USA – -(Ammoland.com)-Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of the gun world.
I’m your host Adam Kraut and you if you haven’t already voted in the NRA Board of Directors Election, go vote!
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Today we are talking about a paper that caught everyone’s attention recently, the leaked ATF Whitepaper. *(embedded below)
Recently, an internal memo from the Associate Deputy Director of ATF (number 2 in charge) Ronald Turk hit the internet and took off like a wildfire. In it Deputy Director Turk outlines options to reduce or modify firearms regulations. After reading the paper, I have to admit, I’m actually kind of impressed. Given the timing of it…Inaguration Day and point number 15 in the document, the need for an ATF confirmed Director…one has to wonder, is this a job application to the current administration?
Either way, there are several points that Deputy Director Turk makes which are refreshing to see from an ATF official.
One of the biggest ones that popped right off the page was the desire to reissue a study into the sporting purposes exemption. He explains “ATF could re-examine its almost 20-year old study to bring it up to date with the sport shooting landscape of today, which is vastly different than what it was years ago.” Then goes on to explain the expansion of shooting sports such as USPSA and the rise of other such as 3-gun. It’s almost as if he read my comment in opposition to ATF’s Proposed Notice of Rulemaking to reclassify Armory Piercing Ammunition where I made a lot of those points…Hi ATF, I know you’re watching.
The current ban on importation of certain firearms dates back to a study that ATF did in the late 1990’s. In that study, the ATF declared that “while some may consider practical shooting a sport, by its very nature it is closer to police/combat-style competition and is not comparable to the more traditional types of sports, such as hunting and organized competitive target shooting. Therefore, we are not convinced that practical shooting does, in fact, constitute a sporting purpose under section 925(d)(3).” It’s definitely time that ATF revisit the sporting purposes exemption.
He also suggests that ATF create a database for rulings that it has issued. This would be a welcome change as the lack of a centralized, searchable, public database where individuals like myself, as well as industry members and you, could see how ATF has previously ruled on different topics. The lack of a database has cause a lot of unnecessary anguish. But it’s a government agency, so that might be expecting too much. However, he does not go as far as saying that all rulings would be available to the public, but only open rulings. At the very least, it would allow ATF to become more consistent in its rulings by being able to search through previous opinions, although it would be great to have an entirely open database.
Deputy Director Turk also points out that ATF should support the removal of silencers from the National Firearms Act or NFA because the change in public support for such indicates that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and the reluctance to remove them should be reevaluated.
He provides some statistics that you may find useful when calling your representatives to ask for their support of the Hearing Protection Act. He also points out that a revision to the definition of a silencer would be important. As you may remember from looking at the definitions from the episode I did on the NFA, a silencer is not only defined as the silencer itself, but any combination of silencer parts and any part that is intended only for use in a silencer. And before you ask, we’ll be doing an update on the Hearing Protection Act shortly.
He also points to a laundry list of regulations that are obsolete or have obsolete provisions which should be removed from the Federal Regulations. Other provisions you may find interesting include the re-importation of certain surplus firearms from overseas, firearm stabilizing braces and armor piercing ammunition.
As you may have guessed, the paper is not the official position of ATF. I would not hold your breath for any of those changes to occur overnight. It is just one man’s opinion that wasn’t intended for public consumption…at least that is what the paper says. At the very least, it does shed some light into what some ATF employees are thinking. In this case, it happens to be the number 2 man at ATF. As always, we need Congressional action to change the actual laws. So, you may want to pick up the phone and encourage your representatives to support pro-gun legislation. I know I sound like a broken record when I say that, but that is the way to effect change right now.
Hopefully that gives you a better understanding of what the white paper is and what it actually means. What do you think of the proposed changes that Deputy Director Turk makes in the paper? Are you guys excited about it, do you think it’ll happen? Let me know down in the comments below! If you guys liked this episode, you know what to do, hit that like button and share it around with your friends. Have a question you want answered on this show, head over to The Legal Brief section on theguncollective.com. Be sure to check out my website adamkraut.com for more information on my quest to serve YOU on the NRA Board of Directors. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch us on social media.
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