Skip to main content

House Bill Targets SMG-Toting Bureaucrats

House Bill Targets SMG-Toting Bureaucrats

house_bill_regulatory_forcesAt the same time the current Administration has been busy trying to disarm the citizenry, it has built up a huge paramilitary army of heavily armed bureaucrats in some of the most unusual regulatory agencies.

You might be surprised to know that the Agriculture Department, Department of Education, Food and Drug Administration, even the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have police forces, often armed with full-auto firearms, body armor, grenades, the whole panoply of accessories wielded by today's militarized law enforcement.

Just as the old theater saw says a gun hanging on the wall when the curtain rises has to go off by the third act, the very existence of these units means they will be used, and often in ways that would be comical were they not part of a frightening pattern of eroding rights. The Education Department's police broke down the door of a man suspected of student loan fraud. FDA cops raided an organic food store suspected of selling raw milk. Armed agents of the Bureau of Land Management, Environmental Protection Agency and NOAA raided a mine in Alaska.

Non-law enforcement federal agencies have always had firearms, but in the old days, it was a few S&W Victory Models and shotguns. The militarization got started in earnest with the 2002 Homeland Security Act, which gave most Offices of Inspector General arrest and firearm authority. I'm sure that seemed like a good idea in the immediate post-9/11 atmosphere, but it is in the DNA of all bureaucracies to build up little fiefdoms, and in this case, they were armed fiefdoms.


All this arming of bureaucrats has been great for manufacturers of guns and other law enforcement gear, as well as for many of the private training businesses that have sprung up in recent years.


Now, student loan fraud or water pollution are certainly big problems. But this isn't the 1930s, and the feds aren't going after Bonnie & Clyde or Machine Gun Kelly. Today's bureaucracies have surveillance and data-processing capabilities Eliot Ness or Melvin Purvis couldn't have imagined. They should rarely need to conduct flashy door-busting takedowns, unless the real purpose is publicity and, not to put too fine a point on it, influencing potential jurors.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) has introduced the Regulatory Agency De-militarization (RAD) Act, a bill intended to force agencies not involved in law enforcement as that term is generally understood to disband their police forces.

"It's disturbing to see the stories of federal regulators armed to the teeth and breaking into homes and businesses when there was no reason to think there would be resistance," Stewart said. "I understand that federal agents must be capable of protecting themselves. But what we have observed goes far beyond providing necessary protection. When there are genuinely dangerous situations involving federal law, thatís the job of the Department of Justice, not regulatory agencies like the FDA or the Department of Education. Not only is it overkill, but having these highly-armed units within dozens of agencies is duplicative, costly, heavy handed, dangerous and destroys any sense of trust between citizens and the federal government."

It would be nice to say that Stewart had lined up lots of bipartisan support for this legislation, but so far, all his co-sponsors are Republicans. If Democrats think guns are so dangerous, why do they think education bureaucrats should be carrying them?




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

The Wilkinson Arms Linda 9mm Carbine offers old-world quality and nostalgic lines, coupled with modern reliability and modularity.Wilkinson Arms Linda 9mm Carbine Review
Handguns

Wilkinson Arms Linda 9mm Carbine Review

The Wilkinson Arms Linda 9mm Carbine offers old-world quality and nostalgic lines, coupled...

Jim Grant

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you may want to consider SIG Sauer's P365.Is SIG Sauer's P365 9mm the Perfect Carry Gun?
Handguns

Is SIG Sauer's P365 9mm the Perfect Carry Gun?

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you...

David M. Fortier

Popular Videos

SilencerCo MSR Hunting

SilencerCo MSR Hunting

Hunters, save your ears! Patrick Sweeney reviews suppressors from SilencerCo.

Springfield Edge AR Pistol

Springfield Edge AR Pistol

Patrick Sweeney of Firearms News shows off the Springfield Edge AR pistol with a folding arm brace.

GF Redding Reloading Equipment

GF Redding Reloading Equipment

Reddington Reloading Equipment's Robin Sharpless on expanders.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Firearms News stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now