By Patrick Terpstra
Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The IRS is coming under fire for its stockpile of heavy weapons, with one Republican lawmaker calling for a ban on future gun purchases by the agency.
"I don't understand why federal agencies need military-type equipment and all these guns," said Rep. Richard Hudson, R-North Carolina.
He introduced an amendment to prohibit the IRS from buying firearms.
The legislation never made it out of committee, but it spotlights the more than $10 million the IRS has spent on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment for its agents since 2004.
IRS spending on heavy weapons reached a zenith of $2.3 million in 2011 before dropping to $1.1 million in 2014, according to a report by the watchdog group, Open the Books.
Weapons in the agency's arsenal include pistols, long rifles, ammunition and military gear like night-vision scopes and body armor.
IRS agents do more than collect delinquent taxes and investigate identity theft.
They are members of joint terrorism task forces and also investigate gang activity.
Two of the IRS intelligence unit's most high-profile achievements were jailing Al Capone and helping to solve the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.