According to a report by Breitbart, the Internal Revenue Service has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying ammunition, raising concern about why a government agency is buying ammunition that the administration plans to restrict further in the coming months.
On Saturday, Congressman Matt Gaetz told Breitbart that the IRS spent approximately $700,000 “between March and June 1” purchasing ammunition.
Gaetz called the IRS’s acquisition of the ammunition “bizarre.” He said, “There is concern that this is part of a broader effort to have any entity in the federal government buy up ammo to reduce the amount of ammunition that is in supply, while at the same time, making it harder to produce ammo.”
The Congressman went on to propose a potential scenario where federal agencies are buying up ammunition and putting citizens in a situation where they cannot exercise their Second Amendment rights due to the inability to get ammunition.
He expressed concern that the government intended to reduce ammunition production “and, on the other hand, [soaks] up the supply of it.” It is something he feels is a direct violation of the rights of Americans.
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According to documents from usaspending.gov, the IRS’s ammunition purchases ranged from $3,201 worth of ammo at one time to $92,000+ worth of ammo at one time. The purchases were spread out over several months, according to the documents, which are publicly available.
According to a report from OpenTheBooks published in 2020, the IRS had stockpiled 4,600 guns and five million rounds of ammunition as of January 2019.
According to the Government Accountability Office the ammunition breakdown at the time included:
- 3,151,500 Pistol and revolver rounds
- 1,472,050 Rifle rounds
- 367,750 Shotgun rounds
- 56,000 Fully automatic firearm rounds
More interesting is that the IRS does not follow any regulations concerning the issuance, use, and accountability of the agency’s staff carrying such weapons. This starkly contradicts the recent push of gun control laws nationwide, including more heavily regulated training and liability.
According to reports from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the IRS has repeatedly failed to ensure that procedures relating to firearms are properly followed.
“There is no national-level review of firearms training records to ensure that all special agents meet the qualification requirements,” according to the report.
Furthermore, the report states that the IRS’s failure to conduct proper internal oversight of its weapons could have serious consequences for the public.
As noted by the Inspector General at the time, “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.”
A TIGTA report found that special agents at the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) accidentally fired their weapons more often than they intentionally fired them
Additionally, the IRS has come under scrutiny in the past for the harsh tactics it used to enforce the tax code, including incidents involving armed agents. With the agency requesting tens of billions in new funding, it is not hard to see how these abuses could return.
A 1998 article by Washington Post noted many small business owners were harassed by the IRS, only for the agency to find no evidence of wrongdoing.