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Beware: The IRS Is Putting More and More Armed Agents in the Field

"A Career In Action! As an IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Special Agent, you will pull together your accounting and law enforcement skills. CI special agents are duly sworn law enforcement officers who investigate complex financial crimes associated with tax evasion, money laundering, narcotics, public corruption, and much more. Are You Ready For The Challenge?" – from

Now that sounds exciting. Part accountant… Part cop… All IRS. Opening soon at a theater near you.

But what would the Internal Revenue Service do with armed agents? We've already seen what the IRS can do when it's not packin' heat. They wield considerable power to collect taxes, or at least make lives miserable, so why would they require the extra coercive power of firearms?

The IRS doesn't exactly advertise the fact that they field armed, sworn officers, but they have been making more appearances lately.

Back in 2011, IRS and Department of Justice agents raided Gibson Guitar Corp. factories in Nashville and Memphis. The feds claimed that Gibson Guitars was trafficking in rare, endangered Indian hardwoods, and they seized huge amounts of inventory.

Outspoken Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said at the time that the government bureaucracy had gotten out of hand, and was furious at the undue attention and outright indignity visited upon his business.

A Potent New Enemy?

The affair turned Juszkiewicz into something of a cause célèbre among the conservative Glenn Beck/Tea Party crowd. Ironically, Juszkiewicz had no real history of championing conservative causes, rather he firmly walked the middle of the road. shows he contributed to a few industry lobbying groups, Democratic and Republican congressional campaigns alike. The government bought itself an outspoken, wealthy, politically savvy new critic, and all it had to do was stomp all over his livelihood and point guns at his employees.

The hotly contested wood, from India and destined to become Gibson fingerboards, isn't actually illegal in the United States. The government took these actions based on their interpretation of Indian law, presumably quite unbidden by the Indian government.

And to top it off, Gibson has a long history of cooperating with with groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Alliance to ensure their hardwoods are sourced from sustainable, legal sources.

More Money, More Problems

The plight of Gibson Guitars isn't the only thing that has the IRS up in arms, or taking up arms. There have been a few occasions where the public has been shocked by the appearance of gun-toting taxmen.

Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

  1. Steve | June 27, 2013

    Where will YOU be when the balloon goes up?

  2. Fred Yde | June 27, 2013

    If we heed the serious warning this message delivers, then we should all be clamoring, demanding, with sincere conviction the demise of the IRS. It doesn't need to be a violent or confrontational thing, just the passage of legislation that has the growing ( albeit so slowly) support of more legislators. It's just that no one seems to possess the courage to "get 'er dun". That courage will come when the people understand and insist that their congress people get off their little toad stools and bring The FairTax out of the Ways and Means Committee and bring it to a vote. One way that could happen is for newsletters like yours to quit dancing around the sensational and start to intelligently provide the information people need to understand this very simple bill. It can be read in an hour, unlike most of the legislation that comes before the House and Senate now. It has enormous potential to solve our revenue problems, including the huge unfunded liabilities in our entitlement programs. It eliminates the need for the fearfully ponderous and onerous IRS. Why we don't pass this bill is beyond the scope of logic. It is so simple and so easy to understand, but it goes relatively unnoticed by so many who could bring it to light. Would you please help do that?
    Thank-you, Fred Yde

    • Greg Madison | June 27, 2013

      Thanks for reading. We'll be following up on the Fair Tax Act (H.R. 25/S. 122). It's not necessarily perfect, but anything's better than business as usual. Stay tuned.

  3. Adam | June 27, 2013

    This is deeply disturbing. If any legislators have any shred of integrity or love for this country, they will do something about this abuse and threatening militarizing behavior.

  4. Jim | June 27, 2013

    Many federal agencies with enforcement powers have the authority to have agents armed. Unarmed park rangers have been shot; who would have thought that rangers in the national parks need to be armed for safety? Apparently, roads in wilderness areas are inflamatory issues to some. It does not take much imagination to understand the hatred and recrimination many feel to the IRS, EPA and other agencies. We have chosen to allow an open gun policy in this country; it would be shortsighted in many circumstances not to have federal agents armed. Remember that Al Capone was ultimately only arrested and prosecuted for income tax evasion. IRS agents can be in harm's way as much as the FBI or BATF.

  5. H. Craig Bradley | June 27, 2013

    Pay your pizzo on time or else.

  6. robert | June 27, 2013

    Tax cheats and cheap businessmen who believe that they owe nothing to their country all hate the IRS. Collecting taxes from some of these nuts will require armed defense of the agents.
    That's the American way.
    All the complicated unfairness in the tax code is not the doing of the IRS, our Congress is to blame.
    The voters are to blame for the Congress.
    That's the American way.

  7. George Hilbert | June 28, 2013

    Why are IRS agents carrying guns? Perhaps the answer is carried, in part at least, in's sister article "Hyperinflation in America: When a Loaf of Bread is $3 Billion" playing now. Just look for the link.

    All federal agents should be armed for their own safety, just as citizens should.

  8. Farley | June 29, 2013

    ……and now they are in charge of your health care…..

  9. H. Craig Bradley | June 29, 2013


    Ya, so what? All Federal employees who have the job title "criminal investigator" or "special agent" are armed, as are all State and local law enforcement personnel, as well. Big deal. If you owe the IRS and refuse to pay, they can freeze your bank account and do forced (armed) asset siezures, as well. They always had this authority, when needed.

    Three trillion dollar annual Federal budgets and a $ 17 Trillion dollar national debt and growing each year, the IRS needs this authority to collect taxes due. Accordingly, we all (voters) derserve the IRS we have. Reference: * Dr. Walter Williams, PhD Professor of Economics, George Mason University,

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