The IRS has never been a popular branch of the government. I mean, taxes are a pain in and of themselves, but then there’s the looming specter of having to figure out how much you owe and God forbid you get it wrong.
But the IRS has its role to play. We can debate whether or not they should exist, but they do and they’re going to do their jobs.
Nothing in that role, however, permits this.
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) is demanding answers after he says a group of armed IRS agents raided and temporarily closed a Montana gun shop in Great Falls Wednesday.
“This event is another example of President Biden weaponizing federal agencies to target and harass hardworking Americans for exercising their constitutional rights,” Rosendale said in a letter to leaders of the Internal Revenue Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Twenty heavily armed federal agents pulled in behind Highwood Creek Outfitters’ owner Tom Van Hoose as he arrived at his shop Wednesday morning, KRTV reported.
IRS agents confiscated background check forms from the store that contained sensitive personal information about all customers who ever purchased a gun at the shop. The forms do not include financial information, Rosendale said, calling the act an “egregious breach of privacy” that “showed no regard for federal law.”
“There is no circumstance in which 4473s would be necessary in an investigation spearheaded by the IRS,” Rosendale said in a letter addressed to ATF Director Steven Dettelbach and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.
Rosedale is right. There’s no reason for the IRS to have that information. There’s nothing relevant to their investigations that could be on there.
If you’ve ever bought a gun from a licensed dealer in the last few decades, you’ve filled out a 4473. It asks a lot of questions, but there’s nothing on there about what you’re buying, how much you’re spending, or how much tax was being collected. It’s literally nothing but information about you as an individual.
So why would the IRS take it?
Rosedale linked it to the weaponization of the federal government against people on the right.
“The weaponization of our government must be STOPPED, which is why I sent a letter to ATF Director Dettelbach and IRS Commissioner Werfel demanding answers about this outrageous attack, and have used every tool available to me to remove funding for the 87,000 additional IRS agents!” Rep. Rosendale wrote in a Facebook post Friday.
I can’t say he’s wrong.
We’ve outlined a lot of shady things the ATF has been doing, including gathering data on people who have bought guns. Now, it seems the IRS has joined in the fun.
Then again, this is the same IRS that held up the non-profit status of groups critical of President Barack Obama, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see it join in the assault on gun ownership in this country.
Again, there’s no reason for those documents to have been taken. If the store was doing something wrong with regard to its taxes, that’s one thing. Seizing financial records would be in-line with what the IRS is supposed to do.
Taking 4473s isn’t.
What’s more, because it was the IRS, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the ATF swoop in and penalized the store for not having those records. It shouldn’t happen and would likely be thrown out in court, but that’s rather beside the point.
Our government isn’t our government anymore.