The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is reportedly looking to trim some regulatory fat with regard to firearms in the United States.
According to The Trace, the ATF held three closed-door meetings in May and June with firearms industry leaders, law enforcement officials, and reps from gun control organizations, asking each group which on-the-books gun regulations could be removed without posing a risk to public safety.
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The Trace obtained an agenda for the May 22 meeting held with firearms industry leaders in which the ATF asked attendees to consider these three questions: what impact current gun regulations have on gun-violence prevention; what regulations need to be “repealed, replaced, or modified,” and what regulations are outdated.
In the meeting with the gun control groups, also held on May 22, the ATF asked attendees—including representatives from Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Everytown for Gun Safety—if there were any gun regulations they “would oppose eliminating.”
The ATF reportedly held the meetings in the wake of an executive order signed by President Trump in February ordering every federal agency to create task forces to identify costly regulations that could be slashed.
It’s particularly interesting to note that Ronald Turk, the ATF’s associate deputy director and COO, was in attendance at all three meetings. Turk, readers will remember, wrote an 11-page white paper in February detailing various ways to “reduce or modify regulations, or suggest changes that promote commerce and defend the Second Amendment,” including removing silencers from NFA regulation; reviewing restrictions on “armor-piercing bullets” and much more.
The bureau hasn’t commented on the meetings specifically, but an agency spokesperson told The Trace in an email that “engaging in open dialogue with these professionals allows us to better understand the industries we regulate and clarify our processes and programs.”
While the ATF is remaining tight-lipped, the NSSF broke its silence just days after the meeting took place. In a May 26 blog post, NSSF senior VP Lawrence Keane confirmed he had met with the ATF to “provide the industry’s voice for these much-needed regulatory 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. These are discussions that would allow industry members to continue to grow their businesses and create new jobs,” Keane said.