By James Simpson, Examiner
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just submitted an acquisition request for .40 caliber submachine guns. Who will be using them? The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service? The Federal Crop Insurance Agency? The Food Safety and Inspection Service? Will they use them to shoot rats in food warehouses and grain elevators?
There is only one agency within the USDA that could justify the need for such weapons, the U.S. Forest Service. This is because much illegal activity goes on in national forests, over which the Forest Service has jurisdiction. This includes illegal poaching, marijuana cultivation, and other crimes. Some of those people are armed and dangerous. One might expect this to be a DEA or FBI responsibility, because of the drug nexus, but forest rangers know the terrain best. If it is for the Forest Service, then there at least is a rationale. Calls to the USDA to confirm this, however, have been so far unanswered.
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