Firearms and Arrest Authority of Federal Agencies

dated August 02, 2012

US Capitol Police officer guards Capitol Building after Phoenix, AZ shooting

US Capitol Police officer guards Capitol Building after Phoenix, AZ shooting – Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than a few eyebrows were raised when the U.S. Department of Education purchased 27 police-grade shotguns. However, the Department of Education is just one of 73 federal government agencies employing full-time law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry firearms and make arrests in the United States.

Brief Overview

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ latest (2008) Census of Federal Law Enforcement Officers, the combined federal government agencies employ about 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry firearms and make arrests. That is roughly the equivalent of 40 officers per 100,000 U.S. residents. By comparison, there is one member of the U.S. Congress per 700,000 residents.

Federal Law Enforcement Officers are authorized by law to perform four specific functions:

  • conduct criminal investigations,
  • execute search warrants,
  • make arrests, and
  • carry firearms.

From 2004 to 2008, the number of federal law enforcement officers with arrest and firearms authority grew by 14%, or about 15,000 officers. The federal agencies also employ nearly 1,600 officers in the U.S. territories, primarily in Puerto Rico.

The Census of Federal Law Enforcement Officers does not include data on officers in the

  • U.S. Armed Forces, or the
  • Central Intelligence Agency and the
  • Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Air Marshals Service, due to national security restrictions.

The number of Federal Law Enforcement Officers has increased rapidly in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since the 9/11/2001 attacks the ranks of Federal Law Enforcement Officers grew from about 88,000 in 2000, to about 120,000 in 2008.

Front Line Federal Law Enforcement Agencies

Excluding 33 Offices of Inspectors General, 24 federal agencies each employed more than 250 full-time personnel with firearm and arrest authority in 2008. Indeed, law enforcement is the main function of most of these agencies. Few people would be surprised to see field agents of the Border Patrol, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service or the Secret Service carrying guns and making arrests. The complete list includes:

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (36,863 officers)
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons (16,835)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (12,760)
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (12,446)
  • U.S. Secret Service (5,213)
  • Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (4,696)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (4,308)
  • U.S. Marshals Service (3,313)
  • Veterans Health Administration (3,128)
  • Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (2,636)
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (2,541)
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service (2,288)
  • U.S. Capitol Police (1,637)
  • National Park Service – Rangers (1,404)
  • Bureau of Diplomatic Security (1,049)
  • Pentagon Force Protection Agency (725)
  • U.S. Forest Service (644)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (598)
  • National Park Service – U.S. Park Police (547)
  • National Nuclear Security Administration (363)
  • U.S. Mint Police (316)
  • Amtrak Police (305)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (277)
  • Bureau of Land Management (255)

From 2004 to 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) added more than 9,000 officers, the largest increase at any federal agency. A majority of the CBP increase occurred in the Border Patrol, which added more than 6,400 officers during the 4-year period.

Officers of the Veterans Health Administration need arrest and firearms authority because they provide law enforcement and protective services for over 150 VA medical centers located nationwide.

At the Cabinet department level, component agencies of the

Within the legislative branch, the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) employed 1,637 officers to provide police services for the U.S. Capitol grounds and buildings. With full law enforcement authority in the area immediately surrounding the Capitol complex, the USCP is the largest federal law enforcement agency operating wholly within the nation’s capital.

The largest employer of federal officers outside of the executive branch was the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC). The AOUSC employed 4,696 probation officers with arrest and firearm authority in its Federal Corrections and Supervision Division in 2008.

The Not-So-Obvious Federal Law Enforcement Agencies

In 2008, another 16 federal agencies not so typically associated with police powers employed fewer than 250 full-time personnel with firearm and arrest authority. These included:

* The Library of Congress Police ceased operation in 2009, when its duties were assumed by the U.S. Capitol Police.

Most of the officers employed by these agencies are assigned to provide security and protective services at the agency’s buildings and grounds. Officers employed by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors provide security and protective services only at the Board’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Officers serving at the various Federal Reserve banks and braches are hired by the individual banks and were not counted in the Census of Federal Law Enforcement Officers.

And the Inspectors General

Finally, 33 of the 69 federal Offices of Inspectors General (OIG), including the Department of Education’s OIG, employed a total of 3,501 criminal investigators with firearms and arrest authority in 2008. These 33 Offices of Inspectors General represent all 15 Cabinet-level departments, as well as 18 other federal agencies, boards and commissions.

Also See: Obama’s Missing Inspectors Generals

Among other duties, officers of the Offices of Inspectors General often investigate cases of improper, wasteful or illegal activities, including theft, fraud and wrongful use of public funds.

Also See: Outrageous Examples of Government Waste, Fraud and Abuse

For example, OIG officers recently investigated the General Services Administration’s outrageous $800,000 “team building” meeting in Las Vegas, and a series of scams being perpetrated against Social Security recipients.

Are These Officers Trained?

Along with training they may have received in the military or other law enforcement agencies, most federal law enforcement officers are required to complete training at one of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) facilities.

In addition to training in basic to advanced law enforcement, criminology and tactical driving, FLETC’s Firearms Division provides intensive training in the safe handling and justifiable use of firearms.


Obama’s Personal Army

“Because the American military swears an allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, and not to the President, could Obama’s strategy be to strip our Armed Services and shift their dollars into an all powerful civilian Army under his command? Two tips coming into CiR this week surprisingly connect just these dots and link these machinations to Obamacare funding.”

“A long time FEMA source cites this sentence in the Obama Army speech: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set.” This tipster told CiR that when Obama took office, older, long time FEMA employees and/or individual assistance personnel were in the process of being replaced by “18 to 24 year olds who knew next to nothing” about homeland security or emergency response. These young people and FEMA operations were pulled into Washington, D.C. under the executive branch’s prerogative.”

Bundy Ranch – FYI to Obama – this whole country’s a free speech zone!

All dictators need their own army! These militarized cops are working for the government not us. No surprises that many of these militarized cops were brain-washed into viewing us as the enemy. So when we see the multiplying of armored military vehicles, increase in police using military weapons, the purchase of billions of bullets by the DHS, it’s certainly not for our safety or protection. It’s to implement the UN aka International Globalists decrees. These International Globalists were around with their money and power before and after Hitler’s introduction/paid propaganda to the German people…(reminds me of the Obama super-produced, carefully manipulated, Greek column inauguration pageant in 2008…when silly people were fainting all over the place.)

Hitler posing in Nuremberg with SA members in the late 1920s. Julius Streicher is to Hitler’s right, and Hermann Göring stands bedecked with medals beneath Hitler.

Read “the Night of the Long Knives” and you will see the plan that Obama has for us.

blm 4






The People vs Government at Bundy Ranch

Today is just another chapter, another time, another method, same people, same results.

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