Is the IRS Really Buying Ammunition and Guns? Here's the Truth

Are you worried about the IRS buying more than $700,000 worth of ammunition in 2022? Let's do a fact check. Here's why the agency bought it.

Robin Hill-Gray - Author

Apr. 10 2023, Updated 4:45 p.m. ET

A businessman holding guns
Source: Getty Images

Male holding pile of guns

What might be trending news today may no longer be relevant tomorrow. Of course, there are certain topics like guns or, more specifically, gun control that people can't stop talking about. And it makes sense considering the rise in mass shootings, with the latest occurring on April 10, 2023, at an Old National Bank in Louisville, Ky.

In 2022, people became extremely concerned after learning that the IRS purchases ammunition and various guns.

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With the IRS having made such large purchases over the years, people are wondering why the IRS even needs guns. So, let's explore.

Source: Unsplash

Yes, the IRS does purchase ammunition.

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Why does the IRS need ammunition and how much has it purchased?

IRS criminal investigation special agents are permitted to carry firearms as granted by the United States Code Title 26, Section 7608. According to the job description, they are also allowed (and expected) to "use firearms in life-threatening situations" and be willing to apply "deadly force" under the proper circumstances.

An IRS special agent
Source: IRS

IRS criminal investigation special agents are permitted to carry firearms.

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The Wall Street Journal reported in 2016 that the IRS had 2,316 special agents (the number has likely grown) and spent an estimated $5,000 on each agent for weapons and ammunition.

Now that we know why the IRS needs ammunition, just how much of it has the agency purchased over the years?

This isn't the first time the IRS has been associated with buying loads of ammunition. In 2019, Forbes reported that the IRS had hoards of ammunition and guns. By the end of 2017, the IRS already had around 4,487 guns and 5,062,006 rounds of ammunition. It was reported that the guns in IRS possession weren't for civilians. According to reports, many of the guns are machine guns. As it stands, only the Criminal Investigation Division in the IRS actually gets to carry.

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Safety-wise, a report from CNS News claimed that between 2009 and 2011, IRS special agents accidentally fired their weapons 11 times and three of those cases "may have resulted in property damage or personal injury." CNS also revealed an audit of IRS agents claimed that agents fired their weapons accidentally and more often than intentionally in the field. Also, it said that remedial training to negligent agents isn't always given.

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How much has the IRS spent on ammunition and guns?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington, DC.
Source: Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington, DC.

In an interview with Fox News, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz said, "In 2022 alone, the IRS has spent around $725,000 on ammunition. So, here's the Biden plan: Disarm Americans, open the border, empty the prisons — but rest assured, they'll still collect your taxes, and they need $725,000 worth of ammunition apparently, to get the job done."

According to Fox News, within the last 10 years, the IRS stocked up on $11 million worth of ammunition.

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Gaetz was trying to put a moratorium on the IRS and their ammunition purchases. So, is the IRS buying weapons? Yes, and they have in the past as well. Is the IRS buying guns? Again the answers is yes, and they've have done that in the past as well. So, it isn't unheard of for the IRS to be purchasing weapons given that special agents are allowed to carry them.

However, the real concern is whether or not the IRS is stockpiling guns and ammunition and whether or not this is part of a grander scheme to hoard weapons and get them away from Americans amid the recent mass shootings and desperate pleas and protests for gun control.

Gaetz is right to a degree — the IRS does have guns and ammunition. Whether or not they are hoarding for nefarious purposes remains unclear. To this day, many people remain puzzled as to why the IRS would need so many weapons.

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