- Iowa Republican senator Joni Ernst introduces a bill called "Why Does the IRS Have Guns Act" to prohibit the IRS from buying weapons and ammunition with taxpayer money.
- The bill aims to transfer existing guns and ammo to be auctioned off to federal firearms license owners in order to reduce the federal deficit.
- The IRS reportedly spent $10 million on weaponry and gear, including rifles, shotguns, ammunition, and body armor since the start of the pandemic.
- The bill also proposes relocating the IRS criminal investigation division within the justice department.
- The Biden Administration's expansion of the IRS has raised concerns about further weaponization of the agency against American citizens and small businesses.
- The bill's passage is uncertain, as it would need to pass both the House and the Senate, and potentially face a veto from President Biden.
Iowa Republican senator Joni Ernst has introduced a bill known as the "Why Does the IRS Have Guns Act" that seeks to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from arming its agents with taxpayer money. The proposed legislation has raised important questions about the role and function of the IRS, and the potential weaponization of the agency.
Under the bill, the IRS would be banned from buying, receiving, or restoring guns and ammunition. Any firearms and ammo currently in their possession would be transferred to the General Services Administration for auctioning to federal firearms license owners, with the proceeds intended to support federal deficit reduction.
The motivation behind the bill stems from concerns about the increasing size of the IRS under the Biden Administration and the potential misuse of the agency's power against hard-working Americans and small businesses. Senator Ernst stated in a press release, "As the Biden Administration has worked to expand the size of the IRS, any further weaponization of this Federal agency against hard-working Americans and small businesses is a grave concern."
According to reports, the IRS has spent a significant amount of taxpayer dollars on weaponry and gear since the start of the pandemic. These purchases include $2.3 million for ammunition, $1.2 million on ballistic shields, $474,000 on Smith and Wesson rifles, $463,000 on Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns, and $243,000 on body armor vests. The agency has reportedly spent $35.2 million on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment since 2006.
The bill also proposes the relocation of the IRS criminal investigation division within the justice department. This provision aims to address concerns about the potential misuse of the agency's powers and ensure greater accountability.
However, the passage of the bill is uncertain. It would need to pass both the House and the Senate, and potentially face a veto from President Biden. The Biden Administration has previously allocated $80 billion in funding to the IRS to boost staff over the next decade, a move that some Republicans argue is intended to target small businesses and families.
While the "Why Does the IRS Have Guns Act" presents a significant proposal to address concerns about the weaponization of the IRS, its future remains uncertain. For the bill to become law, it would require support from both chambers of Congress and potentially a change in the White House. The discussions and debates surrounding the bill will continue as lawmakers deliberate on the appropriate balance of power and resources within the IRS.
As always, public engagement and discussion on such matters are crucial to shaping the future of government agencies and ensuring accountability. The bill's introduction has sparked conversations about the role of the IRS, the use of taxpayer funds, and the potential impact on American citizens and small businesses.