A new report by watchdog group Open the Books has concluded that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has spent at least $10 million in taxpayer money on weapons, ammo, and other tactical gear in the last three years alone.
The organization released its piece, titled, “The Militarization of Federal Bureaucracy – Updated Statistics Through March 31, 2023,” on Thursday, finding that since 2020 the IRS doled out $2.3 million on ammunition, $1.2 million on ballistic shields, $474,000 on rifles, $463,000 on shotguns and $243,000 on body armor vests.
Similarly, a total of $467,000 was put towards duty tactical lighting, $354,000 for gear bags, and $1.3 million on “various other gear for criminal investigation agents” during the same period of time.
Open the Books noted that an IRS agent invited themselves to the home of American journalist Matt Taibbi on the same day he gave a testimony to Congress surrounding his reporting on the ‘Twitter Files.’
Prior to 2020, the IRS had compiled 5 million rounds of ammunition for its over 2,000 agency workers, according to the New York Post. The organization possessed 4,500 firearms at the time, which among them included 621 pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns, 15 submachine guns, and 539 semi-automatic rifles. The outlet noted that the agency is also onboarding many new people, with current advertisements calling for 360 criminal investigators in all 50 states.
One portion of the IRS’ job description for the role writes that prospective employees are required 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.”
Over $80 billion in new funds were granted to the IRS by Joe Biden after he signed the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act back in August, according to The Post. Critics who are against the massive increase in IRS money say it will be used by the agency to go after low- and middle-income Americans.
Vivek Ramaswamy, a 2025 presidential primary candidate for the Republican Party, has decried these recent changes in the IRS, arguing the agency has become so “politicized” and “toxic” that it must be eliminated entirely before something better can take its place.
I will end the weaponization of police power in America. Time to stop complaining and actually *fix* the problem without apology:
– Shut down + replace the FBI
– Shut down + replace the IRS pic.twitter.com/gFMFKg7F4X
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) May 3, 2023