TIGTA recently audited and reported on the firearm policies of the Criminal Investigation (CI) division of the IRS and found them to be somewhat lacking. Usually I like to focus on tax relief, but this has got to be the strangest TIGTA report I have ever seen. I couldn’t pass it up.
CI special agents are a unique breed, to say the least. They are like the offspring of two completely opposite carreers: one’s tools are a pocket protector and calculator, and the other’s are a bullet proof vest and concealed handgun. These are probably guys who really wanted to be FBI or CIA but ended up at the IRS instead. And, let’s face it, a tax attorney probably sees as much action as they do. They aren’t chasing down drug dealers; they are apprehending people who cheated on their taxes or who are running from a massive tax debt. They definitely aren’t firing their weapons on a regular basis, so it’s no huge surprise to me that the firearm policies are subpar.
Their firearms qualification passage rate is pretty high; that’s not the problem. TIGTA’s report has more to do with CI putting in place consistent policies and consequences. The scenario that really stood out to me was what to do when a CI special agent accidentally discharges his firearm! The report states that this is not a common occurence, but according to the report, there are more accidental discharges than intentional discharges!
During fiscal years 2009-2011, there were a total of 19 reported discharge incidents in all of CI; 8 intentional and 11 accidental. Is is just me or does this report make CI agents look like a bunch of clowns?