USDA explains why they need sub-machine guns


I posted a story last week about plans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Inspector Generals Office to purchase .40 caliber sub-machine guns.

I asked them to explain why they need the firepower, and how many they were seeking to purchase.

Paul Feeney, Deputy Counsel, USDA OIG, responded last night in an email, six usdadays after I made my request for more info.

It’s pure bureaucratese, and Feeney never said how many sub-guns the agency is seeking to purchase. However, he wrote that USDA OIG special agents are basically cops, and respond to “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.”


Woe be onto the poor farmer who falsifies a farm loan request, or who claims he has more CRP acres than he actually does.

Here’s the correspondence Feeney sent:

Hi Lee; 

I work on the legal staff of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at USDA, which issued the procurement solicitation you inquired about.

Our procurement staff provided me w/ some of the emails they received from inquirers who read about the solicitation. 

Thus I wanted to send you the comment OIG has been providing to folks who have contacted us.

If you’re interested in further information about the activities of USDA’s OIG, we do provide all OIG audit reports, Congressional testimonies, annual reports, and special products to the public via posting them on our website homepage when they are released.

If you wish to review information specifically about the activities of our Investigations division, we provide extensive summary & statistical information in the twice-yearly, ‘Semiannual Reports to Congress,’ which are also available on our website homepage.  We also regularly issue ‘Investigation Developments Bulletins’  that summarize recent developments/outcomes from our investigations. 

Thank you for your inquiry to USDA regarding the procurement notices.  

Paul Feeney

Deputy Counsel, USDA OIG

OIG Comment on Procurement Solicitations:

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) received inquiries regarding a recent OIG solicitation for a weapons procurement.  The procurement pertains to OIG’s effort to replace automatic firearms with new semi-automatic firearms.  

The Inspector General Act of 1978 authorized OIG to, among other duties, pursue criminal activity, fraud, and abuses impairing USDA’s program and operations.   The criminal investigation responsibilities and impact of OIG are quite extensive—from fiscal year 2012 through March 2014, OIG investigations pertaining to USDA operations have obtained over 2,000 indictments, 1,350 convictions, and over $460 million in monetary results.  OIG Special Agents are authorized to make arrests, execute warrants, and carry firearms. 

Regarding the need for weapons’ procurements, OIG’s Investigations division conducts hundreds of criminal investigations each year, some of which involve OIG agents, USDA employees, and/or members of the public facing potentially life threatening situations.   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.     


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Pingback: USDA explains why they need sub-machine guns | The Gun Feed

  2. Why do they need Weapons Of War, when there are 100’s a agencies whose job it is to stop crime and protect federal agents (who already have handguns and shotguns)?

  3. I do not believe Feeney. Sub machine guns needed in case farmers commit fraud on farm loans? Does Feeney not plan to use the court system anymore? The same applies to bribery and extortion. What did the USDA do in the past? What did the USDA employees do when threatened? I can see them being armed, just like the public has a right to self defense, but machine guns? What’s the real agenda?

  4. The answer is simple: This — and all the other federal agencies buying weapons and ammunition by the truckload — constitute Obama’s personal “Civilian Military” he claims he wants, since he can’t trust the real military to do his bidding. Federal agents transfer back and forth and around federal agencies like musical chairs. One day he thinks he will invoke martial law and activate these guys to enforce it. He’s wrong: These guys are sworn to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, not the government, nor the First Marxist Emperor In Charge, just like the real military. Half of these guys won’t play his game, and the other half will be an incompetent and target-rich environment. I hope we can forestall the coming fight by getting his Marxist Mafia sycophants out of Congress this November and him out by impeachment shortly after, and then arrested, tried for at least impersonating a federal officer, and preferably for Treason, and put away for a long time if not the gallows.

  5. Pingback: Trial on the Road – Pointless Agricultural Bureau Edition | Trial of the Century

  6. The whole thing is simple. They have been talking about a food shortage coming in the very near future and this is how they will protect what food is left for themselves. We are being screwed good this time.

  7. As a usda inspector I must tell you that we haven’t been told anything! We did notice that they are hiring over 600 people for animal health and safety but they will be sent to Fort Campbell, KY. We are curious as well!

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  9. When did the agriculture department obtain arrest powers? It is my understanding that they are an inspection and regulatory agency. They are suppose to call in the local sheriff or FBI for anything having to do with an arrest. When did this change?

    But then again, the same thing happened with the BLM, Forestry Service and EPA. They all seem to have armed themselves since Obama has taken office.

    Does any of this seem like Nazi Germany to you like it does for me?

    • virgil cooper on

      Well cabman86 I’m with you it seems like everyone in gov. today is armed to the teeth. If we could look back before obama was elected the 1st. time he talked about a non military enforcement or protection unit of some kind and the home land security bunch emerged to protect us. And they did by coming to our aid and hauling off 400 head of cattle that a family had grazed on that land gov. land, our land for over 100 years. And to protect us again armed to the teeth H.L.S.showes up full battle gear, more than our military wears when they go onto battle and snipers of un known numbers on the hill tops. With rifles trained on us to protect us from us? Seems like obamas nonmilitary unit was quite willing to kill us unarmed citizens while rustling a citizens cattle. If you keep digging you will find out why this all took place harry reid was a major player there was also a Japanese corp. and a son in law involved . Happy hunting!

  10. I live in Arizona, Paul Gosar is our rep. here, and is pro gun in every way. Rep Gosar serves on the Congressional Sportsmen’s caucus, which promotes the sportsmen’s agenda in congress. The reason I bring this up is because I find it suspicious that he is so involved in the financial process involving weapons. Here in AZ he is publicly inviting gun maker Remington arms to relocate to AZ because of New York’s stringent gun laws. Now he is reallocating money to buy weapons for the USDA?? This only took me 5 minutes to find out, imagine if someone really looked into this issue!

  11. Pingback: Department of Agriculture Procuring Sub-Machine Guns

  12. Pingback: Yes, I am disturbed! Why is the USDA arming intself with submachine guns? | Real Food Houston

  13. Pingback: Congress working on bill to de-militarize federal regulatory agencies « The Progressive Mind

  14. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little research on this.
    And he in fact ordered me dinner because I found
    it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your web page.

  15. Jezeli o mi chgodzi owo w polaczeniu salon-kuchnia ktore zawsze istnieje technicznie męczące jest zaa duzo elementow.

    Drewno o chaar str- beton tynk- korian- mdf (polysk)- pszczelne kafelki w kuchni- tapeta?
    na scianie z oknem. Zrezygnujcie z czegos

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