Effective October 1, any Floridian in possession of a bump fire stock or similar accessory commits a third degree felony thanks to the capitulation of Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Republican Party.
§790.222 Bump-fire stocks prohibited — A person may not import into this state or transfer, distribute, sell, keep for sale, offer for sale, possess, or give to another person a bump-fire stock. A person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, the term “bump-fire stock” means a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.
Reading the bolded portion of Statute 790.222 isn’t exactly comforting. It’s so vaguely worded that it could mean just about anything (including a rubber band). A list of just some of the accessories that can accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle without converting it to a machine gun includes:
Crank fire devices
3-gun triggers (Geissele and LaRue, among others, make a wide variety)
Lightweight bolt carrier groups
Buffer springs and different buffer weights
Adjustable Gas blocks
Registered Lightening Link (the host remains semi, the LL is the MG)
Registered DIAS (the host remains semi, the RDIAS is the MG)
Registered HK sears and trigger packs (the host remains semi, the sear or pack is the MG)
Registered FNC sears (the host remains semi, the sear is the MG)
The new law will infringe on the rights of thousands of otherwise law-abiding Floridians. I am personally affected by this. I owned a first generation SlideFire Solutions bump fire stock for my AR-15s for years. And somehow I never broke the law.
I purchased it as a range toy when they first came out in 2012 and have used it off and on throughout the years. But that’s now a thing of the past. I have it stashed on the other side of the border in Georgia outside of the Florida gun-grabbers’ jurisdiction.
Vermont gun owners are experiencing a similar situation. In a statement to Vermont Public Radio; State Police Capt. Timothy Clouatre said residents can turn in their newly-outlawed devices in to any Vermont State Police barracks.
The only thing we ask is that people don’t show up at a barracks with a weapon itself, but just the bump-fire stock removed from the weapon. And they can turn that in anonymously and voluntarily, Monday through Friday between 8 and 4.
A person who violates this section shall be in prison not more than a year and fined $1,000, or both. Right now, voluntary compliance is the preferred method, and like I said, we want to give people the option and the means to do this.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement hasn’t given Floridians that option. Currently, a lawsuit is in play due to the vague language of the law and the fact that the Florida constitution bars the state from taking private property “except for a public person and with full compensation therefore paid to each owner.”
The bump stock ban law’s author, Senate President Bill Galvano (R) says that he stands by the law.
I have made a cursory review of the suit and continue to support the ban. At the end of the day, these devices turn semi-automatic rifles into machine guns. A policy decision consistent with the authority of the state has been made that this is not acceptable.
No word has come down from FDLE yet on what how Sunshine Staters should handle the October 1 deadline due to the pending suit. All that’s known for sure at this point is that if you still possess one of the above items when the clock strikes midnight on September 30, you risk arrest, a fine and possibly imprisonment. Not to mention the loss of your Second Amendment rights.