A bill introduced in the House aims to “stems the trend of federal regulatory agencies developing SWAT-like teams,” the office of Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah announced in a press release issued on June 23 but just recently starting to gain notice in the gun rights advocacy community.
“In recent years, numerous federal regulatory agencies – including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Agency and the Department of Education – have created their own special law enforcement teams to conduct their own arrests and raids. This is in part a product of the 2002 Homeland Security Act, which gave most Offices of Inspector General arrest and firearm authority,” the press release explained.
"It's disturbing to see the stories of federal regulators armed to the teeth and breaking into homes and businesses when there was no reason to think there would be resistance," the release quoted Rep. Stewart. ““I understand that federal agents must be capable of protecting themselves. But what we have observed goes far beyond providing necessary protection. When there are genuinely dangerous situations involving federal law, that’s the job of the Department of Justice, not regulatory agencies like the FDA or the Department of Education. Not only is it overkill, but having these highly-armed units within dozens of agencies is duplicative, costly, heavy handed, dangerous and destroys any sense of trust between citizens and the federal government.”
In response, Stewart has introduced H.R. 4934, the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act, “To prohibit certain Federal agencies from using or purchasing certain firearms, and for other purposes.” Per the press release, the bill:
1. Repeals the arrest and firearm authority granted to Offices of Inspectors General in the 2002 Homeland Security Act.
2. Prohibits federal agencies, other than those traditionally tasked with enforcing federal law—such as the FBI and U.S. Marshals, from purchasing machine guns, grenades, and other weaponry regulated under the National Firearms Act.
3. Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to write a complete report detailing all federal agencies, including Offices of Inspectors General, with specialized units that receive special tactical or military-style training and that respond to high-risk situations that fall outside the capabilities of regular law enforcement officers.
“The militarization of agencies is only a symptom of a much deeper and more troubling problem within Washington – that the federal government no longer trusts the American people,” Stewart said, citing examples of abuses and paramilitary raids in response to such “threats” to the Republic as raids on an organic grocery selling raw milk, on an individual suspected of student loan fraud, and on a small Alaska mining company suspected of Clean Water Act violations.
“When all of us feel that we are no longer seen as citizens but as potential dangerous suspects – a relationship of trust is impossible,” Stewart observed.
That brings us to another interesting series of observations. Stewart, and each of the 28 co-sponsors of the bill, are Republicans. Not a single Democrat, particularly among the most rabid citizen disarmament cultists, has seen fit to add their name to the list and to become a leader for reining in an all-pervasive prospective monopoly of violence.
They don’t trust you with guns, but if it’s an agent for the DOE, or the FDA -- or you name the department, its ostensible reason for being and its Constitutional basis for even existing -- the “progressives” can’t arm them enough. That’s curious when you consider they present themselves as champions of the people and the Second Amendment provides true egalitarian power sharing. It’s also the ultimate check and balance against a tyranny they scoff at any hint of, all the while “sen[ding] hither swarms of [masked, armored and militarily-equipped] Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”
The insatiable lust for control helps explain why, per the GovTrack government transparency website, the bill has been parked in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the prognosis is that it only has a “9% chance of getting past committee [and a] 3% chance of being enacted.”
Those in power have no intention of doing anything but increasing it for themselves and lessening it for those they “serve.” Based on the results of 29 bill proponents out of a 435-voting member House of Representatives, that sorry assessment includes most “Republicans” as well.
If you're a regular Gun Rights Examiner reader and believe it provides news and perspectives you won't find in the mainstream press, please subscribe to this column and help spread the word by sharing links, promoting it on social media like Facebook (David Codrea) and Twitter (@dcodrea), and telling your like-minded friends about it. And for more commentary, be sure to visit "The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance."
The seat of government is a mighty curious place to set up a Constitution-free zone. “On-Again, Off-Again” is my latest GUNS Magazine “Rights Watch” column, noting the bizarre turns taken to date in the Palmer case.
My latest JPFO Alert, “Why Not Offer a 'Third Way' to Let Doctors Ask About Guns?” offers a prescription for immunizing gun owners against agenda-driven gun quacks in states that have not yet enacted appropriate boundary violation protections.
NRA and NSSF were for it? GOA was against it? “Why Gun Groups Supported, and Opposed, Failed Hunting and Conservation Bill” is my latest offering on The Shooters Log.