ATF Associate Deputy Director Suggests Lifting Many Firearms Regulations

Earlier today the Washington Post referenced an 11-page white paper, written by a high-ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Ronald B Turk who is Associate Deputy Director (Chief Operating Officer) at the ATF.

What is so interesting about this document, Titled “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations” and dated 20 January, 2017, is its content. Turk suggests wide sweeping reforms for gun laws and most would be welcomed by gun owners and the industry which services them. However, this document was clearly marked “Not for public distribution” and was intended to stir internal government dialogue. Considering the source of the public disclosure (WaPo) we have to contemplate that its leak was intended to shock rather than inspire the public.

It’s topics would have never been considered privately, let alone publicly during the Obama Administration. Here is a list compiled by JF, a member of a Facebook group considered with NFA law.

1. New Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) Dealing Exclusively at Gun Shows (or internet)

2. Creating a better process to approve pending requests for AP Ammo from manufacturers

3. Importing Surplus Firearms from Foreign Countries

4. Variances for SOTs to transfer Post-1986 machine guns without Demo Letters

5. Stabilizing Brace, creating a more consistent ruling

6. Commission a study on “Sporting Purposes” to comply with modern needs

7. Create a database of previous ATF rulings

8. “Legalizing” Silencers, citing expense of regulation. Change definition on “Silencer Parts”

9. Interstate Sale of Firearms at Gun shows

10. Destructive Devices, distinguishing between launcher and munitions

11 & 12. Demand letters to FFLs involving guns used in crimes

13. Changing requirement of FFL recording keeping from 20 years to indefinite

14. Allowing greater use of NICS by FFLs

15. Requiring ATF director to be confirmed by Senate

16. Reviewing a long list of Regs for Removal/Amendment

The only one which will probably create outcry from gun owners is #13 which recommends extending ATF record keeping to indefinite from 20 years. Everything else has some up at some time or another as things gun owners and industry want. Obviously, this document isn’t an official ATF policy position, but it’s a great place to start a conversation when someone wants to discuss “common sense” gun laws.

ATF White Paper Cover

To read “Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulation” click on image.

We have also shared a copy of this document in the event it is taken down by WaPo.


23 Responses to “ATF Associate Deputy Director Suggests Lifting Many Firearms Regulations”

  1. PPGMD says:

    I read the document I have no issue with any of it except 13 and 14.

    Requiring indefinite record keeping provides, according to the author, little benefit and creates IMO unnecessary expense.

    I also don’t agree with the expansion of the NICS checks. It should be single purpose. There are a ton of background check services that you can use to provide a better background check of your employees.

    • Squirrel says:

      14 could be about having NICS used for SBRs and Suppressors maybe?

      • PPGMD says:

        That would be an official use, so it would be allowed. I always had to do through a NICS check when receiving a silencer for my trust.

  2. PaulM says:

    I am delighted to see that at least one official at ATF recognizes that the world has changed dramatically and that many of the regulations and restrictions need to be modified or completely done away with.

  3. Chris says:

    Ronald Turk, the supposed author of this white paper is the Deputy Director of the BATFE. Upon reading this, it seems we responsible gun owning patriots may have a friend at a very high level in the BATFE. Lets hope these ideas gain traction.

    • AJ says:

      I’m optimistic, he’s also a Brigadier General with 30 years as Security Forces. Hopefully leading cops for so long has given him insight to how stupid and arbitrary some laws can be. This guy’s stance also gives credence to the HPA, I hope this guy’s gunning for the top spot in the ATF.

  4. Bob says:

    Need more info on #4!!!!!

  5. Squirrel says:

    #5 is simple: If you are disabled with documentation, you can request a tax free form 1. Otherwise start filling out a form 1 for your “brace”

    • WBK says:

      the brace loophole is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I built a SBR with a stock and no stamp, because I will never pay a tax for a right written in the constitution.

  6. fritz bousigschouer says:

    no, get rid of all that missused tax money and finish atf. ban the atf, no deal as later on they will come back and mess up as in the past as soon a liberal is president. ban the atf and get complete rid of it.

    • Baldwin says:

      Liking the way you think.

    • Joe_momma says:

      Yeah, it’s just that simple….
      Then after that, how about ending racism, feeding all the homeless, and world peace

    • Joe_momma says:

      Yeah, it’s just that simple….
      Then after that, how about ending racism, feeding all the homeless, and world peace

  7. Luke says:

    You guys asking for more info…. click the document and read the explanations. It goes into quite a bit more detail on each item listed, explaining the reasoning and the possible effects on industry, consumers, and public safety.

    I like this guy and his ideas.

  8. Marcus says:

    Expect to see more of this as the president has asked his regulatory person, who is now at the cabinet level, to go across the entire government and examine all regulations on a cost/benefit basis.

    Keep in mind this was an ATF internal document which means it was probably leaked by someone in that agency. So it’s obviously still a snake pit.

  9. Jeff S says:

    Where’s the part about getting rid of 41F??

  10. Ed says:

    Life would get real simple if everyone in Congress acknowledged that the Second Amendment means exactly what it states for all lawful purposes including the bearing of arms in public for self-defense and that it applies to the states, just like the First Amendment. With that, Congress should revoke NFA, FFA, Ominibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, GCA, FOPA, and the rest. Return the BATFE to enforcing the payment of Federal taxes on alcohol and tobacco, i.e the BAT. Transfer surplus personnel that are useful to our ongoing needs to the DHS, and lay off the rest.

    We need to confront ugly reality. Currently, felons are in possession of firearms, have a ready supply available to them via a thriving black market, and we are wasting precious dollars on enforcing policies that are wishful thinking at best and at worst provide defenseless victims of crime among those who desire to remain “law abiding”. In the meantime, until Congress does act correctly, we need to familiarize ourselves with the concept and practice of jury nullification to acquit all those who assert their Second Amendment rights.



  11. Will says:

    I feel as though the ATF is setting its self up to survive a pro gun environment. I say disband the ATF.

    • Reverend says:

      Correct! It appears as they see the ACTUAL numbers of firearms, and variances of people buying them, that indeed, America is becoming VERY pro-gun! To be a speed bump in that world, to maintain yourself as an obstacle? VERY detrimental to your career!

      Better to be on the left hand of the Emperor than under his foot. (Old Roman saying, nothing about today’s political environs implied)

    • Riastradh says:

      Disband the ATF (and prevent any other agency from drafting laws Ex Post Facto) and remove ALL infringements imposed on 2A since NFA 1934, GCA 1968 etc – All firearms laws are Bill of Attainder.

      A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without privilege of a judicial trial.

      The Constitution of the United States of America – Section 9 – Limits on Congress – No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.


      A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. – Amendment II to the Constitution of the United States of America

  12. Joe_momma says:

    All the melon labia and tree presenters showing up like “disband the ATF” and “repel all gun laws”….. first, has there even been a fed law enforcement agency that had been disbanded, and not had their duties taken over by another agency? There’s no way an agency will just be cut down and not have their duties transferred. So complain now but wait till a new agency takes over, like the FBI, and see how that goes. But this might not happen since you think he laws will just go away….yeah….okay….cause that’ll happen….

  13. Grunt_at_heart says:

    Some of the stuff actually makes sense but it is obvious this guy is making a political play for ATF director. The first clue is that the paper is dated on Trump’s inauguration. I am also suspicious of why Turk is doing this now. Look at his public bio and other material on the web. He has been the #2 man at ATF for two years! Prior to this he headed the powerful field operations arm of ATF for years, and field operations is in charge of the agents and inspectors in ATF. He was named to his current post by AG Eric Holder and deputy AG Sally Yates, and he was confirmed as a National Guard 1 star by the democrat controlled New Jersey senate. I would be much more likely to believe the guy if he had the stones to do this in the last several years under the last administration. Also, how do you claim this is not an official ATF document when it has a big ATF seal? If it is a leaked official document, why isn’t their director, Tom Brandon the author? This smells of a purposely leaked story to claim Turk is anti-reg and pro firearms industry. Best predictor of past behavior is what a person does when he is not trying to sell himself.