Packing heat — arming the FDA

From David E. Gumpert on The Complete Patient blog:

“Last May, Sen. Rand Paul proposed an amendment to a spending bill for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce the agency’s police powers. He was especially concerned about “sending armed FDA agents into peaceful farmers’ land and telling them they can’t sell milk directly from the cow.”

He added, “Some of you might be surprised the FDA is armed. Well, you shouldn’t be.”

Sen. Paul’s proposal (which was roundly defeated, with 15 Senators in favor) prompted a Sarah Lawrence College student, Will Duffield, to file a request under the federal Freedom on Information Act, seeking, “Itemized records of all firearms and destructive devices (as defined in 26 USC § 5845) possessed by the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, all records pursuant to the acquisition, maintenance, and deployment of said weapons is requested.” 

The FDA provided 35 pages of documents showing the purchase of 52 Sig handguns (most with night sights)  and 28 Remington shotguns. The purchases were made between 2007 and 2011, according to the documents. (Unfortunately, the documents were larger than this system could accommodate, so I can’t make them available here.)

But that isn’t the entire extent of the purchases. The FDA said in its response to Duffield: “Certain material
has been deleted from the records furnished to you because a preliminary review of the records indicated that the deleted information is not required to be publicly disclosed and that disclosure is not appropriate.”

Why was information deleted? Among the checked-box reasons: …”

More on The Complete Patient blog.

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