Marion Hammer is the president of the United Sportsmen of Florida. She’s also a past president of the National Rifle Association and currently an NRA Lobbyist. She sent the following letter Monday:
DATE: October 9, 2017
TO: My Fellow Board & Council Members & Friends
FROM: Marion Hammer, NRA past president
RE: Misinformation and Distortion Anger Me
In 1934 the first federal gun control law in America was passed. The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) became the law of the land. The NRA was asleep at the switch. Most of us hadn’t even been born then. It is not of our making but like all good, honest, law-abiding Americans, the NRA obeys the law. The NFA regulates fully-automatic firearms and has done so for 83 years.
The “bump-stock” device, used by the killer in the Las Vegas shooting, converts a semi-auto rifle to a full-auto rifle. Anyone who has ever used a bump-stock or watched a video demonstrating its use, can only conclude that it is a converter.
If you listened to an audio recording of the shooting during that horrific massacre, you must have concluded that it was full-auto fire. You were not alone, many firearms experts and law enforcement professionals came to the same conclusion. It was not until later that information was released disclosing that bump-stocks had been used to convert semi-automatic firearms to perform like full-auto firearms.
In spite of the seemingly noble reason the manufacturer claims for developing it, the bump-stock circumvents federal law. Regardless of the quality and reliability or lack thereof of this device – it converts a semi-auto to full-auto when installed.
Do you have any idea how many people were shocked out of their minds when ATF decided bump-stocks were not subject to regulation and APPROVED them for sale and use? That was under the Obama administration for crying out loud. Your mind is forced to run wild wondering why.
Once the ruling was made, what would you expect NRA to do? Do you think NRA should have said, Oh! No, ATF is wrong, ATF made a mistake?
It doesn’t matter what laws the NRA doesn’t agree with or doesn’t like, the NRA must abide by the law. For decades, over and over again when the enemies of the Second Amendment have tried to capitalize on tragedies by calling for more gun control, NRA has called for enforcing existing law. That is exactly what we are doing now.
Make no mistake, the NRA has NOT cleared the way for more regulation. If it were not for ATF’s wink and nod to the manufacturer of the bump-stock, it would already be regulated under federal law. NRA has tossed it back into ATF’s lap where it belongs. NRA has not agreed to any new legislation nor has NRA said we agree with any existing NFA legislation. NRA has not agreed to a ban. NRA has not agreed to anything. NRA simply insists upon enforcing existing law.
The enemies freedom and the Second Amendment are spewing hysteria from the podiums they have planted in the blood of innocent victims. These anti-Second Amendment heretics are using these victims as their stalking horse to get some new gun control legislation on the floor of the Congress.
These victims have fallen and are suffering because of the evil acts of a deranged madman who could have carried out his destruction even if bump-stocks were not available under ATF’s approval. He would have found another way.
Don’t blame bump-stocks, don’t blame ATF, don’t blame anybody but the evil people who perpetrated this crime. No law, no regulation stops those with evil in their hearts.
The frantic cries from antagonists who want to take your freedom are intended to stampede you and Congress into supporting more gun control.
But it doesn’t stop there. Is it not clear to you that, just like the media, some members of the NRA Board are misinterpreting what the NRA has said?
Additionally, there are “Trojan horse members” who are deliberately misinterpreting what the NRA has said. Just like having an (R) after your name doesn’t make you a conservative Republican, having an NRA membership card doesn’t make you an honest member.
Be very careful of anti-NRA people claiming to have many supporters who are merely standing in a hall of mirrors and seeing their own reflections. Don’t be fooled.
This fight is not about the personal financial interests of NRA Board members. This fight should not be used by any individual Board member to attack NRA as a means elevate their own popularity with dissidents and “Trojan horse members.”
This particular fight is about following existing law. If you don’t believe that bump-stocks convert semi-autos to full-autos then you have not seen what I have seen. While the conversion may be reversible by removing and replacing the device, it none less makes a semi-auto perform like a full-auto when installed.
We do not need new legislation, we do not need new regulation, we simply need ATF to review it’s previous approval and enforce existing law. That’s what NRA said. That will render bump-stocks irrelevant. There is no need for Congress to be stampeded into doing anything else. No matter how you twist it, or what your own personal agenda may be, the NRA has not compromised.
If ATF won’t do it on its own, President Trump should order ATF to review it’s ruling made under the Obama administration.
We should stand united. We need to enforce existing law. We don’t need any new gun control legislation. Any member of Congress who wants to sacrifice more of our freedom under the pretense of providing safety should know that we don’t forgive the betrayal of freedom or the Second Amendment and we won’t give a wink and a nod to political eye wash as a substitute for backbone.
The only legislation we need to see on the floor of Congress right now is carry reciprocity and elimination of suppressor regulations.
As a NRA member I am saddened by the position Hammer has taken. Claiming that a bump fire stock converts a semi-atutomatic rifle into a machine gun is utterly false.
Furthermore berating and lecturing NRA members who are publicly raising concerns about the NRA’s position is offensive. Members have the right to question what the NRA is doing since they’re members. They pay dues, they vote, they contribute, they donate. The NRA is what it is because of its members. Without them, the NRA is an empty shell.
The NRA has publicly stated that bump fire stocks need to be further regulated.
Now Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) and nine other Republicans have introduced a bump fire stock ban bill in the House of Representatives. It’s the companion bill to a ban proposed by proposed by California Senator Diane Feinstein.
Both are bad, but Curbelo’s bill is more so because Republicans are rushing to co-sponsor it. The bill would be a . . .
PROHIBITION ON MANUFACTURE, POSSESSION, OR TRANSFER OF ANY PART OR COMBINATION OF PARTS THAT IS DESIGNED AND FUNCTIONS TO INCREASE THE RATE OF FIRE OF A SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLE BUT DOES NOT CONVERT THE SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLE INTO A MACHINEGUN.
The word ‘and‘ is dangerous. Any semiautomatic firearm can be made to bumpfire. Any semiautomatic firearm is a “part or combination of parts”. This wording is a potential slippery slope that can lead to a ban on the legal ownership of semiautomatic firearms.
The NRA’s actions and statements have given the green light to every wanna-be gun-grabber in Congress, letting them know that further regulation is not just okay, but needed.
The NRA is placing blame on a piece of plastic rather than the Las Vegas shooter. Neither the bump fire stock or an AR-15 decided to kill anyone last week. It was Stephen Paddock who who did that. The NRA’s stance is directly from the playbook of the anti-2A groups.
Have any doubts? Nancy Pelosi has already made the other side’s true intentions clear:
“(Gun owners are going to) say, ‘You give them bump stock, it’s going to be a slippery slope.’ I certainly hope so.”