Gun Owners of America
GOA Sues ATF to Produce Documents
The foundation of Gun Owners of America today filed suit in the U.S. District Court for D.C. to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to produce thousands of documents related to Operation Fast & Furious.
Depending upon the outcome of this case, Justice Department officials could spend time in jail.
Last year, Gun Owners Foundation submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which -- not surprisingly -- has virtually been ignored by the ATF. Although the agency has told GOF several times that it would comply with the FOIA request, the ATF has violated each and every one of its self-imposed deadlines.
On March 16, 2011, Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to ATF requiring production of records related to their involvement in Operation Fast & Furious -- where thousands of firearms were smuggled from the United States to Mexico.
On April 21, 2011, Gun Owners Foundation submitted its own FOIA request to the ATF, to which the ATF has responded in various ways. The agency has sometimes ignored our requests entirely. Several times, ATF has promised (but failed) to produce information by a certain date. And at least once, the ATF suggested we were mistaken, claiming that they had already given us the requested information -- only to follow up that communication with a new promise and new deadline for producing the requested documents.
If the court finds in favor of the GOF complaint, the ATF will have to produce the requested documents or face “contempt of court” charges. Given that media reports indicate the House of Representatives may decline to press contempt charges, Gun Owners Foundation remains committed to pressing this case until justice is realized.
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