Trouble comes double, or triple or quadruple, for the Internal Revenue Service, and now the agency that everybody loves to hate is under more scrutiny by a South Carolina congressman who spotted agents training with AR-15 rifles.
According to Politico and other publications, Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan, who represents South Carolina’s Third Congressional District, visited a federal law enforcement facility in May he was surprised to find the IRS agents training on the gun range with the semiautomatic rifles.
Now, another member of Congress, Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, is capitalizing on the story to promote his AR-15 raffle, which continues to July 4. Stockman is now telling people that they can have a chance at owning the same kind of rifle used by the IRS.
“You don’t need to be an IRS agent to get your own Bushmaster AR-15. I’m giving one away for FREE on July 4,” Stockman declared via Twitter.
Duncan chairs the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee, according to the Politico article. He reportedly realizes that the IRS has an enforcement division, but he wonders why the IRS can’t rely on other law enforcement agencies for serious firepower in the event of an emergency.
The IRS has been under intense scrutiny by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Congressman Darrell Issa, in the wake of revelations about extravagant conference spending and the production of so-called “training videos” videos featuring line dancing and “Star Trek” spoofs. Those videos have become targets for late-night comedians and Fox News prime time commentators.
At the same time, the IRS is also being investigated for allegedly targeting conservative organizations for extraordinary scrutiny.
According to Politico, the IRS issued a statement in response to Duncan’s inquiries.
“As law enforcement officials, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents are equipped similarly to other federal, state and local law enforcement organizations. 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,” the IRS statement said.