Senior ATF Official: Ease Onerous Gun Regulations

Federal law enforcement official calls for common sense over ideology in fight to reduce violence

by Edmund Kozak | Updated 07 Feb 2017 at 12:06 PM

Ronald B. Turk, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives associate deputy director and COO, has written a white paper calling for the reduction of gun regulations.

Turk’s recommendations include removing restrictions on the sale of silencers, increasing the number of crimes traced to a firearms dealer necessary to trigger a federal inquiry, and launching a study on lifting the ban on the import of certain semiautomatic rifles.

“Alleviating some of these concerns would continue to support ATF’s relationships across the firearms and sporting industry, and allow ATF to further focus precious personnel and resources on the mission to combat gun violence.”

“These general thoughts provide potential ways to reduce or modify regulations, or suggest changes that promote commerce and defend the Second Amendment without significant negative impact on ATF’s mission to fight violent firearms crime and regulate the firearms industry,” writes Turk.

The paper also calls for allowing ATF to grant limited licenses for certain dealers to sell and transfer post-1986 machine guns — both for Department of Defense and TV/film purposes — as well as allowing the interstate sale of firearms at gun shows and clarifying licensing rules for dealers who only sell at gun shows.

It seems Turk saw President Donald Trump’s election victory as an opportunity to return to a commonsense approach to firearms regulation after the Obama administration’s eight years of ideologically driven Second Amendment subversion. The paper is dated Jan. 20, 2016 — Inauguration Day.

Easing silencer restrictions and once again permitting the importation of AK- and AR-style semi-automatic rifles is sure to infuriate anti-Second Amendment liberals across the country — but as Turk’s paper points out, there is little reason not to do exactly that.

“Restriction on imports serves questionable public safety interests, as these rifles are already generally legally available for manufacture and ownership in the United States,” Turk writes.

As for silencers, they “are very rarely used in criminal shootings,” writes Turk. “Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety.”

Turk’s paper and the recommendations it makes paint a picture of an ATF that has lost its way, spending vast amounts of time and money creating red tape for law-abiding gun owners and sellers, instead of focusing on fighting illegal gun violence.

“Alleviating some of these concerns would continue to support ATF’s relationships across the firearms and sporting industry, and allow ATF to further focus precious personnel and resources on the mission to combat gun violence,” concludes Turk.

“The report raises a lot of long-overdue questions about random and illogical gun regulations,” John Lott, director of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told LifeZette.

"For example, why are imports of so-called 'assault weapons' banned when domestic production and ownership of those same guns is allowed?" Lott asked. "Even European countries with strict gun control rules don't have the regulations on silencers that we have in the US," he added.

"Many times, the report points out how markets have changed over the last thirty years but that government regulation[s] haven't done anything to keep pace with those changes. The regulations have simply become an inconvenience for law-abiding individuals and they produce no benefits," said Lott.

  1. ATF
  2. gun control
  3. Lott
  4. Ronald Turk
  5. Second Amendment
  6. Turk
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