ATF agents
(AP Photo/David Goldman)
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By Lee Williams

It took the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives more than three months just to acknowledge receipt of a simple FOIA request. Quite the work ethic they have there…106 days just to reply to an email.

That’s crazy slow, even by ATF standards. Most federal agencies work a lot harder to comply with the Freedom of Information Act which, by the way, has been law since 1967. ATF, not so much.

Why the shenanigans? The ATF has data that proves Joe Biden lied. They could access the requested information with a couple keystrokes. But instead of complying with federal law, they’re playing games.

The lie they’re covering up isn’t Biden’s biggest or boldest, but it defames more than a few friends of mine, so it needs to be debunked.

I have no doubt the ATF is trying to keep a low profile when it comes to Biden, especially since his nomination of David Chipman resulted in such a thorough public thrashing and a stunning national embarrassment. But this saga started in June, long before Chipman imploded, when Biden was looking for a scapegoat he could blame for skyrocketing violent crime rates in big cities run by his fellow Democrats.

The pressure to do something was great. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was under fire for her city becoming more dangerous than a Friday night in Fallujah. The bodies stacked up three-deep on Chicago street corners had to be someone else’s fault. The public and the press were starting to question Lightfoot’s competence. Riding in to the rescue, Biden found the perfect group to blame – “rogue gun dealers.”

These “rogue gun dealers” Biden alleged during a press conference, were those Federal Firearm Licensees who “willfully” transferred a firearm to a prohibited person, and/or who refused to cooperate with a tracing request from the ATF.

To verify Biden’s spurious claims, I emailed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the ATF. I was seeking the numbers of gun dealers, by state, who, over the past three years, have been prosecuted for willfully transferring a firearm to a prohibited person and/or for refusing to cooperate with a tracing request from the ATF.

If Biden was right, hundreds of rogue FFLs should have been arrested, especially in and around Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and other large metros. However, we all know what the ATF will find: nothing. There will be a mere handful of arrests, out of the approximately 60,000 licensed gun dealers currently operating throughout the country.

The reason? Federally licensed firearms dealers are a law-abiding bunch. They’re not going to suddenly go rogue and start selling guns to prohibited folks.

Joe Biden ice cream
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Biden knows this. The ATF knows this. All they need to do is fork over the data and the public can know this too. Instead, the ATF is going to make things difficult and delay the process, at least according to an email they sent last week.

“For your information, this office assigns incoming (FOIA) requests to one of three tracks: simple, complex, or expedited. Each request is then handled on a first-in, first-out basis in relation to other requests in the same track. Simple requests usually receive a response in approximately one month, whereas complex requests necessarily take longer,” the email states. “At this time, your request has been assigned to the complex track.”

 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

 

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32 COMMENTS

    • You keep saying that, and it is generally true historically in this country, at least. However, ‘gun control’ in the larger sense is Classist, and more so today than ever before.

      Throughout history, people of certain classes have been denied arms, and those in certain other classes have not. The upper classes have always attempted to retain their full measure of control over those beneath them by denying them arms, whether it be Samurai over Noumin of Japan, nobility over peasantry in Europe and England, white slave-owning class over slaves and just plain poor people in this country, or Anglo-Saxon Protestant Nativists over Catholic Italian immigrants in New York in 1911.

      Modern ‘gun control’ is an effort to ensure that the Ruling Class can maintain safe and effective control over the productive classes, the peasants who actually make and build things, grow crops, raise cattle, repair and mend, all of the things that the Ruling Class depend upon for their creature comforts while being completely unable to do them for themselves. If the Ruling Class hopes to retain its overlordship, it cannot very well give its vassals the means with which to overthrow it.
      Of course, it can’t allow the underclass to find out what is really going on, either; THAT is the job of the modern government-run education system and the government-controlled media.

      Race no longer has a thing to do with it. It’s all class.

  1. They’ve already done the query and know the answer. They’re going to force you to sue them for it, then appeal, etc, etc, etc.

      • no, just the government model. Same as the CIA and FBI has done for years. Same they did with the “freedom of information act”. You can have it answers and information, years later, redacted, and the fees/physical tails will follow.

  2. “At this time, your request has been assigned to the complex track.”

    This is .govspeak for “the truth is hard for us to disclose”.

  3. “Most federal agencies work a lot harder to comply with the Freedom of Information Act”

    PROVE it. I’m throwing the BS card!

    • DOJ’ OIP publishes this data every year for every executive branch agency. ATF shows up on the DOJ report. ATF closed one of my requests after four years to get it off the books. I followed up, and they had to reopen the thing and give it a current year FOIA number. They literally are closing cases administratively to make themselves look better.

      The much-derided FBI monkey stomps ATF, if that tells you anything. As much as people hate them, the FBI’s putting out far more work (and far more “complex” than anything ATF and the like touch due to classified material) than most in terms of pages and requests. ATF, DOD, and State are all poop-shows. CIA/NSA are where requests that aren’t litigated go to die.

      There’s also groups who keep up with the FOIA litigation and appeals. Time and time again, ATF has a lot of their withholdings overturned.

      Yeah. I’m a FOIA nerd…

  4. They’re all bending over backwards to protect Biden. A full time job and they’re not doing so well despite a united gov/corp/tech/media front.

    The same people who bent over backwards to show orange man bad and when there wasn’t anything real they just manufactured it.

    Only the most loyal drones buy any of their shit at this point.

    • Every single day Trump was in, the sky was falling according to the media. Now we have a puppet occupying the White House. He’s actually creating crisis after crisis that’s having a negative impact on everyone. The emotional crowd that voted for Biden will never admit it.

    • They gave the task to the summer intern to do during their lunch break. But summer is over and the intern has gone back to school.

  5. I applied to the DOJ for a UPIN to facilitate purchases. Never heard a thing and 3 years later it shows up in my mailbox.

    • Getting bad on dealers ends too. I know multiple dealers who have been informed by local Atf that one clerical error will result in license termination.

  6. Seems to me that the fact they put your request on the “complex” track means they’d have to compile the data in order to facilitate your request. If finding rogue dealers was a priority, like Biden made it, is the answer that the ATF hasn’t focused on the very thing Biden wanted focus on? ATF should have the information at their fingertips is they did as Biden asked. So implicit answer to this falls into two camps: 1) They purposefully neglected to check out and prosecute rogue dealers as their Commander in Chief ordered, or 2) The ATF indeed has the information and doesn’t want it coming to light because the cases are so few. If there are only a few cases, this shouldn’t be a complex case. Either way here there is a story and neither are positive for the ATF. Gee, big surprise there…

    • I imagine the ATF deems most things as complex. If I was in charge I’d just give old F.Joe a call and ask him where he got his numbers.

  7. In the near future (now) it will not matter. How many undisclosed firearm transfers are occuring everyday between friends. This will be a scotus issue very soon, The sale or transfer of a firearm to a relative or close friend will be deterimed to be legal, (it’s none of their business). . It is obviously an violation of rights for the government to determine who you sell a firearm to, (who is a legal citizen) you know with Biden approving of illegal, opps, my bad, undocumated migrants. Can you say infringment? the Govenment has bigger issues, like millennium’s determining which bathroom to use or determining what sex they are.

  8. When theBiden was a small child he took an axe and cut down a cherry tree, when ask it said ,” I can not tell a lie, Trump did it and left the axe here so I’d get in trouble. “

  9. I doubt they care enough to make any special foot dragging over it. A politician lying is simply not an issue. Truth does not enter the picture.

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