Starting in 1952 and allegedly concluding in 1970, the Central Intelligence Agency undertook a highly-secretive project to develop a dart gun which could administer super-secret poisons or biological and biochemical agents, as reported by the New York Times in 1975.
Former CIA Director William Colby told the US Congress that the agency’s dart gun, or “nondiscernible microbioinoculator,” was electrically-powered but fashioned after the Army’s Colt semi-automatic pistol.
Unlike the Army’s pistols, however, the CIA’s dart gun was not meant to be used openly against combatants on the field of battle, but rather in crowded cities, under the cloak of secrecy, and against non-combatants.
There are reports that CIA agents involved in Project MK-NAOMI trained in using their dart guns in the New York City subway during rush hour, with commuters remaining completely unaware that an assassin was training in their midst.
Not only did the CIA use American citizens as shooting targets, the agency flooded the New York City subway with “a harmless stimulant of disease-carrying gas.” According to the New York Times, the CIA was stockpiling and using these toxins even as President Richard Nixon ordered against it, showing that the agency considered itself not to be just above the law, but also the White House itself.