ATF Signals They Intend to Regulate Bump Fire Stocks Like Machine Guns

Here we go . . . ATF to Publish Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Re: Application of the Definition of Machinegun to “Bump Fire” Stocks and Other Similar Devices

Tomorrow, ATF will publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemakingregarding the application of the definition of machinegun to “Bump Fire” stocks and other similar devices. As many have feared, it appears that the regulatory agency is soliciting feedback as to whether bump fire stocks, binary triggers, etc., fit within the definition of machinegun.

Comments are due thirty (30) days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Assuming that nothing goes awry with the publication tomorrow, that would mean any comment you wish to submit in opposition to this advance notice would need to be submitted by 11:59 PM on Sunday, January 21, 2018. While one might expect an extra day to be provided to place the deadline on a Monday, agency rules govern. ATF confirmed via telephone that the deadline was Sunday.

It was only a matter of time. Despite clearly being unable to define a piece of plastic as a machine gun in the past, the ATF seems bound and determined to twist logic and language to make it so now. Orwell much?

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Mike B in WI says:

    I just went to the link and tried to download the unpublished version and it says that it has been “withdrawn.” Any idea what that means?

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Something about the “published” version being available after the 22nd…
      So we have to wait until tomorrow to vent fire at them?
      🤠

    2. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Clicking through for more info I got:

      “Editorial Note: The Office of the Federal Register withdrew this document after it went on public inspection due to technical errors.”

      … which could mean many things, but probably not what we would want it to mean.

    3. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Here’s a permalink to the published document:

      https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-27920

  2. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    NFA needs to be repealed.

    1. avatar Noishkel says:

      No, the BATFE needs to the disbanded. Full stop.

      1. avatar SigLifeSailor says:

        Por que no los dos?

        1. avatar Noishkel says:

          Because repealing the NFA is just treats a bullet wound with a bandage. As it is now the ATF has the power to just rewrite the law on the fly, as evidenced by the fact that they have the power to do this at all. The law is clear. One pull of the trigger, or in this context one manipulation of the trigger, equals one shot. Yet the ATF want’s to change that to ban these devices that operate well within that legal frame work.

  3. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Not really surprising. There’s a continuum of technology between muzzle (or breech) loaders and fully autonomous weapons, along several axes.

    This moves the “you can’t be trusted beyond this point” marker on one of those axes closer to the muzzle loader end.

    Note, I disagree with having the restriction in the first place.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      The danger comes from redefining machine gun in a way that moves away from its traditional mechanical action and focusing instead setting a “rapid-fire threshold” that requires manufacturers to design mechanical actions like triggers that prevent people from going beyond the predetermined threshold. The result would be a forced redesign of the mechanical actions (i.e., triggers) that make them impossible to shoot effectively. Gun controllers would love to have this kind of control over how the very guns they hate. We saw something similar to this happen with the 55 mph speed limit which car-safety advocates loved by everybody else hated. Government needs to stay away from firearms design.

  4. avatar Nanashi says:

    Thanks NRA!

    1. avatar HP says:

      The NRA is the ATF? Whoa.

      1. avatar Nanashi says:

        NRA repeatedly called for this.

        1. avatar HP says:

          Since when does the ATF take orders from the NRA?

      2. avatar Barnbwt says:

        The NRA gave them the idea and encouragement

      3. avatar J.T. says:

        Doing this was suggested by the NRA.

    2. avatar DoomGuy says:

      Soon when the ATF decides that every semi auto rifle, pistol, and shotgun is a machine gun you’re gonna see a lot more wacos.

      The NRA advocated for a semi auto ban, and for the ATF to wage war on Americans.

    3. avatar Cea says:

      Exactly!!
      Those dumb a$$es just about begged them to reevaluate the bump stocks. Now, they will. I personally have no use for bump stocks. But I believe that if you want one, you should be free to purchase one.
      Thanks Wayne!

      1. avatar Cea says:

        I forgot to mention his buddy Cox’ucker, in the above post.

    4. avatar Tim says:

      NRA started this shit storm, through what they claim are masterful tactics that we mere peons couldn’t possibly comprehend, when after Vegas when they said in an official statement, “Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”

      Here’s the link: https://home.nra.org/joint-statement

      They went a full step further down the Stupid Hole when they included this sentence in the same statement quoted above, “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” Lookie there, the NRA calling for more bans and being their old anti-gun selves again.

      So the NRA’s masterful plan was to get the ATF to ban the bump stocks, and they didn’t care how, presumably to keep Feinstein from reintroducing her AWB. Either Chris Cox and Wayne LaPierre are stoned 90% of the time, or they’re just plain morons to think that ANYTHING they did would stop Feinstein from introducing some anti-gun measure… and they’re working on it… and NRA is once again backing it (“NICS Fix”).

      Here’s the problem with the NRA’s masterful plan, if Trump directs his new ATF director to “make this go away” (and I have very good reason to believe he has done just that) then the ATF will be empowered to redefine the definition of a “semi-automatic”. If they’re going to ban “rate increasing devices”, which is what they’ve been called in every proposed bill, then the ATF will have to set an arbitrary “standard rate of fire”.

      What is a standard rate of fire for a semi-automatic firearm? 1 round per second? Perhaps 2 rounds per second? What the ATF is attempting to do is to scrap the actual law governing what defines a semi-auto, which is defined by mechanical operation, and redefining a semi-automatic by how fast it fires.

      …and yet we still have to explain to people why this so SO DANGEROUS.

      Is any of this legal? Probably not, but when has that stopped the government from doing things? They violate the law and the Constitution on a daily basis. If they go through with this plan, it will likely end up in court and if we’re lucky 5-10 years down the road we’ll find out if we can have our self loading firearms back or not.

      1. avatar George from Alaska says:

        I think everyone is going overboard on this. If you read the full text of the ATF statement it only says that they are seeking input as to whether or not to even review the damn things. Didn’t anyone read the actual letter. How in the world can they reinterpret the law and policies and at least two, maybe four ATF letters to different manufacture of bump fire sticks saying they were ok and did not meet the NFA specs for inclusion in the registry. They did disapprove one bump fire with a spring in it. They have also issued at least four positive letters with regards to binary triggers as being one function of the trigger for each shot fired.
        Have you ever seen Jerry Michelak (so?) shoot against an NFA full auto, a bump fire and a binary trigger. He is only a few rounds per minute slower than a real full auto and about even with a bump fire and a binary trigger… And he is far more accurate than the others in the videos I watched… so ATF will have to register trigger fingers now? I don’t think so and stop the tirade against the NRA. If the NFA classifies everything as belonging in the registery at least you can still get the f’ing things. If Congress had moved on the Feinstein and company bill proposed immediately after Las Vegas tearful Republicans may have voted for an outright ban!
        Just like after Sandy Hook the NRA said nothing for about 10 days, giving things time to calm down and we defeated all five or six attempts to ban semiautos and high capacity magazines.
        The last time the ATF requested comments on whether or not to ban green tip they were overwhelmed with input urging to leave it alone since by their own ruling years ago green tip does not fit the strict definition of AP.
        The NRA has probably done us a favor… but most of you just don’t get it. We have a Republican president and a Republican majority in the House and the Senate and we still could not overturn Obamacare, or keep terrorists from coming to America! And where is my HPA or my 50 state concealed carry reciprocity? Shit happens and SlideFire is still selling stocks as of today so buy some and be done with it…

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “How in the world can they reinterpret the law and policies and at least two, maybe four ATF letters to different manufacture of bump fire sticks saying they were ok and did not meet the NFA specs for inclusion in the registry.”

          Is it not possible ATF will do none of these things, but instead tamper with “semi-automatic”? A good govt employee could argue that times have been “a’changing”, and new technologies have made semi-automatic firearms so near “full automatic” firearms as to leave no meaningful distinction. Changing a regulation definition is not the same as changing law. If ATF gets the notion that the desired govt outcome is to fully regulate semi-auto firearms, ATF will comply. To date, govt has not made it clear to ATF that it is time to move gun control to the next level.

          A proposal to study a proposal is mere cammo, and lacks meaning. Again, no matter the public opinion, ATF (like all other govt agencies) are not bound by regulation, law or legislation to pay a bit of attention. There is no solace there.

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    They did the same thing with M855, got flamed during the comment session and withdrew the proposal. And that was under Obama, a truly anti-gun President.

    I have a suspicion this will go the same way. Just another way for the government to say “Well, we tried”.

    I won’t really be worried unless the comments go in favor of a ban or they ignore the comments and do whatever they want anyway. If they either of those things comes to pass they’ll get sued and they won’t have leg to stand on.

    1. avatar J.T. says:

      I hope so. They don’t have a legal basis to do it, the definition of machine gun is pretty narrow in federal law. There would immediately be lawsuits, but unfortunately I no longer have confidence in the courts to actually uphold the law as written.

      1. avatar matt o says:

        my thoughts exactly.

    1. avatar Chris. says:

      OMG! And they have no Serial Numbers EITHER!!!!

  6. avatar Chris says:

    I can see the headlines already: “Fast and Furious 2: Bumpin’ and Jumpin'”

  7. avatar Bfitz556 says:

    Might want to submit comments in opposition. I know it didn’t do much with 41F, but hey doesn’t hurt.

    Even if they did contort the definition to include them, I suspect there will be legal challenges to this from Slidefire, Fostech, GOA to name a few.

    1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

      With 41P (then F) everyone was thrown under the bus by the NFA Collector’s Association who have 0 interest in allowing us uppity trust members to join their coveted club. At least the LEO sign-off was removed.

      A similar thing happened in all the briefs sent to the courts during Hollis v Lynch and Watson v Lynch.

  8. avatar TruthTellers says:

    The NRA screws us again.

    1. avatar DoomGuy says:

      Yup the NRA has given the ATF their blessing to carry out more wacos on Americans.

  9. avatar anonymoose says:

    When gun control comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and eating pizza crust-first…or something? I dunno.

    1. avatar DoomGuy says:

      It’ll be wrapped up in an NRA endorsement.

  10. avatar little horn says:

    f’n despicable.

  11. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Trying to word the regulation will be entertaining. “Machine gun” has an accepted definition. Trying to make “machine gun” be something like a “machine gun” will be a lawyers retirement plan.

    Remember, the weight of public comment actually has no official standing. Meaning, if ten million people send in opposition comments, the agency is not mandated to follow public opinion.

    “Public Comment” simply means, “OK, you had your say, now we do what we want. Don’t like it? Sue us!”

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Trying to word the regulation will be entertaining.”

      And it opens the door for the grabbers to re-word it at a later date to something like “anything that increases rate of fire” leaving wide-open the ability to ban *any* aftermarket trigger, adjustable or not, binary triggers, etc.

      ‘Entertaining’ isn’t how I see it, its gonna be a horror-show eventually…

      1. avatar DoomGuy says:

        It’s gonna be a blanket semi auto ban.

        And it’s gonna be open season on Americans.

        1. avatar Defens says:

          You really need to look into a prescription for anti-depressants, Doom.

  12. avatar Bud Harton says:

    It is time to petition The Donald to move towards eliminating the BATFE and for Congress to end the NFA.

    The NFA was written to provide jobs for all the Fed employees who would be out of work when alcohol was made legal. The stupid revenoors became the the enforcers of the new NFA tax laws and they have been out of control ever since.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “It is time to petition The Donald to move towards eliminating the BATFE and for Congress to end the NFA.”

      So who do you recommend takes over gun regulations, Bud?

      Congress?

      “Nobody” isn’t an answer, as much as we would like that.

      The next time the balance in Congress swings Left, and it *will* eventually, they will have a grand ‘ole time gutting the 2A…

      1. avatar Bud Harton says:

        The only regulation we need for guns was written in the Bill of Rights. Everything after that is unconstitutional.

        The BATFE (and really big fires) has been out of control for decades. They are a tax enforcing unit and taxes paid to allow ownership of firearms is (dare I repeat myself?) unconstitutional

    2. avatar DoomGuy says:

      Trump is buddy buddy with lapierre so do you really think he gives a shit?

  13. avatar DoomGuy says:

    F&$# the NRA.

    And F)&4 the ATF

  14. avatar DoomGuy says:

    So the NRA basically got what it wanted; a semi auto ban.

    Fuck you Wayne lapierre, soon the very people you called jackbooted thugs will be kicking down doors and murdering Americans when they decide that every semi auto rifle, shotgun and pistol is illegal.

    Fucking judenrat.

    1. avatar WhiteDevil says:

      That will happen exactly 3 times before people start going after their families and killing every ATF agent on sight. This is a group whose agents have used and incarcerated mentally disabled Americans, engaged in illlegal weapons trafficking to drug cartels and who knows what else. They are criminals and the ATF is a bona fide criminal organization.

      1. avatar DoomGuy says:

        And then they’ll use the FBI/ US Military (and there are plenty within the ranks who would fire upon Americans).

        1. avatar WhiteDevil says:

          It’s a sad predicament we’re caught in. Hopefully the ratio of those in the military that would kill other members of the military whom are willing to kill their fellow American civilians, at the behest of a fascistic left-wing government, is advantageous to the protectors of true, unadultered liberty. The FBI, not so much.

  15. avatar Alrik Einsbreker says:

    “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Aricle I, Section 1, United States Constitution

    Show me where it says legislation can be farmed out to Bureaus within the Executive Branch of our Government.

    I’m sure there’s a shit-ton of case-law but there’s been a long standing spirit of non-delegation of legislative powers dating back to the days of John Locke.

    Tis a slippery slope. And once we go down it, there’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.

  16. avatar former water walker says:

    Wait and see…I certainly won’t be sending $ to old Wayne anytime soon😖😫😡

  17. avatar Chadwick says:

    Good lord the BATFAGS are complete dumbasses. Find the tallest building you can and jump off! You are a waste of air, you pos, human filth, fed, d-bag.

  18. avatar George from Alaska says:

    I think the NRA suggestion was the only solution at a time when Congress was probably ready to ban them all together. We do not have full Republican support on anything anymore, just look at the Obamacare attempted repeal and John McCain. This will at least force the NFA to be in a position to negate their own approval letters which first went out about 12 years ago. There is a youTube video from the NFA agent that forwarded his final determination to the Chief of NFA for his signature that is very interesting to watch. And like the green tip proposed ban which failed once but is apparently still lurking around both of these issues would go against exhaustive research and readings of the NFA act and the 68 Gun Control Act. Las Vegas was indeed a tragedy but then again the guy in Nice France killed over 80 people with a truck. And thank God the LA shooter used bump fires and inaccurately sprayed the crowd. Had he been a trained rifleman with a bolt action rifle and a good scope practicing one shot, one you know what he probably could have done three times the horror since he had plenty of time and the victims were terrified and trapped.
    So will NFA make this like almost all of their rulings and put an effective date on it or will they ask citizens to turn in pieces of plastic that were bought legally? Aint gonna happen in Alaska… we have this stuff written into our State Constitution.

  19. avatar Andrew says:

    Every single person that reads this as well as watch things like The Military Arms Channel ,and other Gun related channels, Needs to Immediately write the ATF with a reasoned and well informed letter.. This cannot stand. First they came for the Bump Stocks… There will be no end to this unless we stay engaged, and vigilant. No Compromises. No surrender.

    1. avatar George from Alaska says:

      We ALL need to listen to Andrew and do this. NFA already ruled 12 years ago that these were legal and neither the NFA Act or the GCA of ’68 or the Hughes Ammendment has changed. The interview with the NFA agent who made the final ruling is out there somewhere upon Googling
      “bump stocks” or “SlideFire”. It’s a fairly recent interview with him, he is now retired, and he says they agonized over a way to make these NFA items but as there were no springs or motors and they were not firearms and did not “diminish the sound of a firearm” there was nothing in the law that precluded them from issuing a non-NFA item to the first company that sent them one for review.
      Let’s not think that everyone else will get mad and write… we must All write!
      I own a few NFA full autos and a couple of bumpfire stocks. After tuning the rifles, putting on adjustable gas blocks and finding that each rifle likes it’s own ammunition to work with 100% reliability I’ve got them all working just fine… not sure what I would ever do with them or my full autos… the concept of “excessive force” rears it’s head in my mind. Maybe for the Zombie apocalypse…

  20. avatar Concerned_citizen says:

    Why the f is the ATF doing this exactly? I mean they have already examined this issue twice (for bumpstocks) and again still for binary triggers and ruled them legal in all accounts. One can’t simply reevaluate the legal underpinnings and come to a different conclusion, simply because a lobbying group pushed for it, can they? That would reveal the completely capricious administrative state apparatus that is the ATF. We are either a nation of laws or we are not. This just shows we are not…

    1. avatar George from Alaska says:

      I may be the only one who thinks that having the NRA suggest this be sent back to the NFA branch may be smarter than it seems… rather than having an emotional congress vote to ban the stocks day’s after the massacre by a madman who lied on his 4473’s. The NRA knows that this issue with the bump fire stocks and the binary triggers has already been reviewed with a lice comb and a magnifying glass. Don’t you think if the technical folks could have linked this to the NFA act or the ’68 GCA that they would readily have jumped on that??
      This is not directed at Comcerned Citizen but to all of you who never write or call your representatives or the ATF during the relatively short comment period. I haven’t read the proposal because all I have is my phone but will tonight after I get home from the range shooting my 300 Blackout with a SlideFire brand stock and an AAC suppressor… it’s kind of cool but I’m certainly not going outside to confront heroin junkies who rob from our neighborhood… again, may be “excessive force” and you will lose your gun and suppressor during the investigation and while you hope it was a clean case of self defense…

      1. avatar DoomGuy says:

        This isn’t some grand political scheme to “prevent more egregious bans”. This is the NRA selling us out like they did in 1994.

        1. avatar George from Alaska says:

          You may be right Doom… I hope not and I think the NRA is just as passionate about our rights as we are but had the proposed ban bump fire bill been allowed to the floor immediately after the Las Vegas event we may have lost out of the sympathy factor. And the NRA was one of our biggest supporters after Sandy Hook. If you will remember they remained silent for over a week before commenting and held firm on no AR bans and no bans on high capacity mags. All six or seven bills failed in the Democratic controlled hearing.
          What would be worse… a total ban like in New Jersey and another state or being considered as part of the NFA registry… People pay the $200 tax to buy a $245 suppressor, if it goes the NFA route then at least they are still available. I personally don’t believe we should give one inch but you and I are not the ones calling the shot. Flooding them with letters and phone calls that are clear and well defined and based on historic data just might cause them to simply stand by their previous two rulings on bump-fires and at least that many in binary triggers.. They are not there to respond to emotion but to read the law and make decisions. I hope I am right, I own a few stocks and triggers and could easily live without them but that’s not the point, is it?

        2. avatar George from Alaska says:

          You may certainly be right Doom but I hope not.
          I also believe that my bump fire stocks are a waste of ammo as are my full auto’s that I bought a long time ago, but they are fun to shoot occasionally. Obviously I’m not going to take my bump-fire suppressed SBR Blackout outside to investigate kids siphoning gas or looking at my daughter’s bicycle. There is the concern of “excessive force” and I don’t want my highly tuned and gas blocked firearm to be taken into police custody while they investigate.
          But I think that the NRA suggestion to send this back to the NFA for review was a good one. Have the bill that was already being proposed make it to the floor of the US Congress during a very emotional time when even our Republican buddies vote on their emotions and not facts we well in Dade may have been looking at a congressional plan on pieces of plastic. And who knows anymore where the Donald stance on anything? Where is the hearing protection act that his son told Paul would be done in the first 90 days? Where is the national reciprocity executive order? Why is the NFA still the law? Why is there still an ATF?
          I watched an interesting interview with the NFA specialist that made the ruling over 12 years ago that allowed bonfires to be sold without any sort of registration. He said they agonized over it and we’re actually looking for a way to place those items on the NFPA registry but they could not find anything in the NFA act or the gun control act of 1968 or the Hughes amendment that would allow them to do so, So they followed the law and allowed them for sale to the general public with no special registration or taxes. Then they had video of the former NFL a technician out at a shooting range bump firing without a bump fire stock and he was doing it from his shoulder and not with one thumb looped through a belt loop on his pants!
          I hope I’m correct that the NFA will review and come up with exactly the same decision they did on the bump-fires and the binary triggers that they did Years years ago without injecting emotion into the issue.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Donald Trump, Republicans and Conservatives DO NOT “run” the government. Barack Obama, Bill and Hilary, “the deep state”, leftists and statists still run the government.

        Trump remains a businessman, not an ideologue, not a politician. Trump operates from the perspective of a CEO taking over a separate company after a merger. Trump expects all the “employees” to line up with his agenda, suffer in silence, or leave.

        To date, Trump has made almost all his progress through executive actions/orders. To date, Trump has not demanded the resignation of every politically-appointed staffer, meaning the Obama administration is who we must depend upon to “do the right thing” as we see it. Conservatives, right-wingers, constitutionalists, non-leftists do not naturally gravitate to government employment. No matter who the president, the bureaucracy lives unmoved. Over the last 70 years, the permanent functionaries have been left-leaning. We cannot pretend to hope they will serve our goals.

  21. avatar rt66paul says:

    As much as I personally believe that bump fire is at best a waste of ammo, and at worse an accident waiting to happen, calling them “machine guns” opens the door to out law every semi auto firearm in the country – that is a bad idea.

  22. avatar Go_Away says:

    Hey ATF, maybe you should regulate my rolls of toilet paper…after I use them of course

  23. avatar Robert says:

    Thanks, NRA!

  24. avatar Sam says:

    I thought Congress passed laws? They never mentioned the ATF on Schoolhouse Rock

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