Read original article at NYPost.com.
By Victor Nava
The taxmen are armed to the teeth.
A new report shows the Internal Revenue Service has been stocking up on weapons, ammunition and combat gear to the tune of $10 million since 2020.
The findings released last week by OpenTheBooks, a watchdog group that tracks government spending, reveal that in 2021 alone the IRS spent more than $5 million shoring up its arsenal for its increasingly militarized agents.
Since 2020, the oversight group found, the IRS has spent $2.3 million on ammunition, $1.2 million on ballistic shields, $474,000 on Smith & Wesson rifles, $463,000 on Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns and $243,000 on body armor vests.
A slew of other line-item expenditures – include a mysterious $1.3 million spent on “various other gear for criminal investigation agents.”
The tax-collecting agency has also loaded up on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of tactical lighting, gear bags, holsters, ballistic helmets and optic sights for weapons since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report.
Gun lockers at the IRS already appeared to be well-stocked prior to the agency’s recent spending spree,
Pre-2020, the IRS had stockpiled 5 million rounds of ammunition for its 2,159 special agents.
At the time, the agency owned 4,500 firearms, including 621 pump action and semi-automatic shotguns, 539 semi-automatic rifles and 15 submachine guns.
Since 2006, the agency has spent $35.2 million – adjusted for inflation – on guns, ammo and military-style equipment, according to OpenTheBooks.
The IRS is also in the midst of a hiring spree, with current openings to hire 360 criminal investigators based in all 50 states.
The agency notes that applicants must be willing to “carry a firearm; must be prepared to protect him/herself or others from physical attacks at any time and without warning and use firearms in life-threatening situations; must be willing to use force up to and including the use of deadly force.”
The IRS has said that its special agents are armed because they consistently are involved in organized crime, drug and gang investigations.
President Biden provided the agency with more than $80 billion in new funding as part of the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act he signed in August.
The agency claims it needs the funds to hire 86,852 new employees over the next 10 years that conservatives argue will be used to crack down on low- and middle-income Americans.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has derided the proposed hires as the “Democrats’ army of 87,000 IRS agents.”