President Trump ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to re-regulate bump fire stocks after the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting. The three-letter agency, which had approved the use of the stocks under the Obama administration, took a second look at the devices and decided that these pieces of plastic are really machine guns.
The new ruling was announced in December. Hundreds of thousands of owners of bump fire stocks then had 90 days to turn them in, destroy them, or…well, those were the only two options.
You had to know that lots of owners of the newly verboten accessories (which were perfectly legal when they bought them) either 1) weren’t paying attention and didn’t know about the change, or 2) knew about it and decided the feds could FOAD.
It’s not clear which category Ajay Dhingra falls into, but in addition to being a prohibited person in possession of firearms, he was found to have a bump stock when Secret Service agents recently came knocking on his door.
By Michael Balsamo, Associated Press
A Texas man is the first person to be charged under a federal ban on bump stocks, devices that allow a semi-automatic firearm to fire rapidly like a machine gun, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Ajay Dhingra, 43, of Houston, came on the radar of the U.S. Secret Service in August after he sent an email to the George W. Bush Foundation asking the former president to “send one of your boys to come and murder me,” according to court records.
Prosecutors allege that Dhingra had previously been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility and was prohibited from owning firearms. When Secret Service agents showed up at his house, Dhingra told them he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, court documents said.
At his home, investigators found a handgun and an AR-15 rifle that had a bump stock attached to it, the documents said. Investigators also found four 100-round magazines.
Dhingra’s case is the first brought by the U.S. Justice Department for violating the nationwide bump stock ban since it took effect in March, under the same federal law that prohibits possessing machine guns. The devices became a focal point of the national gun control debate after they were used by the gunman who killed 58 people and left hundreds of others injured in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting.
Dhingra was indicted on charges that include possessing a machine gun and making false statements to acquire a firearm.
His attorney, David Adler, declined to comment Thursday.