Government Watch / Keeping America Safe / Politics

4 Facts About IRS Gun Arsenal


Some of the 87,000 new agents whom Democrats propose to hire at the Internal Revenue Service could come with some extra firepower. 

On Friday, House Democrats gave final passage to the tax and spending bill they dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, which, among other things, would double the size of the IRS with 87,000 new agents to beef up enforcement

As of two years ago, the IRS had an arsenal of 4,600 guns, reported OpenTheBooks, a government watchdog group. 

Two federal investigations in the past decade found that IRS agents had not been sufficiently trained and were accident-prone with the weapons they have. Armed IRS raids on nonviolent taxpayers surfaced as a concern almost 25 years ago during a Senate hearing. 

Democrats’ bill, which the Senate passed Sunday, awaits the signature of President Joe Biden should it clear the House as early as Friday.

The legislation, which unwinds from 2023 through 2031, would devote $80 billion to expanding the IRS and boosting tax revenue to pay for Democrats’ green energy subsidies and other  pet projects. 

Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative group that opposes the legislation, assembled information about the IRS arsenal from government and media reports. 

During the House floor debate Friday, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., raised concerns about arming IRS agents. 

“This bill has new IRS agents and they are armed, and the job description tells them that they need to be required to carry a firearm and expect to use deadly force if necessary,” Boebert said. “Excessive taxation is theft. You are using the power of the federal government for armed robbery on the taxpayers.”  

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., suggested that no IRS agents are armed. 

“The idea that they are armed—I know that Ms. Boebert would like everybody to be armed, but that’s not what IRS agents do,” Yarmuth said. “I would implore my Republican colleagues to cut out the scare tactics. Quit making things up.”

In a posted job opening for a special agent, the IRS specified that applicants should be “willing and able to participate in arrests, execution of search warrants, and other dangerous assignments,” and able to carry “a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary.”

After sparking some controversy amid the proposed expansion of the agency, the IRS deleted “willing to use deadly force” from the job description.

The IRS referred questions to the Treasury Department as to whether the arsenal would increase as the number of personnel multiplies. 

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment for this report. 

Here are four key things to know about the Internal Revenue Service and weapons. 

1. IRS Guns and Ammo

The current IRS workforce includes 78,661 full-time employees, so Democrats’ legislation, if passed as written, would more than double the agency’s employees.

A 2020 report from OpenTheBooks, titled “The Militarization of the U.S. Executive Agencies,” shows that the IRS Criminal Investigation division has a stockpile of 4,600 guns.

The firearms include 3,282 pistols, 621 shotguns, 539 rifles, 15 fully automatic firearms, and four revolvers, the report says. 

The Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog agency, reported in 2018 that the IRS had 3.1 million rounds of ammunition for pistols and revolvers. 

The tax agency had 1.4 million rounds of ammunition for rifles, the GAO report said, along with 367,750 shotgun rounds and 56,000 rounds for automatic weapons. 

2. Armed Agents ‘Not Properly Trained’ 

The IRS’s National Criminal Investigation Training Academy has the responsibility to implement firearms training and a related qualification program nationwide. 

However, IRS agents assigned to the Criminal Investigation division regularly failed to stay up to date with training or to report incidents of improper firearms use, according to a 2018 report from the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration. 

The inspector general’s report notes that “there is no national level review of firearms training records to ensure that all special agents meet the qualification requirements.”

“Special agents not properly trained in the use of firearms could endanger the public, as well as their fellow special agents, and expose the IRS to possible litigation over injuries or for damages,” the report says. 

For qualification, each agent must score 75% or higher on the firing range, but the IRS lacked documentation showing its agents met the standards, according to the inspector general.  

The report says that 79 of the 459 special agents in the agency’s long gun cadre failed to meet standard qualification requirements. Further, the report says the IRS could not provide information about whether 1,500 special agents were trained in tactical equipment proficiency.

In fiscal year 2016, the inspector general’s report determined, the IRS Criminal Investigation division “did not maintain documented evidence that 145 out of 2,126 special agents met the firearm standards established by CI [Criminal Investigation] and therefore were not qualified law enforcement officers.”

3. More Unintended Discharges Than Intended Ones

The poor firearms training for IRS agents has led to more accidental firings than intentional firings, according to a separate inspector general’s report from 2012. 

“Having the availability of deadly force puts hiring so many new agents into perspective,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told The Daily Signal.

The inspector general for tax administration “found they fired their guns more times by accident than on purpose,” Norquist said. “I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.”

The poor training was not a new problem, since the 2012 report from the inspector general found similar issues with firearms training. 

“If there is insufficient oversight, special agents in possession of firearms who are not properly trained and qualified could endanger other special agents and the public,” the report says. 

The 2012 report not only found that IRS agents fired their weapons by accident more times than intentionally, but that the agency concealed details about the accidental discharges. 

“There were a total of eight firearm discharges classified as intentional use of force incidents and 11 discharges classified as accidental during FYs 2009 through 2011,” the report says.

And, the inspector general’s report continues, “we found that four accidental discharges were not properly reported.”  

It says that “the accidental discharges may have resulted in property damage or personal injury.” 

The public report, however, redacts four references to unreported accidental discharges of firearms. 

4. IRS History of Armed Raids

In 1998, the Senate Finance Committee held investigative hearings into IRS abuses that featured testimony from a Virginia restaurant owner.

The restaurant owner said that armed IRS agents with drug-sniffing dogs burst into his restaurant during breakfast hours and ordered customers to get out. 

Agents took his cash register and records, the restaurant owner told the Senate committee. When he returned home, he found that his door had been kicked open and his residence had been raided. 

A tax preparer from Oklahoma gave similar testimony, saying that about 15 armed IRS agents came to his business and harassed his clients. 

The owner of a Texas oil company recounted that agents came to his office and told employees: “Remove your hands from the keyboards and back away from the computers. And remember, we’re armed!”

In each case, the agents came up empty-handed. 

The Washington Post reported at the time that Democrat and Republican lawmakers alike expressed dismay, and that the Clinton administration’s IRS commissioner, Charles O. Rossotti, promised an investigation of such actions.

At a separate hearing that year before the same Senate committee, Treasury Department’s inspector general, Harry G. Patsalides, told senators that the IRS had tolerated car thefts and anonymous bullying by promoting an agent accused of sexual harassment and allowing agents to conduct armed raids on nonviolent taxpayers.

Reprinted with Permission from - The Daily Signal by - Fred Lucas

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Stephen Russell
5 months ago

Why arm agents anyway??

5 months ago

Rep. Lauren Boebert is absolutely right. Democrat Yarmuth doesn’t know what he is talking about and is trying to calm public fears to what is coming. The very fact that the federal government wants 87,000 new I.R.S. agents should be a concern to EVERY American. It doesn’t matter if they are armed or not. Isn’t it ironic that the very party that wants to disarm the American people want to arm their new branch of thugs that will be there to intimidate American citizens? The hypocrisy just doesn’t stop!

5 months ago

Lois Lerner meets James Carville, and the Terminator and the three become a Democrat Gestapo cyborg robocop: “Veeh have vaays of making you pay!” Gee, what could go wrong? In the next step they’ll meet up with Judge Dredd and be judge and jury as well “I am the law!” Time to enforce our Constitution and eliminate all agencies for which no federal mandate exists because they are not mentioned in it. We also need a Convention of States ASAP to also repeal the 16th amendment that allowed for a federal income tax and the IRS shifting funding for Uncle Sam from national tariffs on imports and customs fees onto the shoulders of the American taxpayer. Doing so will accomplish multiple desirable effects; it will shrink the size of the federal government tremendously, will allow businesses to thrive because of a decrease in over-regulation and lack of tax and tax documentation burden, it will boost our economy because of the newly acquired spending power of the American taxpayer, encourage American quality manufacturing in America, it will shift the attention of our federal government back to our borders, harbors, and airports, it will drain the swamp because where there are no greenbacks to bathe in there are no reptiles to indulge themselves, and it will solve a lot of our trade problems, especially those with Biden’s Chinese “business partners”, a.k.a. the CCP.

5 months ago
Reply to  Veteran

I agree with most of what you say, unfortunately, the latter scenario is less likely than the first. This is reality not a movie. America needs back bone and the patriots that will fight to make it happen. I just don’t see enough left to make it happen. At least not in my lifetime.

5 months ago

Don’t work for the IRS thugs. As short of a supply of labor that exists in the USA , I sincerely doubt that there will be enough labor to fill 187,000 new jobs!

5 months ago

These so called IRS agents that they are so hot to arm had better be well trained in the operation of firearms because many of the people they will be visiting are very well armed and very proficient in firearm operations !!!
I would encourage these gestapo agents of Bidens to hug their children goodbye each morning.

Marc Ziegler
5 months ago

Watch out America, thanks to Biden the IRS now has guns, they can forcibly remove you from your home to payoff, out of the blue, made up back taxes. The wide west has returned!!! MZ

5 months ago

I’m not sure why the IRS has need the to have armed agents period. If they are going to raid someone’s place. the FBI should be there. I am very uncomfortable knowing these numbers. I am also concerned in doubling the size of the force. That seems like an overkill.

5 months ago
Reply to  Markle

I.R.S., F.B.I., what’s the difference anymore?

Lee S McQuillen
5 months ago

Sounds like an army to me.

5 months ago

These half-wit fools are doing what they’ve always done exactly as the gov’t intended. Now there’s more of them. Biden, traitor in chief, doing what he’s told. Gee, does anyone think there won’t be some push-back? It’s just dumbfounding how absolutely stupid the American people have become, though with the corruption of America’s education system by the teachers’ unions, you can’t speak logic to anyone looking at a bleak future. This should be no surprise. Just check off the next block to destroy America for the globalists. This is just scratching the surface. This is just another symptom of the real problem.

5 months ago

Sure, send a bunch of underachieving pencil pushers out with firearms after NOT training them. What could go wrong?

5 months ago

This is the establishment of a new “Democratic” Party Gestapo.

Michael Lewis
5 months ago

Simultaneously the Democratic Partyy is trying to deny the electorates right to bear arms while creating a Nazi Germany like army of brown shirts. Government should be afraid of the people and not the people afraid of government.

Since the American government sponsors a fiat currency and prints billions backed by nothing, the only reason for an IRS is government power and control over the electorate. These new agents will be used to social score and persecute citizens who have the audacity to agree with the tyrants in Washington DC, just like China does to their citizens.

If you think this could never happen, remember Lois Lerner and the oppression of conservative non-profits by the IRS.

5 months ago

It stands to reason that there aren’t unemployed high level accountants out there ready to join the irs and go after scofflaw billionaires. Therefore, there’re looking for thugs eager to run around threatening people of lower income. My guess is that this is a shakedown hoping to net a few hundred or thousands off of millions of taxpayers. If they want 1200 bucks it wont pay to hire a tax lawyer. Btw, guess who they’ll come after first. Right, it aint going to be righteous dems. They’re going to cross reference the various conservative organizations and publications for ripe targets.

William Boylan
5 months ago

The firearms include 3,282 pistols, . . . and four revolvers, the report says. 

The GAO&nbsp reported that the IRS had 3.1 million rounds of ammo for pistols and revolvers. 

3.1 Mil divided by 3286 = 943 rounds per gun. 943 rounds per gun does not seem like a lot to me, from a vet’s point of view, but why is the IRS armed at all?

5 months ago
Reply to  William Boylan

They’ll need 900 of those rounds per gun for practice. And yes, why armed at all.

5 months ago

So, let me get this straight: 1. Citizens rights to bear arms should be severely limited by restricting access to guns 2. IRS agents need to be armed just in case a taxpayer gets unruly 3. The IRS budget needs to increase to $80 billion so that 87,000 new agents can be hired. Hmmm! I wonder where they are going to find 87,000 people willing to work?

5 months ago
Reply to  JerryH

If a lot of that 80 billion goes into pay and benefits, that’s a pretty good job. There are a lot of illegals that need work.

anna hubert
5 months ago

Black shirts doing the dirty job for the ruling party

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
5 months ago

Now just what do they need with 4600 guyns. Sounds like they shoot each other in the foot. Kyle L..

5 months ago

Gosh, is there anybody else out there who might assume persons coming to your place of business or home and being armed are NOT government agents but criminals and start shooting? I always assumed that if the IRS needed some sort of law enforcement help they would call upon the FBI or local police forces (a better option) to do that sort of thing.

5 months ago
Reply to  Dave

The government stuff is all kind of blended together now. Maybe they’ll have cross over training from one agency to the next.

J. Farley
5 months ago

Hang on tight to the Saddle Horn Partners, we are in for a Hell of A Ride!

5 months ago

This is an outright attach on the American people, and our Constitution.

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