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Fitton: The ATF Is Still Hiding the Truth About Obama’s Anti-Gun Agenda

In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, 5.56 millimeter ammunition waits to be fired in an M-4 carbine rifle while U.S. Army recruits take live-fire marksmanship training at Fort Jackson, S.C. As gun ownership among young Americans drops and the Army trains a new generation more accustomed to blasting …
AP/Gerry Broome
Washington, DC

The Obama administration excelled at pushing its radical agenda through any means necessary. Since its gun-control agenda was not going anywhere, it decided to control ammunition, which would have had the same effect.

Everyone with an appreciation of the Second Amendment saw right through it.

Late last month, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a component of the Department of Justice, for 1,900 pages of records about a proposed reclassification that would effectively ban certain types of AR-15 ammunition as armor-piercing (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02218)).

We sued after the agency failed to respond to our May 14, 2018, FOIA request for the 1,900 documents about the Obama administration’s AR-15 ammo ban efforts. The documents include ATF talking points about the “Armor Piercing Ammunition Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” and other records discussing ammunition classification.

This lawsuit is the latest development in our more than three-year effort to obtain documents from the ATF. Judicial Watch discovered the document cache in separate litigation on the ammo ban issue.

Here’s some background: In March 2015, more than 200 members of Congress wrote to former ATF Director B. Todd Jones to express their “serious concern” that the proposal to reclassify the ammunition types as armor-piercing may violate the Second Amendment by restricting ammunition that had been primarily used for “sporting purposes.” The ATF’s move “does not comport with the letter or spirit of the law and will interfere with Second Amendment rights by disrupting the market for ammunition that law abiding Americans use for sporting and other legitimate purposes,” the letter said. The ATF subsequently halted its efforts.

(The precise statutory definition of armor-piercing ammunition can be found in 18 U.S.C. §921(a)(17).)

Simply put, the ATF refuses to comply with federal open records law. The ATF has withheld records for over three years concerning the Obama administration’s shady attempt to institute gun control by restricting ammunition instead of guns.

And, despite these games, your Judicial Watch will continue to seek answers in federal court.

Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch.

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