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Tax Collectors Turned Soldiers: The Shocking Militarization Of The IRS

According to a new report, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been ramping up its spending on weapons, ammunition, and combat gear, spending $10 million since 2020.

The spending includes $2.3 million on ammunition, $1.2 million on ballistic shields, $474,000 on Smith & Wesson rifles, $463,000 on Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns, and $243,000 on body armor vests.

The report also highlights a mysterious $1.3 million expenditure on “various other gear for criminal investigation agents.”

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IRS goes on weapon shopping spree amid pandemic

The IRS has also invested in tactical lighting, gear bags, holsters, ballistic helmets, and optic sights for weapons since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency’s gun lockers were already well-stocked before the recent spending spree, with the IRS having stockpiled 5 million rounds of ammunition for its 2,159 special agents before 2020.

At that time, the agency owned 4,500 firearms, including 621 pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns, 539 semi-automatic rifles, and 15 submachine guns.

Since 2006, the agency has spent $35.2 million, adjusted for inflation, on firearms, ammunition, and military-style equipment, according to OpenTheBooks.

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IRS goes military, supports the use of ‘deadly force’

The IRS is currently on a hiring spree, with openings for 360 criminal investigators in all 50 states.

Applicants must 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.”

The agency notes that its special agents are armed because they are consistently involved in organized crime, drug and gang investigations.

IRS militarised agents – the Democrats’ ‘army’

President Biden provided the IRS with over $80 billion in new funding as part of the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act he signed in August.

The IRS spent over $5 million on its arsenal for its increasingly militarised agents, claiming it needs the funds to hire 86,852 new employees over the next ten years.

However, conservatives argue that the hires will be used to crack down on low- and middle-income Americans.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has derided the proposed hires as the “Democrats’ army of 87,000 IRS agents.”

Tax collectors turned warriors: a cause for concern

The report has raised concerns among lawmakers and experts, who question the need for the IRS to have such a heavily armed force.

The IRS’s primary function is to collect taxes and enforce tax laws, not conduct military-style operations.

The agency’s spending on weapons and combat gear raises questions about its priorities and whether it is overstepping its bounds.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Guns and body armor for IRS: an example of ‘mission creep.’

“Why does the IRS need guns and body armor? It’s hard to imagine a scenario where tax collectors would need to use force,” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of OpenTheBooks.

“The mission of the IRS should not include SWAT teams and military-style equipment. This militarisation of the IRS is another example of mission creep and the federal government’s increasing reliance on force to solve problems.”

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A history of aggression vs a future of rights violation

Others point out that the IRS’s heavy-handed tactics in the past have already caused significant harm to taxpayers.

The agency has a history of aggressive collection practices, including seizing bank accounts and property without due process.

Critics argue that the IRS’s increased spending on weapons and combat gear could lead to more abuses of power and violations of taxpayers’ rights.

No regard for human rights and due process

“Given the IRS’s history of abuses, this report is deeply concerning,” said Ron Paul, former congressman and presidential candidate.

“The American people should be alarmed that their tax dollars are used to arm and equip an agency that has shown little regard for their rights or due process.”

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