“In December, the ATF announced that it would explore the possibility of regulating bump stocks by reclassifying them as machine guns,” The Trace reports. “The agency initiated a public comment period to solicit input from manufacturers, retailers, and consumers . . . All told, the ATF received more than 36,000 submissions, which are still being reviewed and posted online. Trace staffers Sean Campbell and Daniel Nass decided to download the available public comments and run an analysis.” The survey said! . . .
They found that a staggering 85 percent of commenters were opposed to the regulation of bump stocks.
A fact — a fact I tell you! — that elicited not unexpected [thinly veiled] criticism from anti-ballistic bully boy Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitators.
The results of our analysis showcase a paradox of the gun debate. While widespread public support exists for many gun regulations and policies — from bump stocks to background checks — pro-gun advocates are significantly more active than their counterparts when it comes to engaging politicians and government agencies.
The People of the Gun can take heart in their political activism/engagement, which, in this case, resulted in overwhelming official opposition to an ATF rule change on bump fire stocks. But . . .
The public comments collected by the ATF are intended to inform the agency’s decision of whether to reclassify bump stocks and subject them to regulation [emphasis added]. If the agency chooses to propose a new rule, it would be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for approval, before being published in the Federal Register.
In other words,the comments submitted to the ATF are a sop to the democratic process. Odds are the ATF will bend to political pressure and find some way to ban bump fire stocks. Especially as the NRA — representing five million American gun owners — suggested this exact course of events.