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Friday, September 11, 2015

BATFE Keeps Withholding Documents, But Admits To Being An Agency

According to last month’s filing in a New York federal court, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) says documents requested through a Freedom of Information Act request by Everytown for Gun Safety are exempt from disclosure. The gun-control group sued the agency in July for the “time to crime” element of the trace data collected from 1998 to 2005, which they say the agency withheld when it released documents from a previous request. 

BATFE’s answer denies Everytown’s allegations that it failed to respond to requests and says its actions are supported by the FOIA law. BATFE also recently denied allegations in a separate ongoing lawsuit over a FOIA request by pro-gun advocates. Oddly enough, last month the BATFE said that it’s not an “agency” within the context of FOIA law in its answer to a different request. At least this time they have explicitly admitted to being a law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice.