Freedom of Information Act

United States Department of the Treasury, ATF Bureau v. City of Chicago, No. 02-322

United States Department of the Treasury, ATF Bureau v. City of Chicago, No. 02-322, involves the application of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, to two computer databases maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Those databases document the tracing of firearms believed to be involved in crimes (the Trace Database) and information provided by licensed dealers regarding multiple sales of handguns (the Multiple Sales Database). The questions for the Court concern whether individual names and addresses in the Trace Database and the Multiple Sales Database are subject to disclosure under FOIA or whether they are exempt on the grounds that their release "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

Read the Freedom of Information Act.

Read the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion holding that none of the FOIA exemptions permit ATF to withhold any of the requested records.

Read the United States Brief arguing that gun owners' individual names and addresses should be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

Read the Justice Department's Explanation of the Court's February 26 decision to cancel the scheduled oral arguments in this case, vacate the Seventh Circuit decision from which the government had appealed, and remand the case back to the Seventh Circuit.

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