Rep. Jeff Duncan wants to know why IRS law enforcement agents are training with AR-15 rifles.
As chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee, Duncan (R-S.C.) toured a federal law enforcement facility in late May and noticed agents training with the semi-automatic weapons at a firing range. They identified themselves as IRS, he said.
“When I left there, it’s been bugging me for weeks now, why IRS agents are training with a semi-automatic rifle AR-15, which has stand-off capability,” Duncan told POLITICO. “Are Americans that much of a target that you need that kind of capability?”
Normally, given how law enforcement works, where you do want people prepared to serve warrants, it would make sense for some IRS enforcement agents to have ARs. But at the same time, the IRS can simply garnish wages and get their money with paper. Then there’s the next point Duncan makes:
While Duncan acknowledges that the IRS has an enforcement division, he questions if that level of firepower is appropriate when they could coordinate operations with other agencies, like the FBI, especially in a time of austerity.
Exactly. Why does the IRS need ARs? Why do they need rifles? If they’re going on a “raid” for someone who hasn’t paid taxes in order to throw someone into debtors prison or the political gulag for opposing the Glorious Leader, shouldn’t they be having another agency doing the heavy lifting?
If you’re dealing with a tax evader so violent that you need ARs to engage them, maybe you should have real law enforcement doing the job rather than tax collectors who mount their EoTechs backwards. And at the point that tax collectors carry ARs, I suspect the Founders would already be questioning the legitimacy of government.
The answer to this is probably just law enforcement empire-building. It happens in every agency, as every agency wants something new and badass. Every agency wants to be the tacticool kid on the block, and every agency has some tacticool sub-deputy administrator who makes his own department of ninjas so he can go play at the range and be Billy BLACKHAWK! Badass.