The submachine guns at issue here are intended to kill Americans when they defy the will of the U.S. Government. To me, that’s an important distinction.

    • Well, maybe the “Republican base” recognizes the different roles the military and domestic police agencies are supposed to play. As in, the military is directed against foreign threats; domestic police agencies are directed against, well, other Americans mostly. Ever hear of the Posse Comitatus Act? There’s a reason for it. The “Republican base”, like the Founders, recognizes that. Apparently the “Democrat base” does not.

    • Hell no. They’re going to buy some over priced shit from Europe just because it says “HK” or “FN” on it. When there plenty of good American gun companies capable of producing Better for Cheaper.

      Not that I think the AG Dep needs this, or any kind of weaponry for that matter, but if they’re going to do it, don’t go sucking “HKs” D because that’s what everyone does. Uhg.

  21. “what is the sword compared to the hand that wields it?’

    Are Dept Of Agriculture folks really gonna get all Operator-y and train up on their new kits? Or are they just going to run around with their new sub guns, with ‘scopes’ on top, shooting off “2 round bursts” like little green soldiers of the corn?

    This whole thing reeks of stupid.

    Oh – and I guess THEY need more guns, but we need to be disarmed, huh?

    As long as they keep fully kitting up Dept of Agriculture, IRS, and any other Fed agency they can, they aint never gonna pry the guns out of my living hands.

    • the funny part is theyre doing this because they know they cant count on full military support when the Plan is enacted. They’re stupid enough to think the AG dep, and the Social Security admin, all tooled up, are going to make good soldiers! hahahahahaha! Talk about a meat grinder!

  22. We old guys remember a documentary movie named “Them”. It was cleverly disguised as a science fiction film and told the story of a New Mexico State policeman (James Whitmore) and an FBI agent (James Arness) who hunted down a nest of giant ants under the leadership of – are you ready for this – the US Department of Agriculture.

    Its now obvious that Whitmore and Arness didn’t get all of those big hungry ants back in 1954 and the USDA is again going into the ant extermination business. They’ll need short barrel SMGs for close quarter combat in giant ant tunnels, 30 rd magazines because those big ants don’t go easily, and body armor to resist the ant’s jaws. Whitmore made pretty good practice with a Thompson back in the day and a good .40 cal weapon should work as well.

    It all makes perfect sense.

  23. Hey they are just like us. They say everyone else has guns so why dont we get some. We can get really cool ones and dont even have to pay for them with our own money.

  24. By definition submachine guns are “very close” short range pistol caliber weapons. So, what do they want them for?

    Only one reason. The SBM is an Assault and close quarters battle weapon, ACQB for short. They don’t plan to use them out on a corn field. This is for raids into buildings. Plain and simple.

    If they were planning to go outside buildings they would have requested SBR M4s.

  25. “ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burts trigger group,”

    NONE of which describes anything like a submachine (or machine) gun! We call that a… wait, I don’t know what it’s called. It has no full-auto capability if the best the sear can manage is a 2-round burst.

    • According to NFA, it is called a “machine gun”. Fires more than one shot per pull of the trigger.

  26. one gets the sense that the feds are worried that they may be outgunned, so every clerk who draws a fed paycheck is being outfitted.

  27. If they purchased shotguns which are suitable for putting down all types of animals here would be no fuss, but SMGs!!!!!!!!!

    • @Grumpy in Kali, please don’t give them any ideas for better weapons. Let them have their oversize pistol.

  28. A few years ago, didn’t people mock Glenn Beck and Alex Jones for suggesting that Obama was in the process of compiling a secret/private army. Every time I hear of a gov’t agency militarizing it becomes more believable.
    Our current armed forces are made up of enlisted soldiers choosing to serve their families and countries. Our “typical” soldier has no interest in fighting US citizens. But these agencies are developing a reputation for kicking in doors and pointing weapons at citizens.

    • Well, that may be the plan, but I guarantee it falls flat to sh1t the first time somebody sees them coming and kills off a team as they enter. They are NOT soldiers, they will be expecting no danger to themselves. If they have really good, really heavy vests, a .308 at 10 feet will just break all their ribs. The next team will not be able to find the target, require management to lead the way, and management will be too busy. Eventually Congressional oversight will be necessary, and Congress will be short of travel funds.

      Of course, I should point out that at least some rumors exist that say this was the feeling of both the Union and Confederate sides before the first shots in the Civil War were fired. “It’ll never amount to anything, the other side will run away.”

  29. It could just be a budgetary thing. I had a friend who did some contracting work for one federal agency for a few months, and the checks he received in the mail were from a completely different agency. When he asked why he was told that the agency didn’t have the funds, so he was being paid by an agency that did have the funds.

  30. It’s been mentioned that the forest service (USFS) fall under department of agriculture and that the USFS does drug interdiction which can be dangerous. I don’t know if anyone pointed this out but it’s very common for LEO’s to have patrol rifles or carbines in their vehicles. These .40 SMG’s are likely to be issued in lieu of a typical M4/AR15 as is not uncommon with other agencies for ammo commonality.

    Now maybe I’m wrong and the USDA is putting together it’s own SWAT teams or something but I suspect it’s just so that their sidearm and their long gun shoot the same ammo. If that’s the case then they’re actually tooling down instead of up.

  31. “Also, an F-22 is designed to kill foreigners when they defy the will of the U.S. government.”

    I truly hope that this is not really what you meant. The rest of your post was very reasonable and well written.


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