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sen-joni-ernstU.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is again taking action against (literally) weaponized bureaucracy by leading the charge in the upper chamber to ensure the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not using tax dollars from hardworking Americans to arm its employees — and going beyond just that to disarm the taxman and move the IRS’ investigation division over to the Justice Department.

According to an Open the Books report released last month, the IRS has spent more than $35 million since 2006 on firearms, ammunition, and tactical gear for its glorified and federally empowered accountant force, with some $10 million of that taxpayer-funded armament coming since just 2020.



The last three years saw the IRS spend some “$2.5 million on ballistic shields ($1.2 million) and ‘various other gear for criminal investigation agents” ($1.3 million)” plus $267,000 worth of ballistic helmets, $243,000 worth of body armor vests, and “nearly $1 million on Smith & Wesson rifles ($474,000) and Beretta 1301 tactical shotguns ($463,000),” per Open the Books.

“The taxman is fully loaded and funded by the taxpayer,” Senator Ernst emphasized to Townhall on Tuesday. “The important question remains, why does the IRS even have or need weapons?” That’s a good question, and one Ernst seeks to remedy once and for all with a new bill she’s rolling out on Tuesday.

Calling her legislation the “Why Does the IRS Have Guns Act,” the bill states that “none of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for any fiscal year may be obligated or expended by the Commissioner to purchase, receive, or store any firearm or ammunition.”

In addition, it would require that “any firearms owned by, or under the control of, the Internal Revenue Service” along with “any ammunition owned by, or under the control of, the Internal Revenue Service” be transferred by the IRS commissioner to the General Services Administration.

Once transferred, Ernst’s legislation would require the GSA to “initiate the sale or auction of any firearms” from the multimillion-dollar IRS stockpile “to licensed dealers” and the “auction of any ammunition” from the IRS’ cache to “members of the general public.”

“Any proceeds from the sale or auction” of the IRS’ armory would then be “deposited in the general fund of the Treasury for the sole purpose of deficit reduction,” the bill states.

Finally, the bill would require “the authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service” to be moved over and “maintained as a distinct entity within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, including the related functions of the Secretary of the Treasury.”

Senator Ernst reminded Townhall that she has “been proud to stand strong against the IRS’ targeting of small businesses” and renewed her commitment to “ensure the IRS is not further abusing its power against hardworking Americans.”

“It’s time to end this abuse of power and tax dollars,” said Ernst.


Spencer Brown is the managing editor for and a regular guest on Fox News whose byline has also appeared in USA Today and other outlets. He is a Foundation for Defense of Democracies media fellow (2023) and an alumnus of the National Journalism Center.