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FBI Sued Over Denying Las Vegas Shooting FOIA Request

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Published on: August 20, 2018

Firearms designer and Historic Arms, LLC President Len Savage has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation over their refusal to respond with documents requested with reference to the Las Vegas shooting that took place on October 1, 2017.

The lawsuit is over the FBI’s refusal to provide documentation on how many bump stocks have been used in crimes nationwide, claiming, “Your request for ‘records documenting the use of a bump-fire type stock used during the commission of any crime to date’ is not searchable in our indices.  For your information, the FBI Central Records System is not arranged in a manner that allows for the retrieval of information in the form for which you have requested.  Items are indexed according to individual investigatory interests and not by the type of weapons used to commit crimes.”

“The FOIA does not require federal agencies to answer inquiries, create records, conduct research, or draw conclusions concerning queried data,” the FBI response added.  “Rather the FOIA requires agencies to provide access to reasonably described, nonexempt records.”

Actually, the FBI does provide types of weapons used to commit crimes.  They may not be specific as to the make and model, but they do distinguish between crimes committed with handguns, shotguns and rifles.

Savage is being represented by Stamboulieh Law, PLLC, which posted Thursday to its website:

Today, we filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation over a Mandalay Bay FOIA request that the FBI denied.  The papers speak for themselves.  The FBI at first said they couldn’t search for responsive documents and then denied the next portion of the FOIA due to an ongoing “law enforcement proceeding.”  The problem is that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department basically said “case closed”, so, what is it that the FBI has as an ongoing law enforcement proceeding?

The law firm then added, “Contrary to the FBI’s position, in a similar FOIA to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the ATF responded almost immediately and has currently produced thousands and thousands of responsive documents. It makes one wonder, why is the FBI not providing information about the case when, according to LVMPD, the shooter ‘acted alone’ and has no motive?”

What’s interesting is that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were not allowed to examine the weapons used in the Las Vegas shooting, and they stated so in writing.

Get that?  Even the ATF wasn’t allowed to examine the weapons.  What does that tell you?

Well, one thing it doesn’t tell you is any reasoning behind the Trump administration’s attempts at illegally banning bump stocks.

After the ATF responded to FOIA requests regarding bump stocks and the Las Vegas shooting, David Corea wrote:

It’s evident that the government continues to withhold information for reasons it will not state. Case in point, this is what we’re allowed to see of ATF’s memorandum to the Department of Justice on “Legality of ‘Bump-Fire’ Rifle Stocks” (Vol. 1, pp 671-674):

They just want us to obey their rules. They don’t have to explain why to us.

This is a power-grab by the executive branch that will set the tone for this and future administrations to arbitrarily change definitions, impose bans with destruction/surrender orders and turn non-compliant citizens into felons, all while bypassing Congress.

It’s not hard to imagine what a Democrat president would do if such power becomes the accepted norm. It’s not hard to imagine them taking full and gleeful advantage of it, with fawning media support and no shortage of appointed-for-life activist federal judges eager to rule in favor of infringements.

That’s despite the Trump administration’s new efforts and justifications contradicting not just what ATF/DOJ previously stated in rulings, but what they just last year asserted in federal court and argued to a judge.

From their position as stated on July 27, 2017:

“Bump firing is the process of using the recoil of a semiautomatic firearm to fire in rapid succession, simulating the effect of an automatic firearm when performed with a high level of skill and precision by the shooter… The rapid fire sequence in bump firing is contingent on shooter input, rather than mechanical input, and thus cannot shoot automatically”

From their position as stated on Sept. 13, 2017 (scroll to page 8):

“[B]ecause of the manual, skill based methods required to operate a bump fire device they are not machineguns.”

What has changed? Besides a political position ordered by superiors who would not be qualified to intern at the Firearms Technology Branch…? Essentially, the FTB’s supposedly science/physics-based position is being politically overridden.

In January, this column reported on the Congressional Research Service report from the prior October titled “Gun Control: ‘Bump-Fire’ Stocks.” The report had been posted online by the Federation of American Scientists, a group I’ve reported on before for issues ranging from ATF funding, to so-called “assault weapon” bans and more. Founded by former Manhattan Project scientists, the group takes it on itself to posts such reports because the CRS, essentially a Library of Congress issues “think tank” for federal legislators—does not make its reports available to the public, despite our tax dollars funding them.

CRS issued a new report last Wednesday titled “ATF’s Ability to Regulate “Bump Stocks,” again posted online by the FAS. Among the considerations for Congress:

“[T]he scope of ATF’s authority to regulate bump stock devices is a creature of statute, and Congress can act (within the scope of constitutional parameters) to expand or curtail this authority. For example, if Congress wants to give ATF clear authority to regulate bump stocks, it could do so by (1) expressly directing ATF to initiate rulemaking to ban bump stocks within a certain timeline and/or (2) amending the definition of “machinegun” under the NFA and GCA so that bump stocks necessarily will fall under that definition. Alternatively, Congress, through its taxation powers (a constitutional basis for the NFA) and commerce powers (the constitutional basis for the GCA) potentially could ban or otherwise regulate bump stocks through independent legislation.”

Both reports, the one from October and this latest, avoid one question altogether:

Why?  What’s the critical need for such drastic action and usurping of such powers?

I think it’s clear, there’s an agenda that’s continuing to advance forward, and it’s anti-Constitutional and tyrannical.  People went to sleep when a Republican went into office and they don’t even see what’s going on.

Article posted with permission from Freedom Outpost

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