Top federal gun official proposed a startling roll back on firearm restrictions on Trump’s first day
A white paper written by the second-highest ranking member of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives proposed a number of rollbacks on gun restrictions, including looser laws on silencers, armor-piercing bullets, and some foreign-made rifle imports, the Trace reports.
Ronald Turk, the associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the ATF outlined in a memo published on Jan. 20, the same day as President Donald Trump’s inauguration:
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,
Two former ATF officials who spoke with the Trace explained that Turk’s move is “unheard of,” noting the memo adopted his personal opinions on the matter of gun regulation. The officials added that the memo sounded more like “a pitch to the Trump administration for the agency director’s job.”
“It does seems to be a wish list of the gun lobby,” said Chelsea Parsons, the vice president of guns and crime policy at the Center for American Progress. Parsons, noting that the white paper sets a “dangerous tone,” added, “It seems to prioritize relieving these perceived burdens on the gun industry without a full consideration of any impact on public safety.”
One part of the proposals written in the memo would make it easier to sell firearms across state lines, as well as on the internet. Turk’s memo suggests that gun dealers should be allowed to travel across state lines for the purpose of selling firearms as long as they also respect the state’s gun laws, adding that there could be venues for dealers who sell predominantly on the internet to obtain a license to do so.