The ATF’s associate deputy director, Ronald Turk – second in charge only to acting director Thomas Brandon – recently penned an internal white paper which was leaked to several media outlets, including the Washington Post, who published the letter this week.
In the letter, Turk makes a number of proposals, mainly expressing support for reducing firearms regulations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).
The white paper includes 16 “Points of Discussion,” including expanding licensing of “kitchen table FFLs” without a brick-and-mortar storefront, moving forward with approval for new manufacture of armor piercing ammunition, allowing interstate sales of firearms by FFLs at gun shows, expanding the permitted use of the NICS background check system by FFLS, and providing clarification on several demand letters.
Likely of more interest to many gun owners are several other suggestions that may have a more immediate impact on their firearms collections and uses.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition and related industries, tonight expressed its strong support for President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
“We are pleased to lend our support to President Trump’s nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and urge the Senate to approve his nomination in as expeditious manner as possible,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are confident that Judge Gorsuch will serve our nation with distinction as an Associate Justice of our nation’s highest court and that his service will do honor to the legacy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the protection of the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.
Firearms industry group National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released a statement backing President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General.
The trade association for the firearms, ammunition and related industries, today expressed its strong support for the nomination of the U.S. Senator from Alabama as the 84th Attorney General of the United States.
“During the last eight years, through numerous attacks on our Second Amendment liberties, Senator Sessions has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens, including through his staunch support of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are confident that with Senator Sessions as the top law enforcement officer in the nation that our public will be safer, that criminals will be taken off the streets, that justice will be served, law enforcement priorities will take precedence over politics and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans will be respected.”
Frankly, we here at GunLink are just excited to see someone other than anti-gun Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch filling the roll, whose duties as the head of the United States Department of justice include being at the helm of the BATFE.
Ask any concealed carry license holder who does any appreciable amount of travel and they can tell you that the United States can be a patchwork of state and local laws. Can you have a loaded firearm in your car? Are rifles and handguns treated differently? Does a loaded magazine count as “loaded,” or must a round be chambered? Do No Guns Allowed signs carry the force of law? Can you carry in restaurants which serve alcohol? Is your concealed carry permit even good in your destination state?
These issues might represent a lot to consider when traveling with firearms, but a new bill introduced in the House might solve at least one of them.
Yesterday marked the first day of the 115th Congress and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8) kicked it off with a piece of pro-gun legislation in the form of The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. HR38 would eliminate the confusing hodgepodge of laws across the nation by allowing individuals who legally carry a concealed firearm in their home state to exercise the same right in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry – a concept known as National Reciprocity.
NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris Cox, supported the bill, saying “the current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home.”
Hudson, a strong advocate of Second Amendment rights, has introduced similar legislation in the past, including last session’s HR986 during the 114th Congress. Despite decent support from among his congressional peers, this bill failed to make it through the legislative process. Now, with republican control of the House, Senate, and White House – along with at least one Supreme Court seat to be filled by the incoming President Trump – the new iteration of the national reciprocity bill has a chance at passing. It is already off to a good start with a bi-partisan field of more than 60 co-sponsors. Continue reading
Firearms Retailers, NSSF File Federal Suit against Attorney General Healey’s Overreaching ‘Enforcement Notice’
Four federally-licensed Massachusetts firearms retailers and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, today filed action in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to challenge on Constitutional grounds the “Enforcement Notice” issued by state Attorney General Maura Healey. The lawsuit states that her office overstepped its legal authority and deprived the retailers of their due process protections guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The action seeks declaratory relief and a permanent injunction enjoining enforcement.
The retailers are Pullman Arms Inc. of Worcester; Guns and Gear, LLC of Agawam; Paper City Firearms of Holyoke; and Grrr Gear of Orange.
“Attorney General Maura Healey’s actions were unconstitutional. Firearms retailers in Massachusetts cannot determine the meaning or scope of the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice and subsequent explanations,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Because criminal penalties can result due to Attorney General Healey’s unilateral reinterpretation of a state statute done without administrative process or input from affected parties, her office exceeded its lawful authority and retailers were deprived of their due process protections under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
“In addition, if the Attorney General’s Enforcement Notice is understood as applying to all semi-automatic firearms, it violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to keep and bear arms because it bans the manufacture, sale and possession of a broad range of firearms in common use by the citizens of Massachusetts,” Keane said. “Unfortunately, Attorney General Healy’s unconstitutional action has left us no other option than to seek relief from the courts.”
Representing NSSF and the retailers are the Boston-based law firm of Kenney and Sams, P.C., and Michael Sullivan of the Ashcroft Law Firm, who is a former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and former Acting Director, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Read the Civil Action filed today.
The BATFE recently published an open letter to Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) regarding the January 41F ruling (fmr 41P) which makes changes to the way in which NFA applications are handled for legal entities and individuals.
In part, the letter specifies “that a copy of all applications to make or transfer a firearm, and the responsible person questionnaire, if applicable, be forwarded to the [CLEO] of the locality in which the applicant, transferee or responsible person is located (“CLEO notification”)” and that the ruling “eliminates the requirement that an applicant obtain a certification signed by the CLEO before the transfer or making of an NFA firearm may be approved.“
The letter goes on to explain that there is no action required by the CLEO upon receipt (or lack thereof) of the paperwork – to include even confirming receipt of the documents. Further, the letter says that it is up to each CLEO to determine how they dispose of or retain (and whether or not they do either).
Of immediate concern are several potential issues regarding this lackadaisical hands-off approach to record keeping and privacy mandates. One concern would be with how an applicant would prove that they met the new CLEO notification requirement if there is no acknowledgment of receipt by the CLEO, and what future repercussions might be. Application denials? Revocation of approved applications with forced surrender of the firearms? The ATF has already proven that they are not above such tactics in the recent Form 1 Machine Gun debacles, which are still in litigation. Or worse?
The second concern would be how the CLEOs are protecting applicants sensitive information that is contained in the notification paperwork. As the $200 cost associated with making or transferring NFA firearms ($5 for transferring AOWs) is not a fee or a price for goods or services sold but, rather, the tax paid for making or transferring the item, the application could well be considered a tax document. This document details the what firearms are being made or transferred, at which physical address, and – for many applicants – their home address, photograph, fingerprints, signature, and other sensitive information. This information could potentially be problematic if it fell into the wrong hands, which is not outside the realm of possibilities when the CLEO is able to simply toss your notification paperwork into the trash bin for dumpster divers to find or leave it laying around on a desk at the PD for petty crooks to have a look at as they are brought through.
As if identity theft wasn’t enough of an issue, without any mandated safeguards on how this information is to be protected, consider the possibility of a motivated criminal coming to Joe Gunguy’s house at 123 Anystreet Lane to steal the expensive 7.5″ Noveske 5.56 AR-15 pattern rifle to use on the streets. If this firearm is so much more dangerous than an off-the-shelf firearm that it requires owners to to register them and pay an extra $200 tax on them and notify the government when we travel with them, does it make sense for the CLEOs to treat the information about those weapons so recklessly? Or is this just another spotlight on the absurdity of the NFA in general?