Trump’s Extra-Legislative Order to Ban Bump Fire Stocks is Illegal

Trump bump stock ban

courtesy foxnews.com

By Roger J. Katz

Although President Trump could and should have left the matter of bump fire stocks to Congress, Trump’s unilateral action, banning civilian ownership and possession of bump stocks is unlawful. That isn’t an open question. The answer to that question, under constitutional law, is clear and categorical. Trump cannot lawfully do so. But, he took that action anyway.

The danger we now face, given the President’s rash action goes well beyond the relative merit or utility of bump stocks themselves.

Trump’s action calls into immediate question the import of congressional legislation and the weight to be given to U.S. Supreme Court pronouncements on matters of law. If Trump’s action withstands legal challenge and scrutiny—and David Codrea’s article posted in Ammoland Shooting Sports News points to several formal complaints that have been recently been filed contesting the constitutionality of the ban—the rule of law becomes mere hollow rhetoric, legislation becomes mere ad hoc artifice subject to the vicissitudes of fate, and the Bill of Rights loses its inviolability and immutability.

Two major websites, Ammoland Shooting Sports News and The Truth About Guns, have posted several fine articles on the issue of bump stocks. The Arbalest Quarrel provides its own take on this subject, including an analysis of the law regarding administrative decision-making.

We reach a disturbing but irrefutable conclusion: if the courts do not strike down Trump’s action, we will continue to see the inexorable whittling away of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, leading inevitably to the demise of civilian ownership and possession of all semiautomatic firearms, not simply to the demise of firearms pejoratively called“assault weapons.”

Trump bump stock ban

courtesy WGN

We begin our analysis with the language of Trump’s Memorandum, issued on February 20, 2018. The Memorandum is titled “Application of the Definition of Machine gun to ‘Bump Fire’ Stocks and Other Similar Devices.” 3 CFR Memorandum of 2/20/18.

This Executive Office Memorandum placed the Justice Department on notice of the President’s intent to promulgate a rule criminalizing possession of bump fire stock devices…all of them, regardless of the nature of operation of any one manufacturer’s version of the device. It further ordered the DOJ to promulgate a rule banning those devices.

The Memorandum directed to the Attorney General, and signed by Trump, reads:

“After the deadly mass murder in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1, 2017, I asked my Administration to fully review how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulates bump fire stocks and similar devices.

Although the Obama Administration repeatedly concluded that particular bump stock type devices were lawful to purchase and possess, I sought further clarification of the law restricting fully automatic machine guns.

Accordingly, following established legal protocols, the Department of Justice started the process of promulgating a Federal regulation interpreting the definition of ‘machine gun’ under Federal law to clarify whether certain bump stock type devices should be illegal. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2017. Public comment concluded on January 25, 2018, with the Department of Justice receiving over 100,000 comments.

Today, I am directing the Department of Justice to dedicate all available resources to complete the review of the comments received, and, as expeditiously as possible, to propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns.

Although I desire swift and decisive action, I remain committed to the rule of law and to the procedures the law prescribes. Doing this the right way will ensure that the resulting regulation is workable and effective and leaves no loopholes for criminals to exploit. I would ask that you keep me regularly apprised of your progress.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.”

[signed] Donald Trump

There are four points to ponder here. First, through this memorandum, Trump attempts to make law, not simply execute laws Congress enacted. That’s because Congress hasn’t enacted a law banning bump stocks. There is no law for the President to faithfully execute under Article 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

His remark, “I remain committed to the rule of law” is like comments we hear all the time from Democrats. It’s a remark he expects the public to accept on blind faith. Politicians make use of it often enough. But, the remark invariably comes across as hollow, flaccid, and pathetic; a useless appendage, demonstrating a lack of conviction at its very utterance, as the action taken belies the seeming veracity of the sentiment underlying it.

The fact remains, absent express Congressional authorization the executive branch cannot lawfully promulgate rules to effectuate the will of Congress if there is no will of Congress to effectuate. And, there is none here. Trump has blatantly exceeded his authority under the Constitution.

Second, the memorandum is logically inconsistent. Trump says, at the outset, he simply seeks “further clarification of the law restricting fully automatic machine guns,” but then makes clear that it isn’t mere clarification he seeks at all. He tells the DOJ “to propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns.” Trump is kidding no one. He is illegally attempting to promulgate law.

Third, the memorandum calls for a drastic measure. There is nothing in the memorandum allowing for the grandfathering of bump stocks already owned by American citizens. Consider: even the infamous federal “assault weapons” ban act of 1994 made abundantly clear that it did not apply to possession or transfer of any semi-automatic firearm a citizen lawfully possess before enactment of the congressional legislation.

The new ATF rule, though, is far more ambitious than even congressional legislation that banned new purchases of “assault weapons.” For under the ATF Rule, Americans who fail to surrender their bump stocks or who otherwise fail to render them inoperable are subject to criminal prosecution. There is no exception and no grandfathering of devices that, before implementation of the rule, had been lawfully purchased.

Fourth, Trump takes the position that he can get around the statutory legal hurdle by claiming to operate within it. But he does so by tortuously toying with the definition of ‘machine gun’ to include ‘bump stocks.’

Trump does not succeed and he is wrong in his endeavor. He is unlawfully expanding upon and redefining the clear, concise and precise definition of a ‘machine gun’ as codified by Congress in federal statute.

Further, Trump’s attempt to get around the hurdle of a clear concept of ‘machine gun’ is unnerving. It would have been better, although still legally indefensible, had he simply sought to ban bump stocks outright, without the semantic convolutions, gyrations, and machinations.

Trump attempts to convince the public that bump stocks convert semi-automatic firearms into machine guns. He simply pretends to be on a sound legal, logical, and grammatical footing. He isn’t. The reason Trump contrives to win over the public is plain. Congress has already explicitly and unambiguously defined what a machine gun is in a federal statute.

In 26 USCS § 5845, titled “definitions,” “the term ‘machine gun’ means 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. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.”

If ever the language of a statue were straightforward and readily understood by a firearm’s expert or a lay person, 26 USCS § 5845 is such a statute. If an agency of the executive branch of the federal government can undermine federal law so blatantly as Trump is attempting to do here, then no federal law is safe from abrogation by executive edict.

Unless, the concept of a bump stock falls within the meaning of ‘machine gun,’—and it doesn’t—the DOJ cannot lawfully promulgate a rule that extends the legal definition beyond the parameters mandated by Congressional Statute. Yet it has dared to do just that, even as it insists that it has not.

Trump has audaciously ordered the DOJ to promulgate an illegal rule, and the DOJ, through the ATF, has obliged.

We urge all Americans, who support the Second Amendment to sign the petition to overturn the ATF Rule that bans bump fire stocks.

 

Roger J. Katz has practiced law for the federal Government in Washington D.C., for the State Government in Arizona, and has been in private practice in Ohio, New York, and Arizona. Roger is a co-founder of Arbalest Group LLC, creator of the Arbalest Quarrel weblog, dedicated to strengthening the Second Amendment, preserving our Bill of Rights, and maintaining a free Republic

This article was originally published at arbalestquarrel.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar Don says:

    This is what happens when adamacy to a position takes over from a common sense resolve
    As a Deplorable, yes a conservative, and an advocate of our 2nd Amendment rights, who the blankity blank needs a bump stock
    There’s enough fire power in the USA at over 300million weapons, Bump-stocks are a hill I don’t want to even begin to walk, for it then takes away the substance for the “real stuff” that is important to that 2nd Amendment right.

    1. avatar CZ Rider says:

      “Hi I’m Don and I don’t know or care anything about what this article says but I’m going to say a bunch of stuff to show what a good little Deplorable I am”

      I swear, Orange Man Good NPCs are almost as bad as the original version…

    2. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

      Don, this ones for you buddy:

      “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

      1. avatar Darkstar says:

        Great quote! And so true.

      2. avatar B.D. says:

        Orange motherfucker.

        No parties 2020. Or die.

    3. avatar FantaSea says:

      Sounds just like Mike “the gun guy” Weisser.

    4. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

      Thank you for your blunt honesty. That would totally make sense from a GOP-line-toeing warm-body perspective. It’s great to see it typed out because you must understand then why I as a non-US-right RKBA absolutist wouldn’t care to vote for the commander-in-cheetoh or even any non-reality-TV-celebrity GOP candidate or kid myself that they have anything I want. So few here seem to get it, they delude themselves that they care about the principle of the RKBA and that they’re just so special and lucky as to have a major party playing 4D chess for them. SMH

    5. avatar New Continental Army says:

      The fact that the president is trying to make new law via royal edict, the same way Obama tried to outlaw m855 via imperial order, doesn’t bother you at all? Look, I’m proud to say I voted for Trump. I won’t let the media or liberal trolls cow me from that. But you have to point out when our guy goes Tyrant just like when theirs does it. Because ultimately being pro 2A, or being a conservative, or being a constitutionalist, is about defeating Tyranny and upholding the foundations of the republic. Trump just did something *very* imperial, at direct odds with the foundation of the nation. Bump stocks themselves aren’t even what’s important here. It’s the fact he just tried to make a new law without an elected legislature. Blind faith in any leader is a horrible idea. Even George Washington had to be talked out of his foolish dream of launching a full attack on NYC, and instead be convinced to take his army to Yorktown.

      1. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

        Oh you just wait. We’ve got at least 2 more years, Trump will give me a lot more material to troll his deplorables about.

      2. avatar Flying Fish says:

        Someone much smarter than me once said, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    6. avatar Chris says:

      “…who the blankity blank needs a bump stock”

      Some arbitrary and capricious “needs test” has no place in any discussion concerning any civil right.

      Who are you to tell anyone else what they need?

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        It is titled the Bill of Rights,not the bill of needs.

    7. avatar TX223 says:

      Like bump stocks or not, the issue here is legislation via executive fiat, and it this isn’t overturned, this president or a future president could executively fiat the Bill of Rights out of existence. It’s actually a lot more important than just bump stocks… if courts uphold the executive law making you can kiss the constitution goodbye and say hello to “King George”. Freedom will be lost.

    8. avatar DaveDetroit says:

      It’s not the “Bill of Needs”. Are you willing to let some bureaucrat decide what YOU “need”?

      First, Who “needs” a sports car, a motorcycle, fashionable clothing, internet access? Who “needs” to own property? Who “needs” to be able to publicly post their opinions?

      Second, bump stocks do not make guns more dangerous- that’s a myth. The Las Vegas shooter could have killed 10x what he did without any gun at all. An old fashioned bolt action rifle would have been more dangerous. Bump stocks reduce accuracy for the sake of fun. He could have made a bomb or simply driven a truck thru the crowd as was done in Nice, France.

      We don’t all give up our rights bcz some psycho abuses theirs. If that’s the case then the bill of rights is meaningless. If you really believe rights are derived from government plz go live in Venezuela for 6 months and let us know how that works out for you.

      1. avatar binder says:

        Damn, that is flat out a lie, or you are totally ignorant of just how effective a slide fire can be.
        Well I just got a few more videos banned from YouTube.

        Here is some nice 550 yard shooting from 2014
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nYMj06E54E

        And so much for your “accuracy” issues

        1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

          Every time bumpfire is brought up, you’re saying it’s equivalent to a automatic SAW. Are you ignorant? I have a slidefire with a recoil rail and it’s not even close.

          I watched your linked video and I saw no target. Yay! they shot bullets really fast…. and hit absolutely jack.

          Offer is still open to any professional or amateur hot-shit marksman to come show me up with your bump fire vs. my semi auto AR. We’ll put up some human profile targets to simulate a crowd and record hits and score them as kills, serious injuries, wounds.

          I bet myself or any amateur can get 20-30 kills in 1 minute at 100 yards.

          I bet the bumpfire can fire 90 rounds with 3 mag changes before it has malfunctions or gets uncomfortably hot to hold. Of the 90 rounds fired, only the first round of every burst will be on target. The rest will be lucky if they hit the target. If the shooter mag dumps instead of controlled bursts, they’ll be lucky to hit anything

        2. avatar Kroglikepie says:

          Using an optic and a bipod. Wow. So hard to achieve useful accuracy with that setup. Having fired a SAW and a GPMG on .gov time and dime, bumpy boiz do not compare. Go shovel your horseshit somewhere else.

    9. avatar Edward says:

      The second amendment doesn’t say need. It says shall not be infringed. Whether or not anyone wants or needs a bump stock is irrelevant. I don’t want or need a bump stock, but that doesn’t mean my right to buy one should be infringed. It’s the same thing as when Cuomo says who needs an AR to go deer hunting or when they say who needs more than five rounds in a magazine.

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Edward………You hit the nail on the head. I care nothing about owning a bump stock but defend someone else’s right to own one. Guess more lawyers will get rich on this one too. Wonder what’s so hard to understand about ” shall not be infringed ” ?

      2. avatar binder says:

        Then please start a charge to get the NFA overturned. Still waiting.

    10. avatar Kroglikepie says:

      I agree with Don. Who needs a bump stock anyway?

      What we need are actual MGs. Fuck the NFA. Fuck the ATF. And most importantly, fuck all the quisling Fudds who sell out our rights because “wHo NeEdS oNe Of ThOsE?”

  2. avatar TomD in CO says:

    The petition link just goes to the White House website, not to the petition…

  3. avatar Pat says:

    Hmm the petition website seems non functional. Link doesn’t take me to the petition in question, and once I find where the petitions live I can’t sign any of them.

  4. avatar TexTed says:

    I don’t give a damn about bump stocks either.

    But I do very much care about executive overreach. And Trump’s effort to ban bump stocks is a crystal clear example — as was Obama’s creation of DACA, an equally unconstitutional amplification of executive power.

    The bump stock ban must be challenged, and overturned, not because it has anything to do with bump stocks, but because it is a gross overreach of the executive branch. And if it gets overturned, maybe DACA will too. The executive branch needs to be seriously slapped down.

    This ain’t about bump stocks. It’s about the future of the republic.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      This!

      I don’t about bump stocks but the slope, no cliff, that goes along with some agency deciding to change a definition that Congress defined is BS.

      Fight now because fighting later will be too late.

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        Edit button please!

  5. avatar Vhyrus says:

    To Anyone who thinks signing a petition will do dick for us, hit me up. I got some magic beans for sale.

    1. avatar TomD in CO says:

      I think that the same can be said for the courts… I hold no real hope that they will make the right decision.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      LOL, “Repeal the NFA” has like a half-million signatures…any day now, I’m sure!

      It’s pathetic & shameful Trump didn’t discard that most moronic legacy of Obama –petition.org– into the dustbin of history alongside FDR’s “fireside chats.”

  6. avatar Truckman says:

    bump stocks is nothing but something to play with at a range as far as being useful all they are spray and pray you hit what you are shooting but also as far as them being used at vegas there is no proof except that the ATF and FBI claims and who trusts them we will never know what happened and who did what

    1. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

      I don’t care about shooting if the point is to let the gun rattle around, might as well be someone else shooting while I stay home and iron my shirts if I can’t go for precision. But the idea that the gun community blew its political on Trump and went right back to the booths to vote R after two years of high-handed contempt is embarassing. The bump stock ban just adds to the shame.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      “…..bump stocks is nothing but something to play with at a range”

      “Play things at the range” describes about 80% of what’s at the range.

    3. avatar Flying Fish says:

      “Play at the range” is how the “militia” stays sharp.

  7. avatar Yarbles says:

    I personally wouldn’t ruin an AR by fitting a ‘bump stock’ or a ‘binary trigger’ for that matter.

    This ‘extra-legislative’ ban is a dangerous precedent that has been and needs to be challenged.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    Is there really any point in calling out the government on illegal actions? The only people who would ever hold them accountable is us and apparently we’re not doing a very good job.

    1. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

      Yup, waste of keystrokes, end of the day they’ll be clicking their heels to vote for whatever candidate has an R after its name the very next chance they get. TTAG will go right back to crawling up the GOP and NRA’s butts, and I’ll be the bad guy forsaying it doesn’t work or I-told-you-so.

      1. avatar Big E says:

        Ok, I’ll bite- what is YOUR brilliant strategy for all us simpletons?

        So far all I get is “GOP bad, very bad!!” but what am I supposed to do with this brilliant insight? Vote democratic? I’m willing to listen.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Yeah, the choices are between the GOP, weak-kneed and bad, and the Democrats, actively hateful and horrible.

        2. avatar Elaine D. says:

          You didn’t ask me, and this isn’t realistic probably. But if I had a gajillion dollars and a crack marketing and legislative team this is what I would do.

          I would set up a nonpartisan gun education and rights organization. Membership would require taking a class on American history and the history of the 2A both past and present along with covering the current legal status. Everyone who was interested would be invited to join this organization. Straight, LGB, any color, any origin as long as you are an American citizen. Any political party or none. Any religion or none. The only requirements would be that you are an American citizen, that you are legally allowed to own and use guns, and that you agree to abide by whatever the guidelines sets up for being a responsible and reasonable gun owner while participating in organization events.

          There would be two arms of this organization: the education/legislation side, for those interested in the scholarship and legal wrangling around gun rights, and the training and coordination side. Side B would offer not only training courses but training in how to set up and run a well-regulated militia based on sound, current leadership practices from both past and present. Members of the organization could join their local militia, or the closest one they could get to, for regular training and practice days along with getting to know about various resources in their local area in case of “what if.” These militias could function as citizen preparedness organizations in case something happens and the Feds can’t get there or help.

          It would build community, erase the left/right divide when it comes to guns, and provide a place for people interested in guns to go to learn, train, practice. And the organization would make it clear to politicians that they will support those who have sound records of listening to gun owners and supporting gun rights, regardless of party orientation.

          Like I said, it’s idealistic. But one can dream.

        3. avatar Hannibal says:

          Vote for whomever you want that isn’t the GOP (at least at the senate level- the House actually bothered passing legislation). That is literally the only way they will feel any need to listen to you. As long as you are a sure-voter for them, paradoxically, they have ZERO reason to care what you want them to do. Well, unless you have a few million dollars to hand out every election.

          Or you can do the same thing you’ve been doing for decades and then act surprised when the same result occurs.

        4. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

          I don’t have a strategy for simpletons any more than I have for livestock that doesn’t belong to me. I guess it would be fine if they shamble where world events, critical-thinking people and the path of least resistance cause them to go and don’t injure each other.

          You would know the answer of what to do with the brilliant insight if you believed it. It’s whatever you would do if you couldn’t vote GOP. If it helps you to picture it, it would be like if the minute you tried to vote R you’d have a lethal brain aneurism, whatever you would do then.

      2. avatar barnbwt says:

        Crawl up the NRA’s butt, who then crawls up the GOP’s, who then crawls up Trump’s, who has been inside the (old guard) DNC the whole time. It’s like a Turducken, just not as gross.

        1. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

          Hehe, indeed

    2. avatar Flying Fish says:

      George Washington, in his Farewell Address admonished us, “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”
      Yet, we insist on the antiquated 2 party system we inherited from the UK, yet now we cry foul when we have not been offered any alternatives.
      A two party system is just one party short of a one party system, and the last I checked, that is a totalitarian system. So very 19th century. I thought we shed the chains and tribulations of the 19th and 20th centuries and have advanced into the 21st.
      But no, we fail to acknowledge the admonitions of an 18th century political leader.

  9. avatar Don says:

    You missed the whole point. A bump stock does not under any stretch of the imagination convert any semi-automatic firearm into a “Machine gun” as defined by BATFE and/or the NFA! Trump knows this that’s why the language is written WITHOUT calling for a de facto ban on bump stocks or any other device by name. only “all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns”. He KNOWS this ain’t gonna fly, and even if by some tortured miracle it tries to, he’s already had dinner and drinks with the 2A supporting SCOTUS judges that will flush it down the drain of history. Classic bait and switch preemptive countermeasure. The Dems can’t try to make it happen now because Trump beat them to it, they can’t cry he’s blocking them because he can point to it and say “Hey, we tried but it’s not constitutional, not my fault!” . Hide and watch.

    1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

      Right, that 4D beer pong thing!

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      What a clever impression of a moronic sycophant who marries their rapist.

      1. avatar Don says:

        You’re an awfully brave little pissant at a keyboard.

        1. avatar Don (Exit Stage Left Don, not the first guy) says:

          You know, you try to have a reasoned discussion about something, maybe learn something from other points of view, maybe interject a point of two from your own strange perspective and always some raging asshole starts throwing vile obscene personal insults at you. Well screw that, life is too short to allow some sniveling little toad with a keyboard the power to ruin a minute thirty of your day. TTAG won’t miss me and I won’t miss it.

  10. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

    White House petitions have no meaning whatsoever. They are a feel-good measure for those signing them. That’s it. Only legal action will help:

    WhitakerCase.com – FPC v. Acting A.G. Matthew Whitaker, et al.
    https://www.firearmspolicy.org/fpc-v-whitaker

    BumpstockCase.com – Bumpstock Lawsuit – Guedes v. BATFE
    https://www.firearmspolicy.org/guedes-v-batfe

    GOA Files Suit Against Bump Stock Ban in Western District of Michigan
    https://gunowners.org/images//GOA_COMPLAINT-.pdf

  11. avatar Enuf says:

    I do not believe the White House Petition idea is going to do us any good. However, since it’s been brought up and a bad link supplied, here is a good one to all White House Petitions:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/

    Feel free to poke thru them at your leisure.

  12. avatar Matthew the Oilman says:

    The only other place I hear about this is on TTAG , and other gun websites and FPC YouTube channel. I listen to a lot of talk radio, I haven’t heard Rush ,Sean bring it up, nor any of their callers. I don’t hear it on Fox News Radio or USA radio news. If we fail to spread the word beyond ourselves, we will be screwed.
    Has anyone tried to get through to the big guys? Have you gotten on the air? Or did the call screener dump you. I’m just as frustrated as you, but when can only pray the courts get it right, but God may have a civil war in his plans. Enjoy civilization while you can.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      I don’t know of ANY mainstream conservative who supports Machine Gun ownership. Glenn Beck was against open carry in Texas. Micheal Savage is against AR-15 ownership except he has one for himself. Good for him, but not for you. Based on previous shows I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity both support AR-15 ownership. But none of them support the ownership of rapid fire weapons to the general public.

      They are not alone. Many on TTAG took their mask off and called for a ban even before the President or even the NRA said a thing. Anyone who doesn’t support civilians owning the same weapons as the military or even the police, then you are a FUDD.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        congress will tolerate a small [usually well-heeled] group owning these things…but not widespread ownership of full-auto by the general public…that precedent was set in 1934..and reaffirmed in 1986…bump stocks slipped in under the radar till that idiot in vegas brought them to the fore…

      2. avatar Elaine D. says:

        @Chris

        It’s not funny, but I have to admit I laughed out loud:

        “I was all by myself in the White House. That’s a big, big house, except for the all guys on the lawn with machine guns. Nicest machine guns I’ve ever seen, I was waving to them. I’ve never seen so many guys with machine guns in my life. Secret service and military, these are great people and they don’t play games — they don’t like wave, they don’t even smile. But I was there all alone with the machine gunners and I felt very safe.”

        —DJT, in this week’s Cabinet meeting

        1. avatar SoBe says:

          My last weekend before moving out of DC, I went to the Mall for some celebration (of something other than my graduation) and saw for the first time a B2 bomber and a stealth jet do a very close flyby over me and thought I wish I owned one of those.
          Turns out I actually do in theory own all of those airplanes, collectively. Yet, I could never personally own one, just like the machine guns you mention. (Except maybe unless I were politically well connected)
          SCOTUS dominant early decisions regarding the 2nd Amendment meant to support personal ownership of military arms in common military use; even up to the decision that cemented the NFA and BATF upon us, United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), where, for example, sawed off shotguns were ruled of no military value and thus NFA items (in spite of their utility in the trenches of WWI). Thus, per Miller, I should have very right to own one of those aircraft. Somehow it got twisted to just “common use” by Heller and who knows what corruptions will follow, maybe some European, “anything but that in military use”.

        2. avatar barnbwt says:

          And that my friend, is the difference between owning, and “owning;” a distinction lost on most socialists. You paid into those bombers, yet not one iota –not even proportional to the 2$:2000000000$ you contributed– of your opinion or will can effect how they are used, or by whom, or why.

        3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          Elaine D
          I don’t expect anyone in the MSM or even the outdoor media to call him on his hypocrisy.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Wha? Big city types from NYC, LA, and Miami, who first & foremost promote the GOP party line above actual political philosophy to raise political donations, aren’t keyed in on gun issues? I may just faint in shock.

      Rush has always been anti-gun (Fudd variety at best), he just understands & accepts that neocons can’t win elections without paying gun owners lip service. He’s sure never given a damn that no progress has been made on our issues in the past 30+ years at the federal level.

      Hannity’s just an idiot, and says what his GOP contacts tell him to rile the base about, and who to send money to.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Yup. The network (including Fox) conservatives are not unlike the limo liberals. It’s just that one wants social welfare and the other corporate welfare. Neither one of them wants you independent.

  13. avatar Enuf says:

    Big Fat Hairy Deal. Trump trying to force an agency to do something illegal is not a new tactic. If you want to punish him for it, support impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate. Show that you give a enough of a damn to make the process work all the way to the end.

    Otherwise, court battles to overturn the rule must continue. Or will continue, regardless, with high probability of winning.

  14. avatar Wally1 says:

    Unfortunately, this is a new reality that facts do not matter to the dems. They care not for the rule of law, their oath of office to support and protect the constitution means nothing to them, just words. The founders of this nation would be hording gunpowder at this stage. I think that is yet to come. I am grinning.

  15. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The second amendment is not about hunting. Its about defend yourself against a tyrannical government in the USA whether its a Federal, State, or local government. If you don’t support Bump Stock ownership then you really don’t support the reason for the 2A.

    Unlike so many I have never called the Bump Stock “a range toy”. Like any firearm if you train with a Bump Stock you can be very accurate using it. A cheap rapid fire weapon would be an outstanding addition to any patriots armory.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      BTW
      Passing down a hunting tradition to you children, or grand children, is not going to protect or save their gun civil rights when they become adults. City people don’t hunt. At least in numbers that would help the pro-gun side. It, gun civil rights, needs to be taught in the public schools.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Even country people don’t hunt anymore; it’s fast becoming a rich man’s sport done for no reason but entertainment and stupid regulations that ban reselling game meat. In Texas, it has been for some time, unless you happen to be one of mere hundreds of people in a given area with access to rural acreage on which to shoot.

  16. avatar Bob Jones says:

    From a Gun Control standpoint, the Bump Stock Issue is probably more about delegalizing without compensation in order to establish precedents and procedures for future plans.

    Once this issue has become settled, substitute almost any noun for “Bump Stock” and start banning anything deemed “bad” by smurff leadership. Ultimately, it won’t work any better than any other bans but that won’t stop them from trying.

    Meanwhile,very little is being done about the most violent people on the planet are entering the Nation in great numbers through our porous southern border.

    1. avatar possum says:

      The Greeks are storming Texas’s? Oh my

  17. avatar james e michael says:

    Smoke and mirrors distraction from bigger issues . Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water .

  18. avatar possum says:

    .All hail Lord Trump, the best dictator America ever had.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      this recent action has political ramifications that interest the democrats in that it puts trump’s recent AG appointee under harsh scrutiny and questions his validity…this is more than just a gun issue…

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        Odds of Trump losing his AG, as well as possibly being punished himself for executive overreach, while simultaneously inspiring House Dems to “do it right” with a congressional gun control bill that passes with Rick Scott breaking the senate tie & being signed by Trump?

        I really hate that Mitch McConnnell is the one reliable stumbling block left in that scenario.

  19. avatar B.D. says:

    Orange motherfucker.

    No parties 2020. Or die

  20. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Kind of like the Syria (and now Afghanistan?) troop removal, the collective if not organized opposition has a real conundrum on this one. Orange man bad, or do they hand him a win on what was their issue?

    Meanwhile, this steals their gun issue, some. Hey look, enforcement! Limitations! What’s that, illegal rule making? Drat. What’s that, if only we’d pass a law? Drat. Kinda makes the new speaker’s gun spasm look feckless n for show.

    I don’t think The Orange Crush is playing 12-d chess, so much as he has an unteathered, feral sense of the fine-grained main chance. And he’s un-filtered about immediate ground truths, like guys with actual machine guns at the White House. His “unpredictability” comes from those.

    Slimey issue-hoarders keep getting tripped up when they won’t take “yes” for an answer. Fascinating.

  21. avatar Trollolol says:

    Arrest him. Charge him with violating the civil rights of every American citizen’s rights and then he can serve his sentences for 300+million civil rights violations.

  22. avatar Scott says:

    Ha ! show of hands please… how many of you voted for this rump hat ? Made your bed … now lay in it.

    This is hilarious and honestly I get the paranoia about the rest of our gun rights coming under attack if this goes through but at the same time I really could give less than a [email protected]&$ about a bump stock … me thinks it’s mostly a veiled attempt to distract liberals from the more idiotic things he’s doing and saying.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      What choice did pro-2A voters have? Hillary?..Bernie?…Rubio?…Cruz? (I like Ted, but no)…Lindsey?

      Who exactly were pro-2A voters supposed to pick?

      1. avatar Scott says:

        I feel ya for sure on that but let’s get real for sec… Voting for (for lack of a “better” alternative) and rallying behind aren’t necessarily one in the same … I just don’t think any of them would have been able to single handedly tear down 2A. Instead we got a fool that makes the office of the president of the United Freaking States look like a goddamn joke.

        1. avatar Don says:

          All you boys ranting and telling US/us its your right.
          You are the scary ones, that screw the pooch on the responsible gun owners,

          I have to say, this string of immaturity has me saying good bye to these comments.
          Why?
          I’ve got to go outside and watch some mud drying
          Your comments candidly don’t represent the lessons you should have learned from TTAG- I suggest a re-read or two. For you haven’t learned yet from TTAG’s lessons about responsible gun ownership
          Know go have another 6 pack, for you have those boxes of 30 round mags, 100 round mags and full auto to execute the fun.

        2. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Don, that was a rather incoherent drunken mess, but I’m pretty sure you just said the ones screaming about “their rights” are the “scary ones”. That says a hell of a lot about you.

      2. avatar Fudds McKenzie says:

        If the RNC dug up Al Gore and ran him could you figure out an alternative? Or whoever else you fing completely repulsive, I just took a guess with Gore since lol. Stay home, 3rd party, write-in the name of a porn star, Vernin Supreme.

        You don’t have to vote. It’s not duty, you can still complain if you don’t. If people died for this farce it’s a tragedy but it’s not your fault and playing along won’t bring them back or give their sacrifice purpose. The people who tell you otherwise are just moralizing hicks, or want your vote for their interests and against your own, or know they’ve compromised their principles and want to drag you down with them.

  23. avatar Higgs says:

    Some random thoughts

    I agree this is executive overreach.

    Is this 4 d chess? Maybe but the downside if he is wrong is bad.

    I am not sure the second admendment applies to bump stocks. A bump stock is an arm only if you use it as a club.

    Given the bump stock is not a firearm should the Batf have any jurisdiction at all.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Except it is a firearm, because ATF just said so, without any change in its construction or any action by Congress. How much could we save by disbanding Congress completely?

  24. avatar LarryinTX says:

    So, this is all about those damned “full automatic machine guns”, huh? Will there be any effect on the semiautomatic machine guns, pray tell? If you don’t know what you’re talking about, sometimes it might be best to STFU.

  25. avatar CC says:

    Have any of you considered the possibility that Trump wrote so poorly this anticonstitutional EO on purpose? Think about it. To the idiot left, he looks like an anti gun guy, when in reality this EO will end up defeated at Supreme Court level and give a huge win for the 2A crowd. Double win.

    1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

      More of that 4D beer pong nonsense. LOL!

      First, there was no EO! Second, this is a rule change by the ATF! If this rule change is upheld in the courts, we just gave away the barn in terms of regulatory authority of federal agencies. If this rule change is struck down, we are back where we started and Congress will write an actual law. Only now, we have a Democrat House, while Congressional Republicans, President Trump and the NRA have already given up on this subject. It’s a lose-lose situation. This was clear from the moment the NRA and President Trump gave in. Only Trump and NRA apologists try to sell this as some kind of clever play, 4D chess, chess vs. checkers, etc.

  26. avatar FB says:

    Im not a fan of inflated government, however, we need a constitution law enforcement agency with a sole purpose to enforce the law of the land.
    Those who break the constitution laws serve federal time regardless what position they hold.

  27. avatar Anon says:

    Mr Katz,
    Presidents do not follow the War Powers Act, for those unfamiliar, look it up on wikipedia, just read the first short 3 paragraphs.
    Every president from Pres Ford has ignored it.
    Obama just issued regulations to go the ultra liberal progressive agenda.
    There will be another Civil War and the 2nd Amendment will be repealed, that’s why Obama let so many Muslims in. Detroit, Minn St Paul already have no go zones.
    Obama flooded as many Muslims as he could into Idaho to dilute the POTG and Christians.
    I miss America of the ’50’s.

  28. avatar Jackass Jim says:

    What the Fork is wrong with you idiots?!

    What do you think Hilary would have done.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      The same thing.

  29. avatar ozzallos says:

    I think people are reading into a this memorandum a bit too deeply.

    Paragraph 3 – Asks for a review of the definition of “machine gun and whether or not bumpstocks apply.
    Paragraph 4 – Do you realize how ambiguous the wording is here? “banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns” doesn’t mean anything until the aforementioned devices are defined as even being able to turn a weapon into a machine gun. It says nothing concerning how bumpstocks are interpreted.
    Paragraph 5 – Remains commited to the rule of law. it’s neither a positive or negative or even double speak since it contradicts nothing here.

    In short, this memorandum says nothing. Or rather it says to look at machine guns and parts that turn guns into machine guns if you can so identify them. At worst, it can be said to take a closer look at bumpstocks. This memorandum did not make law. it did not erode anything. maybe you can point to some other document that did, but it wasn’t this.

  30. avatar m. says:

    bloviators, tell someone who gives a s**t. all gun control = a**hole.

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