Force ATF Associate Deputy Director Turk to resign in light of collaboration with NRA.
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As brought to light by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and reported by CNN, the second-highest ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Ronald Turk, wrote a white paper in collaboration with an NRA lobbyist calling for weaker gun laws and reduced ATF oversight of gun dealers. The drafting of the report started one week following the 2016 election, and was secretly released the day President Trump was inaugurated.
When more than 33,000 Americans are killed every year by gun violence, it is unconscionable for a leader of the ATF to collude with the NRA to advance its “guns everywhere” agenda.
ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon should relieve Mr. Turk of his duties immediately.
In the report, leaked last year to The Washington Post, Associate Deputy Director Turk suggests the ATF should allow gun dealers to sell across state lines, loosen restrictions on gun silencers and more than double the number of crime guns a federally licensed gun dealer sells before coming under ATF scrutiny. All of these policy changes would harm public safety.
Although Turk claims these are just his views, as second in command at the ATF what he believes is sure to have an impact on policy. The report carried the agency seal and Turk’s ATF title. It’s clear that Turk’s intentions were to weaken federal oversight of the gun industry. The original title of the report was “Guns in America – Options for a New Administration” and referenced “securing” Second Amendment rights and “support for the firearms industry.”
As the federal law enforcement agency that “protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, [and] the illegal use and trafficking of firearms,” there is no place for a senior official whose agenda it is to support the gun lobby by weakening federal gun laws.
Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk has to go.
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