Washington • Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, introduced legislation on Monday that would prohibit non-law enforcement agencies in the federal government from buying high-power firearms or weaponry as part of a response to the April standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Cliven Bundy.
Stewart says there's no reason for regulatory agencies to have paramilitary units like the ones present when the BLM, under a court order, attempted to round up cattle on federal lands. The BLM eventually gave up after facing an armed response by Bundy supporters.
Stewart's bill repeals the authority for inspectors general in federal agencies from having arrest or firearm powers an authority granted to the in-house investigators in creating the Homeland Security Department. It also bars agencies outside the Justice Department, CIA, Homeland Security, Capitol Police and military from purchasing machine guns, grenades and other weapons banned under law.