By J. D. Heyes
President Donald Trump has certainly brought some welcome relief to Americans in the form of curbing federal regulations, but he has a lot more to do â€” as do his Cabinet appointees â€” in terms of, shall we say, â€˜defangingâ€™ several agencies.
They include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others that have been weaponized, literally, to â€˜deal withâ€™ â€” not serve â€” the American people.
AsÂ Conservative ReviewÂ reports, the IRS itself has 15 â€œsubmachine gunsâ€ and some 5 million rounds of ammunition on hand, but the tax collection agency is far from the only one belonging to the federal government that is becoming more heavily armed.
Citing aÂ Government Accountability Office (GAO) reportÂ published in December, CR notes that several federal agencies are amassing weapons and ammunition at a rate that is frankly alarming:
The IRS currently has 4,461 guns, including 621 shotguns, 539 rifles, and those 15 submachine guns. The Department of Health and Human Services has over one million rounds of ammunition stockpiled for use.
The VA doesnâ€™t just have red tape and long waiting times, it turns out. The agency also purchased almost 3,000 rounds for each of its almost 4,000 police officers between 2010 and 2017. The agency also has camouflage uniforms, riot gear, and â€œtactical lighting.â€
Other agencies are also arming up. The GAO found that the 20 agencies surveyed for the above timeframe collectively spent â€œat least $1.5 billion in totalâ€ on ammo, firearms, and tactical gear.
As the date range suggests, most of the purchases were made during the Obama years. In fact,Â asÂ NaturalÂ NewsÂ reportedÂ in May 2014, the Department of Agriculture even put in a request for â€œsubmachine guns, .40 Cal. S&Wâ€ with â€œTritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear)â€ along with a â€œcollapsingâ€ or â€œfoldingâ€ stock. Thatâ€™s serious firepower for a farm agency.
The buildup during the Obama years was so stark and so significant that even Left-wing publications normally allied with the Democratic president began to question it. That includedÂ Mother Jones, which published a story regarding the weapons and ammunition purchases titled, â€œHow Every Part of American Life Became a Police Matter.â€Â
â€œFrom the workplace to our private lives, American society is starting to resemble a police state,â€ the story began.Â
According to the GAO report:
â€” The IRS has not spent any money on buying new firearms and gear since 2014, but ammunition purchases were steady until 2017;
â€” The EPAâ€™s purchases of guns, gear, and other equipment for its agents were highest in 2013, 2014, and 2016, but amounted to very little in 2017;
â€” VA police purchases spiked in 2011 and 2017, but were steady throughout the duration of the Obama administration;
â€” Health and Human Services (HHS) bought firearms and ammunition for two of its departments: the National Institutes of Health, which saw a spike in those buys in 2017, and the Office of Inspector General, which bought most of its recently-purchased firearms between 2010 and 2017 (Obama-era budgets).
The GAO also noted the reason why each of these agencies was purchasing guns, ammo, and gear, although some of that information was classified as â€œsensitiveâ€ by HHS, the IRS, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and thus was stricken from the original version of the report.
According to the report, each of these agencies has its own law enforcement division, so that was the most common reason listed for the purchases. But millions of Americans arenâ€™t going to be satisfied with that answer and understandably so.
A Texas-based tactical firearms shop owner offeredÂ Natural NewsÂ his opinion on what was taking place during the Obama years.Â
â€œHonestly, I think the federal government is using different agencies to stockpile these weapons,â€ saidÂ Â Jeremy Alcede, founder and CEO ofÂ Tactical Firearms. â€œI canâ€™t imagine why theÂ USDAÂ would need submachine guns to enforce agricultural regulations. Are they planning for a mad cow disease rampage of some kind?â€
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.