A top nonprofit government watchdog group of attorneys filed a lawsuit last week seeking documents related to citizens’ Second-Amendment rights being violated by a federal agency, according to a press statement released .
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the already disgraced ATF, a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice, seeks records of communications about a so-called “reclassification” that would restrict the sale and possession of certain types of AR-15 ammunition by classifying them as being “armor-piercing” and therefore illegal for civilians. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Judicial Watch, an organization that investigates and exposes government corruption, fraud and misconduct by using the federal civil court system.
The ATF is reportedly reconsidering its February 2015 proposal to revise the 2014 Regulation Guide regarding the reclassification of certain ammunition. In March 2015, more than 200 members of Congress wrote to President Barack Obama’s ATF director Todd Jones advising him that they had a serious concern that the ATF proposed actions would violate Americans’ Second Amendment by restricting ammunition that is commonly used for “sporting purposes.”
The congressmen stated in their letter to the ATF that the agency’s proposed regulation change “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,” according to Judicial Watch officials.
The well-regarded, nonpartisan group filed this latest lawsuit following the government’s failure or refusal to respond to a March 9, 2015, FOIA request seeking information on the ammo ban effort: All records of communications, including emails, to or from employees or officials of the ATF related to the decision to revise the ATF 2014 Regulation Guide to no longer exempt 5.56 mm. SS109 and M855 (i.e., “green tip” AR-15) ammunition from the definition of “armor-piercing” ammunition.
The precise statutory definition of “armor-piercing ammunition” can be found online on the Cornell Law School website 18 U.S.C §921(a)(17).
“This is yet another example of how Obama’s wanton use of the ‘pen and the phone’ attempted to undermine the constitutional rights of all Americans, as opposed to upholding the rule of law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama ATF simply ignored our request on their ammo ban. Let’s hope the Trump administration finally brings transparency to this out-of-control agency.”