IRS Stockpiling Guns and Ammo

The US Senate has just passed President Joe Biden’s latest economic plan. The plan’s merits, or lack thereof depending on your point of view, are addressed elsewhere. Part of that plan increases the Internal Revenue Service’s funding by a whopping $79.6 billion over the next ten years. The agency’s current annual budget is $12.6 billion. The administration says the money is for greater enforcement measures. The IRS plans to add 87,000 new agents to their current total of 78,661. They’re also buying guns and ammo. Lots of IRS guns and IRS ammo.

IRS Building Washington DC
The IRS has stockpiled millions of rounds over the last two decades. (

Does the IRS need ammo?

Apparently so. The IRS does have a Criminal Investigation department which employed over 2,100 Special Agents in 2016. That number has likely increased. Each one of those Special Agents carries a firearm. Here are some other IRS facts:

  • The IRS had over 4,500 firearms and more than 5 million rounds of ammo at the end of 2019.
  • That gun total includes at least 15 fully automatic firearms.
  • The IRS spent $725,000 buying 3.1 million pistol rounds, 1.5 million rifle rounds, and 350,000 shotgun shells between March and June 1, 2022.
  • The IRS spent $21.3 million on firearms, ammunition, and “military-style” equipment between fiscal years 2006 and 2019.
  • Armed IRS agents “fired their guns accidentally more times than they did intentionally” between 2009 and 2011, according to Forbes. There were 11 accidental or negligent discharges in that time. So, did they ever fire them intentionally? Either way, it’s clear they don’t need anywhere near that much ammo.
IRS Criminal Investigation agents
Armed IRS agents are a thing. (

Not Just the IRS

  • The Washington Post reported in 2010 that the Department of Education keeps an inventory of 100 .40 caliber Glocks and 52 Remington 870 shotguns. Each Department of Education Special Agent carries a Glock, and the shotguns are for “conducting high-risk arrest and search warrant operations,” according to the DoE. The Department of Education serves high-risk arrest and search warrants? Really?
  • According to Fox News, the Railroad Retirement Board also buys guns and ammo on your tax dime, but no figures were given.
  • Transparency advocates reports that 179 federal and administrative agencies spent over $2.7 billion on guns and ammo between fiscal years 2015 and 2019. That does not include the Defense Department.
Man holding a pile of guns
The IRS isn’t the only federal agency with its own arsenal. (Getty Images)

The Disarm the IRS Act

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) recently introduced the Disarm the IRS Act (H.R. 8268) to halt those questionable purchases. The bill likely faces an uphill climb in the House Ways and Means Committee since Congress is so divided.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has introduced the Disarm the IRS Act. (

Still, there may well be plenty of Democrats who don’t like this any more than their Republican colleagues. It probably depends on whether the committee chair and, more importantly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi care about it. It’s really hard to say at this point. But we’ll keep an eye on it and let you know.

There are plenty of opinions on why the IRS and other agencies are stockpiling weapons and ammo. You likely have your own. Hit us up in the comments.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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