New ATF Rule Banning Bump Stocks Gets It Completely Wrong

Bump Fire Stock SlideFire

Our friends at the ATF are in charge of regulating firearms. Which means they have to have a significant amount of expertise in how they work and the laws that apply to them. From people we know who deal with the ATF’s technical branch, they do a pretty good job of calling balls and strikes when it comes to applying laws such as the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968 to the various firearms and products they’re asked to examine and approve.

And yet the final rule the agency has written re-classifying bump fire stocks as the equivalent of machine guns contains this gem:

The NPRM proposed to amend the regulations at 27 CFR 447.11, 478.11, and 479.11 to clarify that bump-stock-type devices are “machineguns” as defined by the NFA and GCA because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger. Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. 83 FR at 13447-48.

The reality of how a bump fire stock works couldn’t be more different than the way it’s described in the ATF’s rule. A bump stock doesn’t “produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.”

Instead, a bump stock requires the user to maintain forward pressure on the stock and press the trigger for each round fired, just like any other semi-automatic rifle. While a bump stock certainly speeds up the process via its recoil-actuated slide action, the ATF’s description is utterly false.

We’re not attorneys, but that should make the new rule ripe for a court challenge.

Here’s the ATF’s own definition of a machine gun:

The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b), defines a machine gun to include any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

There’s no reasonable reading of that language that applies to a bump fire stock.

Here’s what the ATF wrote when they originally approved the first bump fire stock for SlideFire back in 2010.

Let us quote the relevant portion:

The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed. In order to use the installed device, the user must apply constant forward pressure with the non-shooting hand and constant rearward pressure with the shooting hand. Accordingly, we find that the “bump-stock” is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under the Gun Control Act or National Firearms Act.

What changed since 2010? The Las Vegas concert shooting happened, that’s what changed…the only crime ever committed during which a bump fire stock was used.

Bump fire stocks still work exactly the same way they always have. They work exactly the same way they did in 2010 when the ATF first looked at them. Only now, there’s heavy political pressure being applied from the White House to ban bump fire stocks in order to say that they’ve “done something” to fix the problem.

In order to comply with a political order from the President, the ATF has twisted their interpretation of what constitutes a machine gun beyond all recognition.

Various groups have vowed to sue the ATF and the administration over this [UPDATE: the first lawsuit has already been filed] once the new rule is published in the federal register and officially becomes law. The question then will become, will a judge apply the law as written or will he or she go along with the ATF’s arbitrary, capricious and mistaken reclassification of bump fire stocks as machine guns?

 

 

comments

  1. avatar JMR says:

    And here come the Fudds

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      The NRA is as small as a mouse, at least they are mighty.

      1. avatar JMR says:

        The NRA is filled with anti 2nd amendment people who think that each time the five something up will be the last time. At best.

        Amazing that the only gun related thing we got accomplished with a Republican President, House, and Senate was more gun control.

        Hell by record President Obama gave us more right back.

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        for those who care.
        From 2017
        Marion Hammer: NRA Never Wanted Legal Machine Guns, Bump Fire Stocks

        https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2017/10/luis-valdes/marion-hammer-nra-never-wanted-legal-machine-guns-bump-fire-stocks/

  2. avatar ThisEnd^ says:

    Posted today:

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-announces-bump-stock-type-devices-finale-rule

    Who do you think their going to listen too. YOU, or the person mentioned in the Second Paragraph…

      1. avatar ThisEnd^ says:

        Did you read it! Or are you correcting my grammar…

        1. avatar Larry says:

          It looks like he’s correcting your grammar on the word”too”. If the government is going to try to ban bump fire stocks, are they going to force Jerry Miculek to register his trigger finger and get a class 3 tax stamp for it? I say that as a joke but I wouldn’t put it past the democrats.

        2. avatar ThisEnd^ says:

          Don’t forget Max Michel too…

        3. avatar Divemedic says:

          You misspelled the link. THAT is what he was correcting.

        4. avatar ThisEnd^ says:

          How many Website’s have you been on where “Nobody” made a typo of any kind! Or didn’t end the Conversation with a Few “Emoji’s” and/or “Leet”. That latter no even being recognized as a Language by anyone…

    1. avatar Patrick says:

      From the link, they’re doing some “redefinitions”:
      —————
      “automatically” as it modifies “shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot,” means functioning as a result of a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that allows the firing of multiple rounds through the single function of the trigger;
      “single function of the trigger” means single pull of the trigger and analogous motions.
      —————
      analogous – So not the thing, but another thing?

      1. avatar ThisEnd^ says:

        i.e. “Grey Mist” or “Fog” with NO Substance…

  3. avatar UsedtobePun says:

    Willing to die on your feet?

    If not then be ready to live on your knees.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      We are already living on our knees. Americans don’t know what standing up is like.

      1. avatar UsedtobePun says:

        Well, you are entirely correct.

        I try to use small words to hopefully impact the “patriotic” masses to realize that we are not anything but the land of the fee and home of the slave.

        A lot of 2A lovin’ ‘Muricans just can’t fathom it and go into apoplectic seizures.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          Next flight to Canada departs in 10 minutes. You won’t be missed. Buh-bye!

  4. avatar million says:

    Great question at the end. Will Ginsburg et al hand Trump a principled loss or will they vote their feelz and give him (and gun grabbers) the win?

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      Maybe just wishful thinking on my part, but I suspect a court battle might have been the longer term objective all along. Maybe… just maybe… Trump did this knowing the feds would get sued and have to take it to the court to have the matter settled once and for all and get the bigots to stop barking up this particular tree.
      Or he just sold us out.
      🤠

      1. avatar RA-15 says:

        I’d say he sold us out. And if you paid $500 or so for a slidefire stock trash it or hand it in. No compensation for your loss of $$ what’s next on the list of infringement’s of our RIGHT’S.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          I don’t think that Trump expected to lose in the courts. I don’t think he sold-us-out. I think he saw that Congress was going to create a Christmas tree with every restriction they could think of. They might have assembled a veto-proof majority.

          He faced a choice. Leave the matter in Congress’s hands and let them do as they would. Or, take the bump-stock issue by the horns and keep the damage to a minimum.

          The problem with being an arm-chair quarterback is that we can’t ever know how things would have played-out in a scenario that didn’t happen. Would we really have been better off with a bill out of Congress?

          Maybe Trump could have vetoed a bill; but, would that have weakened him politically to such a degree that he couldn’t have accomplished anything else?

          I don’t presume to know the answers to these questions.

        2. avatar TheUnspoken says:

          Sold out. He thinks bump stocks are bad tools used by criminals to kill people. Otherwise he could be saying stuff like “bump stocks are not the problem! We need to deal with people actually committing crimes, and enforce the laws we have, not make new ones that don’t do anything except punish the law abiding.” What was that NRA speech about the attacks on the second amendment end now? Both his words and actions line up. The “buying time” logic might have held up if he dropped the issue mid year once the fervor ended. With Republicans in control we shouldn’t have feared anything coming from Congress, unless Congress sold us out, and he would still have veto if he was against it.

          As we see in Florida, Republican majority leadership is pro bump stock ban, pro red flag laws, anti open carry, open to compromise on mag restrictions or temporary AR sales bans, and reluctant to support deregulation of silencers.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I forgot I had one.

      2. avatar BananasMcgee says:

        The cult of Trump must be a pretty strong drug to think that’s even a possibility…

      3. avatar George from Alaska says:

        The President may not be the turncoat that a lot of people think.
        Trump did this as an immediate reaction to Diane Fienstine’s move to reintroduce an “assault weapons” ban that has failed before hoping to capitalize on the LV shooting. Remember all the TV after that? Worse than Sandy Hook. Trump’s son or son in law is an avid 2nd Amendment supporter and own NFA items and is certainly aware of the 10 or so years of ATF approval of several brands of bump-stocks… By throwing this bump stock thing at Sessions and now the new acting it was certainly going to make news (and be challenged based on past practice and the actual NFA wording). I have my doubt’s as to whether the new ATF ruling will be upheld and Never has the US gone backwards and confiscated or asked people to destroy what they already legally purchased. Many years ago the ATF/NFA decided that the SWD Streetsweeper and the South African Stryker rotating magazine 12 gauge shotguns were too ugly and dangerous looking and redefined them as Destructive Devices. People who had bought them legally on 4473’s were allowed to keep them and I believe go free DD registration in the Registry. Dealers and manufactures that had unsold inventory had to surrender them and ATF sent hundreds, if not thousands of agents, to collect the unsold ones… pretty easy to do with the manufacturing companies records and those of the FFL’s.
        With regards to bumpstocks, although some cities and states have already banned them with a poor turn in result, people who purchased them legally should be allowed to keep them but how to track and record them even if the Feds allow some sort of registration?? There are no serial numbers.
        And, the NRA did not sell out. They saw the movement of Fienstein’s bill about to be introduced and only recommended that the bump-stocks issue be sent back to ATF/NFA for review. Maybe a very shrewd move because Trump didn’t Executive Order them away as he could have and Congress did not bring a vote forward to ban bump stocks.. a move which always turns out bad for legislators who support anti 2A bills.
        The genius in what Trump and the NRA did is that the issue went back to the very agency who for over 10 years has been supplying letters that have been put on post card sized notices in bump fire boxes or printed on the box itself… just like brace information today.
        So the same agency that said for 10+ years that the pieces of plactic are gun parts and NOT firearms and do not constitute a machine gun when fired has now reversed their “Past Practice”? Remember that term, it frequently comes up in court cases.
        While I believe we are slowly losing some rights especially in states I will never live in, I remain cautiously optimistic. I told everyone at the range that Trump would win because of the un-polled military men and women, from the new wave of civilian female shooters and from African Americans and Hispanic voters who did not tell their friends but voted Trump behind the voting curtain. Remember Trump’s famous “What the hell do you have to lose by voting for me?” speech? I do.

  5. avatar anarchyst says:

    If the ATF goes through with this, they will not be able to summarily ban “bump stocks” without compensation to the owners. An “amnesty” period for tax-free registration” would have to be established, just as what was done for “Street Sweeper” shotguns. That being said, those who own “bump stocks” legally (but unconstitutionally) registered would be able to modify the weapons that they are attached to, to permit true “fully automatic” fire without incurring additional registration. This would open up the NFRTR to “newly registered machine guns”…something that the ATF could do nothing about…
    You can bet, that if enacted, it will end up in court…

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Not likely. Californians thought the same thing when rifles with bullet buttons were magically reclassified as “assault weapons”. Per statutory law an assault weapon is an assault weapon… period. Per DOJ regulations, which shouldn’t have any prosecutorial weight but do…. because it just does… a gun can be a 94′ assault weapon or a bullet button assault weapon because DOJ says so. If you make a bullet button assault weapon a 94′ assault weapon (by changing the mag release) then you have an illegal assault weapon even though its already a registered and legal assault weapon….. because we (DOJ) say so…. just like we say a man is a woman and a bump stock is a machinegun.

      1. avatar anarchyst says:

        There is a big difference between “state law” and “federal law”…the Constitution REQUIRES compensation for a “taking”. California operates on its own unconstitutional basis…
        Regards

        1. avatar troutbum5 says:

          And the 14th Amendment applied the rest of the Bill of Rights to the states. How’s that working out in California and other states?

    2. avatar DMJ says:

      You clearly are not aware of what California calls a “Bullet Button Assault Weapon”, the rules on owning one and what you can and can not do to the weapon once it is registered.

      IF they opened up the registry for Bump Stocks the only configuration that would allowed would be a “Bump-stock machine gun” and any modification to that configuration would be an illegal modification to the weapon.

      You really need to pay more attention to the crazy shit California does cause that will become the text book in the coming years.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        Assuming the bump stock is ruled a machine gun and tge NFA registry opened, there is no “bump stock machine gun” classification. Per NFA, it’s a machine gun, or it isn’t. If it’s a machine gun, it can’t be a short barrel rifle, so you can put any upper on a M16. There isn’t a classification for heavy machine gun, light machine gun, machine pistol, sub machine guns, etc. If a receiver is registered as a machine gun, it doesn’t note whether it’s full auto because of a trigger pack, drop in sear, lightning link, or had an auto sear pocket machined. However, if a drop in sear was used, it can’t be put into another non-registered machine gun. If the bump stock is registered as a machine gun, it can be put on any gun. If a bump-stock equipped receiver is registered, the bump stock could only be put on other registered machine guns.

        1. avatar Geoff "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" PR says:

          ” If a receiver is registered as a machine gun, it doesn’t note whether it’s full auto because of a trigger pack, drop in sear, lightning link, or had an auto sear pocket machined.”

          Incorrect, as far as I know.

          Why?

          On the select-fire Steyer AUG, the ‘registered’ part is the drop-in fire control group. Not the entire weapon…

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Not a lawyer, but if the receiver is registered as a “bump stock machine gun”, by serial number, then you would be able to modify it by putting that number on another receiver while destroying the original, as you are now. Since it is a registered machine gun, you could then pack away your bump stock in case you need it someday, and just go with your select fire M16 A1 until then. I don’t think this would pass muster with RBG.

    3. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

      anarchyst, everything you mention (compensation, registration, amnesty) requires an act of Congress. Current law does not allow for any of this.

      By the way, your argument about registered bump stock machine guns being able to be converted to real machine guns with auto sears is spot on wrong. Think of a registered bump stock like a registered drop-in auto sear. The drop-in auto sear is the machine gun, not the gun it is being used in. The bump stock is the machine gun, not the gun it is attached to. Simple ATF logic.

      1. avatar arc says:

        Its not even law, its policy of a federal agency.

        1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          arc, I am not sure what you mean by: “Its not even law, its policy of a federal agency.”

          The DOJ issued (or is going to issue to be precise) a new rule, replacing an old rule. This rule is about how the ATF implements the laws passed by Congress concerning machine guns, which now includes bump stocks. The 2A community sees this as a misinterpretation and violation of the laws passed by Congress and of the Constitution.

          What anarchyst is talking about is something completely different. The DOJ simply can not issue a rule that contains compensation, registration and/or amnesty regarding bump stocks, because Congress didn’t pass a law to allow for this. In fact, with the 1986 machine gun ban, Congress explicitly closed the machine gun registry for new machine guns. The ATF has no authority to reopen it. Only Congress can do that. The ATF has also no authority to enact a spending law to pay for compensation. Only Congress can do that. As for amnesty, there is no legal basis for it either, as Congress already enacted one with the 1986 machine gun ban. Only Congress can change that.

    4. avatar barnbwt says:

      Just like they compensated & grandfathered all the drugs they declared contraband…

      STOP hoping against hope this isn’t as bad as it is. We’ve all been given a choice today; comply and dispose of our lawfully-purchased property in 90 days per the decree of the president, or refuse and become outlaws.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        If you refuse you go to a cage or a casket.

        Land of the free, home of the brave.

        1. avatar arc says:

          Not before the tree is watered.

      2. avatar Huntmaster says:

        The 2nd Amendment was written in the simplest, clearest, most direct way possible using the fewest words possible. It was not written in some incomprehensible legalese, arcane technical jargon or some obscure language or dialect, it was written in layman’s everyday language. It is comprised of but twenty seven words,
        three commas and a period. There was a reason for that. What enumerated right mentions drugs?

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Huntmaster: “What enumerated right mentions drugs?” I concede the point that there is a distinction to be made between “enumerated” rights and those not “enumerated”. However, I respectfully suggest that we all take care NOT to make TOO much of this distinction.

          At the time of the founding of our current Constitution there was a consensus that “powers” were enumerated while “rights” were intrinsically innumerable. We let go of our firm grasp of this principle at our peril.

          We should all be aware of the debate between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists as to the wisdom of the latter’s insistence on a Bill of Rights. Today, it ought to be clear that the Anti-Federalists were wiser.

          And here we are today, fighting over both enumerated and un-enumerated rights. Pot was taxed, regulated and ultimately prohibited due to a desire to discriminate against Mexican immigrants. LSD was prohibited for the exclusive reason that Nixon wanted to harass the counter-culture that was undermining his determination to fight the war in Viet Nam.

          I am not, here, taking any position whatsoever on the wisdom of regulating or prohibiting of either pot or LSD. That is a scientific and social question that deserves vigorous debate outside of the scope of Constitutional-ism.

          What I am arguing here is a pure Constitutional question. Is it within the powers of Congress to prohibit (not merely regulate) a “drug” for which there might be a legitimate therapeutic purpose?

          At the time of pot taxation and regulation there was probably little evidence of any legitimate therapeutic use. Nevertheless, the potential for such a use could never be ruled-out as a theoretical matter. Yet, the pot laws effectively foreclosed research in the US. It was only through research outside the US and the intrepid insistence of Americans willing to defy the law that legitimate therapeutic uses began to emerge.

          At the time of LSD prohibition there WAS evidence of at least ONE legitimate therapeutic use; i.e., the comfort of palliative care patients contemplating imminent death. This use was perfectly clear. Moreover, there was no countervailing argument for its use in that context; the patient was certain to die in any case.

          Today many states have medical pot laws, several have recreational pot laws. The Feds have finally authorized experimental use of LSD. Now, with a little clarity, we can look back at the wake of hundreds of thousands of convicts who were punished for using these drugs unlawfully.

          The question I insist on asking here is this: Was there any Constitutional power for Congress to forbid the use of pot or LSD for legitimate therapeutic purposes?

          I am willing to concede, for the sake of concentrating on this argument, that Congress had SOME power to regulate these substances. E.g., to limit dispensing them in clinical trials. I’m also willing to concede that each state retained the power to regulate – even to forbid – use of these drugs even for legitimate therapeutic purposes. Having made those concessions, now we can concentrate on Congress’ power to forbid.

          Can we the People finally wake-up and recognize that there IS a class of rights which – though NOT enumerated – Congress may not “infringe” – i.e., to “break” absolutely and unequivocally. Is it simply UN-Constitutional for Congress to forbid a licensed physician from dispensing a drug to a patient where he sincerely believes – and has a reasonable basis to believe – may have a therapeutic benefit? If THIS case is beyond the Constitutional reach of Congressional power, then there are apt to be some other un-enumerated rights as well.

          The widespread acceptance of this proposition would serve our nation well.

  6. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    ATF agents don’t know a lot about what they are regulating. I’m not sure who you talk to but I walk away, from work discussions with them, shaking my head more often than not.

  7. avatar 2a suxs sucks says:

    Thanks NRA

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      This kind of cheap-shot criticism of the NRA is getting a little tiring. Apparently some people out here think the NRA has some kind of power to write policy and pass laws.

      Well, they don’t. The NRA is a lobbying organization, and (educational programs aside) that’s pretty much it. They can go in, throw some weight around, hope to have some influence, file some carefully chosen lawsuits, and that’s where it ends. They are not to blame for the final result. If you need to blame someone, blame anyone you know that votes for Democrats. As for the NRA, they’re going to win some, they’re going to lose some, and some they won’t even suit up for.

      The way I see it, my $35 dollars a year (plus maybe $100 to their ILA) is what I pay for lobbyists representing my point of view in the halls of government. Every group in the country has a lobbyist– why not me? I think I’m getting off fairly cheap here.

      The NRA says they have somewhere between 5 and 6 million members. That’s the weight they have. So instead of grousing about their supposed “failures”, pony up $35, increase their membership to 10 or 15 million, and give them even more clout.

      You wanna send money to other organizations? Fine. But remember that nobody has even close to NRA’s presence and muscle where it counts. So you can grouse about them all you want, but without them you have no voice at all. Trust me on this– no one in Congress reads this blog.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        Your boy is not afraid of the NRA because the NRA has his back on gun control.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfjJlv8xJYw

        https://home.nra.org/joint-statement

      2. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

        “They are not to blame for the final result. If you need to blame someone, blame anyone you know that votes for Democrats.”

        This bump stock ban wasn’t written by Democrats. The NRA asked for it! It was written by a Republican administration with the backing of the NRA. Well, at least you are toeing the NRA line that it is always someone else’s fault. The NRA has exactly zero accountability.

        “The way I see it, my $35 dollars a year (plus maybe $100 to their ILA) is what I pay for lobbyists representing my point of view in the halls of government. Every group in the country has a lobbyist– why not me? I think I’m getting off fairly cheap here.”

        You pay for high executive salaries of a few people that fail to represent you. That’s it. You are free to throw your money away as you wish, just don’t ask us to do the same. I will donate to the FPC instead, that actually fights this ban in the courts.

        “The NRA says they have somewhere between 5 and 6 million members. That’s the weight they have.”

        You really believe that? You do understand that the number is whatever Wayne LaPierre says it is, right? The NRA is in a financial crisis, by the way, because member donations are way down. NRA TV had to lay off people.

        “So instead of grousing about their supposed “failures”, pony up $35, increase their membership to 10 or 15 million, and give them even more clout.”

        For what exactly? More Angry Dana videos? More speeches by President Trump at the NRA Annual Meeting that only contain empty promises and self glorification? More NRA activities that harm 2A businesses, like the low-quality NRA Carry Guard insurance and the boutique NRA Carry Guard training program? More backstabbing in local 2A legal cases, where the NRA settles just after fundraising?

      3. avatar pxxat2 says:

        Right On… say it again, the NRA is the only voice we have, that is willing to stand up against the vicious gun grabbing left wingers, who don’t give a Hoot about the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment, or any Rights you think you have, that they don’t like.

        1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          Gun grabbing left wingers didn’t write this ban. President Donald J. Trump’s BAFTE wrote it. President Donald J. Trump’s Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker signed it. The NRA asked for additional regulations and got it.

          Neither President Trump nor the NRA care for the Constitution by supporting this rewriting of laws by executive fiat for the purpose of more gun control, which violates the 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendment.

          Keep following that con man in the White House and his scam artists at the NRA HQ like the lemming you are.

        2. avatar Dude Homie Buddy says:

          https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2018/12/luis-valdes/gun-owners-of-america-to-file-suit-against-the-trump-bump-stock-ban/

          GOA just did what the NRA is too afraid/bloated to do. GOA, SAF, and others have been fighting for our rights in court for decades while the NRA compromises away our rights and collects money…and pushes for this garbage using the Bump-Stock Ban (BSB) as a sacrificial lamb to placate the centrists/lefties.

          The NRA is *not* the only option we’ve got in regards to preserving our gun rights. Far from it. Wake up.

  8. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    “Under his strong leadership, the Department of Justice has prosecuted more gun criminals than ever before as we target violent criminals. We are faithfully following President Trump’s leadership by making clear that bump stocks, which turn semiautomatics into machine guns, are illegal, and we will continue to take illegal guns off of our streets.”

    We used to call these government approved, legal guns, stored safely in homes by lawful gun enthusiasts: responsible Americans, patriots, even Trump voters! Now these are illegal guns on the street, held by gun criminals, violent gun criminals who must be targeted.

    The British are coming! I mean the Republicans!

    1. avatar CZ Rider says:

      Red suddenly seems like a fitting color for them.

  9. avatar MarkPA says:

    So the cry: “We have to do SOMEthing!” is answered by the bump-stock ban. The best we can say for that is that it appears to keep Congress away from amending the definition of machine-gun to include lots of other things that might enhance the rate-of-fire.

    In the mean time, it might be worth-while returning to the incident that started this, i.e., Mandalay Bay. I remain unpersuaded that the death count was materially increased by bump-stocks. Likely the wounded count was materially increased by bump-stocks. So, total casualties probably were increased by bump-stocks. But was the bump-stock a really important factor in the casualty count? This seems not clear at all.

    What really IS clear is that the shooter held the high-ground position was crucial.

    1 – he could access a high-ground position.
    2 – he could make that position effective by breaking-out windows.
    3 – the police made no provision for counter-snipers in a venue that would need it.
    4 – the police could not swiftly reach the shooter’s position.

    The first thing to do is for police to evaluate large public venues for existing high-ground positions. Where possible, large crowds in such places should be avoided. Where large crowds can’t be avoided, 2 – 4 must be addressed.

    Second, something must be done to prevent a shooter from taking advantage of a high-ground position. E.g., in the Austin TX clock-tower case, access to the observation deck should have been locked-down. In Mandalay Bay, building operators ought to have glass-break sensors (common in home security systems) to detect the instant a window breaks for any reason. There are probably viable answers to other situations.

    Third, in any municipality where condition #1 exists, having zero counter-sniper capability makes no sense. Do we need SWAT capabilities where we do NOT need counter-snipers? Where SWAT exists the resources for counter-sniper exist. In some cases where deer hunters are plentiful, a public/private partnership makes sense.

    Fourth, Mandalay Bay was nothing other than bizarre good luck. The hotel’s security guard distracted the shooter; probably leading him to conclude that his position was about to be over-run. The shooter decided to end his attack at his own initiative; he was not stopped by intruders. A couple of cops happened to be in the hotel at the time and could be deployed without loss of travel time. There is no reason to rely on such good luck in the future.

    If there is a lesson to be learned here it is that having some immediate response – however limited in capability – is vastly better than having no response. The hotel security guard was prompted to be on the relevant floor by a signal that a door that should have been in a locked state was apparently unlocked (or some such abnormal condition). He was able to respond with enough presence to distract the shooter.

    The major question facing us all – society in general and gun-owners in particular – ought to be preparing for a better response to high-ground position scenarios in the future. The disappearance of bump-stocks isn’t going to change the risk of such situations in the future.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Time with helpless victims is the most lethal factor in all these attacks. I bet a decent shot with a bolt action in a robust caliber could have killed a similar number of people in the ten minutes he had. Fewer wounded, but if you have ten minutes to pick out targets, that’s a lot of shots.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        anything that resembles a machine gun in its operation is sure to get their knickers in a knot…what about all those other gadgets still out there?

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I think you have hit on the constitutional solution! If having the high ground is the problem, why not interpret the building code so as to outlaw buildings more than 3 stories, retroactively, without compensation, effective next month? Isn’t this the equivalent?

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        In the law, especially with constitutionality, we are compelled to reason by analogy; but, analogy can only take us so far.

        I think it always makes sense to push forward on the argument that is the most likely to advance your cause. If you have an argument that is air-tight in your own head but won’t gain any traction with your audience, then you are pissing into a hurricane.

        Generally, I think we should begin with the question: Does Congress have the power to do whatever it likes, notwithstanding anything else in the Constitution?

        Clearly, the answer to this must be No; the powers of Congress are somehow limited to some extent by Constitutional provisions.

        Fine; then, if Congress wishes to do something that seems to run into Constitutional objections, can it carry-out its wishes by taxing it to the point of prohibition?

        Our debate partner might say: ‘Well, yes it can with a couple of exceptions. If Congress wishes to limit voting by poor people it may not level a poll tax. If Congress wishes to limit export of tobacco it may not levy an export tax on tobacco. Apart from these two enumerated exceptions, Congress can tax anything with the goal of destroying it.’

        This argument, too, fails a sense of propriety. Look at the recent decision striking down ObamaCare. The Robert’s court said ObamaCare was constitutional on the pretext of the penalty for failing to buy a policy was a tax. Congress can do just about anything it wants under a pretext of taxation. But then Congress lowered the penalty to $0; and, there went the power-to-tax pretext.

        Suppose Congress responded by raising the tax to 1 cent or $1 or $10. Would that turn-the-magic-switch again, making ObamaCare Constitutional again? Again, this fails a sense of propriety.

        Now, look at the NFA’34 at the time it was passed. Was the $5 tax on an AOW a prohibition under the guise of a tax measure? Probably not. How about the $200 tax on a machine-gun? The machine-gun cost about $200 or so at the time; a 100% tax. Pretty high; but can we say conclusively that it was a prohibition under the guise of a tax? Well, maybe not. How about the SBS tax of $200? If a shotgun cost $20 at the time then that would have been a 1000% tax. Now, the argument looks pretty strong. Finally, the silencer tax of $200 on something that probably had a wholesale price of $2 – $10! And, in fact, that level of tax killed the product. No one thought that improving the discomfort of a report was worth the tax.

        Is the power to tax a blanket power to destroy something that we the People have a right to enjoy? If the product is an unenumerated good (e.g., a drug with a legitimate medicinal use)? How about if the product is an ENUMERATED good? The necessity for arms contributing to a well-regulated (i.e., effective) militia that is “necessary” to the security of a free state?

        Today, we would all open our checkbooks to write out a tax payment of $200 and wait a year to get a Form-4 to buy a DIAS. We no longer are complaining about the tax rate as a power to destroy an enumerated Constitutional right. Today, our argument is the Hughes Act forbidding the Treasurer of the US from accepting a tax payment prerequisite to making a new entry on the register of machine-guns. This is a “break-dance” of the power-to-tax is the power-to-destroy. There is no question at all the Hughes Amendment is an “infringement”.

        The remaining question is whether a machine-gun is an “arm”.

        Here, Scalia threw machine-guns under-the-bus to win Kennedy’s vote to declare the 2A an “individual” right. I hold that he made a good trade.

        You see, Scalia’s remarks to the effect that machine-guns are “not in common use” is a non sequitur. Dick Heller didn’t have a machine-gun; he had a revolver. There were no facts whatsoever that turned on anything having to do with machine-guns. Thus, this remark is mere dicta that subsequent courts are free to ignore. It means nothing.

        What was relevant to Heller was that his gun – a revolver – was in common-use; and, for legitimate purposes. Congress has no power under the 2A to deprive citizens of their right to any arm that is “in common use”. It wasn’t necessary for Dick Heller to show evidence that the US military finds any use for revolvers in military action.

        The Heller decision does not cast any cloud over the reasoning in Miller. The reasoning of contributing to the efficiency of a militia is compelling. If an arm is in use by the US military that seems to be prima facia evidence of its militia efficacy. Arguably, if no general carries a cane-gun, then that weapon might pass neither the efficiency of a militia nor the common use lens.

        Arguably, not every weapon is a 2A “arm”. What would we make of a garrote? I know of no use of such a weapon by the military. Nor is it in common use. When used, it is for unlawful purposes. Such a weapon has little claim for protection under the 2A.

        If this reasoning – prejudicial to the garrote – is sound; then it must be so that those arms that are particularly employed by armies – especially our own army – has the most powerful claim to being “necessary for the security of a free state”.

        So, we may concede that a modest tax on a weapon – such as $200 for a $700 machine-gun – might NOT be UN-Constitutional. Registration of a machine-gun might NOT represent an intolerable threat to the right to keep arms. Constraints on time-and-place to keep, transport and move a machine-gun might NOT infringe, provided of course that they don’t operate to preclude our sons and daughters from developing and maintaining proficiency in their use.

        But clearly, the regime we operate under now – with the Hughes Amendment – incontrovertibly is a death-sentence to maintaining a well-regulated militia proficient in the use of an arm incontrovertibly used by our own Army for military purposes.

        I can’t imagine a way of wriggling-out of this line of reasoning. If that causes the Anti’s pain in formulating an argument before a judge then I’m all in favor of making them suffer.

  10. avatar Michael Buley says:

    Facts, the Constitution, don’t matter to these folks.

    “Shall not be infringed” has been violated countless times, and will continue to be. With the communist Dems coming into power in the House, we’ll see more unconstitutional violations of many more of our rights, and there’s not a fact that matters to them.

    Agenda: disarm we the people. That’s all. They will propose any regulation that they think they can get away with, and if they can’t right now, they’ll come back again with it. And again and again. As they control the media and thus the masses, their task becomes easier all the time.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      Their major success is Americans not teaching their kids. The youth are wide open to manipulation, they won’t realize they thew it all away until it’s too late.

  11. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Who or what allows an alphabet agency to just amend federal law at any given turn? Wouldn’t this proposed amendment to GCA and NFA need to be run through congress before it can actually become law? Maybe I missed my civics class. Nobody is complaining about the blatant illegality of the operation, just the “it’s not a machine gun, it requires force yadda yadda”. Who cares about WHAT they’re banning, it matters HOW they’re banning it. I would hope someone in a court somewhere says this is completely illegal on grounds of how it was enacted, how it is implemented, and how it violates 2nd, 4th, 5th amendments.

      1. avatar LKB says:

        You see! He can be taught!

  12. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    “We’re not attorneys, but that should make the new rule ripe for a court challenge.”

    It shouldn’t _have_ to need one. This reg/law/edict is male cow excrement.

  13. avatar Saint Mike says:

    Ya go ahead screw with over a 1/2 million Bumpstock owners. Politicians seem to never ever seem to learn – don’t F with gun owners.

    DJT will be a one term President. One term only.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      And you think the democrats will offer up a presidential candidate who gives a shit about gun rights?

    2. avatar CZJay says:

      What are they going to do about it? Vote for another Republicant?

  14. avatar GS650G says:

    It’s only a matter of time before another high profile event results in a ban on possession of one type of firearm or another. Gun owners are improbably defending what they have left and it’s inevitable what the result will be.
    The only win we have is the ability to carry in public and that’s a patchwork of rules and situations. That could be overturned pretty quickly.
    I’ve not had a bump stock nor desired to own one. I don’t smoke nor never did. But never did I think others couldn’t partake in either.
    Some have pointed out it could have been worse and it could have. If She was president we would have seen a whole class of guns ruled illegal and a liberal court to back it up.
    Pray we get another somewhat conservative on the high court to somehow defend what we have left, because it’s a defensive position gun rights are in.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      How much infringements did we get during Obama? How much infringements are we getting during Trump?

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      we’re backpedaling right now… fending of blows…and waiting for an opening……

  15. avatar Derringer Dave says:

    Personally, I don’t have much sympathy for owners of bump stocks (a device that is only useful for rapidly burning up dollar bills by transferring money to an ammo manufacturer, and if you’re that eager to get rid of your money, I know numerous charities that could use the money).
    However, I have a problem with regulatory agencies illegally changing written laws. The BATFE decision wasn’t to conform with any written law, but merely to bend to political pressure.
    If the government wants to ban bump stocks, get the legislature (Congress) to pass a law banning them. Don’t define a mere piece of plastic (with no springs or motors) as a machine gun.
    You can redefine a fish as a bird, but that won’t help it fly.

    It reminds me of New Jersey, which decided that a slingshot is a “firearm” — I am no kidding — a handgun, in fact, requiring just as many licenses and permits to purchase as a Glock. Dennis the Menace would face 10 years in prison for the slingshot in his back pocket if he lived in New Jersey!

    Besides, as soon as anti-gun people figure out that ordinary household objects (belt loops, rubber bands) serve the same function as bump stocks, then having pants with belt loops will become a felony, especially in New Jersey! Perhaps it already is, as there already plenty of little-known laws on the books in New Jersey that make driving through the state a felony if you have common everyday items in the car that are legal in the other 49 states but considered “weapons” in Nazi Jersey. For example, that necklace your girlfriend is wearing, with a dummy bullet on it? A felony in Nazi Jersey if the dummy-bullet jewelry is shaped like a hollowpoint bullet, and that’s just one example.

    1. avatar Flying Fish says:

      “You can redefine a fish as a bird, but that won’t help it fly”
      But they already have, they have redefined, and fought very hard for the public to accept (and have probably won as I commonly hear Pro2A people refer to semiauto as assault) that redefining, that a semiautomatic firearm as an assault weapon. Definition: “An assault rifle is a selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.” California has already defined out the selective-fire and the detachable magazine and can’t give a flying sh…t about the cartridge as they ban grips and other accessories.

      1. avatar Wishing of Sugarplums and Fairy Dreams says:

        Don’t worry about any measure of reality interfering with the anti2A side’s agenda. Some court in California has already ruled that the microstamping requirement for new firearms to be listed on the Cali safe list is valid even though the technology does not exist and is not likely to ever be able to developed to function reliably. (effectively a firearms ban without banning anything – does not anyone see any of this for what it is?)

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Yup! Do you not see there is only one way to resist such tactics? Ignore them.

  16. avatar John says:

    What bugs me most about this is how our genius politicians got nothing for it. Why not use this in Congress as a tool to push through reciprocity? I’m really tired of watching our side play Checkers, while the other side plays Chess.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      The politicians are not the stupid ones of the country. I know… some of them don’t come off as very bright, but they did get elected.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        I think you mis-recall the events. The bump-stock ban by ATF rule-making served to waive-off Congress from doing anything. Had Congress acted they would have added other provisions that would make us afraid to oil our guns.

        We PotG have to wise-up and figure out how politics works. Gun owners are simply not mounting the political effort to have any impact on Capital Hill. That’s our fault and we can’t blame anyone but our fellow gun-owners.

        We have to understand that Congress, like any legislature, is in the business of passing laws that make things forbidden. They take-away liberties. That’s their job. They take-away the liberty to drive too fast or drink & drive; etc. To imagine that legislatures are going to pass law to protect liberty is asking them to swim against the current.

        Our best tactic with Congress is to get them to STOP passing gun-control laws. It’s much easier to get them to STOP than it is to get them to do something constructive.

        If we want power on Capital Hill then we have to do that which is most easily within our grasp; i.e., control 41 of the 80 Senators from right-to-carry states. If we won’t bother to do this small task then we can forget about Congress. The gun-controllers will buy the best Congressmen at the lowest price and we will be toast.

        The Courts, on the other hand, are not really in the business of passing laws – albeit it’s hard to tell that when they “legislate from the bench”. What they are supposed to do is defend liberty. They are supposed to decide rationally, not politically. We enjoy a special moment in history with Trump – and then hopefully Pence – in the Oval Office. If we keep them there we will get Justices on SCOTUS who might give us a fair shake. Our best shot is to find the right cases and get them to SCOTUS so that it can rule in our favor. We have to figure out what sorts of cases they will take and rule on favorably. That, I think, is cases that take very small nibbles at the apple with just the right characteristics so that the conclusion is foregone for lots of reasons OTHER than “shall not be infringed”. The NYC gun transport case looks like a good example.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          So, you are explaining that we traded away “something” in exchange for “nothing”. I don’t think that’s productive.

        2. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Larry: That’s my interpretation. I don’t claim to know this with any certainty.

          You may reasonably argue that Congress could have passed any bill they liked; and, then, Trump was duty-bound to veto it. Then, you could reasonably argue that Congress could not have over-ridden Trump’s veto.

          You may reasonably argue that Congress wouldn’t have quite cleared the 60 votes needed to get cloture in the Senate. The bill would never have hit Trump’s desk.

          You may reasonably argue that had Trump vetoed the bill he would have paid no price with his supporters who aren’t gun-owning and devoted to the give-no-ground position.

          We can know with certainty what actually happens in history; but, can only conjecture what might have happened if some other course might have been taken.

          Suppose my conjecture is correct; Congress would have passed a worse bill and Trump would have signed it (or Congress overridden the veto). Would we have been better off? Maybe. I can’t be sure.

          I’ll give you another scenario. Suppose when the Brady Bill passed that NRA never pushed for NICS. We would be living today with no NICS to complain about. We would have, instead, a several-day waiting period. Then, we likely wouldn’t be facing a Universal Background Checks argument. We would just be ALWAYS waiting a few days to pick up our guns. Would that have been better? Maybe. I can’t be sure.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      doesn’t seem to be any support for reciprocity in the white house….we clearly have lost the initiative…

      1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

        Not this national reciprocity nonsense again. Haven’t we discussed this on TTAG ad nauseam? It takes 60 votes in the Senate to get it past a filibuster. 60, not 51! It takes 9 Senate Democrats to vote for it to become law.

        As for passing a legislative bump stock ban and getting national reciprocity for it, the Democrats simply would not have done that. In fact, the national reciprocity bill is a well-known poison pill.

        Let’s assume for a moment that Democrats simply didn’t get it and passed a legislative bump stock ban with national reciprocity in the Senate. The legislative bump stock ban would be more resilient against a constitutional challenge, while national reciprocity is still constitutionally pretty weak.

        SCOTUS would need to rule that under the Commerce Clause the federal government has the right to override local law enforcement laws. Is that really what we want? The further bastardization of the Commerce Clause as a “compromise”?

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Isn’t there some amendment we could use instead of relying on the much-abused Commerce Clause?

        2. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          Given the situation we have navigated ourselves in over the past decades, one could sue individual states for denying out-of-state visitors their 2A rights. That would require a willing SCOTUS, by the way. This would not solve the reciprocity issue though. It would just allow non-residents to apply for carry permits, which in certain states (HI, NJ, etc.) is still a no-go (for now).

          Carry licenses are issued by states and reciprocity is a state matter. Here, the Full Faith and Credit Clause could be used to make reciprocity across states happen, which would also not require suing the states. See http://www.stevesachs.com/HR38_SachsBarnettBaudeLtr_20170323.pdf. Some states would sue, though, so it again requires a willing SCOTUS.

          If you think that carry licenses could be just ruled as an unconstitutional infringement, well, that ain’t gonna happen. We have given that one up for good.

        3. avatar MarkPA says:

          @Charlie: “. . . denying out-of-state visitors their 2A rights . . . ” This strikes me as a viable strategy for incrementally widening the scope of the right to bear arms.

          The Gun-Free School Zones Act is a perfect set-up. To be free of the risk of arrest, prosecution and conviction on this law a driver must have a CWP from THE state where the school is located. The CWP exemption didn’t contemplate reciprocity.

          So, imagine the interstate truck driver who has a wallet full of CWPs. He is good to go at home and in any state where he can obtain a non-resident CWP. But there are some states that refuse to issue a non-resident CWP. Most of these grant generous reciprocity. But, that reciprocity does NOT satisfy the GFSZA.

          So, we get a truck driver to apply for a non-resident permit in each of the states that will – by its own laws – refuse to entertain his application. He sues in all those states’ courts, Federal District courts and then to the respective Circuits. We are bound to get a circuit split. SCOTUS is likely to take such a case.

          We may construe this to be a 2A case; and that’s true. More importantly, it’s a case that turns on other Constitutional provisions and SCOTUS rulings that states can’t discriminate against non-residents. This would be an easy case for SCOTUS to decide on. No, a state can’t deny consideration of an application for a CWP merely on the grounds that the applicant is not a resident of that state.

          Next round, there are a few states such as IL and SC and OR which have narrow limitations on non-resident permits. IL enumerates a half-dozen states whose residents are specially privileged. OR privileges neighboring states’ residents. SC requires a non-resident to own land in SC and prove it with a tax bill. I’m the proud owner of a 20′ X 40′ plot in the capital city county – and a holder of a Non-Resident permit. These restrictions wouldn’t hold-up either.

          The idea here is to build-up slowly and incrementally the bases of the right to arms that are deemed to be “infringements”. Each easy win is a case for which SCOTUS will easily grant cert. Each easy win brings with it 1+ lines-of-reasoning articulated in the opinion that expands the scope of the right.

          Heller said individual right, handgun, home. McDonald said every home in the 50 states. Caetano said it’s not just for flintlocks anymore. None of these delivered the whole apple on a silver platter. Each was exceedingly narrow. Heller counted for ONLY the District of Columbia. McDonald said ONLY that the 2A applied to the 50 states. Caetano said ONLY that modern weapons could not be excluded from the definition of “arms”. And yet the penumbras and emanations of these opinions portended still greater rights.

        4. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          The GFSZA already bastardizes the Commerce Clause (“has moved in or otherwise affects interstate commerce”). Think about that for a moment! Read the document I posted, if you are actually interested: http://www.stevesachs.com/HR38_SachsBarnettBaudeLtr_20170323.pdf

          — David Engdahl of Seattle University has called this the “herpes’ theory” of interstate commerce, whereby “some lingering federal power infects whatever has passed through the federal dominion.” —

          The more we rely on the Commerce Clause the more we eliminate states’ rights. At some point in time, almost everything and everyone crosses state lines or is affected by something or someone that crossed state lines, and can therefore be regulated by the federal government under a bastardized Commerce Clause.

          Here is a clue, the ObamaCare mandate would be still considered constitutional, even without the tax, using a bastardized Commerce Clause. Fortunately, SCOTUS disagreed in 2012.

        5. avatar MarkPA says:

          @LarryInTx: This was also my initial thinking; that relying on the commerce clause was ill considered. Eventually, I got an education.

          So, the Depression era wheat case began a torturous distortion of the commerce clause. But, that’s a fact and you can’t un-ring a bell. Or, to state the matter more accurately, the more times a bell is wrung, the harder it is to roll-back all those rings. SCOTUS could have reversed course on the commerce clause had it acted to do so within one or a few subsequent cases. However, that didn’t happen. What really happened is that Congress intercepted the pass and ran with the ball. SCOTUS upheld it thereafter, with just a couple of exceptions at most. Therefore, as a legislative strategy, hanging a course of action on the commerce clause is – as a practical matter – a really strong basis. SCOTUS would be loath to cast a shadow over hundreds of other cases where commerce clause was used as a justification. SCOTUS might hate guns; but they don’t hate them enough to want to put in jeopardy all the other commerce clause cases they have ruled on in the last 80 years.

          The problem with National Reciprocity is – in my mind – really in two factors: states’ rights; and, race-to-the-bottom. I don’t regard either of these as persuasive Constitutionally, legally or practically. These are political issues. Any Congressman can justify voting against a National Reciprocity bill claiming to have reservations on one or both of these grounds. His constituents will accept his explanation. Because of this political problem I really don’t think there is much hope for a really generous National Reciprocity bill.

          That said, I hasten to point out that there ARE 2 – TWO – National Reciprocity laws that Congress ALREADY passed! The first in 1994 narrowly applies to armored car drivers who cross state lines. The second in 2004 (or so) was LEOSA for cops (active duty and retired). I will hazard that Congress might pass a third narrow carve-out. Suppose, for illustration, one for interstate truck drivers with a hazardous materials certification; e.g., those who are certified to drive tankers with gasoline. The narrower the carve-out the more likely it could be pushed through. The wider the class benefited, the more difficult. I do NOT see this as a viable strategy.

          Instead, I see SCOTUS taking a case in the next couple of years that strikes-down “May-Issue”. That will be a breakthrough. However, then, our work will be cut-out for us.

          The Won’t-Issue states will erect every possible barrier; and one of these will be NO-bilateral-reciprocity. I’ll use my state, Pennsylvania, to illustrate. I border: NY; NJ; DE and MD. I will be forced to get 4 more non-resident permits. (I already have 4 other non-resident permits). Each state will have its own limited access to application offices; testing venues; live-fire qualification ranges. You get the picture.

          Gun owners will piss and moan that this isn’t Constitutional-Carry; and so, they won’t do anything to make it better.

          I think we OUGHT to get behind a program of tiered CWPs; e.g., a gold/silver/bronze/no-permit-required system. The bluest states would grant reciprocity to other states’ gold cards. The purple states would grant reciprocity to other states gold AND silver cards. The reddish states to all cards. The liberty-loving states would remain no-permit-required.

          The trick would be to push the bluest states into granting reciprocity to one-another’s gold cards. At such a juncture (i.e., the purple and red states have developed a tiered scheme with silver and bronze card tiers) Congress might be persuaded to coerce participation of the blue states in setting a common standard for a gold card and granting reciprocity to one-another’s gold cards.

          None of this is likely to happen because gun-owners are rugged individualists and will REFUSE to subscribe to any plan short of Constitutional-carry or a generous National Reciprocity bill. Why should a guy in the middle of Wyoming compromise his principles just so folks like me could get a single “gold” card good in all my neighboring states? Principle is vastly more important than anyone else’s practical considerations.

  17. avatar Bradysdad says:

    Why not just define a machine gun as any weapon that can fire greater than 5 rounds/sec? Even Jerry Michulek is hard pressed to do that.

    1. avatar Geoff says:

      Jerry fired 12 rounds in 2.99 seconds from a revolver with one reload.
      8 shots in 1 second.

    2. avatar Binder says:

      Anyone can get .2 splits with a AR-15

  18. avatar GunnyGene says:

    It’s all bullshit people. If you got one, keep it. If you don’t, nobody cares. Either way nobody gives a rat’s ass.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Until you are caught with one, convicted of possession of contraband unregistered and (gasp) untaxed machine gun and sent to federal prison for years. And when they finally release you, no more firearms for you, ever. We can’t have felons defending themselves with a gun now, right?

      I never felt like I need a bump stock. But now I kind of do.

      1. avatar Michael Buley says:

        Just talked with a friend who said, when all the talk came up about banning bump stocks, he thought maybe he’d better get one. He went to his dealer. None in stock. But he showed him a trigger that cost, he said, about $300, and that could fire as fast as you could squeeze / let up just a bit / squeeze again. Better, he said, than the bump stock.

        I’ve never seen a bump stock, and he didn’t give the name of the trigger he was shown. Maybe there’s something still out there.

  19. avatar Michael says:

    The L.V.P.D. USED to have the best all conditions and situations S.W.A.T. team in the Nation. They trained regularly and specifically with casino security regarding proprietary information about the dynamics of the different types of glass used by the various casinos. Their marksmanship, using the best rifles out of the McMillian shop, was good enough that they were tasked with all firearms related anti-terrorist security aspects of Hoover Dam and the thousands of acres of surrounding brush country. Every bit of the above is open source, nationally available information, taken from a popular, sporting firearms, single issue publication about rifles and professional rifle users. Either they were never called or they were ordered to stand down. After all, it was a C&W audience and, “…they were probably just a bunch of Republican voters, anyway…”, widely quoted comment from some semi-official idiot connected with the attempted containment of the aftermath of this tragedy. No matter how hard they try, this is one that is not going to go away. -30-

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      Vegas depends on tourism…they got blindsided this time…and can’t afford a repeat of anything remotely like this….

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    Bumpfire stocks became a dead letter the very instant that the @ssh0le in Las Vegas piled up a mountain of casualties.

    1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

      So, why aren’t AR-15s outlawed at the federal level, given the number of mass shootings committed with them. Oh, we actually fought the impending “assault weapon” ban. James Yeager even said he is is “gonna start shooting people”.

      The fact is, bump fire stocks became a dead letter the very instant the NRA made it clear that it won’t fight for them. We were stabbed in the back by the NRA then and while fighting the impending bump stock ban through the comment period. James Yeager even made an interview with Chris Cox about their 4D beer pond strategy (chess vs. checkers). Some people seem to believe in it!

      So, what’s next? What accessory will be banned after the next mass shooting with one? Any bets? Silencers? Pistol braces? Or maybe other NFA items, like SBSs or SBRs?

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        mmm… beer pond.

        1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          Typo: beer pond = beer pong. Isn’t that obvious?

        2. avatar Geoff "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" PR says:

          “Typo: beer pond = beer pong. Isn’t that obvious?”

          Did the “Mmmm” of his comment ring a bell?

          Homer Simpson – “Mmmm. Doughnuts.”

          He was visualizing a pond full of beer like Homer visualizes doughnuts…

      2. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        Pistol Braces will be next probably if some other mass shooting does not occur.

      3. avatar Binder says:

        Because with a slide fire you can dump a 100 round sure fire magazine in 7.6 seconds. And it works with a bi-pod so you can hold that fire on a human sized target at 200 yards.

        1. avatar 22winmag says:

          Maybe with a binary trigger.

          Fantasy with a bump stock.

        2. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          And? Your point is? Ah! I get is, rapid fire is too dangerous for us mere mortals to be able to have and only reserved for the government. Does this logic apply to 100-round SureFire magazines too? What about silencers?

          By the way, you may want to read the legal challenge of the bump stock ban. It contains a section about “ATF’s “Alternatives” to Bump Stocks Create the Same Result with Different Mechanisms”.
          https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/firearmspolicycoalition/pages/4959/attachments/original/1545161072/2-MPI.pdf?1545161072

        3. avatar Scoutino says:

          So what? Should we now ban all items which can be misused to kill large numbers of people? (Like trucks.) Or just items you personally don’t like?

      4. avatar frank speak says:

        ATF is a tool…and they do as they are told…

    2. avatar Datguy says:

      I know he had a bump stock on scene, but it was my understanding he didn’t ever actually use one. He had a full auto legally transferred rifle that he primarily used.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Somebody is always making shit up. I heard he definitely did *not* have an actual select fire, registered or not.

  21. avatar Tim says:

    It is the NRA that is writing these gun laws, they took the lead.
    The NRA DOES NOT take a firm stance with the government stating the 2 A is a bed rock law, the Supreme Law of the Land but play politics.
    The Americans are being lied to by the NRA.
    A bump fire stock does in no way change the way the firearm functions, the trigger still resets between each round and is fired by a pull of the trigger, yes it fires faster but is still 100% semi automatic.
    If this goes to the Supreme Court the Bump Fire Stock Ban will be over turned.
    How could it be enforced as we all have fingers do we not, what are going to do ids ban using our fingers?

  22. avatar Geoff says:

    ATF definition.
    The term “machine gun” includes bump-stock-type devices, i.e., devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.

    They are saying I can remove my finger and the gun keeps firing. NOPE!
    Once the trigger resets it MUST be pulled again to continue firing, either with or without [hysical help.
    No bump stock needed. Learn how to do it.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Correct. If that “definition” is accurate, ignoring this order is safe enough, since that is not in any way how the things operate, so it is not describing (or prohibiting!) what you own.

  23. avatar NJ2AZ says:

    don’t see how this could withstand any serious challenge on the grounds of making people surrender their previously legal property without compensation..

    then again, i find if i never under estimate the courts’ ability to contort legal reasoning to meet a predetermined conclusion, i’ll never be disappointed..

  24. avatar Ben Franklin. says:

    Here’s the out folks, don’t attach it to a firearm. ( shooter. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. 83 FR at 13447-48.). Without a firing mechanism it’s nothing. Attach it when shit hits the fan.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      Nope. The regulation says a bump stock is a machine gun in and of itself. It doesn’t need to be attached to be a machine gun. They didn’t rule like they had with grandfatheted drop-in auto sears.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        bump-stocks are sacrificial lambs…should they have handled it differently?….sure…but there was no way they were going to survive the political firestorm that was breaking around them…resist if you want…but there are more significant battles down the road that we have to prepare for……..

        1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          Which sacrificial lamb for the next mass shooting? Silencers? Short-barreled anything? Scary black rifles? There was no way that bump stocks were going to survive the political firestorm that was breaking around them, because the NRA was not willing to defend them. One of my posts in this thread:

          “So, why aren’t AR-15s outlawed at the federal level, given the number of mass shootings committed with them. Oh, we actually fought the impending “assault weapon” ban. James Yeager even said he is is “gonna start shooting people”.

          The fact is, bump fire stocks became a dead letter the very instant the NRA made it clear that it won’t fight for them. We were stabbed in the back by the NRA then and while fighting the impending bump stock ban through the comment period. James Yeager even made an interview with Chris Cox about their 4D beer pond strategy (chess vs. checkers). Some people seem to believe in it!

          So, what’s next? What accessory will be banned after the next mass shooting with one? Any bets? Silencers? Pistol braces? Or maybe other NFA items, like SBSs or SBRs?”

  25. avatar 9mm says:

    These how to shoot like a automatic videos don’t help our cause. Semi autos will be on the chopping block next if these videos keep up.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      Let em try.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Guys, people have them, somebody get a select fire and a bumpstock together and make a video demonstrating the difference. Easiest way is to fire each one handed.

  26. “Creeping Incrementalism…” That’s ALL this amounts too…Next it will be “Universal Background Checks ✔” : which will probably be routed through the DNC, I’m sure….Got to make sure a U.S. citizen CAN’T exercise their lawful 2nd Amendment right with a major bureaucratic hassle…Then it will be high capacity magazines (re: 30- 5 shots…DemoCommies will say 2 is too many…And THEY would like to inspect YOUR underwear draw while THEIR at it…) Then is will be “Semi-automatic” firearms and anything that looks military….Then it will be Handguns….Next to will be “High power Hunting/Sniper rifles….” (Re: Because who needs on of those….)And, when THEY are done with firearms..THEY, Big Government will move on to Knives and Cutlery just like the U.K. , China, AUSTRALIA, etc…..You do see where this is going, right……

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      these fights are coming…and we have to be prepared to respond to them…

  27. avatar 22winmag says:

    Forget bump stocks- it’s time to buy Franklin Armory stock!

    My purchase of their BFSIII is some of the best money I’ve spent.

  28. avatar Barry Rosenschein says:

    We should flood the ATF with rubber bands.

  29. avatar Pete says:

    Do you really think that they will stop with bump fire stocks?
    NO, next will be beer guts!

  30. avatar J_cobbers says:

    Look I have a background in law and I think that, with a clear understanding of the definitions they put in this rule and looking at the bump stock letter from 2010 and with a clear understanding of how these devices work, I don’t think their new definition actually applies to bump-stocks even though that’s the intent. I think a lawsuit filed against the implementation of this law may actually have a very good chance of succeeding because of the text of the definitions it relies upon.

  31. avatar Michael Buley says:

    We have zero representation with politicians.

    Democrats not yet in office — ban private gun sales, bump stocks, etc. etc. They’ll flood everyone with more and more bills. No worries, they’re after it — ban those guns.

    Republicans two years in office — no reciprocity, no nothing that I’m aware of. No additional protections, no rolling back of unconstitutional infringements. They had two years. Congress, House, President.

    I don’t know what will happen, but I don’t think anything good. So I’m buying more ammo.

    1. avatar MarkPA says:

      “We have zero representation with politicians.” And, tragically, that will continue to be the case so long as we PotG insist on NOT figuring out how the system works.

      Legislators are in the business of making things illegal.
      Judges are supposed to check unconstitutional laws.

      Where do we have a chance? In a legislature? Or, in a court?

      The House is controlled by an increasingly blue population. The Senate is controlled by the states with the smallest populations. No law gets passed without clearing both chambers. No Federal judge/justice gets confirmed without clearing the Senate.

      There are 40 right-to-carry states with 80 Senators. We need only 41 committed gun-rights senators to strangle Congress. Why can’t gun-owners throughout the 50 states support the campaigns of 41 Senators?

      It’s not essential to buy the hearts and minds of 41 Senators. It’s sufficient to drive terror in the hearts of every candidate to those 80 Senate seats. If you want to avoid pointed opposition by gun-owners in 50 states you must say the right things during the campaign. If you want to be re-elected you must vote the right way for 6 full years.

      All of the above is not too difficult to learn. It’s just too much for we PotG to bother with.

  32. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The war against the poor from having the same firepower as the rich continues. This entire exercise is about the continuing economic discrimination against the less affluent. It seems you need to spend at least $600 on any hand gun. When a Sccy or Hi Point can stop your attacker just as well. And for under $200.

    I blame Liberal Gun Owners. Because Liberal Gun Owners first priority is to take caaaare of everyone. The melting point laws. The “gun free zone” public housing project. Not supporting the traditional family and replacing the father with a welfare check.

    Not supporting gun ownership among the poor in general.

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