The Militarization of Federal Bureaucracy - Updated Statistics Through March 31, 2023 38_Militarization_2023_green2

April 27, 2023 11:09 AM



By Adam Andrzejewski
CEO & Founder,

Why Does The IRS Need Guns? | Wall Street Journal | June 17, 2016
By Adam Andrzejewski & Dr. Tom Coburn

Why Have President Trump’s Regulatory Agencies Stockpiled So Much Firepower? | Forbes | February 27, 2019
By Adam Andrzejewski

The Militarization of the U.S. Federal Executive Agencies | January 2021
OpenTheBooks Oversight Report, with data through 2019

: Since 2006, 103 rank and file agencies outside of DOD spent $3.7 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment (inflation adjusted to CPI). 27 of those agencies are traditional law enforcement under the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

However, 76 agencies are push-pushing, regulatory agencies, i.e. Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Social Security Administration (SSA), Veterans Affairs (VA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Health and Human Services (HHS). 

HEADCOUNT OF FEDERAL AGENTS: There are now more federal agents with arrest and firearm authority (200,000) than U.S. Marines (186,000).

current through March 31, 2023

IRS BY THE NUMBERS: Since 2006, spent $35.2 million on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment (CPI adjusted). The years 2020 and 2021 were peak years at the IRS for purchasing weaponry and gear. Just since the pandemic started, the IRS has purchased $10 million in weaponry and gear. (See chart below.)

Special agents at IRS: nearly 2,100 special agents. Recently, the IRS chief testified that they are adding 600 new positions (20,000 new hires with 3% ratio of special agents). Based on headcount, the IRS ranks in the equivalent of the top 50 largest of 12,261 police departments across the country.

August 2022: Remember, the ‘deadly force’ IRS special agent job posting last summer? Read at Fox Business.

Recently, Matt Taibbi, journalist on the Twitter Files received a visit from an IRS agent at home the same day of his Congressional testimony: Read at the New York Post.

April 7, 2023: IRS Commissioner testimony on special agents at U.S. House Ways and Means Committee: Read at Yahoo News.

IRS GUN LOCKER (Pre-2020): 4,500 guns and has stockpiled 5 million rounds of ammunition for use by its 2,159 special agents. These figures include 621 pump action and semi-automatic shotguns, 539 long-barrel rifles and 15 submachine guns. The IRS purchased buckshot and slugs for their shotguns. The rifles are semi-automatic AR-15 (S&W M&P 15) and military-style H&K 416 rifles.

§ IRS On-The-Record Statement in 2021 to 
CI=Criminal Investigation

“CI special agents have been using weapons throughout their history as they have consistently found themselves investigating the most dangerous criminals involved in organized crime, drugs and gangs. These types of cases are typically worked in conjunction with other state and federal law enforcement agencies. Firearms and equipment are also used for training purposes. Special agents are required to train and qualify for their weapons and must participate in quarterly trainings to maintain proficiency.”


  • $2.3 million on duty ammunition
  • $1.2 million on ballistic shields, plus another $1.3 million on ‘various other gear for criminal investigation agents” – very non-transparent description
  • $474,000 on Smith & Wesson rifles
  • $467,000 on duty tactical lighting
  • $463,000 on Baretta1301 tactical shotguns
  • $354,000 on tactical gear bags
  • 267,000 on ballistic helmets
  • $243,000 on body armor vests

Purchased 3,000 units of optics compatible tactical holsters for weapons with optical sights and weapons lighting systems.





HHS LAW ENFORCEMENT BY THE NUMBERS: Since 2006, spent $154 million on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment. Nearly 500 special agents are employed, ranking it in the top 100 largest of 12,261 police departments across the country.

Five entities purchasing weapons: HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), NIH, CDC, FDA, and Office of Assist. Secretary of Health.

  • Office of Inspector General (OIG) provided private security for Dr. Fauci. The HHS OIG, an entity supposed to hold Fauci accountable, was given authorization by the U.S. Marshalls to protect Fauci.
  • NIH has its own police force with 105 officers -- bigger than 95-percent of police departments across America: sophisticated training, night vision equipment, weaponry.
  • Office of Assistant Secretary for Health (one of the eight Uniformed Branches of U.S.): 6,000 officers, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, plus a new Ready Reserve and involved in purchase of $100 million in guns, ammunition and military-style equipment.

HHS GUN LOCKER (Pre-2020 and pandemic): 8 million rounds of ammunition, 461 special agents and OIG owns 1300 guns, shotguns, sub-machine guns and 200 automatic firearms.

§ On-The-Record Statement: When queried HHS gave an on the record statement in 2021: Need to arm agents who participate in undercover work and assist law enforcement in their efforts.


  • $400K on tactical combat gear
  • $250,000 on ammunition
  • $100,000 on new guns
  • $47,000 on Night vision equipment
  • $100,000 worth of virtual reality simulation training.
  • $85,000 on Ballistic plates and Body armor
  • Bought 240 new black chrome batons.


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