The Wall Street Journal has pointed out that the number of non-Defense Department Federal Officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (around 200,000), now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (around 182,000).
Here is a passage from the Wall Street Journal article about these non-Defense Department Federal Officers and the arms race:
In its escalating arms and ammo stockpiling, this federal arms race is unlike anything in history. They pointed out that over the last 20 years; the number of these Federal Officers with arrest-and-firearm authority has nearly tripled to over 200,000 today, from 74,500 in 1996.
Special agents at the IRS are now equipped with AR-15 military-style rifles, Health and Human Services “Special Office of Inspector General Agents” are being trained by the Army’s Special Forces contractors, and the Department of Veterans Affairs are arming 3,700 of its employees.
Bureaucrats are amassing firepower. What exactly is the Obama administration up to?
On Friday June 17, the American Transparency organization is releasing its OpenTheBooks.com oversight report on the militarization of America. The report catalogs federal purchases of guns, ammunition and military-style equipment by seemingly bureaucratic federal agencies. During a nine-year period through 2014, WSJ found 67 agencies unaffiliated with the Department of Defense that spent $1.48 billion on guns and ammo. Of that total, $335.1 million was spent by agencies traditionally viewed as regulatory or administrative, such as the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Mint.
Some examples of spending from 2005 through 2014 raise the question: Who are they preparing to battle?
People from both ends of the political spectrum have expressed alarm at this trend. Conservatives argue that it is hypocritical, unconstitutional and costly for political leaders to undermine the Second Amendment while simultaneously equipping non-military agencies with heavy weapons, hollow-point bullets, and military-style equipment. Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders have raised civil liberties concerns about the militarization of local police with vehicles built for war and other heavy weaponry.
Meanwhile, Federal authorities are silent on the growing arsenal at federal agencies.
Read the full story here: http://on.wsj.com/28JU33V