FOIA Request Asks ATF for Valentine’s Day Informant Solicitation Results

So much for “the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” Then again, since when has rights enforcement been the goal?

U.S.A. – -( A Freedom of Information Act request was filed Wednesday with the  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regarding its Valentine’s Day social media solicitation inviting the public to provide “tips” on “former (or current) partner[s] involved in illegal gun activity.” The FOIA letter was sent by attorney Stephen Stamboulieh on my behalf.

Here’s the information I’m asking for:

“Mr. Codrea hereby requests all records related to the tweet and Facebook posting, including emails sent to the email address referenced in the tweet/Facebook post … and/or the web address … any phone calls made to the number referenced in the tweet/Facebook post and/or records of phone calls related to the post/tweet, all records related to the creating and/or approval of the tweet to be tweeted on the official ATF Twitter account and additionally related to the creating and/or approval of the abovementioned Facebook post, and records (including emails) within the ATF concerning the subject matter of the tweet/Facebook post.”

Why this information is in the public’s interest to know should be obvious.

As documented in my February AmmoLand report on this topic, what ATF describes as “fun” can be highly dangerous, and result in false reporting for revenge, and “swatting.” Who the hell approved that? It becomes especially problematic at a time when anti-gunners are screaming for, and enacting, so-called “red flag laws” to include “closing” the pejoratively termed “boyfriend loophole.”

There’s also the very real issue of ATF expending resources on this, particularly at a time when Chuck Schumer is out there crying crocodile tears about how the bureau is underfunded and needs more money. That’s so it can continue to compile an illegal database, pass new rules, reverse old ones, harass dealers out of existence, and reclassify/ban more guns and devices. And note none of that directly addresses the rising violence in urban areas exploited to gin up demand to heap more diktats on the “law-abiding.”

Further abuses are enabled with the Bureau’s anonymous snitch system that allows field offices to be contacted in English and 17 additional languages:

“ATF has partnered with reportit® to provide a simple to use mobile App that allows users to anonymously and confidentially submit tips … reportit®is not designed to track users of the system. If you choose to use the system to submit a tip, we are unable to track your device, track your location or track your identity in any other manner … No device information is collected by ATF as part of this service.  Your identity is completely anonymous to reportit®and ATF and your tip is only identifiable via a unique ID that has no connection to the device.”

So what discourages people from deliberately trying to get the government to do their dirty work for them? At a time when ATF is manically trying to get so-called “ghost guns” banned, they’re soliciting ghost snitches?

That seems to hold the door wide open for bipolar one-night-stands who didn’t get flowers, and for drug dealers who want to get a rival noticed on fedgov radar. It does make you wonder what kind of person would have that app downloaded to their phone in the first place, and that leads to the questions of how much tax money has been spent on this, how many people have actually downloaded the app (has anyone who doesn’t work for ATF? Is it measured in the tens? The hundreds?), where is the highest concentration, and what have the results been in terms of successful arrests and prosecutions?

That’s not part of this action because FOIA requests, by law, are for document production, not for asking questions, and those would be more effectively put to Bureau honchos under oath by the House Oversight Committee. That’s provided Republicans don’t blow the midterms, regain the majority, and are then sufficiently motivated to play hardball for a change.

As is, we’ll have to wait to see what ATF’s response to this request is. We know from past actions there is official disdain for our efforts in particular, where we have been dismissed as “a tangled web of connections between a small cadre of firearms activists [with the motivation] to recover fees through largely unsuccessful FOIA litigation.” And we see that coming through again in ATF’s efforts to shut down our Hunter Biden gun inquiry  — and talk about a candidate for the tip app!

We’ll continue because there is information about management-directed ATF abuses to be gleaned, because no one else is asking for it, and because even if we don’t get what we’re after, the stonewalling and resistance on the part of a government established “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” are worth exposing.

The FOIA request follows:

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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I think that all these college kids on Spring Break ought to go to Cuba’s warm beaches and socially tolerant government. I believe they would get a REAL education there !


This is the dream of the Progressive New Left. They have told us since 1974 via the Prairie Fire Manifesto and their many anti-liberty actions that they want the United States to become the ultimate denunciation nation. Just like the Soviet Union and their new shiny object, Communist China these red diaper doper babies want to have neighbors, relatives and trusted professionals like your doctors to work as secret agents to denounce any suspicious behavior. Dare not even think thoughts aloud in their dream land because if you do you end up in the docket accused of crimes against ideology… Read more »


cuba was a test lab ,still have people telling on each other the distrust within families is toxic


For the first time in my 80 years of life in this great country, I now fear the Government.
And I’m not alone .


I had the BATF show up at the door years ago claiming they had an “anonymous tip” regarding my comments about a new Federal building being constructed and that I had “bomb making materials” in my home, and they wanted my permission to search the house. I told them not without a warrant and that they needed to leave the property or I would call the sheriff, who at the time had a record of arresting anyone, including Federal agents violating any law, including criminal trespass. It’s an old story, BATF couldn’t catch a June Bug unless they could fabricate… Read more »


Magic Words: Get A Warrant. Federal law enforcement has been rogue for decades. I do not even say hello to BLM adn Park Rangers. If they make eye contact with me at the range or elsewhere I just say “Get a Warrant.”


ask them if they have rounded up any cattle lately


if you have a bag of charcoal you have bomb making materials , they will just add a few things to prove it , we could use some sheriffs like that now hunter and ss people who helped him to holding pen


As long as we’re snitching, let me tell you about a gut who illegally purchased a firearm and then his girlfriend tossed it in the trash where it could be found by a child or possibly another felon. I can even name names. There you go, now go do your job,


and his dad helped hide the crime

Wild Bill

Most humorous!


Not funny when you think about it.


The Law is for Little People. Leona Helmsley. And Hillary Clinton. And the Biden Crime Family. And the Russian Collusion Hoaxers. And the Democrat National Committee. And the Republican National committee. Et al.


Looks like the BATFE has turned ‘swatting’ into a national pastime.


see how many innocent people they kill with this stunt….another fast and furious event brought to you by the felons at atf


Guess it is time to download the app. I’m aware of a prohibited person who’s broken a few rules (hunter). Someone who willfully provided arms to prohibited people and has publicly advocated for breaking firearms laws as well as safety rules (Biden). Maybe we can find an address to snitch on head of gun trafficking ring (holder). One or two reports will be ignored, but if half of ammoland’s readers downloaded the app and made provided unique tips, aft would likely drop the program as ineffective. Of course if you’ve got contact info for any aft agents (better administration) –… Read more »


oddly I still do know one or two active

Wild Bill

Hmmm, not a bad idea, use their app against them. I foresee millions of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden tips being sent in!


I would not believe this for one second.

“…we are unable to track your device, track your location or track your identity in any other manner … No device information is collected by ATF as part of this service.”


Time to spread that word far & wide, Gab, FB, Twatter, Etc. lol


Let’s not forget about Holder and Obama.

Dubi Loo

Atta Boy David! Unfortunately, they will probably ignore this FOIA just as they have in the past. Public servants my ass

Wild Bill

Yep, unless the requestor is a law firm or Congress, FOIAs go unanswered.


they will make a bunch of lame excuses first, then admit they only got some lame info and an idiot will let it slip from a known person letting everyone know ,they are collecting data on the caller, the tag they put on it is likely nsa trace reverse lookup


The DOJ has dug up Stalins rule books and using them as their their version of the Constitution. If you think you can vote your way back to the freedoms and liberties the founding fathers set in place I have some land in the Everglades to sell you. Demorats and RINOs have worked together to strip you not only of your rights but of your safety and security. If only 1/10 th of able Patriotic Americans stood against the fraudulently elected regimes and their controllers in Wall Street and the Deep State our Republic could be saved.


Absolutely! Unfortunately, the vast majority of voters are beholden to a Party and only concern themselves with which letter a politician uses after their name. They have no clue as to the candidate’s stances or voting history. The majority of voters are useful idiots who will toe the Party line instead of focusing on principles.


Welfare moms were a large factor in that .


are a large part of it still, more babies from unknown source, could there be a plague of angles impregnating earth women??? oh my


Intellectually lazy. They don’t want to think, much less actually research.


you CAN vote your way to freedom, just not with a normal ballot … vote is 338 lupa or 50bmg depending on need


from the castro play book


I dont know how anyone would not know Fidel had a program where people who turned in their neighbors or family for any number of crimes (hording, having food, having foreign currency, soap, making alcohol) would receive special preference at store or extra rations always a small bribe


Hence the code of the ghetto; “ snitches end up in ditches “.