Bumpstocks have been on the hit list for some time now. Not because they are intrinsically dangerous in the hands of hundreds of thousands of gun owners, but because one miscreant, a murderer, decided to use one in a horrific crime. Politicians and anti gunners, as usual, have decided to blame the implement and not the criminal. As a result, under the direction of President trump, the Department of Justice has reclassified bump stocks as machine guns. The ruling becomes official when it is placed on the Federal Register, likely this Friday, December 21, 2018. At that time, it will kick off a 90-day clock to either destroy or surrender your scapegoat bumpstock.
Previously, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) had classified bumpstocks as an accessory. Due to the recoil of the firearm, the trigger was depressed and reached reset. Therefore, it was not considered an automatic weapon or machine gun. However, President Trump called on the Justice Department to ban bump stocks. As a result, the Justice Department took a “fresh look” at the case law, technology, and the devices and their functionality “in light of modern developments.” Lo and behold, the Justice Department magically concluded that bump-fire stocks, “slide-fire” devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics all fall within the prohibition on machine guns by allowing a “shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger,” and therefore, they are illegal under federal law.
The question was posed, “How many of bump fire-style devices are out there?” Since they were not previously regulated, no one actually knows. As one official said, “bump stocks aren’t widespread, but they are not uncommon. Isn’t there something about “in common usage” that might apply here?
Surrender or be Destroyed
“A current possessor may destroy the device or abandon it at the nearest ATF office, but no compensation will be provided for the device. Any method of destruction must render the device incapable of being readily restored to its intended function.”
President Trump said he would never go against the Second Amendment. Do you consider this an infringement against the Second Amendment? While bump-style stocks are not the most important thing on my wish list, any infringement is a step too far and a slippery slope in my opinion. I am sure many of you feel the same. However, before the Trump bashing gets out of control, think of the alternative had Trump not been elected—President Hillary Clinton. This is a loss in my opinion, but we are still way ahead with President Trump as far as the 2A fight goes.
This ban is not unexpected. In October, President Trump told the National Rifle Association that “bump stocks are gone.” A spokesperson for the NRA said in October 2017 that the ATF “should review bump-fire stocks to ensure they comply with federal law,” but made clear that the NRA opposed the broader gun-control legislation raised by some in Congress.