(NaturalNews) To hear the multitude of anti-Second Amendment types in the Obama Administration and scattered throughout out the federal law enforcement community, Joe and Jane American don't need a military look-alike, semi-automatic rifle. But apparently it's okay if agents of the Internal Revenue Service have them because, you know, U.S. taxpayers, as a group, are inherently dangerous and violent (insert sarcasm here).
No one at the IRS has yet to offer a credible explanation as to why its code enforcement agents must be equipped with, and proficient in, the use of the AR-15 assault rifle (yes, "assault rifle," because the government's AR-15s are fully automatic). But they are training with them nonetheless, and that has a few members of Congress scratching their heads.
One of them is Rep. Jeff Duncan, (R-SC). He is on a mission to find out the justification for IRS enforcement agents being equipped with high-power assault rifles (especially now that, under provisions of Obamacare, the IRS will become the chief enforcement agency for the individual mandate - the section which requires you to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty).
'Are Americans that much of a target?'
Duncan, who is chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for oversight of homeland security, told Politico that while touring a federal law enforcement facility in late May, he noticed that some agents there were training with AR-15 rifles at a firing range. The agents, he said, identified themselves as IRS.
"When I left there, it's been bugging me for weeks now, why IRS agents are training with a semi-automatic rifle AR-15, which has stand-off capability," Duncan told the news site. "Are Americans that much of a target that you need that kind of capability?"
The answer, of course, is no. I don't know about you, but I can't remember the last time a taxpayer walled himself up in his home and opened fire on visiting IRS agents. Maybe I missed all of those cases somehow.
Duncan says he gets it that the IRS has an enforcement division. But what he's asking is why such a high level of firepower is needed or even appropriate, considering that IRS agents could coordinate any potentially dangerous operations with other federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI - especially in a time of tight budgets.
"I think Americans raise eyebrows when you tell them that IRS agents are training with a type of weapon that has stand-off capability. It's not like they're carrying a sidearm and they knock on someone's door and say, 'You're evading your taxes'," Duncan told Politico.
The South Carolina congressman says he's going to try to find out what gives, especially given the recent scrutiny of the IRS' politically motivated targeting of conservative, patriot-minded and Tea Party organizations.
"We'll ask the questions and hopefully they can justify it," he said. "And if not, we'll bring them in front of the committee for a hearing and ask the questions on the record."
'Training on assigned weapons'
When contacted by Politico, someone from the public affairs division issued a standard, sanitized "explanation" justifying the need for the additional firepower.
"As law enforcement officials, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents are equipped similarly to other federal, state and local law enforcement organizations," the statement said. "Special Agents receive training on the appropriate and safe use of assigned weapons. IRS Criminal Investigation has internal controls and oversight in place to ensure all law enforcement tools, including weapons are used appropriately."
Yes, yes. Of course they do. But again, the question was, Why do your agents need to be "assigned" AR-15s? The IRS has yet to explain it to the public. Let's hope Duncan and his panel can get some real answers.