According to a new report from a watchdog group, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has spent at least $10 million on weapons, ammunition, and other tactical gear since 2020.
The report was compiled by watchdog organization Open the Books — which tracks government spending — and contains data through the end of March. “The Militarization of Federal Bureaucracy – Updated Statistics Through March 31, 2023” was released to the public last Thursday.
According to the report, the federal tax agency spent more than $5 million just in 2021 — and since 2020, $2.3 million has gone to pay for ammunition; $474,000 has gone to Smith & Wesson rifles; and $463,000 has gone to Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns.
In addition, the IRS has dumped more than $1 million dollars into defensive tactical gear — $243,000 for body armor vests and $1.2 million for ballistic shields.
Another $1.3 million was earmarked for “various other gear for criminal investigation agents” — and the IRS has also stockpiled helmets, tactical lighting, holsters, and more.
The report from Open the Books comes in the wake of President Joe Biden’s multi-billion dollar Inflation Reduction Act — which would divert billions to the IRS to hire more agents.
The IRS asks that applicants be willing to “carry a firearm; must be prepared to protect him/herself or others from physical attacks at any time and without warning and use firearms in life-threatening situations; must be willing to use force up to and including the use of deadly force.”
According to officials, IRS special agents carry firearms because they are expected to manage cases involving organized crime and drug trafficking.
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Prior to 2020, according to Open the Books, the IRS had already stocked up on weapons and tactical gear and millions of rounds of ammunition, spending over $30 million (adjusted for inflation) since 2006 on such items.
Prior to its most recent spending, the agency owned more than 4000 firearms — ranging from pump action shotguns to semi-automatic rifles to sub-machine guns.