In Houston just yesterday, a federal prosecutor appears to have gotten cold feet. Right before the trial began, in the face of an ATF expert prepared to testify that bump stocks do not a machine gun make, the prosecutor withdrew the bump stock possession charge, proceeding only with charges facing less resistance. From the Houston Chronicle:
Senior U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller convicted Ajay Dhingra, 44, on three remaining counts that he lied when he purchased a handgun, rifle and ammunition, and illegally possessed a weapon as a person who had been committed for mental illness.
Experts had conflicting views on the [bump stock] matter, said defense attorney Tom Berg. But Rick Vasquez, a retired ATF agent and firearms expert, would have told the court the bump stock did not meet the statutory definition of a machine gun. The prosecution dismissed [the] case, he said, because the government couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt the bump stock was a machine gun.
Perhaps that’s because a bump stock is not a machine gun? Just a hunch.