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On Monday Nick Leghorn wrote about an internal memo that highlights some proposed pro-gun moves by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The policy change proposals in the internal “white paper” stand as good news…at least on the surface. However, these proposals – while laudable – may only serve as an effort to blunt other more ambitions efforts in the works that would roll back 80 years of gun control in America.

Make no mistake, the BATF bureaucrats didn’t suddenly find Jesus. And they surely haven’t repented for any past sins. They know that if Congress passes legislation striking these rules and regulations — in contrast to administrative rule changes by the Bureau — any new laws passed would make it much more difficult for a subsequent administration to put restrictions back in place. It would literally take an act of Congress.

Yes, Donald Trump is draining the swap. And in this case, the slimy swamp creatures are looking to limit any long-term damage to Big Gun Control schemes before the Congress or the president get involved in legislatively. The white paper proposals are an attempt to do just that. As Nick noted, these proposals aren’t yet official, but they serve as an indication of the general directions of things to come. While changes to bureau-level rules are good, we should go farther, seeking permanent changes through the law-making process.

Hoplophobic bureaucrats fear what the U.S. House did last week to President Obama’s Social Security gun ban, moving to strike the new rule. That legislation now goes to the U.S. Senate. President Trump will no doubt sign the bill if it reaches his desk. Once that happens, Obama’s onerous “rule” couldn’t return without difficult-to-pass future legislation. Let’s hope there’s more of the same in our future.


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  1. I have been waiting for my Form 1 tax stamp for a short barrel rifle since June of 2016 and to date nothing although they gladly charged my credit card within 1 week of receiving my papers! My children were conceived and delivered in less time than this!! How can I find out why they are taking so long as I have heard absolutely nothing and have been told not to bother the ATF to find out the status as it will only slow down the processing! I think 9 months is more than the average wait time so slowing down the process isn’t my concern now!! Who do I contact to check on my status? I have noted that Gun trust applications for a tax stamp take a bit longer this is way above average for the noted response time!!

    • I sent mine in April of last year. We called to find out the status, they told me the stamp was sent on Dec20. My local gun shop never received it and they have to send another one out, how the hell long is that going to take? The whole NFA thing is just a way to harass gun owners.

      • ^Exactly. The fines weren’t set at the modern-day equivalent of $3,500 per stamp because they were trying to stop criminals.

    • THAT’S what so-called universal background checks (UBC) would look like. UBC is just a euphemism for criminalizing private firearms sales. Why? Because the background checks could only be conducted by those holding federal firearms, because only FFL can access the FBI’s background check system.

      Once the government can legally compel all firearm sales to flow through a channel that they control, then they can underfund and understaff it, anything to slow walk transactions and make firearms ownership as onerous as possible, just like they’re doing with NFA items.

    • I filed a Form 1 in mid June that hasn’t been processed yet either (e-file). If you’re looking for a good resource for time estimates, check out It’s a fairly large community of people reporting the actual timeframes taken to receive their forms. We’re always looking for more users to increase accuracy of the platform.

  2. Yeah, after the initial glee wore off, I realized they as quick as they go away, they can be put back. That’s why I’m still pushing my legislative reps to support and pass the HPA.

    • Here’s hoping we can use the white paper(s) as a lever to help get these proposals through congress. Example:

      “Look! Even the BATFE says this is a good idea, and they are the ones who enforce these laws and prosecute violators! They’re the ‘experts’, so we should do what they say; even Dems have said so in the past!”

      Deity knows we’ve heard enough of these kinds of endorsements going in the OTHER direction over the last few decades.

  3. I will take the rule changes while congress critters go about removing the infringements on the second amendment. The glass is half full 🙂

    • I agree; let’s take the rule changes when they are on-offer.

      The OP imagines that we will “have our way” with Congress and the President. This expectation is wholly unrealistic. We ought to feel grateful if Congress passes a couple of legislative acts per session. If we get Congress and the President moving in the right direction for 4 – 8 – 12 – 16 years we will make a lot of progress. But we must be realistic. The 2A is among the least of the numerous really compelling issues (money) that Congress MUST deal with. We brung Trump to the dance; he and his Congress better express their appreciation.

      In the mean time, ATF will be fighting for its survival. There is a line of reasoning that we are better off with an ATF we can influence vs. an FBI that we can’t influence. We should be urging ATF to Come to Jesus and reform it’s regulatory agenda toward working on things that are useful – and therefore – would justify its continued existence. E.g., if the ATF and the PotG can jointly tell Congress that silencers in the NFA was ill-conceived from the beginning and, in any case, obsolete today, then let’s pluck this low-hanging fruit. It would be difficult for the Progs to take-it-back in a decade or two if there has been no evidence of public safety being compromised by silencers.

      The only thing I noticed in the white paper that bothered me was permanent FFL retention of records. I wrote to the author explaining that this was going in the wrong direction. ATF ought to do a study of traces by year-of-age to justify whatever retention period might be justified by discovery of useful evidence.

      Imagine how much better off we would be if we could get ATF concentrating on cases of actual crimes where a gun was used. On Felon-in-Possession cases. ATF could show efficacy that justifies its budget. PotG would have ATF off-our-backs on enforcement of regulations that don’t combat violent crime.

      ATF is inviting us to dance today. Though she spurned our invitations for decades, we now have an opportunity to make some progress. Let’s not be foolish in throwing this opportunity away.

  4. Roll back the laws. Repeal them with acts of Congress. We may never have a better chance than the two year window we have now, and shame on us if we let any obstacle stand in our way, or half-measures distract us.

  5. Regulations loosened by bureaucrats can be tightened by bureaucrats.
    Don’t be fooled by this feinted retreat.
    Accept the new rules but demand laws.

  6. Keep pushing and always remember
    The ATF needs to be disbanded

  7. Rule changes at the BATF don’t fool anyone. The only time we relax is when the US Supreme court makes a historic ruling. All this other crap is just that, crap and a lot to do about nothing. Nobody is fooled.

  8. I see it as more dangling the carrot, with the hope being that by “leaking” that they are thinking about changing things, gun owners will stop pressuring their congressmen and then they drag their feet only promising to make changes every time people start to ratchet up the intensity effectively stalling any meaningful reform until political winds change again. Obama did this successfully with immigration for nearly his entire presidency. He kept promising and promising and won reelection on these false promises all while never actually delivered anything even approaching meaningful change.

    So now more than ever we need to hold our representatives’ feet to the fire if we want to see meaningful restoration and advancement of firearms rights.

  9. The highest law of the land (our nation’s constitution) says, “shall not be infringed”. However, there is all kind of infringements. I don’t see how any agency could not just blow off any laws as that is exactly what has happened.

  10. Kimberley Strassel. columnist for the Wall Street Journal, published week before last an interesting piece on the Congressional Review Act, the means by which Congress can revoke regulations published by the Executive. We’ve all read that there is a 180 working day limit from the time the regs are published for Congress to act. Turns out there is another time line: 180 days from when the administrative agency notifies Congress of the regulation, and the determinative timeline is WHICHEVER ONE TAKES PLACE LAST. There is a large question out there as to how many of the regs published during the Obama Administration were ever reported to Congress. Could be every damn one of them is up for review. The beauty of the Congressional Review Act is that items brought up for a vote cannot be filibustered in the Senate. (It is subject to a veto by the President). Strassels’s article was based on an interview with the Congressional staffer who actually wrote the Congressional Review Act passed by Congress in 1996.

  11. As has been said before … if this much can be done without Congress, then Congress has ceded far too much power to the executive branch.

  12. If you can get rid of the ATF, then you can get rid of a lot of your ahole neighbors needing jobs (a/ka: your government) by just telling them they need (and get to) go the F home without requiring more physical compuction [both and either are the true pupose of the 2nd Amendment]. Or you can roll and pound the Declaration of Independence “taste-deep” in your a_ _ (after reading Paragraph 2 thereon).

    The more = pigs are just your ahole neighbors who needed a job and too many are trying to overthrow the US gov’t to do UN globalist “sustainability”. Keep your guns for the end of America.

  13. ATF serves NO PURPOSE..
    Except to run guns into Mexico.
    If one thinks the gun running into Mexico is it..
    I bet you eat only 1 Potato chip.
    A Tiger doesn’t change it’s stripes, only it’s hunting style and grounds.
    ATF has to be wiped away,flushed like a good morning dump!

    • (乃•̃̀᎑•̃)乃 = “??? Please insert ATF into Receptacle !!! Push Lever to Flush Governmental Bureaucracy down the S#itter !!!”

  14. BATFE ADD Ronald Turk’s white paper may also have been written in anticipation of President Trump’s January 30th ‘Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs’. This Executive Order requires “…that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination…” This Executive Order drove a lot of bureaucratic pearl clutching in Washington after its concept was leaked in December.

    Turk’s masters in the BATFE Office of Corporate Counsel are probably lining up the sacrificial lambs so they have head room for yet more regulations. It doesn’t hurt that they are jettisoning some of their most recent embarrassements, either.

  15. Be rid of the ATF. Border patrol needs the agents, weaponry, and funding. Bada Bing bada boom two birds one stone. Now, I’d also pack that border with drones and MRAPS too but the remnants of the ATF is a good start.

  16. Author John Boch writes: “[…] other more ambitious efforts in the works that would roll back 80 years of gun control in America.”

    Are you just speculating/hoping here or is this statement based on actual inside information? If the latter is the case, does that expression allude to anything beyond the Hearing Protection Act which is currently crawling its way through congress?

  17. “Yes, Donald Trump is draining the swap. And in this case, the slimy swamp creatures are looking to limit any long-term damage to Big Gun Control schemes before the Congress or the president get involved in legislatively.”

    Limit long-term damage to Big Gun Control? I think it is much more accurate to say that ATF employees want to protect their income stream … even if that requires infringing on the unalienable rights of We the People.

    When personal income is at stake, government employees are virtually guaranteed to follow orders — no matter how illegal, unjust, immoral, heinous, or unConstitutional those orders may be.

  18. Getting rid of laws and regulations is just skimming the surface. No American will ever be free until every leftist is removed from government and every rogue agency is disbanded.

    The rot has to be torn out root and branch.

  19. The BATF employees are working against these changes because when they are made, they can kiss thier current job bye bye. Who is to know where they will land or if they will be forced out. The top and half of middle management would be looking at being phased completely out of government service if the FBI were to take over control, or they would be checking tobacco shipments or working on home done alcohol. A real carreer stopper for them.

  20. The ATF needs to be rained in by legislation. Any regulations they change to suit the current administration will be reinstated as soon as there is a change in administrations.

  21. I’m pretty confident the leaked White Paper is going to be very helpful in getting the Hearing Protection Act Passed. It will probably wind up that the author, Ronald Turk, will testify on behalf of the HPA in Congress. If this helps pass the HPA as I suspect, I will take that as a good first step and be happy with the progress it represents.

    Sure I would love for the ATF and the NFA to go away overnight. But I live in the real world, and know to change the system, you have to work within the system. If we have to chip away at the NFA one piece at a time, so be it.

    So when you guys jump on me saying the ATF/NFA must go now, tell me what you are doing about it first! Other than writing a post. At least I have put my money and energy into getting the HPA past. Probably more than you are doing.

    • Agreed. Work for eliminating all of it- but take small victories along the way. The ATF claiming a “shoulder brace” (silly concept in the first place) magically becomes a SBR if shouldered is low hanging fruit. Pick that fruit until (Lord Willing) positive legislation is actually passed the defangs the evil bureaucrats.

  22. ATF is 1) Afraid for their jobs so they’re pretending to have seen the light; and 2) Hoping to take the hit with an administrative rule change now so that these points can all be reinstated later when (inevitably) there will be another leftist president.

    Don’t take the easy way out with executive orders. Move these proposals through congress and codify them into LAW.

  23. I hope Trump and the GOP acts quick on gun law reform. I’d rather see them do something on this than spend all their political capital on helping cable companies and banks make more money.

  24. Bad choice of picture to use because of the angle and “debth-of-field”. Makes it look like the musket is pointing at the cadets head.
    Violation of the first rule in handling any or all fire arms…….loaded or not.


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