Second Highest ATF Official Suggests Gun Law and Regulation Reforms (HPA included)

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -( “white paper“, written by the second highest ranking official of the ATF, has been obtained by the Washington Post. The date, official, and reforms mentioned, are all significant.  The paper was dated January 20th, 2017,  inauguration day.

Ronald B. Turk is the author. The paper expresses “the ideas and opinions” of Mr. Turk. From the

The second-highest-ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has written a proposal to reduce gun regulations, including examining a possible end to the ban on importing assault weapons into the United States.

The “white paper” by Ronald B. Turk, associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the ATF, calls for removing restrictions on the sale of gun silencers; allowing gun dealers to have more guns used in crimes traced to their stores before the federal government requires additional information from the dealer; and initiating a study on lifting the ban on imported assault weapons.

A number of common sense reforms are discussed in the paper. People in the gun culture will recognize many of them as obvious reforms that would have happened long ago, if there were a sympathetic ear in the White House.

Here are short descriptions of the reforms.  The long versions are available in the paper itself.

1.  FFL license issued for sales at gun shows only, no sales required at physical address. (This removes much of local “veto power” of FFl license issue)

2.  Rational review of  “armor piercing” ammo for rifles.

3. Re-importation of Certain DOD Surplus Firearms from Foreign Countries. (Garands and MI Carbines, anyone?)

4.  Variances on “transfers” of Machine guns for people in DOD industry and Theater industry.

5.  Finding the “use” of a firearms arm “Brace” for non-design purposes does put the firearm in the category of SBS or SBR.

6.  New Study on Sporting Purposes because of increased sporting use of AK and AR style rifles.

7.  Creation of a database of Agency rulings (mostly open to the public).

8.   Moving of Silencers from the NFA to the GCA. (Essentially the Hearing Protection Act.)

9.  FFLs to be able to sell interstate at gun shows.

10. Destructive device reform for the industry to benefit the DOD.

11.  Change in the number of “crime guns” used in Demand Letter  (2) from the BATFE.

12.  Eliminate Demand Letter (3) (Southwest Assault Rifle Multiple sales).

13.  Reconsider pending request to change from 20 year retention of records to indefinite.

14.  Expanding NICS check availability for background checks by FFLs for Employees.

15. Need for an ATF Confirmed Director.

16. A list of old regulations to be considered for removal or amendment. (some significant)

As a long term bureaucrat, this white paper reads as an application for the ATF director spot. It is not likely that the current director will stay at the head of the ATF.  He has been tied to the white wash of the Fast and Furious fiasco. The paper fairly screams: I am willing to work with you, and I know how to take direction.

I found it fascinating that the comments at the Washington Post, a left wing, establishment paper, were generally favorable.

The gun culture should consider these suggestions as the opening of a round of negotiations on national gun law and regulatory reform.

All of the listed reforms should be considered the minimum that will be acceptable.

With the ATF on board to testify for these reforms, in front of Congressional hearings, how do the Democrats stop them?

President Trump, master negotiator that he is, will have a list of what he “wants” to get done.  Those proposals should go far beyond these.  As the Donald has written, in The Art of the Deal 

“My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward,” he writes. “I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”

If this white paper can be considered as the “low end” of what will happen, the gun culture will be very happy with what President Trump delivers.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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wild bill:

What I take to be your latest says that an act of congress is required to rid us of the ATF, aka BATFE. Assuming that to be correct, what is congress waiting for, perhaps The Next Coming??


They want to do all these changes, non-legislativly so they can change the laws and rulings at will. Especially with a Congress appointed head of the ATF. We should ignore the letter and push through HPA and other pro gun bills.


Where are all the regulations on the evil rocks that have the potential to kill … MURDER IS ILLEGAL AND IF A BAD GUY WANTS TO MURDER HE WILL DO SO REGARDLESS OF ANY LAWS … just repeal the nfa PERIOD cuz I’m not going to murder anybody whether i have a short barrel silenced machine gun or a 22 revolver – maybe we need 10 year olds to start advising all the big shot politicians … jeeeeezzze does anybody have an ounce of common sense


The criminal leadership, re firearms matters of the ATF aka BATFE, should long since been brought to task before the criminal bar. The fact that they haven’t been and are unlikely ever to be, speaks rather poorly for both this nation, and it’s so called judicial system, or system of justice. At this point, the interested party might politely inquire as to what else is new. Unfortunately, not a whole lot. By the way, the afore mention being noted, this citizen cuts The Congress (House and Senate) nomslack at all, for they had and still have the power to bring… Read more »


SIMPLE–Abolish the ATF.

Mark Lee

Please note that any regulation that carves out special permissions or rights for a certain classification (i.e.: DoD or LEO personnel) over the rights of everyone else in our society is a clear violation of the equal protection clause in Part One of the 14th Amendment of our constitution. This is ignored when your local LEO can own banned firearms upon retirement in jurisdictions with AWB laws – while their “civilian” neighbors cannot. In my book, any person not serving active duty in the Armed Services are “civilians” – even LEOs – but this is largely ignored. The justification is… Read more »


Oh also conveniently ignored too.


Mr. Turk, a high level ATF bureaucrat “reformed”, pardon me for sounding cynical, but I have zero faith in these people, the leaders of the ATF, they have lived the lie for to many years, by the way, others have died for and over their lies. Might it be that this fellow who has lately come to reason is concerned as to how much longer his bread will be buttered? I wonder. In my perhaps jaundiced view, they have made to many messes in the middle of the living room carpet for forgiving and forgetting. That having been said, how… Read more »


BATF should not even exist per the Constitution. Make it so again. WHERE in that document are FedGof granted any authority to regulate, control, license, restrict the one piece of tangible personal property specifically named in that Document which mandates government at all levels DO NOT INFRINGE upon our right to own, possess, use, transport, carry aobut with us or have at home? Garangs? The EO prohibiting repatriation of the ones in So Korea is an illegal order, They were made in the USA and are legal to own in every state. Bringing them back should not be an issue.… Read more »

Wild Bill

The GCA is based upon the Congress’ authority to regulate commerce. The NFA is based upon Congress’ taxing authority. Neither power was ever intended, by the founding fathers, to limit the Bill of Rights, but an elitist S. Ct. found it not unconstitutional. The GCA is a result of a Congress, a President, and an S. Ct. that was scared of armed black people, who were marching up and down Pennsylvania Ave with loaded shotguns.

Wild Bill

Neither Congressional act has prevented or solved a crime. Only the law abiding people have followed it. What is the use of enforcing law agains the law abiding? Time for repeal.


Ultimately, it is The Congress (House of Representatives and U.S. Senate) that is responsible for the referenced CRAP, which is a reasonably polite description of the referenced legislation. Congresses past created this mess, it is up to the present Congress to fix the mess created by those who came and in some cases have gone before them. Strikes me that the following question remains. What will the current Congress do? WIll they clean up the mess existing, or will get along by going along? I believe that the citizenry might have something to say here, via addressing their employees.

Wild Bill

, they owe us, and we need to push them. No uninfringed Second Amendment, No Second Term.


BATFE is a – ” Constructive Fraud ” , from it’s beginning. Sure we need to modernize gun laws , but first we MUST have a Lawfully , properly constructed agency , which the former Federal Alcohol Administration >> Then Bureau of Internal Revenue >> now IRS / BATFE …. is NOT. – It was NEVER created by Congress ! – It Can’t ” Make or write Laws ! ” BATFE is trying to save it’s hide. Even if we ignore the Waco / Ruby Ridge / Fast & Furious MURDERS …… ATF has a long history of LYING under… Read more »

Wild Bill

In Washington, DC one well thoughtout hand written letter equals ten thousand e-mails.


17. Abolish NFA!


HOw about just shutting down the ATF, and abolishing all the Asinine gun laws that are out and out infringements on the 2nd Amendment. ANYTIME you give even a inch of power to a federal agency or any other it rapidly becomes abused and abusive. SHUT THEM DOWN>


From reading the actual letter, it seems to be a step in the right direction. Considering the source, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a “preemptive concession” designed to forestall more rational (the lefties would say more radical) reforms.

Wild Bill

@HankB, Turk is hopping that this will get adopted and then Congress will move on to something else. That would save the GCA, the NFA, the BATFE, and his job.


Most of the above comments pretty much sum it up. BATFE abuses are legion and their reputation for harassment of law abiding citizens and tortured reasoning of otherwise perfectly clear law is well known. Now they come, proverbial hat in hand, before the biggest threat they’ve ever had (this administration) and say “gee, we’d like to reform some of these onerous laws BUT we’d also like you to really put the screws to ANYONE who touches a piece of plastic to their shoulder so we can instantly charge them with a felony, ruin them for the rest of their lives… Read more »

2nd amendment supporter

TURK IS AN OBAMA LACKY!!!!!!!Enough said.

E g secondamendment supporter


Wild Bill

He is just afraid that the GCA and NFA will get repealed and he would be out of a job. Let’s not fall for it. Congress is in a rebellious mood. Major Dems will be arrested soon. Lets push for repeal.


He uses the term “common sense”, he’s an ATF agent (#2 at that), and he has beady eyes… Can you say SMOKE AND MIRRORS ? #3, #4 and #10 are written to make it easier for DOD employed people to get machine guns, destructive devices and the thrown in “Garands and M1 carbines anyone”…, These lines mention nothing about the common law abiding citizen. And #2 goes back , again, to the GREEN TIP ammo deal they tried before. With that, you also have to ask yourself, WHAT OTHER ammo might they add to that list ? #5 is a… Read more »


It tells me , BATF knows it was not created by Congress, and it Knows it’s one case away from being EXPOSED as having NO Jurisdiction and NO Standing in courts. Jig is UP !

Wild Bill

@Earl, The BATFE was not created by Congress? Are you sure? What did create the BATFE? If the BATFE was not created by Congress then the BATFE can be done away with by the snap of one’s fingers.

Wild Bill

I looked on the ATF website and found this: “May 1930, Prohibition Reorganization Act of May 27, 1930 This Act transfers The Bureau of Prohibition from U.S. Department of Treasury to the U.S. Department of Justice. By 1930, events redirect federal law enforcement’s trajectory, in general, and ATF’s legacy, in particular. The Bureau of Prohibition is transferred from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to the U.S. Department of Justice. Since the Bureau increasingly focuses on fighting violent crime, this dangerous new mission begins to clash with the Treasury Department’s responsibility (since 1791) of ensuring tax compliance. The Justice Department… Read more »


Consult other than the ATF for the history of it’s unlawful origins , please.
Unable to get a new link to ‘ stick ‘ on here so just search the following and you will find more …….. ” curious ‘ … info about BATF / IRS > from BIR > From FAA > From China Trade Act > From : Philippine Trusts # 1 , # 2 and Puerto Rico Trust Fund # 62. —- Dan Meador ; BATF – IRS CRIMINAL Fraud. Happy Hunting 🙂


Now both sides of the 2nd Amendment debate are using the term “Common Sense Gun Laws”? Beware!

Matt in Oklahoma

I don’t believe nor trust them or this


“5. Finding the “use” of a firearms arm “Brace” for non-design purposes does put the firearm in the category of SBS or SBR.”



I may be reading the white paper wrong, but it appears that the proposal will not make it an SBR.
“5. To mitigate this confusion and concern, ATF could amend the determination letter to remove the language indicating that simple use of a product for a purpose other than intended by the manufacturer – without additional proof or redesign – may result in re-classification as an NFA weapon.


“may result”… so we’re leaving this up to the government’s discretion? It either is, or isn’t, an NFA weapon. Allowing the ATF to decide willy-nilly on a case by case situation = bad.

Also, if they find silencers to not be a threat to the public safety, how have they also not found SBRs/SBSs to not be a threat, either? It’s quantifiable that SBRs (and especially SBSs) are no more dangerous than any other firearm at any range, unless we’re maybe talking about a gunfight in a refrigerator box.