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Disarm the bureaucrats; From the firearms coalition.

(Manassas, VA, March 19) There is nothing unusual about a federal agency buying guns, particularly a federal agency with law enforcement authority, but when that federal agency is the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Education, well, that raised a few eyebrows.

The EDOIG put out a solicitation seeking 27 Remington 870, 12-gauge, pump shotguns with 14-inch barrels, and Knoxx (no relation) adjustable, recoil reducing stocks. The document went on to explain that the 14-inch Remington 870s are the "only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts."

Let's take in all of the key phrases contained in that brief quote:

1. The 14-inch, 12-gauge Model 870 is the Only shotgun authorized for the Department of Education (ED.)

2. ED has an existing shotgun inventory.

3. ED has body armor.

4. ED Special Agents engage in combat training.

It should be understood that the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education is tasked with "detection of waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds." They are "bean counters" who catch school employees and contractors with their hands in the cookie jar. A review of their web site reveals a comprehensive collection of stories of the accomplishments and successes of these "Special Agents" and I couldn't find a single instance of violent resistance to arrest, much less justification for deploying deadly force.

Prior to 2002, OIG Special Agents had to either be deputized every year by the U.S. Marshals service or they had to rely on other law enforcement agencies to execute their warrants and make their arrests. In the wake of the 9-11 attacks, the law dealing with arrest powers for IG offices was amended to give the Attorney General the authority to authorize presidentially appointed IGs to have full law enforcement powers. Interestingly, the new law included a requirement that the IG agencies wanting such powers must first demonstrate that they are "significantly hampered" in accomplishing their assigned mission as a result of not having these powers. They were further required to show that available assistance from other law enforcement agencies is insufficient to meet their needs, and that the agency has internal safeguards and standards to ensure proper exercise of these powers. But then in the very next paragraph of the law, 25 of the 30 affected IG offices are exempted from the "prove you need it and can handle it" requirements.

Of the 30 agencies with presidentially appointed Inspectors General, only the IGs for the Department of Agriculture, the CIA, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Defense Department, and the Treasury IG for Tax Administration are left to prove their need before the AG can authorize them to have police powers. All of the rest, the departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs along with the Agency for International Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, General Services Administration, NASA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, IGs got their police powers without having to prove need or ability.

Remember that we're not talking about the agencies themselves or any security needs they might have, but the Inspector General offices that look for waste, fraud, and abuse in the management of funds. The EDOIG's paramilitary buildup could be just the tip of the iceberg. What kind of SWAT team might they have over at HUD or the Department of Labor? Can we expect NASA to be soliciting Barrett rifles to go after the guys who sell the $4,000 hammers? And what about those "cowboys" over at the Small Business Administration? What kind of arsenal do you suppose they've got stashed in the trunks; of their fleet of nondescript (armor plated?) Ford Tauruses?

The nation first gave guns and arrest powers to federal bean counters, when tax collectors from the Alcohol Tax Unit started busting moonshine stills and digging into AI Capone's tax issues. The "revenuers" were later given enforcement authority over National Firearms Act guns, and eventually over all guns as the BATF under the 1968 Gun Control Act. The failures of the BATFE and its predecessors are many and well-documented. As more administrative agencies arm up, it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong.

As federal law grows ever more complex, enforcement of procedural and administrative law is bleeding over into criminal law. Congress needs to get away from ideas of disarming citizens and focus on disarming bureaucrats instead.

Order Neal Knox--The Gun Rights War today and receive a free subscription to the Knox Hard Corps Report newsletter. Learn about the past to secure your rights for the future. Go to

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Title Annotation:THE KNOX UPDATE
Author:Knox, Jeff
Publication:Shotgun News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 20, 2010
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