What Gun Regulations Should be “Repealed or Replaced”?

From The Trace - The Bureau of Alco­hol, Tobac­co, Firearms and Explo­sives is polling out­side inter­est groups about what gun reg­u­la­tions to elim­i­nate fol­low­ing an edict from the Trump admin­is­tra­tion to cut gov­ern­ment red tape.

In three closed-door meet­ings held in May and June, top ATF offi­cials sep­a­rate­ly asked firearms-indus­try lead­ers, law enforce­ment offi­cials, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from gun-vio­lence pre­ven­tion groups what cur­rent reg­u­la­tions could be elim­i­nat­ed with­out risk­ing pub­lic safe­ty, accord­ing to atten­dees who went to one or more of the meet­ings.

An agen­da for a May 22 meet­ing with gun-indus­try lead­ers, obtained by The Trace, asked atten­dees to con­sid­er three ques­tions: what impact cur­rent reg­u­la­tions have on gun-vio­lence pre­ven­tion; what reg­u­la­tions need to be “repealed, replaced, or mod­i­fied,” and what reg­u­la­tions are out­dat­ed.

One per­son present at the meet­ing with gun-vio­lence pre­ven­tion groups, which also took place May 22, said offi­cials asked whether there were any reg­u­la­tions that peo­ple present “would oppose elim­i­nat­ing.” This per­son said he feels there are many reg­u­la­tions that the ATF enforces that are essen­tial to pub­lic safe­ty, and that he wasn’t pre­pared to list all of them on the spot. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Amer­i­cans for Respon­si­ble Solu­tions, the Brady Cam­paign to Pre­vent Gun Vio­lence, and Every­town for Gun Safe­ty attend­ed the ses­sion. (Every­town pro­vides finan­cial sup­port to The Trace).

Firearms-indus­try offi­cials have long com­plained about what they call need­less reg­u­la­tions enforced by the ATF, which over­sees firearm man­u­fac­tures and deal­ers, oper­ates the nation­al gun-trac­ing cen­ter, and enforces fed­er­al gun laws. In Jan­u­ary, Ronald Turk, the agency’s asso­ciate deputy direc­tor and chief oper­at­ing offi­cer, wrote a con­tro­ver­sial white paper sug­gest­ing that the bureau “review” more than two dozen reg­u­la­tions, includ­ing restric­tions on the sale of silencers and armor-pierc­ing bul­lets, and a ban on the import of some for­eign-made rifles.

In Feb­ru­ary, Pres­i­dent Trump signed an exec­u­tive action direct­ing each fed­er­al agency to set up a task force to iden­ti­fy cost­ly reg­u­la­tions that could be scaled back.

Turk was the high­est-rank­ing ATF offi­cial to attend the May and June meet­ings with the dif­fer­ent inter­est groups. The dis­cus­sions were intend­ed to be pri­vate, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from orga­ni­za­tions that attend­ed either declined to speak on the record or did not return calls seek­ing com­ment.

The ATF also declined to com­ment specif­i­cal­ly on the meet­ings, but in an emailed state­ment, a spokesper­son for the agency said that con­ver­sa­tions with gun-indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in par­tic­u­lar, are both rou­tine and ben­e­fi­cial.

Engag­ing in open dia­logue with these pro­fes­sion­als allows us to bet­ter under­stand the indus­tries we reg­u­late and clar­i­fy our process­es and pro­grams,” the spokesper­son said.

Some details about the meet­ing with firearms-indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives had pre­vi­ous­ly been made pub­lic. On May 26, Lawrence Keane, the senior vice pres­i­dent of the Nation­al Shoot­ing Sports Foun­da­tion, an indus­try trade group, said in a blog post that he was hap­py to pro­vide input on the “much-need­ed” reforms.

It is a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with an admin­is­tra­tion that wants to advance the con­tri­bu­tions of the firearms and ammu­ni­tion indus­tries to our nation­al, state and local economies,” Keane said in the post. “These are dis­cus­sions that would allow indus­try mem­bers to con­tin­ue to grow their busi­ness­es and cre­ate new jobs.”

Accord­ing to two peo­ple present at the ATF meet­ing with gun-vio­lence pre­ven­tion groups, peo­ple present expressed con­cern about Turk’s white paper, which quot­ed the Sec­ond Amend­ment on its title page. They asked whether its tone indi­cat­ed that the firearms indus­try has too much influ­ence at the ATF.

Turk sug­gest­ed in his paper that reg­u­la­tions be eased on pur­chas­ing sup­pres­sors, also known as silencers. Under the 1934 Nation­al Firearms Act, peo­ple who want to buy sup­pres­sors have to sub­mit fin­ger­prints and a pho­to­graph, pay a $200 tax and be entered into a fed­er­al reg­is­ter. There is a back­log of about nine months for the ATF to process those appli­ca­tions.

Rolling back such restric­tions is not some­thing the ATF can do alone. A bill that would elim­i­nate the tax and the appli­ca­tion process is pend­ing. Any­one buy­ing a silencer from a licensed firearms deal­er will still need to pass a back­ground check.

In April, Turk told the House Com­mit­tee on Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Reform that he wrote the white paper to spur dis­cus­sion, so the agency would be ready if the Trump admin­is­tra­tion asked for ideas about reduc­ing reg­u­la­tions. He argued in the paper that the pro­pos­als would ease the bur­den on the ATF to enforce restric­tions that have lit­tle pub­lic-safe­ty ben­e­fit, and free up resources to fight crime.

One per­son present at the ATF meet­ing with gun-vio­lence pre­ven­tion groups said Turk stat­ed dur­ing the dia­logue that any reform that would com­pro­mise pub­lic safe­ty “was prob­a­bly not on the table.”

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the gun safe­ty groups asked the ATF to pro­vide them with more data, both about the bureau’s law enforce­ment efforts and about its indus­try reg­u­la­tion efforts, so that stake­hold­ers could make edu­cat­ed assess­ments of whether poli­cies are work­ing. They said that ATF offi­cials agreed to share the infor­ma­tion.

The ATF said at the meet­ings that a key goal at the agency in the com­ing years is to improve infra­struc­ture upgrades at sev­er­al ATF facil­i­ties. At present, box­es of records from licensed gun deal­ers that are no longer in oper­a­tion are kept in ship­ping con­tain­ers in the park­ing lot of the Nation­al Trac­ing Cen­ter in Mar­tins­burg, West Vir­ginia, await­ing pro­cess­ing. The ATF would like to add a sec­ond sto­ry to the trac­ing cen­ter build­ing to hold some of those doc­u­ments, atten­dees said.

The ATF is also hop­ing to build a $40 mil­lion facil­i­ty, ten­ta­tive­ly named the Nation­al Cen­ter for Gun Inves­tiga­tive Excel­lence, in Huntsville, Alaba­ma. The cen­ter would pro­vide local police depart­ments sup­port in match­ing bul­let cas­ings found at crime scenes with oth­er shoot­ings and crime guns, peo­ple at the meet­ings said. Fund­ing for such a facil­i­ty has not yet been allo­cat­ed.

In a blog post about its meet­ing with the ATF, the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Police Orga­ni­za­tions said the ATF had not made any deci­sions about what reg­u­la­tions it will rec­om­mend eas­ing. Oth­er law enforce­ment groups present includ­ed Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Police, the Fra­ter­nal Order of Police and the Nation­al Sher­iffs Asso­ci­a­tion, among oth­ers, the post said.

ATF cur­rent­ly does not have any reg­u­la­tions it is look­ing to repeal and it is still await­ing fur­ther direc­tion from the Jus­tice Depart­ment on how to imple­ment the Exec­u­tive Order,” the post said.

Source: https://www.thetrace.org/2017/07/atf-gun-regulations-repealed-replaced-trump/

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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