ATF Partners with Anti-Gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -( On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). The report is the result of the Biden-Harris Administration’s April 2021 “Initial Actions to Address the Gun Violence,” which called for the creation of “an annual report on firearms trafficking.” The May 17 release is the first volume in a planned four-volume series.

Despite the presidential mandate, the first volume of the NFCTA is long on “commerce” and short on “trafficking.” Most of the document is a collection and presentation of firearm industry data that is available elsewhere. To the extent that the document is a convenient compilation of firearm industry data, it is useful. Gun rights supporters inclined to delve into the 308-page document will find much of interest.

Those who appreciate Second Amendment rights will be less enthused by portions of the document devoted to touting ATF’s recent controversial regulatory moves and the frequent editorializing.

The document spends significant space defending ATF Final Rule 2021R-05F concerning the “Definition of ‘Frame or Receiver’ and Identification of Firearms,” which seeks to make it more difficult for Americans to exercise their longstanding right to make their own firearms for personal use. NRA-ILA filed extensive comments opposing ATF’s perversion of federal law, which readers can examine here.

Likewise, the NFCTA attempts to justify ATF Proposed Rule 2021R-08 “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces.’” That rule seeks to re-classify millions of commonly-owned pistols as short-barreled rifles, items that are required to be registered under the National Firearms Act, based on the pistols being equipped with a stabilizing brace that allows for more accurate one-handed shooting. NRA-ILA also filed comments on this rule, which can be read here.

Some of ATF’s editorializing makes it into what should otherwise be a straightforward presentation of facts. Consider the following passage on Constitutional Carry:

Permit-less Concealed Firearm Carry

Following the issuance of the Heller decision, several states enacted statutes allowing the concealed carrying of firearms without a permit, often referred to as “constitutional carry” states. These permit-less concealed firearm carry laws allow any person lawfully allowed to possess a firearm to also carry that firearm in a concealed manner. In 2008, Vermont became the first state to enact one of these statutes, and as of the writing of this report an additional 23 states have enacted similar statutes. These changes in state laws continue the expansion of concealed firearm carry abilities first from “may issue” to “shall issue” and then to an automatic right to carry a concealed firearm for non-prohibited persons.

Vermont did not enact Constitutional Carry in 2008. Rather, the state never prohibited the practice of carrying a concealed firearm. Vermonters’ Right-to-Carry without first obtaining government permission was affirmed in the 1903 case of State v. Rosenthal, where a plaintiff challenged a local ordinance that prohibited the carrying of pistols, among other items, within the city without the express approval of the mayor or chief of police. The Vermont Supreme Court determined that the ordinance was “so far as it relates to the carrying of a pistol… inconsistent with and repugnant to the Constitution and the laws of the state” and therefore void. Moreover, Alaska recognized the Right-to-Carry without a permit in 2003.

An innocent mistake by those who purport to be the nation’s foremost experts in firearms law? Maybe. Or maybe those seeking to restrict gun rights are determined to undermine the historical legitimacy of permitless carry and are reluctant to acknowledge that the vast majority of Vermont’s conspicuously peaceful existence coincided with the state having almost no gun control.

Where the NFCTA verges directly into gun control advocacy is in its “recommendations” section.

As to be expected with any bureaucracy, the several recommendations are aimed at increasing the agency’s budget, power, and regulatory footprint. While some of the recommendations are rather benign, others could have a severe impact on gun owners.

For instance, ATF recommends a change to the criteria governing curio or relic firearms, and therefore the types of firearms collectors would be able to obtain using a Type 03 FFL. At present, 27 CFR 478.11 defines C&R firearms to include “Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof.”

Seeking to further regulate the transfer of firearms that fall into that category, ATF stated, “DOJ should review the C&R criteria in 27 C.F.R. §478 to determine if the ‘more than 50 years old’ factor is still valid in determining that a firearm is truly a curio or relic.” ATF goes on to whine about the types of firearms that have more recently become C&Rs. Tellingly, ATF doesn’t allege that the current C&R scheme has had a detrimental effect on public safety.

Another ATF recommendation is for “increased hiring of Industry Operations Investigators.” IOIs are tasked with performing compliance inspections on Federal Firearms Licensees (gun dealers). ATF is seeking to more than double the number of field IOIs from 655 to 1,509.

This demand for more IOIs must be viewed in the context of the ongoing war on FFLs.

On June 23, 2021, the “Biden-Harris Administration” announced a new policy of “zero tolerance for rogue gun dealers that willfully violate the law.” The policy further specified that “[a]bsent extraordinary circumstances that would need to be justified to the Director, ATF will seek to revoke the licenses of dealers the first time that they violate federal law . . .” for certain specified violations.

This “zero tolerance” policy can result in the revocation of a well-meaning gun dealer’s license for minor mistakes, including simple paperwork errors. The new “zero tolerance” policy has a clear aim of reducing the number of federally licensed dealers, which will in turn make it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights. More than doubling the number of bureaucrats tasked with carrying out Biden’s confused anti-gun scheme would further this attack on gun rights.

Unsatisfied with its limited ability to produce gun control advocacy, of which the NFCTA is an example, ATF recommends the creation of a permanent Analytics Division. The document noted that “Analysis generated by the Analytics Division should be incorporated into publications designed for distribution to firearm industry members, policymakers, and the general public.” As with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s efforts in the 1980s and 90s, ATF appears intent on using taxpayer resources to advocate for gun regulation and its own power.

If this vague recommendation and other portions of the NFCTA have the distinct flavor of previous taxpayer-funded attacks on gun rights, that’s because the document was produced in partnership with a veritable who’s who of anti-gun researchers. With CDC’s anti-gun advocacy funding restriction and fading reputation, these academics may be searching for another trough to gorge at.

The “acknowledgements” section of the NFCTA explains, “The heart of this project is a unique partnership between ATF and members of academic institutions.” The document then goes on to list those who “contributed immeasurably” to the report. This list includes such longtime gun control advocates/researchers as Anthony Braga, Philip J. Cook, and Garen J. Wintemute. Also included is Alaina De Biasi of the California Firearm Violence Research Center (that state’s taxpayer-funded gun control propaganda outfit).

Braga and Cook have both advocated for the imposition of severe gun control measures. In a December 2000 working paper titled “Gun Control,” the pair promoted a prohibitive federal tax on guns and ammunition. Acknowledging that such a tax would price lower-income individuals out of exercising their rights, the researchers wrote, “we recognize that this tax is repressive, and will be particularly burdensome on poorer people who want a gun.” Braga and Cook also endorsed federal legislation to criminalize the private transfer of firearms and contended that the government should advance “devices to personalize guns,” commonly understood as so-called “smart gun” technology.

The researchers looked favorably on the use of frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers as a form of leverage to secure acquiescence to state gun control measures. In endorsing public policy by lawfare, the two recalled events in one state, noting, “the plaintiff’s lawyers were successful in improving the terms of political trade by changing the status quo, and the result, while still quite moderate, went farther to control guns than otherwise would have been possible.” The paper also endorsed state gun rationing schemes.

In a 1981 article for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology titled, “The Saturday Night Special: An Assessment of Alternative Definitions from a Policy Perspective,” Cook argued in favor of the efficacy of a “ban on the manufacture and sale of small handguns.” In a 1995 piece for the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Cook advised, “Gun shows should be regulated or abolished.”

Perhaps best known to gun owners for having spent years skulking around gun shows with a hidden camera, Wintemute is the Director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis – which is the site of California’s state-funded anti-gun factoid factory. Wintemute is a vocal critic of the CDC anti-gun advocacy funding restriction and has previously collaborated with handgun prohibition organization the Violence Policy Center.

There is no indication on when the remaining volumes of the NFCTA will be published. However, a reasonable person might expect this anti-gun collaboration to be wrapped up before January 3, 2023 – the date the 118th Congress will be seated.

About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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Captn John

Congress no longer makes any but feel good laws making them worthless. In order not to piss off voters they have bureaucrats in alphabet agencies making laws. If atf had to go to congress to pass laws there would be far fewer restrictions and more liberties

Wild Bill

Yes, FDR came up with that.


Zero tolerance for felons in possession of firearms. Zero tolerance for those who violate our borders. Zero tolerance for drug cartels. Zero tolerance for. violent criminals. All of them, by all means of attack. Progressive delusion about how to control crime plagues us. Control the intent and not the implement. It is a matter of people control. Bad people. But those bad people are also the constituents and enablers of the Harris/Biden regime. Rogue federal agencies are composed of rogue federal agents. When these rogue federal agencies reach a critical mass they make up a rogue federal government. This is… Read more »


“Zero tolerance for felons in possession of firearms.”

What if the felony was possession of a rifle with a 15.75″ barrel without first going through the federal process of asking permission (and paying the tax) to own it?

What if, in the future, it is a felony to possess a semiautomatic rifle without registering it? Send violators to prison for 10 years?

The BATFE is not “rogue” – they follow orders.

Calling them “rogue” excuses the President and Attorney General from their role in never-ending gun control.


The ATF needed to be abolished decades ago.


The Bureau of Prohibition should never have been created.

The Bureau of Prohibition should never have had its function changed and be renamed the Alcohol Tax Unit.

The Alcohol Tax Unit should never have had its function changed and be renamed the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division.

After the GCA of 1968 was created, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division should never have had its function changed and be renamed the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division.

The Republicans should never have created the BATFE from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division.


I know you like to blame the republicans for everything but they didn’t create the ATF.


I am a Republican.

The person who created the BATFE was a Republican (from Texas)

His boss was a Republican (from Texas).

The President at the time was a Republican.

Wild Bill

Yes, he was a repub, but that gave him no authority to create the ATF. He was the Sec. Treas., which did give him authority to create the ATF as a working unit of IRS.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wild Bill

He was a Republican and he created the BATFE.

Of course it wasn’t the fact that he was a Republican that gave him that authority.

His boss was a Republican.

The president was a Republican.

The Republicans created the BATFE when they should have eliminated the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division.


The bigger issue was that no one stopped it.

Wild Bill



You’re wrong, but I’m not going to argue with you about it.


Charls Edward Walker created the BATFE – he was a Republican. He was born in Graham, Texas.  

His boss was John Connally – he was a Republican. He was born in Floresville, Texas.

The president at the time was Richard Nixon – he was a Republican.

Please indicate what is incorrect with the above.

Wild Bill

You are smarter than I am.

Wild Bill

You are quite correct. Being a member of the repub. party gave ATF’s creator no power or authority to create ATF. Being the Sec. Treas. gave him power and authority to create ATF as a specialized working unit.


Lame strawman. He doesn’t like to blame “the republicans” for everything.

Wild Bill

The book “Unintended Consequences” explains how all those prohibition agents were about to be unemployed after the repeal of prohibition and how the Sec. Treas. created jobs for them.
“Unintended Consequences” is worth the price just for the history that it preserves, and that the Feds would like everyone to forget.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wild Bill

Zero tolerance for felons in possession of firearms” is really based on gun grabber principles.

The penalty should be based on the crime, not the tool used. Once someone “serves their time”, his human rights should be restored. If he can’t be trusted with a gun, he can’t be trusted with thousands of other means of killing people.

Many felons committed non-violent victimless “crimes” that were legal 100 years ago.


“The researchers looked favorably on the use of frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers as a form of leverage to secure acquiescence to state gun control measures.”

One of the worst people who used this tactic was Rudy Giuliani. He was called a “good man” on this site.


A lot of people have called Rudy a good man on this site. A lot of people have called him an SOB too.


He’s an SOB.

The person who called him a good man is a government-worshipping statist who is just fine with other people’s rights (protected by the 4th amendment) being violated and who doesn’t care that Rudy used taxpayer money to sue firearm manufacturers for manufacturing firearms.

It’s not a mystery how we go to this stage.

Other people on this site go on about “the law is the law – that guy is a felon, he deserves what he gets.” Some people have to touch the stove to know it’s hot.


I admired Rudy on 911 and in the immediate aftermath of that terrorist attack. I thought he handled that well.The Rudy of today I have really grown to dislike. ( Trumps personal attorney)


Never really care for him then either.


He has always been an anti-2nd Amendment POS:

“Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone, joined by Corporation Counsel Michael Hess, today announced that the City of New York has filed a lawsuit against two dozen major gun manufacturers and distributors.”


Reply (with link) on hold.

Rudy has always been anti 2nd Amendment.

Anyone can do a search on “Giuliani announces lawsuit against two dozen major gun manufacturers and distributors.”


I never even thought much about his position on the 2A and wasn’t aware of those lawsuits he was involved in. I sure don’t have any kind words to say about anyone who’s anti-2A.


He stomped on rights protected by the 1st amendment and 4th amendment when he was mayor.

A quick search on his lawsuits will provide anyone information on how he used taxpayer money to sue firearm manufacturers.


They Rudy of 911 was the kind of ass who prohibited pilots from carrying on board, which would’ve prevented 911.

Wild Bill

“He’s an SOB” (sic) That’s ok, we knew what you meant.


What do you think is an error?

(Your use of the “royal we” is obnoxious.)

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Wild Bill

I’m am only elaborating because you have asked. SOB begins with a consonant, thus requiring the article “a” (e.g. a son of a bitch.)


That’s not the way it works, Wild Bill:

A son of a bitch


Pronouncing the letter “S” (S-O-B) requires the use of “an.”

Spellchecker did not serve you well in this instance – it recognized “SOB” as the word meaning “to weep” not the acronym.


If someone pronounces “LEO” as a word (like the lion), “a” should be used: A LEO.

If someone pronounces each letter L-E-O separately, “an” should be used. An L-E-O.

Wild Bill

No. that is wrong.
Please see “Practical English Handbook” by Watkins, Killingham and Martin, Ed 5 p297
Please see also “The Goofproofer” by Stephen J. Manhard, p29.
Have a nice day.



You are confusing a “consonant sound” with a “consonant.”

Saying the letters “S” and “L” are not consonant sounds.

Maybe an example would help.

A LEO let out a sob when his credentials were revoked. Upon observing his anguish, a passerby scolded him: “serves you right, you’re an SOB.”

Even the people teaching English at Hamline know these basic rules.

Wild Bill

Only H when silent, U when long, and y are effected by the sounds exception. S and L are consonants and consonant sounds and not specifically mentioned in the list of exceptions to the rule. Your example is still wrong.
Please see prior references.


No, “an” is properly used before the letters “S” and “L” when the letters are referred to as letters, because when pronounced as letters, they do not have a “consonant sound.”

My example is correct:

“a” should be used before “LEO” (because it is commonly pronounced as a word, like the lion).

“a” should be used before “sob” when sob is used as a word, meaning “an act of weeping.”

“an” is properly used before SOB (because it is commonly pronounced by the individual letters, S-O-B).

Get your books out and look a little closer.

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Wild Bill

I care not an erg about how you speak, and barely care about your writing. You can not make up rules of grammar on your own authority. I have given you two referenced that dispute you.


No need to be testy just because you are wrong. It’s all right here:

Wild Bill

The crap you find on computer is not authoritative. You embrace Gen. X baby talk. Figures.


You’re wrong about the rules for “a” and “an.”

You were wrong yesterday regarding “whoever” and “whomever.”

I don’t normally point out such errors, but you raised the issue here.

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Wild Bill

The internet is not authoritative, just convenient.


Go read your books more thoroughly.

These are correct (from the above example):

“let out a sob”

“you’re an SOB”

Wild Bill

They are not correct. Read a real book sometime. Your internet education is dismal and telling. The way that you treat others is unforgivable.


“They are not correct. Read a real book sometime. Your internet education is dismal and telling. The way that you treat others is unforgivable.” ~ Wild Bill

You are a hypocrite and you are wrong about the use of “a” and “an.”

Wild Bill

You try to pass off superficial internet research as an education, and you are wrong about the use of a and an.


You derailed a conversation about Giuliani, made an inaccurate comment about my grammar, and then told me to read a real book and declared that my “internet education” is dismal. Now you have written: “You try to pass off superficial internet research as an education, and you are wrong about the use of a and an.” Are you back on your tactic of asserting I don’t have an education and therefore you are right? If so, why do you believe I don’t have an education? Why are you so obsessed with my education – I don’t talk about it.  I provided you a… Read more »

Wild Bill

I provided you with real references rather than internet crap.


Do your books really not address acronyms? It’s funny you point out issues (writing errors, “insults,” etc.) with only those people you don’t like. The way you selectively do things like that is similar to the way government employees selectively enforce laws against only the people they don’t like.  You’re so eager to do this, you pointed out an error that didn’t exist in this case. You refuse to admit when you are just wrong on something (not merely a difference of opinion). You are doing that in this case and you did it the day before when you defended your error (that… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Wild Bill

You do the same, but in an unlearned, superficial at best, way. You twist meanings to new definitions to fit your paper thin argument rather than searching for true meanings. Your education is an internet pedagogy. Your purpose is narcissistic.


There you go again.

Why are you obsessed with my education? Education is a means of obtaining knowledge. You use your degrees themselves as validation of your argument. Why do you believe my education is “an internet pedagogy?” Regarding narcissism, you should look in a mirror.

Back to your error (and the reason for you trying to change the topic again), I’ve provided you specific references that describe the situation being discussed. Are you sure your books don’t do the same?

Last edited 1 month ago by JSNMGC
Wild Bill

No, your lack of education. Wrong again. I use references so that my credibility never comes into question. Because the internet is not reliable or authoritative. Books have legions of reviewers and years of review. Internet articles do not and deceivers know it.


Ok, why are you obsessed with your belief that I have no education?

I’ve provided you specific references (in books) that describe the situation being discussed. Are you sure your books don’t do the same?


Anyone who writes “a SOB” needs a goofproofer. You simply refer to an alleged proof source but don’t quote it because it would make you look like a goof.

Wild Bill

Get some education.


Already got far more than you did, obviously.


Wild Bill

You have to go by the rules of grammar in written work, not what you are used to saying.


Bill, if you insist on being a Prissy little B, at least be right. Folks often say the letters “S O B” instead of expanding the abbreviation. Only “a idiot” would say “a S O B”.

Yesterday you misused the objective pronoun whomever as a subject pronoun. Did you learn that at Hemline U or the War College?

“A word to the wise: Whomever is even more vogue than whom. Many use it indiscriminately to sound cultured, figuring that no one will know any better.
-Grammarbook, describing Wild Bill


Wild Bill

Stop taking shortcuts, read a real book.


Prove you read one.

Wild Bill

I give many references.


And quote none because they’ll make you look like a fool.


They get no reponses if you do not respond. It is that simple.

Wild Bill

They are so insulting that I can not let other readers think that their vile comments are true. My apologies.


No apologies needed Bill. I agree with you, of course. Their whole thing is to cause discourse not social intercourse. They are both filled with so much shite, that the methane coming of of them could light the whole city of Seattle for half a day. If we can just ignore them for long enough they will self implode and Seattle will be at a loss for methane, and that is square with me.


More projection. You two can’t stop lying.


The vile comments are yours & Oldman’s.

“I’m sure you’re an expert on sucking, bro.” ~WB
“They’re all shagging each other in a San Francisco apt.” ~Oldman
“He’ll have to go back to his lonely masturbation, not his mutual masturbation sock pup club. His hand will get very tired.” ~OM
“WB, none of the 3 Amigos has enough juice in the old scrotum to get anywhere near a real man like you.” ~OM
“Probly couldn’t get crack today. I mean smoking, not the other kind. I doubt he ever gets that.” ~OM


When these clowns at the ATF go after Eric Holder and Barrack Obama and Joe Biden for fast and furious then they may have credibility. Until then they are just another criminal alphabet soup agency with zero credibility . FJB and the ATF


These A holes can pass what they want I will not be participating. SHALL NOT INFRINGE !


That ain’t the ATFBI’s only pard.

“Our ATF partners.” -Larry Keane, NSSF