NRA-ILA Bump Stock Argument to ATF: Amnesty for Owners and Open the Registry

On March 29, ATF posted a notice of proposed rulemaking (Docket Number ATF2017R-22) to the federal register that would amend the existing definition of what constitutes a “machine gun” used in the enforcement of federal gun laws. The purpose is to re-classify bump stocks as NFA-regualted items. The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action has submitted comments (PDF download) in response to the proposed rulemaking.

In a wonderfully written letter written by Josh Savani, director of their Research and Information Division, the NRA-ILA supports its arguments using rulings from  Murr v. Wisconsin, Akins v. United States, Duncan v. Becerra, United States v. Dodson, and Lingle v. Chevron USA, Inc.

The NRA states that current law sets forth a mechanical test, not a performance-based standard focusing on rate of fire for bump fire stocks and that since ATF has consistently applied that definition to devices or firearms depending on their function. They also point out that the ATF has noted that “bump fire” can be induced in unmodified semi-automatic firearms. Yet unmodified semi-automatic firearms are clearly not “machinegun[s]” under federal law and do not become one simply because a particular user induces bump fire with them.

Secondly, the NRA states that semi-automatic firearms were in common use when Congress created the first definition of “machinegun” in 1934, and the current definition of a machine gun in 1968. Yet unmodified semi-automatic firearms have never been considered machine guns for purposes of federal law.

Indeed Congress enacted an entirely separate law to regulate AR-15s and various other semiautomatic firearms between 1994 and 2004, with no suggestion that these firearms could simply have been administratively reclassified as machine guns.

Third, the NRA-ILA states that any regulation that’s adopted must protect “those who in good faith acquired devices that ATF now seeks to reclassify as “machinegun[s].” Owners of these products have relied on over a decade of ATF’s own rulings and guidance when lawfully acquiring bump fire stocks, and the proposed rule would now turn these gun owners into felons or require destruction of their property.”

The NRA-ILA also argues on Fifth Amendment grounds:

Beyond problems of fundamental fairness, the lack of a way for gun owners to retain some value in their property likely makes the proposed rule a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment. While some courts have refused to recognize taking challenges that result from the exercise of the government’s regulatory authority, recent Supreme Court case law makes these cases of questionable merit. In Murr v. Wisconsin, a regulatory land-use decision, the Court held that:

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that private property shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation. The Clause is made applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. As this Court has recognized, the plain language of the Takings Clause requires the payment of compensation whenever the government acquires private property for a public purpose, but it does not address in specific terms the imposition of regulatory burdens on private property.

The NRA-ILA claims that the case for a takings clause violation is even stronger with devices that would be reclassified as machine guns by the proposed rule because, unlike the California magazine owners who could move their property out of the state or transfer it to a firearms dealer, owners of bump fire stocks would only have the option of turning in or destroying their property.

All of which lead up to an argument for the ‘A’ word:

AMNESTY

When passing the Gun Control Act in 1968, Congress included a 30-day amnesty period for individuals to register NFA firearms. In addition to that amnesty period, Congress gave the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to conduct additional amnesty periods of up to 90 days for any single period. This provision gave broad authority to the Secretary by allowing amnesty “as the Secretary determines will contribute to the purposes of this title.”

When ATF reclassified certain shotguns as destructive devices in 1994, the agency also provided for a period of amnesty, which finally closed May 1, 2001 after about 8,200 of the shotguns were registered with ATF.

ATF could provide one or more 90-day periods of amnesty for the registration of bump fire stocks. While there are some additional complications due to the lack of markings on bump fire stocks, Congress has delegated broad discretion to determine the scope and requirements of any amnesty. ATF already has experience with firearms marking issues for individuals who are not federal firearm licensees. (Every time a non-licensee makes an NFA “firearm,” the maker must mark the firearm in compliance with federal law.)

In addition to providing amnesty for bump fire stocks, ATF should consider a broader amnesty for “machinegun[s].” When Congress delegated the authority to provide for additional periods of amnesty, there was a clear legislative understanding that amnesty generally serves the purposes of federal firearms laws by bringing “machinegun[s]” and other NFA “firearms” that are currently contraband, and therefore likely to eventually end up in the wrong hands, into the legal market where they have value and are extremely unlikely to be used in crime.

While there has always been some concern about an amnesty affecting ongoing investigations or allowing possession by otherwise prohibited persons, ATF, as previously stated, could place substantial limitations on the scope of any amnesty, and would be free to set the requirements for registration to prevent the problems associated with the 1968 amnesty.

Emphasis added. Read the whole thing here. (PDF download).

You just read that right. The National Rifle Association has thrown down the gauntlet and basically stated that if the ATF is going to reclassify bump stocks as machine guns then it should provide an amnesty period to current bump stock owners and should also open the registry for all. That means just about anything could be registered as machine gun.

My Daewoo K2, Ruger Mini-14, Zastava M90NP, Microtech XM17-E4, and even my Kel-Tec SU-16C could be registered under the amnesty as a full-auto machine gun as well as my AR-15s.

The NRA-ILAs position is that amnesty would be an all-or-nothing proposition and that any other method of regulating bump stocks violates constitutional law, case law, and administrative law.

This is a dramatic change from the NRA’s past statements regarding bump stocks.

This is a great piece of work by the NRA. This is the NRA that gun owners want to see. An organization that just doesn’t fight to keep the status quo, but that takes the argument to the opposition. Again, read the whole thing. Kudos to the NRA for a job well done.

comments

  1. avatar TruthTellers says:

    The registry was closed by law in 86 and the ATF cannot make law, thus they cannot do anything to bump stocks.

    1. avatar Mike Hawkizard says:

      The Hughes Amendment didn’t strip the provisions of the GCA of ‘68. The amnesty provision is still there.

      1. avatar Todd says:

        Depends on how the amnesty is written.With the 1968 amnesty, it allowed for stolen guns to be legally registered and felons to legally register guns. Ian over at Forgotten Weaons did a piece on a legally registered M-16 that had the original serial number ground off. It was stamped US Government property, but legally registered to a civilian in the 1968 amnesty.

    2. avatar Paul Hurst says:

      Yep. Amnesty only applies to registration, not possession. You can not amnesty something that is illegal to possess (Machine guns, heroin, child porn, etc.). Amnesty for MGs could only work if it could be shown the gun existed prior to 05/19/86. While not well-known, ATF has allowed guns that existed prior to 05/19/86, to be registered years AFTER 1986.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        Machine guns are legal to possess. What is illegal is not registering them and paying the tax. Technically, I think not paying the tax is the actual crime. The government has decided not to allow you to register them/pay the tax. Now, you legally own something that the government arbitrarily reclassifies as illegal if you don’t register it, but they won’t let you register it. It’s a logical inconsistency that eventually will need to be settled in court if someone doesn’t like whatever the initial decision is.

    3. avatar George S Young says:

      The amnesty could not have been closed forever in 1986 because years later they had another one to allow the tax free registration of the SWD Street Sweeper and the South African Steyker rotating barrel shotguns after ATF/NFA reclassified those guns as Destructive Devices. I know many civilians and FFL’s who took advantage of the amnesty. So it is very possible, thank you NRA! I wonder if when the amnesty happens, because they have to “Open” the registry if I will be able to make and register 100 DIAS’s?? Have to wait and see.
      Maybe the NRA’s challange which is based on the ATF/NFA’s own rulings and the previous amnesty programs will confuse the issue so much that it will simply be dropped. I think Trump is a lot smarter than people give him credit for. Remember he has a son or son in law who is very well informed as to NFA history and issues and is personal friends with the AAC and I believe Silencerco and others. I believe he own NFA items. So Teump, through his instructions to Sessions and the already ongoing research being done by NFA probably short circuited a possibly emotional Congressional vote on the issue after the Los Vegas incident and knew all along how complicated it would be for NFA to go back on 12 years of approving bump stocks from at least three different companies. And they all come with cards saying so. Same with the two or three big sellers of binary triggers… all approved for years by NFA.

  2. avatar Rocketman says:

    It seems to me that if this NRA argument is successful then there could be a 30 day window of time to manufacture more machine guns and register them with the ATF. The ATF isn’t going to like this and for that reason I believe they will cave on the issue.

    1. avatar PeterK says:

      That is really really fun to imagine. I really can’t see it happening. But man. Just think how cool it’d be.

    2. avatar bobo says:

      I could see Colt and other manufactures going 24-7 for the WHOLE 30 days, stamping out lowers by the tens of thousands!

      1. avatar J.T. says:

        What companies need to be making are drop in auto sears. They are faster and cheaper to make.

        1. avatar Jon in CO says:

          I’d be buying up every Glock auto conversion I could for $85. Every stripped lower I have would also be registered. It’s a cool “what if” scenario, but I don’t see them doing it. They’ll be back logged on paperwork for YEARS. You’d see wait times go from 6-12 months to 4-5 years.

    3. avatar FedUp says:

      That 30 day window was part of the GCA of 1968, not that any large number of people knew about it before it was closed.

      To do it again would require a federal law, just like the first one did.

      What the NRA is doing here is:

      1. Demanding the ATF illegally pull regulation of bump fire stocks out of its proverbial backside. (they did that part many moons ago)

      2. Try to argue for pro-gun things to be spun off from that illegal action.

      1. avatar Jordan says:

        The GCA allows for any number of amnesties for up to 90 days at a time. They can decide to start one tomorrow if they wanted to.

      2. avatar Brian Hert says:

        Did you read the same letter? They’re arguing first that there is no reasonable definition that classifies bump stocks as machine guns – but that if they do then they should open the registry.

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “Shall not be infringed; period, full stop.”

    There should be no conversation with ATF regarding bump stocks, or machine guns. No regulation is constitutionally permissible when applied to the absolute right to have any weapon of war needed to stop a rogue, tyrannical government. No quarter; no compromise. Present the ATF with the “closed fist of truth – RTKBA”.

    1. avatar Shawn F says:

      THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    2. avatar Danny338 says:

      Agreed!
      Furthermore, the ATF is an Executive branch agency. The Executive branch has no authority to write or rewrite the law. Only Congress has that authority. Not many are willing to make that argument though, because it means all Executive agency “rule makings” are not enforceable as Law. Such a thing would be the beginning of the end of the unelected bureaucratic state.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “The Executive branch has no authority to write or rewrite the law.”

        It depends on what “is” is.

        What do you perceive from the term “law”?

        Congress writes laws in often rather broad terms, such as a “ban on machine guns”. The pertinent law may or may not describe “machine gun”. That law is then signed by the executive, with obligation to write implementing regulations (the administrative State).

        Some times there are obvious limits to what the regulations implement. A 155mm Howitzer would not justifiably be termed “a machine gun”, so the unstated limit would be to weapons of smaller size. Then the details of “machine gun” are written by the bureaucracy, and become “law” (federal code of law). That is, the regulations become the enforceable elements for which you can be held accountable.

        Over at least the last thirty years, Congress forfeited much of its legislative power to the executive branch, with little stomach for clawing that power back. Right, wrong or indifferent, this is the world as it “is”. Can you imagine a case before the SC where the plaintiff sues that the executive branch exceeded its authority, and the Congress files an amicus curia brief stating Congress has willingly deferred to the executive, and has no interest or intention to rescind the power over whatever issue is at hand? And the SC declaring that Congress must retract their consciously delegated power?

        1. avatar Danny338 says:

          In a nutshell: Congress does not have any Constitutional authority to delegate any of the powers or responsibilities granted to Congress by the People through the Constitution. Such a case before the Supreme Court should be decided based upon the Constitution itself as it is the highest law of the land.

          “That law is then signed by the executive, with obligation to write implementing regulations (the administrative State).”

          It is not the obligation of the executive to write regulations. It is the obligation of the executive to enforce the law as written by congress. Any law that is written too broadly can be sent back to congress by the president via veto. Any law that is still too broad maybe (should be) rendered impotent by any jury that does it’s job properly.

          “Right, wrong or indifferent, this is the world as it “is”.”

          If we do not try to make the world a better place, than the world that it could be will never be.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “If we do not try to make the world a better place, than the world that it could be will never be.”

          The issue wasn’t “making the world a better place”, it was about the world as it is; how it works. It is left-wing caliber derangement to believe the federal court system would ever approve a case before the bar that portended the end of every federal regulation currently existing. Creating implementing regulations requires an acceptance that regulations are permissible, at any level. Each regulation is an interpretation of what the law intends, and how to achieve it. In common terms, regulations are law, and violations can subject persons to arrest and trial (is that not the essence of a law?). A court declaration that “the Executive has no authority to create law” would wipe out the nation. Because of what “We the People” have allowed, the functioning of not just government, but the nation would collapse.

        3. avatar Danny338 says:

          “The issue wasn’t “making the world a better place”, it was about the world as it is; how it works.”

          Yes, that is the issue.

        4. avatar Al says:

          Unlike some regulation-enabling legislation, “machine gun” is defined by law. All of the NFA categories are defined by law. That’s how we ended up with legal braces and 14″ barrels on shotguns with a weird grip. The ATF is trying to regulate bump stocks as if they met a definition they clearly do not meet.

        5. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I recognize that NFA actually defines “machine gun”, but used it as merely an example of legislation where the executive agency further defines the law in particulars that become regulations, that are in-turn “law”.

  4. avatar borg says:

    If the ATF were to declare them machine guns they would be legally obligated by the takings clause to buy the items at full retail value at the very least if not more.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      But, what IS the ‘full retail value’ of a device that can no longer be manufactured or sold and is thus soon to become highly-desirable contraband on the black market, or will soon become a licensed, taxed, and transferable ‘machine gun’ that, due to its rarity, will also become highly desirable?

      If the ‘value’ of a clapped-out M16 is $20K, and a ‘Lightning Link’ auto sear sells for nearly the same as an actual RIFLE, what is a device that converts any old AR or AK into a ‘virtual machine gun’ worth, ‘retail’?

      Is it time to invest in ‘Bump Stock Futures’?

      1. avatar California Richard says:

        “highly desirable”? Bump stocks were built to simulate full auto fire. If they are just as illegal as machineguns and carry the same penalties, why would one simply settle for an illegal bump stock when they can get an illegal machinegun?

        1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

          I am not that familiar with the actual mechanics of a bump stock but I have read that the same thing can be accomplished with a rubber band. So we will have to register rubber bands now . Seems like an argument like, it’s against the law to hit another with a rock but o k to do it using a stone.

  5. avatar MrAninnyMouse says:

    Gay-married couples. Marijuana plantations. Automatic weapons.

    1. avatar Chadwick says:

      Well nobody was knocking down gay people’s doors who entered into a legally binding contract that the federal government has no business in anyway. Well they have no business unless there is a breach of contract that is. Pot and machine guns would get your baby flashbanged, dog shot, and door taken off the hinges.

  6. avatar pwrserge says:

    If this passes, I am registering every AR, AK, and HK I own as a “machine gun”… just because I don’t have the parts to convert them to such at the moment, doesn’t mean I can’t have them on the registry and get around to it at a later date. Doesn’t even get into the technicalities of state law until the conversion is actually made. So you could own a dozen “on paper” machine guns in a state that bans them as they are not, currently, machine guns under state law.

    1. avatar Marcus says:

      That would be so sweet I’d probably blow a couple grand on tax stamps alone and not have them all converted for years!

    2. avatar Chadwick says:

      Yeah I have a SW 15-22, a few AK74s, and a few ARs that would love to be in that registery. The 15-22 just sounds like it would be a full auto hoot. Shooting steel plates with a suppressed f/a 22lr… That would probably sound a lot like freedom.

  7. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    While I appreciate that the NRA is trying to fix this, it should never have gotten this far.

    Whoever made the “bump-fire stocks should be regulated” announcement should have been fired tootsweet.

    NRA gets maybe a “C” for this performance.

  8. avatar Aaron WIlbers says:

    Seems to me this is just supporting more infringement. I’d like an NRA that isn’t involved in more gun control legislation, bu they have a long history of supporting infringement. If every NRA member would also join GOA we may actually get an effective voice for stopping infringement on our natural rights as free people. Bump stocks should not be an issue as full auto firearms ownership should not be infringed. Does the NRA support rolling those unconstitutional laws back? Didn’t think so.

  9. avatar Shire-man says:

    Time to pump out lighting links by the truck load?

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Pretty much… If the 1986 ban goes away entirely, somebody is going to have a license to print money just by making drop-in full auto trigger packs.

  10. avatar Docduracoat says:

    What Are you guys talking about that the taking clause Of the constitution appl of the constitution applies?
    It is Clear and settled law for the government to not have to pay compensation when legally acquired property becomes contraband.
    It only applies when they take your property and use it for another purpose, or give it to someone else to use. Like when they take your house and build a bridge or take your property and put up a mall.
    Then they have to pay fair market value for your property.
    When cocaine was first made illegal, probably every house in America had some cocaine in the medicine chest.
    The Federal government did not go to every house compensating everyone for their legally acquired cocaine.
    Same thing with marijuana, and even lawn darts.
    This has been adjudicated many times and the law is clear.
    You will have to destroy your legally acquired property .
    It is certainly unfair, but is constitutional.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      I think the current SCotUS would disagree…

    2. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

      Pretty simple challenge: declaring contraband that which is stated in the Constitution as something that you have the right to keep AND bear (technically, unconditionally) is prima facie unconstitutional. And by declaring that a bump stock is a ‘machine gun’, it ABSOLUTELY falls under the category of 2A “arms”. It’s also a potential violation of the 14th amendment (since CIVILIAN LEO can obtain MGs). Can Civilian LEOs legally possess cocaine, whether within their official duties or otherwise (collecting evidence is not possession).

      If ANY of those other cases represent a “right” being summarily declared contraband, I would tend to think it couldn’t even pass intermediate scrutiny.

      1. avatar Owen says:

        Well, civilian LEOs do posses drugs. They use them to train drug sniffing dogs. They also have explosives etc. for the same purpose.

    3. avatar Anymouse says:

      Possession of lawn darts isn’t illegal, only the sale. The darts still retain their intrinsic value, i.e. you can continue to play with them, but they don’t have a resale value. They may be gifted or bequeathed. It is far from settled law. Can you point to a court case where someone was charged and convicted for possessing priorly owned cocaine? Did anyone file suit demanding to be compensated? Without one, there is no ruling to make settled. Modern cases in favor of compensation, like San Diego Gas & Electric v. City of San Diego, have been ruled since cocaine prohibition and would supercede those rulings.
      By your reasoning, rather than seize your house by eminent domain and pay, why not just declare it illegal to possess houses within a certain area? The government could the force you to leave and destroy the contraband house. You still own the lot, so they might then assert eminent domain over a cheaper vacant lot if they wanted your land, or they could just build the overpass without touching your land. In reality, you would be compensated for the loss of value of your property if you no longer may have a hpuse there. Similarly, if the government rezoned your property or declared it a wetland and illegal to farm, they would pay the loss of value. Making a legal product illegal to possess or sell reduces it’s value to 0. This loss must be compensated.

  11. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    So my Ruger 10/22 can be registered as machine gun. There are instructions on how to convert it to a real one.

    I think the Akins Accelerator was a 10/22. I might be wrong.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “So my Ruger 10/22 can be registered as machine gun. There are instructions on how to convert it to a real one.”

      Yep, and Ruger makes a suppressed barrel takedown 10/22…

  12. avatar California Richard says:

    Just for funsies… if this goes through and bump fire devices are considered machineguns AND they open the NFA registry, I want to register my beltloop pants and thumb… That way, when I die, my children can sell my pre-2019 pants and severed registered thumb on a form 4 to an SOT for $10,000.

  13. avatar Nanashi says:

    Too little, too late traitors.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      It’s not like they’re being serious, anyway

    2. avatar NRA hater / Gun lover says:

      Yeah, I was hoping at least someone would mention how worthless the NRA is. They started this nonsense, I will never give them another penny! It is far worse than what Springfield armory and other companies did to degrade 2a rights.

  14. avatar Antique Rifles says:

    Of all the things that aren’t going to happen, this isn’t going to happen the most. Wish it would, but… nope.

  15. avatar Kevin says:

    Ok. So something that I don’t think anyone above is thought through.

    You want to register all your guns as “machine guns” whether they’re “machine guns” or not.
    ATF then has serial #s of ALL your guns that you registered as “machine guns”.
    Bad guy with a pen – (liberal, statist, Democrat, Socialist, Communist) becomes President and orders the ATF (or any other agency with access to the database) to begin confiscation of the “machine guns”.

    1. avatar GunnyGene says:

      Yep. And then there is the registration “fee” currently $200, but would likely increase by a factor of 10 if ATF decides call NRA’s bluff.

      We don’t need some dogfight between DOJ/ATF and NRA. All we need are some legislators with some backbone to start repealing the entire mess, starting with the NFA.

      1. avatar Nick says:

        They can’t arbitrarily change the tax. It’s set by statute.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Confiscate something which is not illegal to own? President can no more do that than he can order Congressional staffers to go out and confiscate all Chevys.

  16. avatar CalGunsMD says:

    Why is the NRA acting like a bunch of cucks?
    Trump just endorsed a Georgia gubernatorial candidate who is running against the NRA supported candidate.
    If this is how he’s going to play it, then screw it don’t give him every stupid thing he asked for because he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about half the time.

    1. avatar MG says:

      As reported on TTAG the NRA endorsed gubernatorial candidate appears to be no friend of Gun Owners. He will not get my vote.

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/06/luis-valdes/nra-endorsed-georgia-governor-candidates-record-on-guns-isnt-stellar/

  17. avatar c4v3man says:

    Once the bumpstock is registered as a machinegun, imagine all of the amazing aftermarket goodies you can start pinning to them… Electronically actuated burst/full auto trigger actuators for instance could easily be attached to the bumpstock to give you a 1oz full auto mouse-click trigger with programmable RPM… it would be glorious. As far as I’m aware, you can’t make a machinegun, a more evil machinegun, you’re basically open to doing whatever once it’s registered.

    I would also assume you’d be able to run any length upper on a bumpstock equipped lower, since it would become a machinegun, which again isn’t regulated by SBR/SBS laws…

    I don’t see it happening, but it would be hilarious. I can hear the whirring of thousands of 3d printers cranking out bumpstocks during the amnesty period…

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I believe you are correct about the SBR/SBS question, and I think suppressors are tossed in as well, soon as it’s a machine gun all bets are off.

  18. avatar barnbwt says:

    Maybe if the NRA hadn’t openly endorsed banning machine guns for the past 115 years since the 1934 NFA they wrote to ban them, maybe if they hadn’t lied about getting Hughes overturned, maybe if they’d paid even the slightest attention to NFA issues of any sort (silencers, SBRs, etc), and maybe if they themselves hadn’t been promoting the idea that bump stocks are machineguns that need to be banned, MAYBE

    Maybe then I would take this statement seriously.

    No, this is just the NRA hedging its bets in case someone like the SAF or Stamboulieh law firm gets Trump’s bump stock ban thrown out; “see, we submitted a comment, an amicus brief, even! We weren’t serious when we told Trump he should ban them, it was all an elaborate ruse to put Slidefire out of business & get machine guns made legal, even though we’ve been agreeing with the ‘machine gun escape clause’ in Heller for over a decade”

  19. avatar barnbwt says:

    A (slight) reality check for folks here;
    No, bump stocks won’t be amnestied; the DOJ was quite clear on that in the rule change they will ram through
    No, bump stocks and other modern designs cannot be amnestied, as they were manufactured after 1986
    If stocks were to remain legal in some fashion, it would be in an out-of-thin-air classification like the ATF made for open bolt semi-autos. That’s hardly a good thing as it is confusing and legally dangerous for owners

    In the event of an actual MG amnesty, you could *illegally* fabricate an older design with a parts kit or something, and fraudulently portray it as pre-existing to the amnesty period and therefore eligible for registration
    This would be extremely dangerous since you need the contraband on hand to register, so if your registration is rejected (your reweld doesn’t look old enough, you try to register a FN SCAR, your M16 has Anderson markings instead of Colt, etc) at best your item is confiscated, at worst you get troops kicking in your door to look for other contraband

    An influx of MGs onto the registries would likely spur democrats to flat-out shut down that area entirely at the soonest opportunity.
    Leaving lots of MGs on the books opens Hughes & NFA to ‘common use’ argument attacks; the dems won’t let that vulnerability stand.
    The law needs to be dismantled, not temporarily end-ran as a clever gotcha.

    I don’t see the NRA advocating dismantling the NFA or GCA.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “An influx of MGs onto the registries would likely spur democrats to flat-out shut down that area entirely at the soonest opportunity.”

      Yep.

      What I am most concerned about is, what’s to stop a future Leftist administration (and there will be one, eventually) that control the ‘levers of power’ to move all semi-auto weapons to the NFA registry?

      This proposal could inadvertently do the heavy lifting for the Leftists, who are famous for saying a crisis must be exploited as fast as possible, before public sentiment changes…

  20. avatar Anymouse says:

    I proposed this in my comments, although without as many cases cited. Another alternative I proposed was to make use in combination with a device that automatically imparted forward motion a machine gun (Atkin’s Accel., bipod with sandbags, etc). Or, follow safety sear policy – pre regulation stocks legal to posses, new ones machine guns. The last isn’t real useful since possession with an attachable receiver might be declared an unregistered machine gun.

    The proposed rule is crap. It doesn’t even saw what a bump stock is. Does it need a finger rest? Must it have a pistol grip that moves independently of the stock? What is the stock is just able to ride back and forth unimpeded over the shooter’s hand?
    The single activation redefinition is ridiculous too. My finger is on the rest, and the first shot it fired by my pulling the rifle forward. So is every other shot. If subsequent shots aren’t activating the trigger, how did it fire the first time?

  21. avatar ollie says:

    Frankly, the whole bump stock rapid-fire thing is somewhat idiotic.
    It wastes ammo and after a few mag dumps, boredom sets in.

    1. avatar Nickel Plated says:

      I don’t understand where people get this stupid idea that full auto, or bump stock equals mag dump. There’s no rule that says if you have a full auto weapon that you MUST dump the whole mag as quickly as possible.
      Ever heard of trigger control and burst firing? An AR15 can be quite accurate in short bursts with even a tiny bit of practice.
      Also, it’s called SELECT-fire for a reason. If you can have the best of both worlds, why would you limit yourself to semi-only?
      I’m pretty sure if the NFA was abolished entirely, semi-only variants of rifles that were originally designed to be select-fire would simply cease to exist.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Bolt guns are boring. And that’s all that’s left if rapid fire is banned. That’s what it’s “all about”

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Went to the stix in Vietnam with my XM177-E2 and a can of 820 rds of ammo to blow off basically plinking. Guess what! With a REAL machine gun, after a few mag dumps full auto is boring. I think bump stocks are silly, and protected under 2A.

  22. avatar anarchyst says:

    The NRA failed when it allowed the National Firearms Act of 1934 to stand without offering opposition, the 1968 Gun Control Act, the “national instant check” system, the “no new machine gun for civilians” ban in 1986, the so-called “assault weapons ban in 1991, and other infringements on the Second Amendment. The next infringement will be a ban on “bump stocks” and other “rate increasing mechanisms”, that the NRA seems to want, offering feeble or no opposition, in the spirit of “compromise”.
    Let’s face it. What better way to increase membership than to “allow” infringements to be enacted and then push for a new membership drive. Yes, the NRA has done good, but its spirit of “compromise” will only lead to one thing…confiscation.
    If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…

    1. avatar RMS1911 says:

      You see their business model.

  23. avatar RedRed says:

    As usual, the NRA changes a position once more. Why I quit the NRA years ago and joined Gun Owners of America (GOA). They have NEVER compromised which the NRA has done too many times to count.

  24. avatar doesky2 says:

    I think a simpler and better alternative:

    Executive Summary: Bumpstock owners would take their un-registered, un-BGC’d, un-serialized bumpstocks to a NFA FFL where they would get a permission certificate to purchase from a free-market supplier a government blessed newly created registered, BGC’d, and serialized AR lower that is added to the existing fully transferable NFA registry. The FFL would then destroy bumpstock.

    Merits of this plan for gun grabbers:
    Bumpstock bans in various states have proven to be worthless since nobody turns them in. This program would likely be much more successful. If you want unregistered bumpstocks off the streets this would be the method.

    Merits of this plan for 2ndA advocates:
    Allows pro-2ndA crowd to go on the offensive for a “common sense solution” for the bumpstocks
    If somebody doesn’t want to turn in their bumpstock its very likely they could find someone to sell it to and that person would do the exchange. Implement it by Executive Order. Get a couple hundred thousand out by the next election. If the next president revokes the EO and orders a recall then I forecast a rash of canoe accidents.

    Other advantages of this plan:
    It’s a certainty that gun-grabbers will have conniptions about this plan.
    Well they and the MSM have ben screaming for the past 6 months that BUMPSTOCKS ARE SCARY AND JUST LIKE MACHINE GUNS!!!
    Well if thats the case how could you ever be against a program where all these un-registered un-BGC’d bumpstock machine guns get exchanged for the EXACT SAME THING but now they are registered, serialized, and BGC’d just like you’ve always said you wanted for firearms? Why aren’t they willing to have a common sense compromise???

    Oh but now the gun-grabbers will start saying that bumpstocks ARE NOW DIFFERENT from machine guns ??!!?? Were you lying to the public for the past 6 months. Hmmmm.

    A win for truth either way.

  25. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I already have a leaky canoe, how can I go wrong? Still, given the obvious dangers involved with bumpstocks, I think speed is of the essence getting them off the streets. It would be quicker if the gubt simply swapped straight across, handing out shiny new M16s in exchange for your bumpstock.

  26. avatar Shane Marker says:

    I will never forget that the NRA sold out on bump stocks. This letter does not change that fact.

    Likewise, Trump supporters do not remember or do not care that Trump stabbed gun owners in the back multiple times: shelving national carry, which probably never will happen now that the Republicans are going to lose a majority (because Trump is turning off independents by behaving like a child and fool); raising the age to purchase firearms to 21; illegally ordering the ATF to double-speak into a bump stock ban.

    I cannot recall a more effective anti-gun president than Trump.

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