Fact-check: Is Biden arming up the IRS with guns & ammunition?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Jeff Cercone, PolitiFactAugust 17, 2022 2:08 pm,

From PolitiFact via the Austin American-Statesman:

A division of the IRS that has existed for more than a century is getting a lot of attention on social media and conservative media.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson led a segment on his Aug. 4, 2022, show by telling his audience to be worried because the government is “treating the IRS as a military agency” and “stockpiling” ammunition. He asked guest U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., “Why would the IRS need millions of dollars worth of guns and ammo?”

Gaetz replied, “Well, Joe Biden is raising taxes, disarming Americans, so of course they are arming up the IRS like they are preparing to take Fallujah.”

Gaetz’s comments about Biden came after Carlson cited reports from 2018 and 2020 about IRS spending on weapons and ammunition — expenditures that happened before Biden took office. Gaetz went on to say that the IRS has also spent $731,000 this year — he didn’t say specifically on what — “to quite literally weaponize your country against you.”

In June, Gaetz, who has co-sponsored a bill to prevent the IRS from purchasing ammunition, made a similar allegation in an interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters. Then he accused the Biden administration of suppressing access to ammunition “for regular Americans” while “scooping up all of the ammo they can possibly find.” In that interview, he said the IRS spent $725,000 this year on ammunition. He also cited that figure in a June press release about his bill.

A spokesperson for Gaetz did not return a request for comment regarding the grounds for his claim.

Here’s what we know: The IRS did spend about $725,000 on ammunition this year. But that is not unusual, and is actually a bit less than what was spent in other recent years. These purchases are not new or unique to the Biden administration — they have been made for an IRS division that has been armed for more than a century. …

Read the full story at the Austin American-Statesman, and listen to an interview with PolitiFact Texas’ Nusaiba Mizan in the audio player above.

Radio interview produced by Kristen Cabrera

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