Government Gone Militant: 70 Federal Agencies Have Armed Divisions Including The EPA

The recent uproar over armed EPA agents descending on a tiny Alaska mining  town is shedding light on the fact that 40 federal agencies – including nearly a  dozen typically not associated with law enforcement — have armed divisions.

The agencies employ about 120,000 full-time officers authorized to carry guns  and make arrests, according to a June 2012 Justice  Department report.

Though most Americans know agents within the Drug Enforcement Agency and the  Federal Bureau of Prisons carry guns, agencies such as the Library of Congress  and Federal Reserve Board employing armed officers might come as a surprise.

The incident  that sparked the renewed interest and concern occurred in late August when a  team of armed federal and state officials descended on the tiny Alaska gold  mining town of Chicken, Alaska.

The Environmental Protection Agency, whose armed agents in full body armor  participated, acknowledged taking part in the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task  Force investigation, which it said was conducted to look for possible violations  of the Clean Water Act.

However, EPA officials denied the operation was a “raid” and didn’t address  speculation about whether it was connected to possible human and drug  trafficking.

“Imagine coming up to your diggings, only to see agents swarming over it like  ants, wearing full body armor, with jackets that say “POLICE” emblazoned on  them, and all packing side arms,” gold miner C.R. Hammond told the Alaska  Dispatch.

The other federal agencies participating in the operation were the FBI, the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Coast Guard,  the National Oceanic and the Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Park  Service.

The FBI, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Park  Service are among 24 federal agencies employing more than 250 full-time armed  officers with arrest authority, according the federal report, which is based on  the 2008 Census of Federal Law Enforcement Officers.

The other 16 agencies have less than 250 officers and include NOAA as well as  the Library of Congress, the Federal Reserve Board and the National Institutes  of Health.

The number of federal department with armed personnel climbs to 73 when  adding in the 33 offices of inspector general, the government watchdogs for  agencies as large as the Postal Service to the Government Printing Office, whose  IG has only five full-time officers.

The EPA defended its use of armed officers, after the Alaska incident.

“Environmental law enforcement, like other forms of law enforcement, always  involves the potential for physical, even armed, confrontation,” the agency  said.

But Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has already ordered an investigation,  saying “This level of intrusion and intimidation of Alaskans is absolutely  unacceptable.”

In addition, Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Republican, and Mark Begich,  Democrat, have inquired about the incident.

Murkowski said purported concerns about rampant drug and human trafficking in  the area sounded “wholly concocted” to her.

“This seems to have been a heavy-handed and heavy-armor approach. Why was it  so confrontational? The EPA really didn’t have any good answers for this,” she  told the newspaper.

This is not the first time armed EPA guards have been accused of intimidating  behavior.

In May 2012, North Carolina resident Larry Keller was visited by armed EPA  agents after sending an email to Al Armendariz, the regional administrator who  was video-taped saying his enforcement strategy was to “crucify” executives from  big oil and gas companies.

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  • Abby

    Why don’t we know this til its already done. This is nuts.

    • Dominic De Falco

      Can you say: “Liberal Agenda?”

      • http://www.FreeRepublic.com/home.htm Jim Soden

        Liberal Agenda. I said it! I said it! I call lower bunk, first row in my local FEMA CAMP!!! ;-)

        • Dominic De Falco

          So Jim, Have you given up? I will die before I end up in a FEMA camp!
          If people do not stop this administration from converting and arming people for his Obama’s agenda, FEMA Camps will be the next cycle for America. It is almost like American’s now want this new cycle!

          • http://www.FreeRepublic.com/home.htm Jim Soden

            No, my new friend! It’s just my gallows humor…it’s my sarcastic/nervous method for dealing with a situation where we are being “governed” by a Kenyan with a hard-on for Islam! ;-)

          • Dominic De Falco

            I hear you. LOL

          • Dominic De Falco

            I hear you. LOL

        • Dominic De Falco

          So Jim, Have you given up? I will die before I end up in a FEMA camp!
          If people do not stop this administration from converting and arming people for his Obama’s agenda, FEMA Camps will be the next cycle for America. It is almost like American’s now want this new cycle!

      • http://www.FreeRepublic.com/home.htm Jim Soden

        Liberal Agenda. I said it! I said it! I call lower bunk, first row in my local FEMA CAMP!!! ;-)

    • Dominic De Falco

      Can you say: “Liberal Agenda?”

  • Dominic De Falco

    Interesting that some of us in 2000 predicted a fully armed Government and a disarmed citizen populace by 2020 would actually live to see it come true!

  • Dominic De Falco

    Interesting that some of us in 2000 predicted a fully armed Government and a disarmed citizen populace by 2020 would actually live to see it come true!

  • Dominic De Falco

    Interesting that some of us in 2000 predicted a fully armed Government and a disarmed citizen populace by 2020 would actually live to see it come true!

  • joe

    This viewpoint puzzles the libertarian in me. Why do these authors obsess over the physical trappings of the officers with silly, MSNBC-like “full body armor” hysterics? I’m a local cop and it sounds like the drivel that hippies gush anytime they see authority. What should be concerning are the investigations, the warrants and the laws themselves, not “full body armor” (what the hell does that even mean?). If you send cops to make arrests in places where citizens have guns, those cops are gonna need guns, too. Big freaking deal. The question needs to be why are the investigations happening in the first place?

    Citizens can have guns, again, big deal. But if you’re going to ask me to take official action with them, I’m going to stack the deck in my favor. Jeez, is this news to anyone who’s ever been in the military? Don’t want to see that stacked deck? Awesome, change the law so that no one’s getting arrested in that situation. You want disarmed cops? Move to another country where no one has guns. I prefer an armed citizenry to keep the government in check, and I prefer to have guns to protect myself from bad people who also have guns. Welcome to life in America.

    The growth in BS federal agencies with sworn agents is reflection of increased enforcement, not militarization. It would be awesome if the libertarian crowd could start sounding less like Piers Morgan (ooh, black body armor “emblazoned”!!!!! with POLICE, military assault rifles (meaning AR15s)). The obsession with the cosmetics weakens the real argument, which is that the regulatory state is out of control.

    • Edward Ebersole

      Well put.

    • Edward Ebersole

      Well put.

    • Gaines Bruce

      So what exactly did they fine and expect at a mining company? This was far from a terrorist camp.

    • Gaines Bruce

      So what exactly did they fine and expect at a mining company? This was far from a terrorist camp.

    • Gaines Bruce

      So what exactly did they fine and expect at a mining company? This was far from a terrorist camp.

    • Dominic De Falco

      Interesting statement,… If I am understanding it correctly.

      “But if you’re going to ask me to take official action with them, I’m going to stack the deck in my favor.”

    • Dominic De Falco

      Interesting statement,… If I am understanding it correctly.

      “But if you’re going to ask me to take official action with them, I’m going to stack the deck in my favor.”

  • http://www.FreeRepublic.com/home.htm Jim Soden

    Why are all of you REPUBLICAN FASCISTS raging over a “little” Federal Government oversight? What are you afraid of?

    After all…it’s for the “children”! ;-)

    Let me guess…you PEOPLE think that our beloved President is a Homosexual, Communist, Muslim, Traitorous, All-around-DORK, and Illegal Alien! What NERVE!

    Well. O.K. You’re right. Sorry ’bout that…

    ;-) Laughter is the best medicine…especially when we are all certainly facing the prospect of living out our lives in FEMA Camps…or worse! ;-)

  • http://www.FreeRepublic.com/home.htm Jim Soden

    Why are all of you REPUBLICAN FASCISTS raging over a “little” Federal Government oversight? What are you afraid of?

    After all…it’s for the “children”! ;-)

    Let me guess…you PEOPLE think that our beloved President is a Homosexual, Communist, Muslim, Traitorous, All-around-DORK, and Illegal Alien! What NERVE!

    Well. O.K. You’re right. Sorry ’bout that…

    ;-) Laughter is the best medicine…especially when we are all certainly facing the prospect of living out our lives in FEMA Camps…or worse! ;-)

  • Herbert

    Unless California Gov Brown vetos AB 169, it will be illegal to buy, sell, loan or give away any handgun made after 1898 without microstamping and listing on the Approved Firearms Roster. So those jack boots will have as little opposition as they did in Adolf Hitler’s Germany in 1935.

  • oldgoatee

    Wasn’t that a movie with Steven Seagal?

  • oldgoatee

    Wasn’t that a movie with Steven Seagal?

  • GRAMPA

    These armed people may work for the government but first and foremost they are citizens. These people have family and relatives. Will they be willing to come together when our government says to fire on other citizens? I dont think so. they may get small groups to go after private citizens but when it gets to large the rest of the citizens will come together and we will have revolution. Does our government really think we are not watching. Do they think we dont know where all this ammo is stored? Our government runs on communication do they think we cant interrupt it? Who is giving these people in government the ideas that they could actually take this country by force. This is why they must do it quietly and without notice. Too late we see what you are doing and we can stop you. God help America.
    Grampa

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