Leaked ATF White Paper

On January 20th 2017, someone leaked a white paper intended for Ronald Turk, the COO of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive (ATF). With most leaks in recent memory stemming from some negative activity on the part of the government, this leak is a breath of fresh air. The white paper in question is titled, “Federal Firearms Regulations: Options to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations.” Quite a change in tone from the previous eight years.


This white paper details proposals to change regulations for many different aspects relating to the firearm industry. As has been rumored, it discusses removing prohibitive restrictions on silencers as well as allowing forearm braces for handguns. The paper is only eleven pages long and easy to understand, we recommend everyone to read it in its entirety here.  If you are interested for our take on three of the major points that directly affect FFL holders, keep scrolling.


Since FFL123 focuses on guiding applicants through the FFL process, we wanted to cover the sections of the white paper that relate to the business of firearms. Indirectly, all of the white paper affects FFL holders though some elements are more important than others, namely the Gun Show Exclusive FFL, Reimportation of Military Weapons, and Interstate Sales.

Gun Show FFL

Turk’s white paper discusses the possibility of creating a gun show only FFL. Though the paper is not official, it hints at the ATF change in position to allow applicant’s access to an FFL with a focus on gun shows in the same way that they allow dealers to conduct business solely through the Internet. In the short term, the ATF proposes revising current policy while they conduct research to establish the best guidelines in order to move forward.


Many military weapons are abandoned when they are shipped overseas. The ATF is looking into importing stored weapons that have been abroad including modern firearms such M4’s all the way back to WW2 M-1 Garands. This represents the possibility for FFL holders to purchase surplus weapons that have been rare in the domestic market. In order to take advantage of this oppurtunity, users will need to have an FFL so if you haven’t begun the process consider checking out our guide in order to pass the application process with little to no complications.

Interstate Sales

Under current ATF policy, dealers may display products and discuss sales with potential customers at gun shows that are outside their home state, but they cannot exchange the weapon at the show. Instead, they will have to return to their home state and are only allowed to sell a firearms to residents living in their state of record, pretty much defeating the purpose.


The white paper discusses the ease of interstate restriction in a gun show setting. It outlines how it is a simple change of policy rather than a drastic change of law, and can be accomplish relatively easily. It also eliminates the FFL transfer loophole which puts undue burden on the customer and convolutes the records of sale.

Parting Thoughts

Though these changes are only of a few of those outlined in the ATF’s leaked white paper, they are important because it hints that the current administration is considering relaxing restriction and better supporting the 2nd Amendment. While there is nothing official, it does pose something to look forward to. It seems that those who are in the best position to take advantage of these opportunities are those who hold an FFL. If you are considering getting one, please refer to our FFL Guide as a way to help through the application process.

Brandon Maddox :