What federal agents (primarily in the State Dept.) carry weapons?

This is a discussion on What federal agents (primarily in the State Dept.) carry weapons? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm trying to get an understanding for which federal employees are armed besides basic security. FBI obviously. Secret Service I believe have the SIG 229 ...

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Thread: What federal agents (primarily in the State Dept.) carry weapons?

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    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Question What federal agents (primarily in the State Dept.) carry weapons?

    I'm trying to get an understanding for which federal employees are armed besides basic security.

    FBI obviously. Secret Service I believe have the SIG 229 as a standard issue weapon. I also recently learned that special agents with the IRS are armed as well. I presume NSA and Homeland Security agents are as well, and I've heard CIA rarely are armed, at least overseas.

    I heard from some guys in the Foreign Service that occasionally they don flack jackets and get shot at. I then asked if they are armed, and the guy said that Diplomatic Security are, generalists (the diplomats) are never allowed to be or even use a gun.

    Could anyone enlighten me, particularly on the State Dept. folks? I don't know if we have any Federal folks here.
    On duty: Glock 21 SF (.45) w/ Safariland Cobra Tactical holster & Remington Hallow-points
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    Member Array Bfunk's Avatar
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    We are known by the "Company We Keep." SIG SAUER pistols are used to protect our President (USSS), our Skies (FAMS), our Coasts (USCG), The Pope (Papal Guard) and by prestigious Military organizations such as the US Air Force (M11), US Army (M11), SEALs (P226), Canadian Military and the British Military in Iraq.

    Our reputation for reliability, durability, safety and accuracy is unsurpassed in the industry. We look forward to providing the Military and Federal Government with pistols designed to meet future operational needs, offering advanced technologies and true modularity.

    Because WHEN IT COUNTS
    We are known by the “Company We Keep”


    U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (largest U.S. non-military contract)
    U.S. Navy SEALs
    U.S.Navy SWCC
    U.S. Federal Air Marshals
    U.S. Secret Service
    U.S. Coast Guard
    U.S. ATF
    Federal Protective Service
    Colombia: CNP 12,000 pistols; Army 800 precision rifles
    France: over 250.000 SIG SAUER pistols in use by Police Nationale, Gendarmerie and Douanes
    Chile PICH
    British SAS
    Hong Kong Police – new P250
    Canadian Military (P226)
    U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security
    U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
    U.S. Army 902d Military Intelligence Group (M11)
    U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Divison (CID)
    USAF OSI (M11)
    U.S. NAVY Aviators (M11)
    8 German SEK units
    Norwegian Special Forces
    German Customs and Border Control
    GIGN French Special Force
    1/3 of all U.S. State & Local LE
    looks like just about all the big boys use Sig, but I cant tell you WHICH sig. I do know the Coast guard and Air Marshals both recently went to the p250
    Springfield Armory XD 9mm service
    Sig Sauer P250c 9mm

    "To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." Ted Nugent

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    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9mm Lassiter View Post
    I'm trying to get an understanding for which federal employees are armed besides basic security.

    FBI obviously. Secret Service I believe have the SIG 229 as a standard issue weapon. I also recently learned that special agents with the IRS are armed as well. I presume NSA and Homeland Security agents are as well, and I've heard CIA rarely are armed, at least overseas.

    I heard from some guys in the Foreign Service that occasionally they don flack jackets and get shot at. I then asked if they are armed, and the guy said that Diplomatic Security are, generalists (the diplomats) are never allowed to be or even use a gun.

    Could anyone enlighten me, particularly on the State Dept. folks? I don't know if we have any Federal folks here.
    The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) of the State Dept. carries. In fact, overseas (e.g. Iraq) they are the USG's civilian 800 pound gorilla. Of course, they are supported extensively by WPPS contract companies (e.g. Triple C, DynCorp, and the former Blackwater).

    Bureau of Diplomatic Security

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    Member Array davidw's Avatar
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    I believe ATF is switching out of the Sig.

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    What, specifically, do you want to know? You can PM me as well...

    Generally, DSS Special Agents are armed domestically and overseas. There is no one else in the direct hire State Department heirarchy, though there are contract guards both in the States and abroad that may be armed while on the job, and Marine Security Guards are generally armed while on post.

    The pistol issued to Agents is the Sig P229, though it was the P228 until a few years ago, and many 228s are still out there. Duty ammo for the Sig is 124gr Federal Hydra-Shok. Various other weapons are available for special applications, primarily the M4 (and variants), Colt 9mm SMG, and Rem 870 shotgun (typically w/ 14" bbl), though we have quite a number of other weapons in the armory now thanks to (primarily) Afghanistan and Iraq - however, DSS has had "heavy weapons" since at least the era of the Beirut bombings. One can still occasionally find S&W M19s floating around, as that was the Marine Security Guard and Agent weapon back in the bad old days... The Uzi is almost entirely (if not entirely) phased out. Due to the VERY decentralized nature of providing security in every foreign country in the world, each arms room can be its own little history lesson...

    As far as who else in the Federal Govt. is armed: everybody. Almost all Departments have an Office of the Inspector General that is tasked with (among other things) providing security for that Secretary/Agency chief. Additionally, MANY Departments have law enforcement arms that investigate crimes specific to that Department - for example, the Social Security Administration investigates cases of SS fraud, and their Criminal Investigators will be armed while performing those duties... Note that many of these LE/OIG sections are quite small, but almost everyone has at least a few people under arms.

    Intelligence agencies, in general, do not arm their intelligence folks, but rather have sections dedicated to protecting/securing those folks. Of course, when dealing with these types of agencies, nothing is set in stone...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Almost all Departments have an Office of the Inspector General that is tasked with (among other things) providing security for that Secretary/Agency chief. Additionally, MANY Departments have law enforcement arms that investigate crimes specific to that Department - for example, the Social Security Administration investigates cases of SS fraud, and their Criminal Investigators will be armed while performing those duties... Note that many of these LE/OIG sections are quite small, but almost everyone has at least a few people under arms.
    Excellent info, as usual, OPFOR. Once small correction...very few OIG's perform security details. Several used to do so until the US Dept of Justice made a determination that if fell outside the scope of their duties as outlined in the OIG Act. Now most secretary level officials have security details that are run out of an "Office of Security" or something similar.

    Your example of Social Security fraud investigations would, indeed, be Special Agents from the Social Security OIG - Office of Criminal Investigations. They are authorized to carry their duty weapons (Sig P229 in .357Sig) off-duty as well as on-duty. An easy way to get a grip on how many OIG agencies are out there is to check out OIG.net and look at their individual web pages. As OPFOR pointed out, some have as few as 10 Agents in the entire nation, while some have several hundred.

    In addition to the OIG's, there are several agencies that have small investigative units such as the Food and Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations or the Environmental Protection Agency - Criminal Investigations Division.

    Then you have a large number of uniformed agencies, most fairly small and focused primarily on force protection and property protection: US Mint Police; US Bureau of Engraving and Printing Police; Gov't Printing Office Police; Library of Congress Police; US National Zoo Police (part of the Smithsonian); US Capitol Police; Hoover Dam Police; and the list goes on.

    Then you can get into the various resource protection agencies. US Fish and Wildlife has both uniformed officers and Special Agents; US Forest Service has both uniformed officers and Special Agents; US Bureau of Land Management has both uniformed officers and Special Agents; US Park Service has uniformed Law Enforcement Rangers, Special Agents, and the US Park Police.

    As you can see, the list is pretty extensive, and I just cited a few examples.
    Gonzo
    PS - I am not going to participate in a debate about which federal agencies should or should not be armed. Just trying to anser the OP's question.
    "Skin that smokewagon!".

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    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Thanks Gonzo, and thank you OPFOR; I may PM you. I appreciate it.

    And yes, Gonzo, I've learned that one of the controversies within the state department is whether Foreign Service Officers should be allowed to ever handle guns even if they're being shot at. As of now, they are not.
    On duty: Glock 21 SF (.45) w/ Safariland Cobra Tactical holster & Remington Hallow-points
    CCW: Glock 19 Gen 3 (9mm) w/ Crossbreed Supertuck IWB holster
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    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9mm Lassiter View Post
    Thanks Gonzo, and thank you OPFOR; I may PM you. I appreciate it.

    And yes, Gonzo, I've learned that one of the controversies within the state department is whether Foreign Service Officers should be allowed to ever handle guns even if they're being shot at. As of now, they are not.
    The fact of the matter is that many of them are soft of hands and frown upon guns. Their schtick is dimplomacy. Having meetings, talking, focus groups, joint committees, etc.

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    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Hmmm... The guy I heard about sure wasn't and disputed the policy, but I'm sure many of them aren't. They allow people to join up to age 59 for one thing. I understand the desire of the dept. to keep their diplomats weaponless, but I also understand the desire of some to shoot back if they're outside the green zone and shots are fired.

    And it sounds like the .357 SIG is the most popular with the feds except that the FBI use the .40S&W.
    On duty: Glock 21 SF (.45) w/ Safariland Cobra Tactical holster & Remington Hallow-points
    CCW: Glock 19 Gen 3 (9mm) w/ Crossbreed Supertuck IWB holster
    Magtech Hollow-points

  11. #10
    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9mm Lassiter View Post
    Hmmm... The guy I heard about sure wasn't and disputed the policy, but I'm sure many of them aren't. They allow people to join up to age 59 for one thing. I understand the desire of the dept. to keep their diplomats weaponless, but I also understand the desire of some to shoot back if they're outside the green zone and shots are fired.

    And it sounds like the .357 SIG is the most popular with the feds except that the FBI use the .40S&W.
    The U.S. Marshals Service issues .40 caliber Glocks to their deputies.

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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    the DEA uses .40 glocks as well

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    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandolero View Post
    The fact of the matter is that many of them are soft of hands and frown upon guns. Their schtick is dimplomacy. Having meetings, talking, focus groups, joint committees, etc.
    Make love, not war. Bowties, not bazookas.
    "Skin that smokewagon!".

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    DSS uses 9mm...

    Foreign Service Officers who are assigned to high risk areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan do receive rudimentary weapons training so that they may pick up a weapon and defend themselves under the most extreme circumstances. Of course, these FSOs have a security detail for their protection in most cases when operating in the most dangerous of areas, so their need to use a weapon is only, and I mean ONLY, in extremis.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Yes, I know of federal prosecuting attorneys and and even local lawyers who are required to have some small arms tactical training in the unlikely event they need to handle a weapon.
    On duty: Glock 21 SF (.45) w/ Safariland Cobra Tactical holster & Remington Hallow-points
    CCW: Glock 19 Gen 3 (9mm) w/ Crossbreed Supertuck IWB holster
    Magtech Hollow-points

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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    CBP types carry H&K P2000 in 40.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Tennessee Certified Instructor

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