In response to pressure from President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a proposed a new rule which would regulate bump fire stocks like machine guns. That new rule is now open for public comment.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League sent out an email blast letting gun owners and anyone who cares about arbitrary regulation by government fiat know how to let their voices be heard. Here’s the text of their email:
The bump stock rule is now written and comments from citizens can be submitted. If implemented, this is a true ban, which classifies bump stocks as machine guns! No grandfathering of existing items. They must be destroyed or turned over to the police, with no compensation for the taking of your property that was lawful when you purchased it. The penalty is up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in jail.
Regardless of whether you own a bump stock or not, or whether you love them, hate them, or are indifferent toward them, we need to oppose this rule.
The government is not providing a valid reason to suddenly consider bump stocks as machine guns. Their reasoning is clearly political and nothing more, totally failing the smell test.
In the proposed rule, BATFE brushes off the idea that firing a semi-automatic rifle with a bump stock is no different than bump firing that same rifle using only one’s bare hands. (Video of me doing just that can be seen here: https://tinyurl.com/ycb6lxto)
Here’s what the BATFE writes about the supposed “differences” between firing with a bump stock vs bump firing with your bare hands:
“The relevant statutory question is whether a particular device causes a firearm to ‘shoot … automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.’ 26 U.S.C. 5845(b).”
“Bump firing and other techniques for increasing the rate of fire do not satisfy this definition because they do not produce an automatic firing sequence with a single pull of the trigger. Instead, bump firing without an assistive device requires the shooter to exert pressure with the trigger finger to re-engage the trigger for each round fired. [PVC: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” That’s exactly what a bump stock does. Pressure from the trigger finger engages the trigger after each shot to fire the next one. With either method my finger stays stationary, while the gun bumps the trigger into my trigger finger and fires again. Nice try, though, BATFE!]
“…the bump-stock-type devices at issue cause the trigger to “bump” into the finger, so that the shooter need not pull the trigger repeatedly to expel ammunition.” [PVC: Again, that is exactly how bump firing a gun with one’s bare hands works.]
“…Because these bump-stock-type devices allow multiple rounds to be fired when the shooter maintains pressure on the extension ledge of the device, ATF has determined that bump-stock-type devices are machinegun conversion devices, and therefore qualify as machineguns under the GCA and the NFA.” [PVC: It is still the trigger finger that activates the trigger, not any part of the bump stock. All that the extension ledge does is to hold your finger in a fixed position, same as if you hold it stiffly yourself when bump firing with your bare hands. BATFE hopes we are stupid enough not to see there is no difference in how bump firing works, with or without a bump fire stock.]
Click this link to get to the proposed bump stock ban rule:
You can read all the text of the proposed rule at this point, if you wish.
To enter a comment against the proposed rule, click on the blue “Comments Now!” button in the upper right corner of the page.
“I fully oppose this ruling. The shooter’s trigger finger is what activates the trigger, whether firing with a bump stock or with one’s bare hands. No part of the bump stock touches the trigger, only the shooter’s trigger finger. ATF’s insistence otherwise is merely playing politics and hurts their credibility.”
“I fully oppose this ruling. If the bump stock made a semi-automatic rifle fully automatic, then holding the gun with only the trigger-finger hand while squeezing and holding the trigger should cause the gun to repeatedly fire shots. It doesn’t do that and therefore the bump stock has clearly NOT converted a semi-automatic rifle into a machine gun.”