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Friday, June 14, 2024

Newly Militarized IRS Claims First Victim: Its Own Agent

'I’m not against stockpiling ammunition, but you shouldn’t have to be a D.C. accountant to do it...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) When the Biden administration gave the IRS an $80 billion budget boost to hire 80,000 new employees and purchase hundreds of thousands of founds of ammunition, conservatives and libertarians warned that a militarized tax-collection agency would result in deadly violence.

They were right.

An IRS agent shot and killed someone on Thursday. In this incident, the victim was a fellow agent, rather than someone out of compliance with their taxes.

Charlotte M. Dennis, a spokesperson for the IRS Phoenix field office, confirmed special agents were participating in the exercise at a firing range in Phoenix when the shooting happened.

The agent, whose name was not released, died shortly after arriving at HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center, Dennis said.

No other injuries were reported.

Dennis declined to give further details.

The range is on property that belongs to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. But because of an interagency agreement, other law enforcement agencies typically use the facility.

Officials with the FBI’s Phoenix field office said they will oversee the shooting investigation. The results will be turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

The incident sparked “I told you so” reactions online, with observers noting the lack of proper gun safety displayed in IRS training videos.

A bill presented by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla, last year might have prevented Thursday’s tragedy. Gaetz introduced the  Disarm the IRS act, which would have banned the agency from purchasing more ammunition. However, the bill never made it out of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The IRS purchased $725,000 worth of ammunition in 2022 along, according to Gaetz.

“I’m not against stockpiling ammunition, but you shouldn’t have to be a D.C. accountant to do it; you ought to be a mechanic in Pensacola,” he said last year.

According to a Government Accountability Office report, in 2018, there were 2,148 law enforcement officers working for the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division.

They were armed with 4,461 weapons, including 15 fully automatic weapons and more than 5 million rounds of ammunition.

The division investigates “potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and related financial crimes in a manner that fosters confidence in the tax system and compliance with the law.”

“The American system of taxation is based on the premise that all income is taxable (which includes illegally earned income),” the IRS states.

“In many instances, proving that a taxpayer willfully attempted to hide income from the Federal Government is an integral part of proving other criminal activity including fraud, money laundering or Bank Secrecy Act violations,” it adds. “Criminal Investigation continues to fulfill the important role of helping to ensure the integrity and fairness of our nations’ tax system.”

Two years later, the 2018 stockpile increased more.

According to a 2020 OpenTheBooks.com report, “The militarization of the U.S. Executive Agencies” included the IRS having 2,159 special agents, the spending of $21.3 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment between fiscal years 2006 and 2019, which included a stockpile of more than 4,500 guns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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