“President Donald Trump announced Friday evening plans for the Justice Department to ban all bump stocks, pending a mandated comment period,” dailycaller.com reports. Click here to read the proposal. It’s a 55-page treatise. Money shot . . .
ATF has now determined that the conclusion [that bump fire stocks are not machine guns] does not reflect the best interpretation of the term “machinegun” to clarify that all bump-stock type devices are “machineguns”under GCA and NFA because they convert a semiautomatic firearm into a firearm that shoots automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
Wait. What? A bump fire stock does not shoot more than one shot per trigger function. Each shot is actuated by a single trigger function, albeit really quickly. And if that’s true, which it is, WTF? Oh here we go . . .
In explaining its prior ban on the Atkin Accelerator (a bump fire-like device), the DOJ doc says the ATF interpreted the “single function of a trigger” to mean the “single movement of the trigger” [italics theirs]. In other words, one trigger press sets the gun into automatic mode, wherein the gun’s recoil takes over. Or something like that.
Anyway, the document says the bump fire ban doesn’t violate the Second Amendment; the Supreme Court’s Heller decision gave a thumbs-up to a federal regulation of machine guns as they are “dangerous or unusual weapons and therefore not in common use.”
[As we’ve said before, machine guns are not in common use because they’re banned. Of course, that depends on what you mean by “common use.” The military and civilian police (same thing) have plenty of machine guns. And there’s a healthy supply of pre-’84 machine guns in circulation. ]
So it’s all about the semantics. The ATF is directed to redefine “single function of the trigger” to mean “single pull of the trigger” (still stumped by that one). And ta-da! “Automatically” now means “as the result of a self-actuating or self-regulating mechanism that allows the firing of multiple rounds by the single pulling of the trigger.”
And finally . . .
. . . the definition of a machine gun [now] includes a device that allows semiautomatic firearms to fire more than one shot with the single pull of the trigger harnessing the recoil of the semiautomatic firearm to which its affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter (commonly known as bump-stock-type devices.
The ATF estimates there are somewhere between 280k and 520k bump fire stocks in the wild, worth somewhere around $96m. All of which must be destroyed under the proposed rule.
Consumers who purchased a perfectly legal firearm accessory, who will soon be felons if they continue to possess it, can destroy their bump stock themselves (“simply” with a hammer) or give/send their bump fire stock to the ATF for destruction.
The ATF reckons the new rule will cost bump fire stock retailers $1,780,498 in lost inventory. More or less.
Get this: the document says consumers who wish to experience the joys of bump fire may continue to do so using “rubber bands, belt loops, or otherwise train their finger to fire more rapidly.”
Meanwhile, the comment period is open! Contact the ATF using www.regulations.gov citing Docket Number 2017R-22. Make sure you use your first and last name and mailing address.