BATFE Claims It Is Exempt From Freedom Of Information Act Requests

posted on August 14, 2015

In answer to a civil suit filed in federal court in June, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has issued a three-page “response” that amounts to a non-response.

Plaintiffs filed the civil suit because BATFE did not respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request—which asked for policies, opinions, rulings, instructions and procedures covering a wide range of BATFE regulatory activities—within the legal time limit. BATFE now claims that it is not an “agency” as defined by the FOIA law, so doesn’t need to obey the Freedom of Information Act’s statutory requirements. 

Although it doesn’t say much else, the agency’s (or should we say “entity’s”?) tersely-worded three-page “response” does claim that “no response is required” a total of five times—a non-response that reminds us of a famous line from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”

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