In response, a group of GOP lawmakers in Congress announced that they are working to at least demilitarize the perpetually expanding army of regulatory bureaucrats. Supporters of the effort said it would be a good start in reining in Leviathan.
The legislation, dubbed the “Regulatory Agency Demilitarization” (RAD) Act, was introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (shown in photo, R-Utah) (Freedom Index: 56). If approved, it would prohibit a broad array of federal agencies from purchasing and using guns and SWAT teams to enforce regulations. The only agencies that would be exempt are those with traditional military or law enforcement functions — the departments of Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, along with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S. Capitol Police, and a handful of others.
Like other Americans — and especially the victims of federal abuses — Rep. Stewart has become alarmed at the explosive growth of paramilitary bureaucracies. “It's disturbing to see the stories of federal regulators armed to the teeth and breaking into homes and businesses when there was no reason to think there would be resistance,” Rep. Stewart said in a statement. “I understand that federal agents must be capable of protecting themselves. But what we have observed goes far beyond providing necessary protection.”
If passed, the bill, H.R. 4934, would repeal the firearm and arrest authority that supporters of the measure argue were “arbitrarily” granted to dozens of federal agencies in the 2002 Homeland Security Act. That means no more machine guns, grenades, masks, warrior costumes, and other military weaponry for regulators to be used against Americans. The legislation would also direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to detail all of the federal agencies with units that receive special tactical or military-style training and respond to situations that fall outside the capabilities of regular law enforcement.
Among the myriad, already militarized bureaucracies that would be affected by the ban on militarization: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Education (ED), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Park Service (NPS), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FSW), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and more.
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Photo of Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah): AP Images