Why Is the USDA Buying Submachine Guns?

Modern Farmer – by Charles McFarlane

“Submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot bur[s]t trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsib[l]e or folding, magazine – 30 rd. capacity.”

In May, the USDA’s Office of Inspector General filed a requestfor these weapons. But why exactly do they need them?

According to a USDA press rep, the guns are necessary for self-protection.  

“OIG Special Agents regularly conduct undercover operations and surveillance. The types of investigations conducted by OIG Special Agents include criminal activities such as fraud in farm programs; significant thefts of Government property or funds; bribery and extortion; smuggling; and assaults and threats of violence against USDA employees engaged in their official duties,” wrote a USDA spokesperson.

Those seem like legitimate enforcement activities, but still: submachine guns? Not everyone believes the USDA being armed to the teeth is justifiable. On Aug. 2, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund launched a petition to support a bill that would curb the ability of agencies like the USDA to arm themselves. They see it as overkill and scare tactics, especially for smaller producers.

‘What we have seen happen, with the FDA especially, is they have come onto small farms, raw milk producers, and raided the heck out of them with armed agents present.’

“What we have seen happen, with the FDA especially, is they have come onto small farms, raw milk producers, and raided the heck out of them with armed agents present,” says Liz Reitzig, co-founder of the Farm Food Freedom Coalition. “Do we really want to have our federal regulatory agencies bring submachine guns onto these family farms with children?”

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund petition focuses on two now infamous blows to the raw milk community – the 2010 and 2011 raids on Rawsome Food Club in Venice, California. These raids were carried out by armed federal agents, from the FDA and other agencies.

The OIG’s Investigation Development bulletins show there have been three incidents in the last year that involved firearms and two in which USDA agents were verbally threatened. Still, most of their enforcement operations surround white-collar fraud of government programs, often involving SNAP programs. “If there is fraud in the SNAP program, look at how it is implemented and make changes in the entire program,” says Reitzig. “Don’t bring machine guns onto farms.”

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund are not the only ones interested in taking guns out of the hands of USDA agents. Utah Congressman Chris Stewart is the sponsor of the bill on the FTCLDF petition. “At its heart it comes down to this: To myself, and for a lot of Americans, there is great concern over regulator agencies with heavy handed capabilities,” Rep. Stewart told Modern Farmer.

His bill, H.R. 4934, hopes “to prohibit certain federal agencies from using or purchasing certain firearms, and for other purposes.” When asked about the USDA’s plan for submachine guns, he said, “I can’t envision a scenario where what they are doing would require that.”

Another concern is simply accountability. The request for submachine guns from the USDA doesn’t say how many guns — asking them seems like a non-starter. “They have been very unhelpful in trying to find out any information about this,” said Rep. Stewart. “We couldn’t get answers — it doesn’t seem right to me.”

However, he also cautioned: “We have never argued that federal regulators don’t need to protect themselves.” But if USDA investigations were perceived to be potentially violent he suggested, “They should do what the rest of us do, call the local sheriff.”


7 thoughts on “Why Is the USDA Buying Submachine Guns?

  1. Pathetic.

    Why is the USDA buying submachine guns?

    Well, why are all of the other agencies buying guns? It’s to continue with their police state. DUH!

    I wish people would stop asking dumb questions and coming up with ridiculous answers when all they need to do is state the truth. I mean, it’s not like the sheeple will do anything anyways. They’ll still just sit at home watching their favorite sports game on the Idiotbox with a jug of popcorn and a beer.

  2. OK, so if they are poisoning the air you breath, then they also are poisoning the air they breath. Am I missing something ? Sounds like pooping in your own food, or pissing in your own water. I suppose they are immune somehow, to survive while we die. Fukushima is poisoning their ocean too. I suppose they eat different food also, how far do we go with this. If they plan to kill us off, they are in for a big surprise. Humans are not that easy to kill, especially those of us with solid faith. I think they are floundering like the lost children they are. They keep having to punt, so they haven’t won yet. Are they just nut jobs, or do they have an edge ? Help me out here, just want to understand is all.

    1. cord,
      Your name is as phony as they come. Go back and tell your boss that the people on this site just aren’t that f#@king stupid. And tell this insurgency you are working for that their end is coming…….soon.

  3. I’m losing hope there are any good people left on this inside. things are going downhill fast and nothing has been done for a long time.

  4. USDA is preparing for food rationing. Obama will ration our food and send the rest to his third world dictator buddies.

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