Suit Seeks to Compel ATF to Answer FOIA Request in Hunter Biden Gun Case

Would you and I be similarly protected by ATF under the same circumstances? (Cropped from photo by acaben: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)

U.S.A. – -( Attorney Stephen Stamboulieh filed a complaint Wednesday on my behalf “for injunctive and other appropriate relief and seeking the disclosure and release of agency records” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) related to its investigation into Hunter Biden and a handgun reportedly belonging to him.

The complaint became necessary after ATF refused to provide records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request citing Biden’s “substantial privacy interests.” The Department of Justice subsequently turned down my appeal of that decision.

To recap the story so far, Biden’s handgun was reportedly taken from his vehicle by his brother’s widow with whom he was having an affair and she threw it away in the trash outside a Delaware supermarket. This column then asked if the president’s son had broken the law by denying abuse of controlled substances on the Firearm Transaction Record, ATF Form 4473, noting that lying on the form is a federal felony. That report was followed up with two separate FOIA requests being filed a few weeks later, to both ATF and the Secret Service, which had also been reported to be investigating the Biden gun incident.

The Secret Service request has been resolved, for now, after receiving an affidavit signed under penalty of perjury that the agency could find no responsive records. Still to be determined: If they weren’t officially involved, who were the personnel identified as Secret Service agents in numerous reports, including in a text message retrieved from Hunter Biden’s laptop computer claiming “[T]he police the FBI [and] the secret service came on the scene”?

ATF chose to respond in a different way, initially challenging my qualifications to be considered a journalist, then claiming no records could be found and then withdrawing its “no records” response.  In its final response it asserted:

“[T]he request should have been denied categorically without a search due to the substantial privacy interests retained by the subject of Mr. Codrea’s request.”

By backing ATF’s denial, DOJ is essentially saying that the official Biden Administration law enforcement position is that the Hunter Biden gun story is none of our business.

“Producing these documents would serve to shed light on the performance of ATF’s statutory duties in prosecuting illegal firearm crime, including  … the reasons why some persons are not prosecuted; and among other things, the unequal application of firearms laws to certain well-connected individuals,” the complaint argues back. Of course that’s in the public’s interest, particularly as Biden, in his writings, has further degraded his “privacy interest” by his own admissions.

There was reportedly a multi-agency state/federal investigation. The Senate Judiciary queried ATF Director nominee David Chipman about this in his confirmation hearing  — how much more public interest/peoples’ business could this get?

The complaint, embedded below, asks the court to “Order [ATF] to conduct a search for any and all responsive records … and demonstrate that it employed search methods reasonably likely to lead to the discovery of records.”

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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Thanks for the effort and the article David.

We have a long history of unequal enforcement of the law at the federal, state, and local level.


even background checks are not equal. I had a gun to pick up at dealer 6 people were waiting on approval, 1 was retired metro dade captain girl said wait has been about an hour ,I filled out form she entered it came back approved before I could stand up I worked dea in late 70s to early90s left before retirement because did not want to end up like frank serpico more crooks in ???government?? than out, thugs in uniform In 1978 12 sets of 3 fingerprints 12 lettered agencies have my prints and still know where i am ,Im… Read more »


Some of the same people pointing out the injustice of Hunter’s 4473 lies, ruined people’s lives over a violation for which they would not arrest the police chief’s wife.


Rules for thee not for me is the status quo for the upper echelon. This is just another case of the same old S##T. File it under Hillary didn’t have any mal content when she broke the known laws that she had to read and sign that she would follow for all federal employees that would land any one of our readers on Ammoland in jail for years. I am sure the same will happen for Hunter because like Obummer, Eric Holder, Rangle, Sharpton and others they are above the laws written for all of us but are applied only… Read more »


Maybe the FFL dealer should post a copy of Hunter’s 4473 form on social media. Oh wait that won’t turn out good for him.


Possibly a mysterious “leak” of that document as happens so often.


One can only hope. Getting this info could sure help in putting a damper on ATF’s aggressive tactics.


David Codrea, what is the name. location of the subject gun shop? Is it known if the 4473 document is still in their possession?? Or, was it confiscated by ATF?? Are there any laws preventing the public release of a 4473? What is the process for filing a FOIA request? Is there an expense associated with the filing? Can one be filled without an attorney involved, and their associated expense? Maybe there should be a mass FOIA filing for that 4473. Even retained in that FFL’s possession, it would be a government document, right? What about contacting Congressional reps for… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by StLPro2A