ATF Director Nominee On Record For Protecting Second Amendment Rights

Opinion By Larry Keane

Chuck Canterbury high Fives President Donald Trump
ATF Director Nominee On Record For Protecting Second Amendment Rights

USA – -( President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a record of no-nonsense support for the rule of law that clearly extends to respect for the Second Amendment and the firearms industry.

Chuck Canterbury is the President of the 350,000-strong Fraternal Order of Police who would bring to the Director’s office 26 years of law enforcement experience as well as 16 years’ experience in his current role. Canterbury retired as a major with South Carolina’s Horry County Police Department and was inducted into the South Carolina Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

Second Amendment Revered

In 2009, during Senate testimony, he made it clear that he holds the Second Amendment as sacrosanct.

“I want no mistake to be made,” Canterbury testified. “I take a back seat to no one in my reverence for the Second Amendment.”

Canterbury also stood up to billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after the anti-gun funder of Everytown and Moms Demand called the Fraternal Order of Police a “fringe group” for opposing the release of firearms “trace” data which is prohibited by the Tiahrt Amendment. Even Bloomberg’s own police commissioner Ray Kelly opposed the release of ATF trace data. ATF says it shouldn’t be released outside of law enforcement either. Bloomberg didn’t care when he misused this information in so-called “sting” operations against firearms retailers – without the knowledge of either ATF or his own police department – interfering with as many as 18 criminal investigations and forcing ATF to pull agents out of the field for their own protection.

Canterbury blasted Bloomberg, saying, “The real fringe group is the reckless politicians who interfere with law enforcement. I can’t just stand by while politicians grandstand over our issues without understanding the real-world implications.”

Tackling NFL Gun Bias

Canterbury’s support has been more than words. He’s thrown the Fraternal Order of Police’s support behind issues to preserve gun rights and industry initiatives to keep firearms beyond the reach of those who shouldn’t possess them. He put NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on notice in 2013 when he issued a strict “no-guns” policy that included off-duty and retired law enforcement officers. Canterbury denounced Goodell for the ill-advised policy that came on the heels of terrorist attacks against sporting events and concert halls.

“Law enforcement officers, which you regularly employ to protect teams and stadiums in which they play, do not suddenly become a security risk if they attend an NFL game on their day off or after they retire,” Canterbury said in the letter.

In fact, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 was enacted to allow retired and off-duty police officers should be exempt from carry restrictions so they could be a force to respond to terror threats.

There are more areas of agreement between the Fraternal Order of Police and NSSF on key issues.

Smart Guns a Non-Starter

Mandating the use of authorized-user technology, or so-called “smart guns” is, well, not smart. The Fraternal Order of Police agrees with NSSF the technology is unproven and unreliable.

“Police officers in general, federal officers in particular, shouldn’t be asked to be the guinea pigs in evaluating a firearm that nobody’s even seen yet,” said James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We have some very, very serious questions.”

The Obama administration concluded the technology wasn’t ready or reliable and abandoned its effort to mandate its adoption by law enforcement with little fanfare.

“Green-Tip” Ammo

Under Canterbury’s leadership, the Fraternal Order of Police also stood against the Obama administration’s attempt to ban “green-tip” ammunition, or 5.56 mm ammunition commonly used in modern sporting rifles. The administration’s reason was to protect law enforcement. The Fraternal Order of Police, though, thought the dust-up wasn’t necessary.

“Any ammunition is of concern to police in the wrong hands, but this specific round has historically not posed a law enforcement problem,” FOP said at the time.

Supporting NSSF’s Real Solutions

There’s still more. The Fraternal Order of Police sees NSSF’s efforts to provide real solutions for safer communities as efforts worth supporting. Canterbury praised the firearms industry’s Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM program to prevent straw purchases of firearms.

“I believe campaigns like this are important to deter illegal purchases and to help retailers prevent those purchases from happening in the first place,” he said. “This is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, and I hope that the Justice Department will continue to support the ATF and the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy campaign.”

The Fraternal Order of Police also supports NSSF’s Project Childsafe® initiative to partner with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies to provide more than 38 million firearms safety kits including gun locks free to communities. In 2015, they supported NSSF’s $2.4 million cooperative grant with the Department of Justice to continue the program.

Most recently, Canterbury writing for the Fraternal Order of Police sent a support letter to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for his expected re-introduction of the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act, legislation supported by NSSF. The legislation would strengthen criminal penalties for firearms thefts from FFLs.

It’s a long list. Then again, Chuck Canterbury has respected and supported the same ideas as NSSF for a long time.

About National Shooting Sports Foundation

National Shooting Sports FoundationThe National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 11,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit

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Wild Bill

The weekend is here. We, all, must have a little time to write our Senators about opposing Chuck Canterbury. Let our employees in the senate come to work and be greeted by an avalanche of mail against him.


Okay, people. If the real supporters of the Second Amendment who are commenting here can be hoodwinked enough to be unsure that Canterbury is anti-Second Amendment, why do you not understand that Trump can be hoodwinked as well? He has advisors that willingly lie to him in order to advance their “Second Amendment for cops only” agenda. Trump is a good man, and if he was informed of the _truth_, I doubt he would even consider this FOP jerk for ATF. But Trump is being intentionally misled, and thinks he understands the truth when in fact he doesn’t. I am… Read more »

Herschel Smith

It’s ridiculous that Ammoland is actually publishing this crap. But what else would I expect Larry Keane to say?

Canterbury and the NOP supported the AWB and wanted it renewed when the sunset provision kicked in. Nothing more needs to be said, although a lot more could be said.


Paraphrasing President Carter, “If supporting the Second Amendment were made illegal, and you were charged with the crime of violating the ban, would the prosecution be able to collect enough evidence to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt? I’m afraid that if I were on his jury, I would have to find Mr Canterbury “not guilty.” In my mind, he’s as much a Second Amendment supporter as former Senator John F. Kerry who once said “I support the Second Amendment as it has been interpreted.” One would need to have Mr. Canterbury fill out a questionaire similar to the ones… Read more »


Canterbury supported the appointment of anti-RKBA Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. Canterbury supports every current (and blatantly unconstitutional) federal anti-gun statute. This is what you call “respect for the Second Amendment”? Incredible, simply incredible.

James Tompkins

WTF? I read on GOA and Alloutdoor websites that this is a horrible choice and Charlie is a huge anti-gunner?

Jon M.

In case you are interested, this same piece of propaganda from NSSF and being parroted by the ASA has also been given the nearly identical copy/paste treatment over at the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog under the title: “ATF Director Nominee — Record of Protecting 2A Rights”
Apparently not nearly as many readers there have felt compelled enough to comment on the matter as of yet.
You know what to do.

The Revelator

@Jon M.

Several of them do that. Harold Hutchison is one of them. He writes one article(propaganda piece), and then puts it up on multiple sites.

It’s their version of chain-email/robo-calls for webpages.


“I want no mistake to be made,” Canterbury testified. “I take a back seat to no one in my reverence for the Second Amendment. In fact, if I thought that Judge Sotomayor’s presence on the court posed a threat to my Second Amendment right, I would not be supporting her here today.”

The Revelator


No mistake has been made. It is better to let people think one as an idiot, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

Canterbury, well he just had to remove the doubt.

Piper's Colt

Just wishing and hoping, but it sure would be nice if the elected and selected people in the government would simply believe in and follow the law of the land, the Constitution and Bill of rights. Everything would be so much better, and we the people would not be constantly having to write and request that they do so.

Wild Bill

@Piper, There is no profit for elitist, party first loyalists, gun prohibition lobbyists, global industrialists, or hard core unemployables in following the Constitution.
@Ben, You know, of course that Chuck Canterbury is not the only power hungry bureaucrat that would say anything to get control?


The FOP has been an anti-gun mouthpiece for the Brady organization ever since Sarah Brady bought the FOP out of bankruptcy 30+ years ago and the FOP (and its leadership) have been singing the anti-Second Amendment anthem ever since. Canterbury is an anti-gun fanatic and NSSF’s support of the jerk is just another bastardization of NSSF’s supposed pro-gun stance. THIS GUY CANNOT BE APPOINTED, PERIOD! Obama couldn’t have come up with a more anti-gun nominee to head ATF than this mutt.

Scott in Atlanta

Thanks, Chuck, for reminding me why I refuse to join the NSSF – sometimes I forget. Your org has a long record of spinelessness and looking the other way as our rights are eroded. Thank God for GOA, who I support both morally and financially. At least we have SOMEONE willing to fight the good fight.
Now go back to your day job as Nancy Pelosi’s chaffeur – I’m sure you do a much better job of it than persuading us that black is white.


So, how is this guy a great nominee for director of the ATF, how is this good news for US, we the people, the regular guys who the Second Amendment was intended to encompass? He is only interested in protecting the rights of police officers, current or retired, and their ability to catch criminals. Now, on the face of it that’s fine and should be pursued with vigor but please show me where he goes to the mat for us, please show me that. No, he is one of the ” guns for me but not for thee” players and… Read more »


Great points Bill. It is our fallen human nature to justify immoral acts so that we can still maintain security for ourselves and family. Thousands of German soldiers and police officers did it to their fellow Jewish countrymen and hundreds if not thousands of US police did it to their their fellow black citizens during their fight to end segregation. The list of examples could go on. These horrendous human actions can and will happen again, hence the reason to never give up your own arms! It is better to die a freeman fighting to maintain God’s freewill, than to… Read more »


Paraphrasing, “… peaceable citizens…do not suddenly become a security risk if they attend an NFL game on their day off…” How about saying THAT? Nope. You see, he believes that cops belong to a special club filled with special people, who possess special rights and privileges which mere mortals do not. Whenever someone begins to restrict those special rights and privileges for special people in the special club, then the special club and its members are offended at the very idea. Mere mortals? Well, they still suffer under the restrictive policies which the special people in the special club advocate… Read more »


Well said, personally what they need is a well-respected, law-abiding, non-law enforcement citizen to head up departments like the ATF. Although, I’d rather see it disbanded, but short of that, just like I said above, a non law enforcement citizen.

Wild Bill

@Donttread, an ethical, well-respected, law-abiding, non-law enforcement citizen could probably get that decommissioning thing done pretty easily.

Chris Mallory

The nation was founded by men who were not “law abiding’. Those men smuggled guns and drugs. Rioted. Tarred and Feathered government employees. Evaded taxes. Shot cops.
“Law abiding’ just means you are a sheep who follows the edicts of a group so morally corrupt that they became legislators. Better a man be honest than “law abiding”.
Most laws deserve to be broken, they only exist to oppress the citizens so the government can take our money and our freedom.

Jon M.

Well, that was a fire example of carefully crafted narrative. The NSSF clearly knows the real score with Canterbury otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to write such a precise steaming pile of excrement. Notice that every example of “”support” for the right to keep and bear arms is entirely focused on the empowerment of police “only ones” or the continued enforcement of existing infringements. Enfringements which the NSSF has backed. The trace data issue wasn’t about our individual rights to arms, it was about protecting infringers by restricting information about possible police enforcement operations. His only issue with the… Read more »


Sign the petition on to say no suppressor ban!


Ammoland , you need to check this article …
The FPC and GOA are calling the nominee ANTIGUN..
I choose to believe the FPC and GOA and I support them financially . If you are pushing a narrative for political reasons , I will unsubscribe and ignore your sponsors!

Jon M

While the content of the article is indeed troubling, I don’t think it necessarily indicates that Ammoland supports the content or conclusions therein.
It certainly makes me wary but inasmuch as they have posted it without comment and have not apparently suppressed our dissent over the content they’re certainly doing a better job at being a platform than certain well known social media outlets which have been deplatforming everyone with whom they disagree.
That said it certainly makes one wonder where their loyalties lie. As I suspect that the NSSF is a paying customer for the platform.

The Revelator

@Dave and Jon M

Jon is right. Ammoland is one of the few places that has stayed free speech friendly for the most part.

From my viewpoint, I’m glad to know this is what the NSSF is putting their trust behind so I also know to avoid them, as well as any act of funding them. However, That is the NSSF’s position, not ammoland’s.

Matt in Oklahoma

Ain’t y’all the same folks that said President Trump was pro 2A who immediately and illegally took away bump stocks. The same folks who think the current NRA is doing a good job?

Heed the Call-up

Matt, I’m not sure who the “y’all the same folks” are that you are referring to, but as you can see in the comments, no we do not agree with that, hence all the negativity in the posts to the bump stock ban, etc., showing we are not the straw men you so ignorantly assume we, “y’all the same folks”, are.


Who wrote this malarky???? Have I crossed over into an alternative reality of time and space? I fon’t recall ANY of this!!!! Starting to wonder if AmmoLand isn’t a government intel and disinformation site. WTF?????

Carol B Combs

Something is amiss here. Canterbury is clearly anti-gun and pro registration not to mention he opposes constitutional carry and reciprocity. I have to believe the swamp is responsible for putting these nominees forward to make Trump look anti-gun and thus helping to lose his base when it comes election time. So who put this guy up for consideration?
Why does GOA disapprove of Canterbury again?

Francis Johnson

Not true, not true, not true! Canterbury is an enemy of the people. Fails his oath of office miserably. And is nothing more than a communist democrat plant, and shill!

Will Flatt

Canterbury is LYING… Trump is LYING… BATF is unconstitutional and its purpose is to infring your gun rights, PERIOD.

Gun owners wonder why our rights are always under attack…here’s a hint as to why: FUDDS ARE SUPPORTING OUR ENEMIES! NRA & NSSF CAN SUCK MY GLOCK FOR SUPPORTING THE BUMP STOCK BAN & RED FLAGS!

GOA is right, and NSSF is WRONG. Canterbury is NOT to be trusted!!

RAS 52

Will Flatt, I am a shooter and a hunter. All my family and friends are shooters and hunters. None of us support any type of bump stock bans, red flag laws or any other anti gun laws. Not all hunters are FUDDS.

Will Flatt

I didn’t say hunters are fudds. Read my post again, with your blinders OFF. The problem are leaders like Wayne LaPierre.

RAS 52

Will, no blinders here. I am on your side of this.

Wild Bill

@RAS, I am sure that it was unintentional, but one could infer from your last sentence that you think some hunters are FUDDS. But that reading would be incongruous with the rest of your writings, so I, myself, understood you to mean that the great majority of hunters are not FUDDS. Have a good Sunday.
Hey, anyone out there have an opinion on the Winchester SuperX Model 1 ?

ras 52

Wild Bill,I think and hope that most hunters are not fudds. Many years ago I knew some who were, but they soon figured out what the anti gun side was up to and realized that all guns were being targeted by the anti gunners. I meant to say that I, like most on this site am “no compromise” when it comes to guns. Life member of NRA but GOA gets my money now. Thanks, hope things are well in Texas.


I just watched a GOA video saying that Canterbury was pro gun control. Where are we being deceived?

The Revelator


Look into his history as head of the Fraternal Order of Police, and what the leadership of that organization has said over the years.

If you don’t know where to start, go back to the beginning.


Well, we knew, at least some of us did, that there would be flag bearers for the Administration on this, as there always are. It’s up to us to make it so uncomfortable for the Administration and individual members of Congress that that they shake their collective heads and say Mr. President, this just won’t fly and we’re taking too much heat.

If we don’t they’ll cave, yet again. This President has proven he’s not pro-gun. Now it’s up to us to keep him in check.

The Revelator


Good to hear from you again. It’s been a while my friend.

In full agreement with you on that. I’ve been fighting the collective stupidity and willful ignorance of those who chose to shield their eyes and ears to any warnings the few of us were trying to sound.

Consistency matters. I still have the utmost respect for you based on your record. I wish you the best, and hope you will continue to keep up the fight.


This article sounds awfully dishonest to me. Trump and his nominee are both anti-gun. Say goodbye to the 2A. Trump may have done some good things to America but he is taking away our rights to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We can protect nothing without the 2A and free speech, we are just cattle to them.

Jim Macklin

Donald Trump was raised in NYC. His understanding of the Second Amendment is incomplete. He must be educated. The “bump stock ban” is not a law. It also exceeded the BATF authority. The SCOTUS should strike it down. Trump reportedly said “I don’t like silencers.” Living in NYC and most places in the USA means he has zero knowledge and his opinion is pure reaction to Hollywood. BTW, the Second Amendment protects the power of teh people to control a tyrant. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their… Read more »


Amen brother


Yeah, GoA says he is an anti: “His name is Chuck Canterbury, and he is the president of the anti-gun Fraternal Order of Police. Sadly, Canterbury has a long track record that should concern gun owners: He’s testified before Congress to support anti-gunners like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Attorney General Eric Holder. Under his watch, the FOP backed Congressional measures to expand the unconstitutional and failing NICS system — which is the same system where 95% of the initial denials are false positives. And on the state level, the FOP under his watch has supported Universal Background Checks… Read more »

Green Mtn. Boy

YuP I could guess by the title it was written by one of three groups,Negotiating Rights Away or their co agency NSSF or ASA,they can sell their Bravo Sierra somewhere else.

Yeetus Deletus

Sounds pretty on the level. I like this

Dave in Fairfax

Please check your ignorance at the door.
This is a puff piece, i.e. FAKE NEWS.


Absolutely, Dave!!!!


Larry Keane/NSSF and American Suppressor Association: Chuck Canterbury deserves support for ATF helm.
GOA and bunch of unaffiliated bloggers: Chuck Canterbury sucks.
What is going on here?


NSSF also endorsed bump stock ban, so their credibility is ziltch.

Besides that, look at the actual articles. GoA points out the NSSF’s articles are selectively quoting him to make him look good and print the full quote.

The Revelator

@JAMES Here are your choices. 1. Believe the GOA, one of the few groups that has been holding to a no compromise look on the second amendment and initiating the fight to defend our rights. 2. Believe a group who’s priority revolves around the production side of the firearms industry, as well as hunting and recreational use. (Their sphere of thought is not defense of the Second Amendment) Remember, Canterbury was head of the Fraternal Order of Police. The leadership of the FOP has been Anti-Second Amendment for a long time, even though most of its members are not. Here… Read more »


Revelator I am a retired cop. I was a member of FOP briefly in the late 80’s, when gun-grabber Dewey Stokes was their head cheese. I started receiving mailings from FOP HQ telling me to contact my politicians and ask for bans on AR’s and AK’s “for our safety”. I took some of this garbage to a meeting and in open forum, told our local Chapter President that I found this to be offensive. His response was that the wonderful thing about FOP was that we could agree or disagree with it. I told him if that was their attitude,… Read more »

Jack Mac

Grigori, you are a brave fine peace officer.

The Revelator


As the son of a career LEO, and one who did not join the FOP prior to going Federal, I understand completely.

Growing up I got to hear about the lunacy that went on with several organizations supposedly dedicated to our law enforcement officers. The incestuous political bent that is leveraged within those groups is downright sickening. I also corrected more than my fair share of teachers in highschool as a result of that when they would comment on “Current events”.

Best of luck to you

Wild Bill

@JAMES, Canterbury must have gotten his bribe money in on time.