Just in the last hour someone leaked an ATF White Paper regarding changes to be potentially made in the ATF.
If this is real, it's got several big changes suggested. One of the biggest being on suppressors:
...While DOJ and ATF have historically not supported removal of items from
the NFA, the change in public acceptance of silencers arguably indicates
that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and
historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be
reevaluated. ATF’s experience with the criminal use of silencers also
supports reassessing their inclusion in the NFA. On average in the past
10 years, ATF has only recommended 44 defendants a year for prosecution
on silencer-related violations; of those, only approximately 6 of the
defendants had prior felony convictions. Moreover, consistent with this
low number of prosecution referrals, silencers are very rarely used in
criminal shootings. Given the lack of criminality associated with
silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed
as a threat to public safety necessitating NFA classification, and
should be considered for reclassification under the GCA.
While it could be that some of the people at ATF who aren't political asshats are finally trying to get some intelligent fixes done, it could also be said asshats trying to stay in control. If the Hearing Protection Act goes through it would not give ATF any leeway in deciding on suppressors, for instance; it could be someone thinking "If we can change things enough to make people think the HPA isn't needed, we'd be able to change things around later."
Likewise, with a bill being pushed to make the ATF go away, this might be a "See, we can be reasonable! Don't make our agency go away!"*
We'll see how this goes.
*Why yes, I am very suspicious about such anymore.