REPORT: More Federal Agents Allowed to Carry Guns Than U.S. Marines

[Photo Credit: By Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie -, Public Domain,]

According to a new report from the Watchdog group Open The Books, entitled “The Militarization of The U.S. Executive Agencies, the federal government has been amassing firepower at an unprecedented pace, an initiative that has picked up significant steam since the Biden Administration took office.

The initiative has developed so much that it appears that there are now more federal employees authorized to carry weapons than U.S. marines.

More than 200,000 federal employees now have the ability to carry firearms and make arrests, outnumbering the 186,000 Americans serving in the United States Marine Corps.

According to the watchdog, even the the Department of Health and Human Services now possesses a significant arsenal of 1,300 weapons, including five submachine guns, 189 automatic rifles, and one shotgun.

Other government agencies that seemingly have nothing to do with activities involving firearms have also reportedly stocked up, with both NASA and the EPA building up independent arsenals.

The IRS reportedly had an arsenal of 4,500 firearms and five million rounds of ammunition, and this was before recent initiatives to even further arm the administrative state.

More than 100 executive agencies within the federal government now have agents authorized to carry firearms, a staggering number mad even more surprising by the fact that these agencies operate with little to no oversight.

Arming the federal bureaucracy is, for the most part, a new phenomenon: 74,500 federal agents had weapon power in 1996, a figure that has nearly quadrupled since then. Some of the rise can be attributed to agencies adopting responsibility for the security of their own properties.

One of the results of this arming of the federal bureaucracy has been freeing federal agencies to conduct their own criminal investigations without the need to consult local police authorities on the matter. Allowing federal agencies to conduct their own law enforcement, critics argue, eliminates a vital element of accountability that existed when unarmed federal investigators were required to work with local authorities.

Beyond concerns about encroachment on local authority however, there remains the bigger mystery about why the federal government has been so dead set on obtaining ever more weapons of war. The ostensible answer seems to indicate that it may be planning for a contingency in which it may have to use them, and not against a foreign adversary.

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