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Posted at 3:07 PM ET, 03/11/2010

Education Department buying 27 shotguns

By Valerie Strauss

Why is the Education Department purchasing 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns (all new, no re-manufactured products, thank you)?

The guns are to replace old firearms used by Education’s Office of Inspector General, which is the law enforcement arm of the department.

Here’s a statement from the office in response to a question about why need 27 shotguns with a 14-inch barrels:

“The Office of Inspector General is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education and is responsible for the detection of waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations. As such, OIG operates with full statutory law enforcement authority, which includes conducting search warrants, making arrests, and carrying firearms. The acquisition of these firearms is necessary to replace older and mechanically malfunctioning firearms, and in compliance with Federal procurement requirements. For more information on OIG’s law enforcement authority, please visit their Web site at :

You can find, here, a list of reports on fraud cases the office has worked on for the last decade.

I asked department officials for specific examples of when the rifles might be used, but was referred to the above statement. Perhaps agents need some muscle while apprehending folks charged with fraud.

Here's a link
to an 11-page document from the Department of Justice with guidelines for the Offices of Inspector Generals within federal government department that have been given law enforcement authority. It provides detail about firearm training is to be carried out and under what circumstances authorized personnel can engage in law enforcement activities.

Below is the original soliciation request for the shotguns:

Solicitation Number:
Notice Type:
Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Added: Mar 08, 2010 10:39 am
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14" LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.The required date of delivery is March 22, 2010. Interested sources must submit detailed technical capabilities and any other information that demonstrates their ability to meet the requirements above, no later than March 12, 2010 at 12 PM, E.S.T. Any quotes must be submitted electronically to the attention of, Contract Specialist (Contract Operations Group), with a concurrent copy to, Contracting Officer (Contract Operations Group).The following clauses are applicable to this requirement:
52-212-1 Instruction to Offerors - Commercial Items52.212-2 Evaluation - Commercial Items 52.212-3 Offeror Representations and Certifications - Commercial Items52.212-4 Contract Terms and Conditions - Commercial Items52.212-5 Contract Terms and Conditions Required Implementing Statutes or Executive Orders - Commercial Items
In accordance with 52.212-2, the fill-in applicable to this requirement is below:52.212-2 Evaluation-Commercial Items. As prescribed in 12.301(c), the Contracting Officer may insert a provision substantially as follows: Evaluation-Commercial Items (Jan 1999) (a) The Government will award a contract resulting from this solicitation to the responsible offeror whose offer conforming to the solicitation will be most advantageous to the Government, price and other factors considered. The following factors shall be used to evaluate offers: (i) Technical Capability(ii) PriceIn accordance with 52.212-5, the following clauses are applicable to this requirement:52.225-1 Buy American Act - Supplies (February 2009)52.232-33, Payment by Electronic Funds Transfer-Central
New equipment only; no remanufactured products. No partial shipments Offer must be good for 30 calendar days after submission.Offerors must have current Central Contractor Registration (CCR) at the time offer is submitted. Information can be found at is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items. The Government will award a commercial item purchase order to the offeror with the most advantageous offer to the government. All offerors must submit their best price and delivery capabilities.

Place of Delivery: U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General


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By Valerie Strauss  | March 11, 2010; 3:07 PM ET
Categories:  Education Secretary Duncan  | Tags:  Education Department, shotguns  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Helping students know what they don’t know-Part 3
Next: Why Obama, Duncan should read Linda Darling-Hammond’s new education book


FYI, if they are shotguns they can't be "rifles". Just saying.

Posted by: EricS2 | March 11, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

And I thought they treated those teachers up in Rhode Island harshly

Posted by: mamoore1 | March 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the bigger question why the Department of Education needs its own commando SWAT team?

Posted by: member5 | March 11, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Educate yourselves about what IGs do. Google "William Buddy Sentner" and you will find info on a DOJ IG agent killed in the line of duty. The Agriculture IG led the Mike Vick investigation. Google "Pantex Plant nuclear weapons courier home raided" for an example of an Energy IG case. Take a look at some of the HHS IG medicare fraud investigations and the unsavory characters involved. This is not to justify Education's purchase of shotguns...might just provide info that might clarify things for you.

Posted by: acrua9876 | March 11, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Shotguns are not rifles... You need to learn and to edit...

And, while it may seem strange for an employee of the Dept of Education to be armed - it was news to me - ANY sworn officer MUST respond to an emergency with full police powers - including a riot gun... If one of those officers did respond to an armed gunman in a school and got shot down because all he had was a 9mm pop gun and the bad guys had Uzi's, you would be leading the hue and cry demanding to know how this "outrage" was allowed to happen... You cannot have it both ways...

dr. o

Posted by: ad4hk2004 | March 12, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Not w/ Ed so not entirely sure on this (with another agency), but I believe their IG shop, or rather personnel assigned to it, also guard their Sec'y.

Posted by: Eleiana | March 12, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I understand each IG having its own police force. When you go to arrest someone you need to be a sworn officer to do so. However, for each federal agency to have their own SWAT team seems to be overkill. If you need to "raid" an office, couldn't you rely on the FBI's SWAT personnel?

But who am I kidding? If you have you're own kingdom, you need you're own palace guards.

Posted by: whm31131 | March 12, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

What is the point of this post? Is the poster implying something is wrong with the Department of Education IG buying shotguns? Is the poster's position that the DOE, because of it's mission, is not entitled to purchase weapons? If so, does the poster know the full scope of DOE's mission -- specifically DOE IG's mission. Is waste being alleged? If none of these are the case, why post it? Just to let us know what they're up to this week?

This seems to me to be a post coming from someone who is totally ignorant on the matter.

Posted by: Jeff_Jackson | March 12, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Why do we even need a DOE?

Posted by: pittypatt | March 12, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"FYI, if they are shotguns they can't be "rifles". Just saying.

Posted by: EricS2 | March 11, 2010 3:54 PM"


"Shotguns are not rifles... You need to learn and to edit...

Posted by: ad4hk2004 | March 12, 2010 7:25 AM"

Hey Folks,

A quick lesson.

"A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves ("rifling") cut into the barrel..."

Actually kids, SOME shotguns CAN have rifled barrels.

Generally those used for either sabot [a device used in a firearm or cannon to fire a projectile, such as a bullet, that is smaller than the bore diameter, or which must be held in a precise position.] rounds, or simple slug [solid projectile as opposed to pelletized shot or fletchettes in a cartridge] shotgun rounds.

That would actually make that PARTICULAR weapon in question BOTH a rifle AND a shotgun.

So to review; not ALL shotguns are rifles, HOW-EV-ER, SOME shotguns CAN also be classified as rifles IF they have the grooved interior of the barrel.

Think (and research) before you make absolute statements, please..."just sayin' "...I've "learned to write AND edit".

You're welcome.

Happy (if though soggy) Friday!

Posted by: ThinkingMan | March 12, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

it's okay, these guns are "for the children."

Posted by: millionea7 | March 12, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Think (and research) before you make absolute statements, please..."just sayin' "...I've "learned to write AND edit".

You're welcome.

Happy (if though soggy) Friday!
A Rem 870 Police does not have a rifled barrel. It is a shotgun - not a rifle. They did do their research....

Posted by: pasifikawv | March 12, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I thought maybe this was related the "Too Many Kids Going to College" story.

Seriously, though, law enforcement needs guns. Even at schools. If you don't think so, you're not being realistic.

Posted by: wizard2 | March 12, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

To the person who asked what is the point of this article, the point is to counter the anti-government conspiracy theorists who have been posting this information on dozens of conservative blogs saying that the purchase of shotguns by the Department of Education was the first step in Obama's secret plan to declare martial law and enslave all patriotic conservatives.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 12, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that if the Department of Education is going to arrest a criminal they should take an officer of the law withe them. The idea that they take their own shot guns is ludicrous.
In addition, why shot guns? If one is in the Department of Education, attempting to deal with a criminal wouldn't that be a close contact situation? Wouldn't a pistol be more practical?
I have a vision of the DOE laying siege to what, textbook thieves, palying loud music golden oldies, firing at the perpetrators with...shotguns.
No wonder the education authorities are complaining they don't get enough funding for education. If they are spening the money to create their private police force I question wheather they are spending the funds they receive appropriately.
Someone in the DOE needs their head examined hopefully not at the expense of the taxpayers.

Posted by: OhMy | March 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Did you even read the article? The agents of the Department of Education Inspector General's Office are SWORN FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS will all the powers to carry guns, make arrests, and execute search warrants. If you are going to arrest someone who has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from a Education program I think it's totally appropriate to carry a firearm since this person is not going to voluntarily hand you all the evidence and go to jail. Almost every federal govt agency has an Inspector General's office which has the authority to conduct criminal investigations.
It seems to me that if the Department of Education is going to arrest a criminal they should take an officer of the law withe them. The idea that they take their own shot guns is ludicrous.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 12, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes I read it. Did you? The Department of Education should use the local police force to arrest people. I don't care a bit if they are agents of the Department of Education. This is overstepping their authority.
In addition, to get a suspect to "hand over evidence and go to jail" one does not need to use a shot gun. There are legal precidents for this. One subpeonas records, gathers evidence, all those boring things that build a case.
You obviously know nothing about law enforcement or you would not be advocating the DOE agents storming in like a bunch of cowboys to "make an arrest".
This is a clear case of empire building for the DOE. Maybe they could give Xi a no bit contract next.
We don't need our agencies to start building private law enforcement agencies within the system. Local law enforcement agencies provide the means. Our agnecies need to use those resources.

Posted by: OhMy | March 12, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but you've got it backwards. The Department of Education is not overstepping their authority. They are carrying out the enforcement duties given to them by Congress. If someone defrauds a program administered by the Department of Education it is their responsibility to investigate violators. Local police departments have zero authority to arrest people for violating federal laws.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 12, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The Department of Education is claiming it's authority to arm it's agents because the Office of the Inspector General is the enforcement arm of the Department of Education. Hmmm. The OIG makes the following mission statment. "The mission of the Office of Inspector General (OIG), as mandated by Public Law 95-452 (as amended), is to protect the integrity of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs, as well as the health and welfare of the beneficiaries of those programs. The OIG has a responsibility to report both to the Secretary and to the Congress program and management problems and recommendations to correct them. The OIG's duties are carried out through a nationwide network of audits, investigations, inspections and other mission-related functions performed by OIG components."

If this is true the OIG is a separate department. Why would the Department of ED then create it's own police force. The OIG apparently is an agency that does the policing for a number of agencies. Why then does the Department of Education need to buy it's own weapons? Perhaps the OIG should be in charge of the policing and of making arrests The statment by the Department of ED says gives them authority says that the OIG is the law enforcement agency not the Department of Education. Presumably they would be purchasing their own weapons.
In addition to this I still question why the existing law enforcement agencies of the FBI for example would not be used as the arresting agency. It appears that in creating private police forces in each agency the U.S. is creating a network of policing authorities which have no oversight. This is also an unnecessary expense.

Posted by: OhMy | March 12, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

27 not enuf

Posted by: blasmaic | March 12, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

son: dad, why does DOE need rifles?
dad: the important thing to remember here son is that rifles are not shotguns.
son: thanks, dad!

Posted by: shhhhh | March 12, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Answer me this: How many sawed-off shotgun wielding SWAT team style federal police forces are there and why?

If pistols, rifles, and tear gas aren't enough, I'd like to see the actual FBI called in before we start deploying sawed-off shotguns into densely populated schools.

Posted by: corrections | March 12, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

OhMy: Please tell me you aren't as misinformed as you seem. Take a look at my post above from March 11, 2010 7:21 PM.

Posted by: acrua9876 | March 12, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Just who in their right mind would want an unarmed police force? Consider that in the last several years there have been numerous on campus shootings; it seems that there are a number of arms finding their way into schools regardless of what laws have been enacted and it's not just the students that are packing iron.

Posted by: OldCoot1 | March 12, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

acrua9876 It seems to me that it is you who are ill informed. Have you looked at the list of investigations pursued by the Department of Education. Well I have. They consist of cases of forgery and embezzelment mostly. It is unlikely that the suspects will whip out a gun.
If they did would a shot gun be of assistance to the agents? I don't think so. The possession of this kind of fire arms by agents would suggest somekind of SWAT activity. Frankly, if IG agents find it necessary to go to this kind of law enforcement I would prefer they use the FBI.
I am not underestimating that there can be real dangers in dealing with certain types of situations, however, I question that a Department of Education agent would deal with that kind of situation.
Again if they feel they are in danger then they should use the FBI to make arrests.
I do not feel that individual agencies should be creating private police forces or private armies. The fact that the Department of Education has done this is quite disturbing to me. Is no one else concerned?

Posted by: OhMy | March 12, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: kevin969813 | March 12, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Ohmy Read the IG Act of 1978. It created Inspector General offices in Federal agencies. An update a few years ago added other powers relating to firearms, arrests, searches. Education does not have a "private police force." Moreover, IG agents are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Respectfully, I can assure you that you are misinformed. Your views are almost laughable. Sorry.

Posted by: acrua9876 | March 13, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey ThinkingMan, just because something has a rifled barrel doesn't mean it's called a rifle. Examples?

4.2 inch mortar. Called a mortar, not a rifle.

Model 870 Express Slug Gun
Notice the description..."rifle-like performance in an affordable, yet dependable, SHOTGUN (emphasis added).."

GAU-8 Avenger 30mm CANNON
Has rifled barrels. Not called a rifle.

I could go on all day, but if you don't get the point yet you never will. Since you put "thinking" in your oh so modest name, perhaps you try it, instead of trying to be smarter than everyone else when the facts show you aren't.

The point people were trying to make is that the writer of the article clearly doesn't understand firearms and thus throws terms in interchangeably. Given your attempt at trying to make legalese out of the definition of "rifle," I'm not sure you understand firearms either.

Posted by: csc5502 | March 14, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse


Nobody is questioning whether or not the LAW exists regarding the OIG, or WHERE the agents are trained. We are questioning WHY it is necessary for the EDUCATION Department, investigating white collar EDUCATION related fraud, to buy shotguns that are specifically specced for urban combat/assault. Don't bother questioning that assertion, as anyone who knows firearms knows that a 14" barrel on a shotgun has no other effective use.

Just because Federal statute gives an agency (which has not Constitutional reason to exist, by the way) the power to go around armed like a SWAT team, doesn't mean it's appropriate.

THAT is the point, and I suspect you know it very well.

Posted by: csc5502 | March 14, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

csc5502: Let me clarify for you. Until a few years ago I had routine involvement in the type of work IGs include Education. Your perspective on the other hand is based on what you're able to read on the internet. What you find might look like harmless fraud. What you don't know is how the university official was redirecting grant money to support a meth habit, or that the person had an arsenal of firearms that was found during a search, or that massive amounts of child porn were found on his computer. You act like white-collar professionals aren't capable of violence. In some respects they have even more to lose than "regular" criminals and do fight back.

To those who suggest the FBI or local police should handle the raids and arrests: the FBI simply does not get involved in all Federal cases. IGs can't force them to do the "real" law enforcement for them.

Back to my original point from several days ago: to suggest IG cases--like those at Education--are "just" white-collar crimes and don't require anything more than a pencil are simply misguided. I'm not defending ED's purchase of the shotguns. I'm trying to help you with your misguided perception that white-collar professionals are a kinder, gentler kind of criminal.

Posted by: acrua9876 | March 14, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

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