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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Friday, February 10th, 2017

Some folks inside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seem to think the way a lot of us do.

Please take the time to read this

… and share your thoughts on it here.

33 Responses to “WELL, WHADDAYA KNOW…”

  1. Joe Says:

    I like how they justify the removal of silencers from NFA is to free up manpower and save money. That’ll be attractive to bean counters and something Trump can boast about.

  2. TN_MAN Says:

    It would appear that the emphasis of the new Trump Administration on de-regulation is already having a positive effect on the thinking over at the BATFE.

    The Obama Administration had done its best to subvert all Government Departments (Justice, IRS, BATFE, etc.) into tools to support the Left-Wing ideology. It is good to see the start of a reversal of this distortion of the functions of Government.

    However, it is still disappointing to see that the BATFE still thinks that their mission is to suppress “Gun Violence”. The whole concept of “Gun Violence”, rather than “Criminal Violence”, is totally Left-Wing. Clearly, there is still a ways to go before the invasive roots of the Left-Wing Government weed, nurtured by President Obama and his team, are finally dug up and thrown on the fire.

  3. Hank Says:

    The guy that wrote that white paper is likely just angling for a promotion now that pro-gun Trump is in charge. He’s ‘signalling’ that he’s willing to play ball with Trump if he gets promoted to ATF director. Just remember, he got the #2 job at ATF by assuring Obama he would crack down on legal gun owners. These bureaucrats are shameless whores.

    But fine, whatever it takes to bring some sanity to our gun laws.

  4. J.J.Kitts Says:

    Yes, a very interesting document… and even more interesting now that we have President Trump.

  5. ctd (LFI-IV) Says:

    That’s a staggering list of unilateral concessions.

    Do we want every single thing listed? Absolutely!

    But beware adversaries bringing gifts unbidden. If that’s the BATFE’s starting offer, where do they expect negotiations to proceed? What do they want out of the deal? Can we actually say “great start, now give us post-’86 machineguns (yes there’s a way without legislation), overnight paperwork processing, and benefit-of-the-doubt rulings”?

    It looks like a pre-emptive attempt to avoid the department being amputated entirely. Don’t settle; they’ve been abusive to gun owners for decades, and will not change their nature overnight if allowed to survive. Remember the scorpion and the frog…

  6. Jeff in WI Says:

    Wow, that was very enlightening. I’m sure the panic on the left is already setting in. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this actually does show that sanity is creeping back into the ATF&E.

  7. Karen Says:

    I found the section on ‘Armor Piercing’ ammunition interesting since this was a heavy news topic a year or two ago. Refreshing was the comment ‘projectiles/calibres at issue will generally penetrate body armour regardless of whether AP cleassified metals are used.’ So, we see with this topic just the term is a hot button issue used to make ammunition more ‘scary’ to the general public.
    HUGs! Kare

  8. Sharpshooter Says:

    Yeah,it was published on Inauguration Day. He knew which way he winds were blowing an the Unemployment office sucks after the posh offices BATFE occupied.

  9. Sharpshooter Says:

    …blowing. And the

    (Gawd, it sucks typing with a mangled left hand.)

  10. thinkingman Says:

    NOT to make an obvious play on a cliche, BUT…it sounds like someone finally figured out what “Common Sense Gun Control” looks like, and it looks like LESS!!

  11. Roger Willco Says:


    To be honest, I skimmed the document. If the ATF is considering being nicer to law-abiding, tax paying, gun owners, then that is a good thing.

    As I read, a thought occurred to me. Why do we need the ATF? Let’s see, we have local municipal police, county sheriffs, state police, the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Patrol, ICE, and the Department of Defense. Maybe those are enough law enforcement organizations for a free country to have. Since the Constitution only authorizes seventeen enumerated powers for the federal government, maybe we could shrink the size of government, and save the tax payers’ money, and reduce the debt, by eliminating unnecessary government bureaucracies. Ahh, but the tax payers are too ignorant to vote for smaller government.

    Like I said, if the ATF is considering fewer infringements on the Second Amendment, then that is a good thing.

  12. RonS Says:

    Many people I have known in the firearm world have maintained over the years that ATF agents are no different than anyone else, with widely varying opinions and beliefs about firearms and firearm owners. I am not surprised that there are enough who just want to do a good job as directed by Congress to make this paper possible. Hopefully, the request for a Senate approved director will happen and between that individual and the president they will get some clear direction and some positive change will happen.

    One thing I would like to see would be an executive order to all federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies that they are to conduct their business with the public in a manner consistent with the idea that all citizens are innocent of ill intent unless proven otherwise. This might alleviate some of the problems of IRS and ATF agents using the laws and regulations to intimidate and harrass members of the public who have made innocent mistakes in compliance, but caused no harm.

  13. Tommy Sewall Says:

    In a way, I’m not at all surprised. It’s like the misconception that most LEO’s support restrictive gun control. On the other hand, its surprising to see this in print. That would have never happened under an Obama or Clinton administration.

  14. Marc-Wi Says:

    Trying to save their butt. With Trump about (we think) to do an overhaul and Rep Sensenbrenner (R Wi) having a bill to dismantle the BATFE they need to cover their butts. The male that wrote that may be looking to get promoted to top dog but a BATFE female lawyer wrote one too. What’s her angle? I don’t trust any of them.

  15. Jim Boatright Says:

    So, this guy knew the ATF was screwing people unconstitutionally all this time? I still want to see this murderous agency terminated with prejudice and all employees fired for cause. No current BATFE employee should ever be hired again by any branch of the government.

  16. Tionico Says:

    Starting with the “disclaimer” on the title page, (not for public distribution) nd the fact that is IS now in public distribution, AND the fact this Turk guy is Number Two now and is more or less “breaking ranks” now (where has HIS voice been since he was No. 2?) the whole thing stinks of “trying harder because we’re number two”.

    BUT.. lets take a quick gander at a few of the “ideas”.
    Silencers. He wants to remove them from NFA status, which means heavy tax, LONG waiting period (a year plus, I’ve heard from some) and a special registration/background check.. for EACH ONE. WHYU? These are no more lethal than a tin of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. WHY even register them? They are NOT firearms. Kick them out of NFA classification, let them fall where they belong….. same category as a riflescope, sling, adjustable iron sights. END the nonsense.

    Interstate gun sales… he raises some valid considerations.. FFL’s are ALREADY government agents under strict scrutiny at all times. HOW does a man with twenty seven rifles taken from his inventory in Vancouver Washignton or Kansas City Kansas, and driven across an imaginary line into Oregon or Missouri, suddenly become a threat, hazard, etc? Simple// He does NOT. End that charade. There remains valid in the Constitution that one of the tasks of FedGov is to “make regular” interstate commerce. My hopping into the Benz and driving across the I 5 Bridge into Portland and buying five boxes of ammunition IS, by definition, “interstate commerce” But make that same trip and get a handgun instead of a box of nine mm ball, what has changed? It is STILL interstate commerce, and the DUTY of FedGov is to assure that commerce can take place unimpeded. Heck, no reason at all I should not be able to buy a handgun in Portland Oregon, just like I now can a rifle, OR that the half dozen FFL’s I know in the Vancouver area can’t also take their product across that stupid ridge and do business in Oregon…..
    End ALL restrictioins on interstate commerce in firearms at the Federal level. *sadly, California will continue to deny their prisoners the RIGHT to buy something in Nevada or Oregon. Until DoJ takes after California’s unconstituional gun control laws, that will continue..another matter). And whilst we’re about making interstate commerse “regular” again, remove all restrictions on shipping handguns interstate. USPS won’t allow it… except for FFL’s to FFL’s. UPS and FedEx will transport them, but ONLY Priority Overnight… about $85. WHY? Because they can. WHY? Becaise there is no other option for we mundanes. When I sell a handguin on GunBroker, it really reams me (and comes out of MY profit) to pay $85 go get that handgun to the guy’s transfer FFL. Or how about if I am sending it to myself because I don’t want to deal with taking it overseas on the airplane….. so I want to ship it back to myself from Atlanta….. but WHY am I forced to pay an FFL here to do the BGC when I buy a handgun from an FFL in Missouri? Why can’t HE run NICS on me?

    Much of the discussion about interstate sales, FFL’s being able to travel to interstate gun shows. and FFL’s with no brick and mortar premises, centres round the ability of BATF to come by at any time and harrass the FFL examning his Record book….. which contains records of all arms, by serial number, make, model, calibre, WHAT is their compelling government interest in keeping records of who has what, and their interest in expanding the situations in which such records are created? The NICS is supposed to be a BACKGROUND check,,,, for the BUYER. WHY is there even a requirement for the specific identifying information on the arms being purchased? If I, MYSELF, pass the BGC, why do they also need a record of what I bought? Remember what happened in EVERY nation where the government maintained a record of who has whet guns? That COULD happen here… and in some parts of HERE it IS happening. I buy a big stand mixer, yes, it does have a serial number on it. Do Costco keep a record of the fact I bought it? I don’t think so. End that practice. Further, when a NICS is run on me, the Proceed Code needs to begin with the last two digits of the year… when I bail out that sweet Weatherby net month from the layaway its on, theyll run my first check this year. It should be my last. I can keep that Proceed Code, and the first two digits confirm I’ve already been BGC’d this year. I can now buy any more arms I wish, simply give that Proceed Code number and until 1/1/18 I”m good to go. Save a WHOLE lot of money for all thise NICS chedks, They’re bellyaching about the limited budget they’re on. Let’s help them out. Armed housebreakers and street muggers could care less how “prohibited” they are. They won’t even try for the NICS check. Better yet, anyone who has a Mother May I Card to carry concealed should only have to present THAT card. No NICS check needed.

    Its FedGov, pandering to the fearmongers like the Btady Brats, that continues to maintain the faux shroud of “dangerous goods” on firearms. Yes, they are… but claw hammers are used more often to kill than all long guns combined. Where is the terror meme on Stanley and Vaughn?

  17. Jo Ann Says:

    I live in California. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  18. JeffG Says:

    Document is an internal memo not for publication from one person so not the ATF’s official position. What is proposed in it doesn’t go far enough. The justification for harsh regulations on suppressors, short barreled rifles and shotguns was always weak but now even more so. With developments like the Tavor and other bullpup rifles and AR15 and AK47 pistols the restrictions now make zero sense. Since NICS exists there is no reason to prohibit non residents from buying handguns in face to face transactions in whatever state they want. The Hughes Amendment never made any sense and should be eliminated. Now that ATF is part of the Justice Dept with prospects to eliminate much of what they do it should be abolished. Remaining ATF law enforcement functions and personnel can just be moved over to the FBI.

  19. Penrod Says:

    I’m thinking President Trump should nominate a new BATFE director with proven ability to run a large organization, perhaps thin on experience with alcohol, tobacco and explosives, but good on guns.

    Im thinking Wayne LaPierre or Erich Pratt for BATFE Director.

    The blood spurting from the gun controllers’ eyeballs would be wonderful to see. Especially when Director Pierre or Pratt advocated for some modest revisions to the various laws empowering the Bureau….

    Yeah, yeah…just a pleasant fantasy on a rainy day here in the gun controllers’ paradise of Hawaii….

  20. Roger in NC Says:

    The paper is very encouraging. BTW, take a look at the author’s bio sometime. Ronald Turk is also a Brigadier General in the Air National Guard (entered service as an E-1 Private), bronze star earned in Iraq and decades of command level service. Trump and his minions should be very willing to listen to this guy.

  21. David S. Keough Says:

    To me, if BATF can lessen restrictions on silencers, with a different administration this same organization can reverse itself. So I vote to get rid of it.

  22. Dennis Says:

    I am thinking that the BATFE believes it may well be in the fight for its life under Trump.

    The new administration ran, at least partly, on reducing the bureaucracy and the number of Federal employees. The BATFE has always been the the b@st@rd step-child of Federal law enforcement agencies since its inception, bouncing around to fall under the purview of at least three executive branch departments. It has been debated in the past why their function could not be absorbed by the FBI. Trump has said he believes the FBI needs to be expanded to handle the increase in terrorist threats.

    With Trumps pro-2A stance, maybe the upper ranks of the BATFE may be trying to send a message ,”Hey! Despite our past behavior, we are all onboard with you, Boss!”.

  23. James Says:

    Thank You President Trump. Let’s hope he takes these recommendations. Although I highly respect our Heroes of Law Enforcement and this extends to individual BATF agents, any agency that President Ronald Reagan called “jack-booted Government thugs,” should be looked at with significant suspicion.

  24. Tahn Says:

    Lets eliminate ALL anti-freedom laws concerning drugs and guns and completely disband both the DEA and the ATF and have them all report to the border patrol.

  25. Jack Says:

    Join the NRA if your not a member, stay informed and let’s make some gains for a change. Life as a gun owner has suddenly become good again. We the next few years ahead of us we’ve got pro gun control over the White House, Congress, Senate and most State Govenors. Life is good, enjoy some safe shooting.

  26. pigpen51 Says:

    Trump’s pro 2nd amendment stance is not all that strong, and only recently brought about, after his sons had a heart to heart talk with him and convinced him that it is the right thing to believe. Trump is not unreasonable, and willing to change his position, when confronted with facts from people whose beliefs he respects. BATFE could be removed from the equation completely, but that is doubtful. I suspect that by releasing this white paper, it is indeed a power play. But any of these changes would be welcome, if just a beginning.

  27. Lisa Says:

    First remember that this was written to NOT be published! So How was it published?
    Also the part about a Senate approved Director is interesting, so who do we get with an Anti-2nd Amend. President.
    Personally just disband the entire organization and have other existing organizations do their work. And understand I am Not a fan of silencers. I like to horse-back ride and Want to hear when people are shooting in the fields, especially if they are poachers. Been there Done that.
    Also isn’t this the same organization who were supposed to run Fast and Furious? Look at how well that turned out, NOT.
    Well for good or not those are my thoughts.

  28. uncle dave Says:

    “Gentlemen, we have our cushy jobs to protect!” Headly Lamar (Harvey Koreman) Blazing Saddles

  29. Martin B. Says:

    I think this really sheds a bit of light on some of the folks at the BATF. I still think there are a fair number of anti-gun folks though too. From the record of the guy who wrote the recommendations he is pretty pro-gun and I think most likely he has been reigned in by the previous administration. I really hope to see these changes but we will see.

  30. TRX Says:

    I’ve talked to several ATF agents over the years, who have indicated that the “Firearms” section is very much the low man on the orgianizational totem pole. My state’s offices doesn’t have even one agent trained to deal with firearms; they have to get one from somewhere else when needed.

    The feeling I got was that the rank-and-file ATF agent views the “F” part as a hassle, and would be glad to see it moved to some other agency, if not go away entirely.

  31. RichNH Says:

    Personally, when I heard about this, I thought like some others. They saw which way the winds were blowing and have decided to reef sails, for now.

  32. Russ Says:

    At some point, there needs to be someone with some serious “family jewels” to put a stop to retaining 4473s. They’re supposed to be destroyed. The government has NO BUSINESS knowing who owns guns. There’s no amount of “spin” that can justify it. The Founding Fathers certainly NEVER meant for the government to track (for years, let along forEVER) who has what gun(s). It’s wrong on so many levels and needs to stop. Gun buying, gun selling, and particularly GUN POSSESSION is NOT the government’s business. I thought we made that point to General Gates rather well, in fact, April 19th, 1775. It’s a lesson we need to remember and enforce.

  33. WR Moore Says:

    I’ve had a long relationship with the BATFE. Like all large institutions, it has folks with differing opinions, skill and dedication levels, vision and intelligence. Also like many large institutions, the neanderthals tend to generate most of the publicity.

    It’s refreshing to see evidence of a sense of the actual agency mission relating to firearms use. It’ll be interesting to see if the white paper survives the cubical critters and troglodites.

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