IRS Entry Shotguns

So you’ve probably seen by now that the IRS has procured a bunch of tricked out Remington 870 shotguns for their Criminal Investigative Division.  Reaction across the internet has ranged from “hey, that’s a cool gun” (because it is a pretty cool gun) to “whatinhell do they need those for” and then from our lunatic fringe the “OMFG the IRS is getting shotguns to shoot you in your sleep”.

I tend to fall into the “Hey, that’s a cool gun” department myself.  The IRS CID is just another alphabet soup LE agency that in this case reports to the Department of the Treasury.  They do have a pretty solid history though, as it was Treasury agents that brought down Al Capone and helped solve the Lindbergh kidnapping.  I guess I don’t get the outrage over them getting these guns – while I don’t support the militarization of police, if an alphabet soup agency wants to get some super-trick shotguns for their agents and entry teams, who cares?  If I were an IRS CID agent, I’d want a serious fighting shotgun too.

15 Comments

  1. I have to disagree (at risk of repeating comments possibly made elsewhere). It would be one thing if these were concealable pistols for agent safety, but unless the IRS is about to start breaking down doors and engaging hostile targets, they don’t need long guns. If they need to go knocking heads, use the local police or the FBI. Let’s keep our overmilitarization of government agencies contained as much as possible to those with at least a tenuous connection to violent crime.

    If they need shotguns, is there any reason to deny them trained snipers, urban assault vehicles, or the other things that police SWAT teams have? Once you give an offensive capability, how to you curtail it to “only” shotguns?

    I’m not one to argue that we’re about to see black helicopters and disappearings of those committing tax crimes, but when you give a person or agency tools they don’t need, those tools are more likely to be abused, to the detriment of others. Heck, if nothing else, in a budget crisis where are they getting the money for such luxuries?

  2. Well, the IRS already has entry teams that are using tactical shotguns – they’ve had entry/tac teams for a while now.

  3. A goodly portion of my problems with the 50 zillion law enforcement bodies in this nation would mollify greatly if we passed a simple common sense gun law:

    Governmental agencies may only possess and use weapons and tools allowed to civilians in the same jurisdiction.

    I can’t own the cool 870 shotty? No cool shotty for the IRS.

  4. Well, technically you can in fact own the 870 short barreled shotgun from a federal point of view.

    That’s a wonderful things, from a federal point of view.

    Except that in reality, Illinois still prohibits SBS as do some other states, so de-facto they still have toys that the average citizen can’t get…

  5. I’m in the “disarm all the feds except Secret Service” camp.

    The FBI is, after all, the Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATION. Once the investigation has a need for apprehending the bad guys, call the local PD or Sheriff’s office and have them take care of it.

    DOE can hire BlackWater (or whomever they are these days) or some such outfit to do the heavy lifting. Pinkerton?

    IRS can do the same. Ag? Puh-leeze. I admit that the Federal Marshals can be armed, unless we do away with them altogether. Why can’t the feebs take care of those duties?

    The feds need their teeth filed down and, in many cases, pulled. No *domestic* federal operators should be armed (outside of the Secret Service).

    Jon B.

    1. Interestingly enough, when Hoover really “started” the FBI, he didn’t want them to carry guns. It was the “war on crime” in the 30s and the FBI’s pursuit of Dillenger, et al that compelled them to start carrying firearms.

      And once the federal government gets a thing, good luck getting them to give it back.

  6. Caleb: The CID division of the IRS does indeed serve search warrants. They deal with crooked politicians, mobsters, large scale drug dealers. You generally have to be hiding more that $50,000 to even get a glimpse by this division.

    Most warrants are served in conjunction with appropriate law agencies, Local Leo’s and Federal. These are the guys that are digging into crime figures that are not paying their share to the Govt like the rest of us. But on a very large dollar amount of unreported and hidden income.

  7. Federal “law enforcement” is universally incompetent, cowardly, unconstitutional and dangerous, even when they’re not burning babies or shooting unarmed mothers in the face.

    I’m unaware of a single federal agent that does anything useful. They’d all rather harass harmless innocents like Red’s Trading Post instead of going after real criminals that might shoot back.

    Fuck ’em.

  8. I’d have absolutely no problem with it if I could go into my local gun store and buy the same gun tomorrow without any additional paper work or pain in the ass. But I can’t. Why? Because I’m not one of the ‘Chosen Ones’ with super tactical training that is necessary to operate a shotgun with a slightly shorter barrel than the one I own.

    Oh, an IRS CID is fail…their is already a federal criminal investigative agency. They go by FBI.

    1. Humorously enough, IRS CID actually predates the Feebs by about a dozen years or so. Admittedly, the CID was called the Treasury Intelligence Division and the FBI was the BoI, but that particular pissing contest has been going on since Hoover rolled into town.

  9. The Feebs, and the IRS should NOT be carrying. You need to serve a warrant or do dynamic entry? Get the US Marshals to do it.

    Or that’s what the country SHOULD be like according to the idyllic Libertarian USA I keep in my head.

  10. The IRS-CID has been packing heat , most especially shotguns for a very long time. I currently own a High Standard 12 guage in “riot gun” configuration (18″ bbl., extended magazine and rifle sights). It actually is old enough that it does not have a manufacturer’s serial number (pre ’68 gun control act). Since it has no serial number, the IRS engraved the receiver with IRS and a 4 digit number in order to track it in their system).

    The High Standard would have been the tactical shotgun of its day (see Steve Mcqueen’s use of one in “The Getaway” for a demo) and thus equivalent to the new Remington.

    In spite of all this history, I tend to agree with the general consensus that federal law enforcement is not all that the general public believes it to be, as far as competence (having worked with them on numerous occasions) and constitutionality (one more stretching of that damned “Interstate Commerce Claus”).

  11. I dont really like the idea of there being a million different agencies essentially serving the same kind of warrants. In all reality it doesn’t matter weather you arresting a tax cheat or a drug dealer the way you serve the warrant is pretty similar. So I would rather just see local LEO’s or US marshals do the job.

    But more on topic about these guns they are nice guns but I really wish they would have gone with 18in barrel just so they didnt have to be guns the rest of us cant have without all sorts of NFA paperwork.

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