A key conservative in Congress who now is retired warned America back in 1997, when Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office, of problems that would develop with an armed Bureau of Land Management.
He also said there would be problems with the weaponization of the Internal Revenue Service, the use of the feared federal agency to attack critics of the Washington bureaucracy or the White House agenda.
And the warning from then-Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, quoted WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah, who then was running the Western Journalism Center in Sacramento and had researched the massive number of federal officers Washington was arming.
Paul, whose son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is a leading contender for the GOP nomination for president in 2016, warned Congress: "Thanks to a recent article by Joseph Farah, director of the Western Journalism Center of Sacramento, California, appearing in the Houston Chronicle, the surge in the number of armed federal bureaucrats has been brought to our attention. Farah points out that in 1996 alone, at least 2,439 new federal cops were authorized to carry firearms. That takes the total up to nearly 60,000. Farah points out that these cops were not only in agencies like the FBI, but include the EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Even Bruce Babbitt, according to Farah, wants to arm the Bureau of Land Management. Farah logically asks, 'When will the NEA have its armed art cops?' This is a dangerous trend."
Paul said it's "ironic that the proliferation of guns in the hands of the bureaucrats is pushed by the anti-gun fanatics who hate the Second Amendment and would disarm every law-abiding American citizen."
"Yes, we need gun control. We need to disarm our bureaucrats, then abolish the agencies. If government bureaucrats like guns that much, let them seek work with the NRA," he said.
"Force and intimidation are the tools of tyrants. Intimidation with government guns, the threat of imprisonment, and the fear of harassment by government agents puts fear into the hearts of millions of Americans. Four days after Paula Jones refused a settlement in her celebrated suit, she received notice that she and her husband would be audited for 1995 taxes. Since 1994 is the current audit year for the IRS, the administration's denial that the audit is related to the suit is suspect, to say the least."
Armed BLM officers were in the headlines this month for a raid on a family-run Nevada ranch where there was a dispute over the use of federal land to graze cattle, as his family had been doing since before there was a BLM.
The IRS has been collecting all sorts of unwanted publicity since it was revealed last year that agents had targeted conservative and Christian organizations applying for tax status in preparation for the 2012 presidential race. Congressional investigators still haven't reached the bottom of the mystery of who ordered the moves by the federal government against groups and individuals.
Federal bureaucrats said rancher Cliven Bundy owes more than $1 million in fees for using the land. Bundy argues that he would pay the fees to the state, whose land he was using, not the federal government.
The raid of armed federal agents was met with hundreds of armed volunteers who defended Bundy. The federal bureaucrats withdrew amid threats from Senated Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that the federal attack was far from over. He described the rancher and his friends as domestic terrorists.
Rep. Paul pointed out that there is a real fear in the United States of armed federal agents, because of the "police state mentality" that triggered the killings Ruby Ridge and Waco byÂ federal officers.
"Under the Constitution, there was never meant to be a federal police force," Paul said. "Even an FBI limited only to investigations was not accepted until this century. Yet today, fueled by the federal government's misdirected war on drugs, radical environmentalism, and the aggressive behavior of the nanny state, we have witnessed the massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators prowling the states where they have no legal authority."
Paul said the "sacrifice of individual responsibility and the concept of local government by the majority of American citizens has permitted the army of bureaucrats to thrive."
"The enforcement of the interventionist state requires a growing army of bureaucrats," he said. "Since groups demanding special favors from the federal government must abuse the rights and property of those who produce wealth and cherish liberty, real resentment is directed at the agents who come to eat out our substance. The natural consequence is for the intruders to arm themselves to protect against angry victims of government intrusion."
A recent Fox News report confirmed that as of about 18 months ago, federal agencies had some 120,000 full-time officers carrying guns, double the number reported in 1997.
At the Freedom Outpost blog, Tim Brown commented: "Well, we now have seen a massive amount of ammunition being solicited for by various federal agencies, from the Social Security Administration to various departments under the authority of Homeland Security to agencies such as DOC, NOAA, NMFS, OLE, and NED.
"Even the postal service is in on the purchase of guns and ammo, while the IRS trains with AR-15s," he continued.
"Ron Paul has been warning America for decades of its foolish decisions regarding monetary policy, foreign policy and yes, the growing tyrannical police state. I'd say the recent standoff, killing of cattle, violence against American citizens and armed federal agents building up in Nevada against the Bundys are validation that Paul has been right all along."
One of the biggest recurring headlines in recent months has been the multiple massive ammunition purchases on the part of the federal government.
WND reported months ago that the federal agencies drew the ire of Congress by sucking up ammunition supplies so fast that citizens and even police forces have been unable to meet their own needs.
One big purchase was for the Transportation Security Administration, which doesn't even arm most of its agents.
The FedBizOpps.gov website reports that the TSA is seeking to purchase nearly 3.5 million rounds of .347 SIG caliber training ammunition. Weapons experts told WND the .347 is an unknown caliber, and the document likely contained a mistake, instead intending to reference a .357 caliber.
But then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted that the federal government was drying up ammunition supplies.
She was asked by a House panel about the huge government purchases, estimated to be in the range of 1.6 billion rounds, enough for many years of war at the rate ammunition is used by the U.S. military.
Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., wanted to know whether the reports were accurate.
"This was a five-year strategic sourcing contract for up to one-point-whatever billion rounds," she confirmed.
Calculations done by the Washington Examiner suggest the reported 1.6 billion rounds would be enough for "something like a 24-year supply of ammunition on hand."
Other consumers of ammunition, however, from the weekend hunter to police departments, are finding the shelves bare.