I have written extensively on the subject of bump-fire stocks (or “bump-stock-type devices” (BSTD), as the ATF so charmingly refers to them), and why they matter beyond their suddenly being designated as “machineguns” or their uncompensated taking. Too extensively for some, who didn’t want “to die on Bump Stock Hill,” when we had other things to worry about.
I warned of the “semi-auto problem” of any semi-automatic firearm capable of being equipped with a BSTD magically being designated a machine because it is “easily converted” with a simple stock. I warned again when attorneys began making that very argument.
I actually said that unfinished receivers to machine guns are considered firearms under federal law. The feds consider an AR-15 to be a machine gun
— Stephen Wyse (@WyseSwyse) May 28, 2019
And then the family of a victim of the Mandalay Bay shooting made that very argument in Nevada state court, seeking to sue several firearm manufacturers with the claim that they had lost Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act defense by unlawfully manufacturing and selling machineguns…because AR-15s are so easily converted with BSTDs.
The defendants in Parsons v. Colt et al. asked a federal district court to dismiss the lawsuit. On April 10, 2020, US District Court judge Andrew P. Gordon (Obama appointee) refused to dismiss the plaintiffs’ wrongful death claim. The case will now move forward in Nevada state courts.
Gordon used a set of lies regarding the design and history of the AR platform to rationalize his finding that the manufacturers somehow knew they were making arms that could easily be converted to machineguns, despite the fact that even the ATF claimed otherwise, until they changed their pseudo-minds in late 2017 (and didn’t make it retroactively official until 2019).
From Gordon’s ruling on the wrongful death portion of the defense’s motion to dismiss:
The PLCAA permits “action[s] in which a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.” 15 U.S.C. § 7903(5)(A)(iii). The Parsons’ wrongful death claim is premised on the defendants’ violations of 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(4) and NRS § 202.350(1)(b), which prohibit firearms manufacturers and dealers from selling “machinegun[s].” Machine gun is defined as:
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 machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.
26 U.S.C. § 5845. Nevada’s definition of “machine gun” mirrors the federal definition. NRS § 202.253. The ATF has defined “designed to shoot” to include “those weapons which have not previously functioned as machineguns but possess design features which facilitate full automatic fire by simple modification or elimination of existing component parts.” ATF Ruling 82-2.
In the eyes of the federal court judge, under Nevada law, any semi-auto that can be equipped with a BSTD is already a machinegun. If you live in Nevada, you might as well go all out and install drop-in autosears, lightning links, or whatever.
Always wanted a giggle switch for your GLOCK? Go for it; the penalty is the same, as Gordon sees it.
I can almost guarantee that other violence-enabling victim disarmers are scrambling to use the lawsuit’s wrongful death arguments here in similar lawsuits given the reasoning of this Constitutionally-challenged gun grabber in a black dress.
Gordon just moved the clock forward a little closer to HANSOB Time.