The Internal Revenue Service spent $10.71 million on guns, ammunition and other military-style equipment from fiscal year 2006 to FY 2014, according to a new report.
The report, from an advocacy group known as American Transparency, describes the spending by various non-military federal agencies, including the IRS, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, on such purchases. It points out that the number of IRS special agents has starkly declined by more than 1,000 from an all-time high in 1995 to about 2,316 law enforcement officers in fiscal year 2015, even as spending has gone up to about $450 per officer. However, the report also acknowledges that the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division has increasingly needed to deal with identity theft cases, which can involve organized criminals.
“IRS Special Agents devoted 20 percent of their time to ID theft cases between 2010 to 2012,” said the report. “IRS Special Agents are also frequent members of Joint Terrorism Task Forces investigating very dangerous criminals. Additionally, 12 percent of the IRS budget is devoted to drug-related financial crimes.”
In addition to various makes of handguns and long guns, the IRS also bought bulletproof vests and other forms of body armor, along with night vision scopes and contraband inspection kits.