FCC watchdog tells Congress some of its investigators need to be armed

Federal Communications Commission watchdogs may one day carry guns thanks to a request to Congress by the agency’s inspector general that his office be allowed to hire armed criminal investigators.

David Hunt, the FCC IG, argued before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the oversight of communications programs requires his team to investigate violations in potentially dangerous settings, thereby justifying the need to arm selected investigators.

Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials aid the FCC watchdog in criminal cases at present, but Hunt pointed to difficulties in securing support from the FBI in cases worth less than $1 million.

Hunt acknowledged the contribution of FBI agents while noting “cases where the lack of criminal investigative support has slowed and even derailed OIG investigations” because many of its cases fall below the $1 million mark.

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