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Bumpstocks: If You Can’t Win, Change the Rules

Bump Fire stock

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.

Bump Fire stock
On the urging of President Trump, The DOJ has reclassified bump-style stocks as machine guns.

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.

Pro Second Amendment groups are surely lining up to file suit to block the new bump stock ban. Which group or groups do you think have the best chance at overturning the DOJ’s ruling? Do you think bump-style stocks should be classified as machine guns? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (45)

  1. I have a bump stock I am a excellent marksman crooks are always going to have guns
    the difference in a bump stock and just shooting is like the difference of getting one Rose compared to a dozen Roses
    the main reason bump’s are a part of a gun any cutting of the the 2nd A will result in several more
    like trying to stop being able to buy ammunition it is not the item it is the shaving of the 2A we need not to forget Hitler and the Jew’s

  2. Nope! Wouldn’t do it. Even if I owned one I would not surrender anything I would of bought legally or be punished for the crimes of one man let alone without compensation. Give “them” an inch and they want a mile. They won’t be happy until you have a black power rifle with lead balls to shoot.Are you going to turn in your 30..60..100 round magazines next?
    Have a background check to purchase ammo? It’s not the crminals they’re after….it’s you. To disarm and control.

  3. The anti-ban arguments for bumpstocks here are essentially all of the “slippery slope” variety. You’re aware that slippery slope arguments are a logical fallacy, right?

    There’s a lot of valid positions to take in defense of the 2nd Amendment, but this one is not the hill to die on.

    1. Given the propensity for any government to take power from the citizen I don’t see how the “slippery slope” argument is a logical fallacy. It is the modus operandi of government. With the creeping Socialism that has infested our government for a century banning bump stocks is just one more in a long series of abuses of our individual liberty.

      I don’t own a bump-stock and I had actually never heard of them until the Las Vegas shooter so this law does not affect me personally but that’s not the point. The point is to stop the government from taking any more of our liberties and reverse the advances of Socialism in our government before we become the “former land of the free.”

    2. which hill is the one to die on?

      Perhaps you have heard the saying:

      First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a socialist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

  4. Read the news on RBG. While i wish her no ill will, it appears that the Donald may get another SCOTUS pick. This may be a turning point and SCOTUS may hear some of these cases. If so, hopefully the court will make some decisions in our favor.

  5. @ Pete.

    If I wanted a “Firehouse” for a Firearm, I’d buy myself a PPSh-41. I personally enjoy Bolt-Action Rifles. I’m NOT in a Hurry to KILL the First thing that crosses my path…

  6. …. and so it begins.
    What is next? This decision will be applauded and used to further change and restrict our 2A Right. What other Rights will be changed for political expediency,what other restrictions might follow to further control We The Prople. It’s done now. It can never be called back. The presisdent has been set and will become the vechical to further misuse of governmental power.
    It was a brilliant move, an item that most everyone agrees is of little use or service. Has now unlocked the door to for those who would do nearly anything to increase their power and decrease that of the People’s.
    One insane, disturbed, deranged persons horrendous act has caused this sweeping decision, which may now be used to effect changes that may cause far reaching and greater upheaval in our country.
    All the legendary dictators agree on several points when they spoke of acquiring and holding on to power.
    Control the Press. The narrative is essential to control.
    Disarm the general population. Remove the ability of the people to defend themselves, or rise up in decent.
    In this country it does not take much research or a great deal of logic to see the direction that political leadership seems to be taking on “our behalf”.
    The middle ground is abandoned and with
    It our ability to find solutions and compromise which has been this nations streanth since its founding.
    There is no clairity to this path we find ourselves on where and how it will end is unknown.
    That this single watershed event, this decision, may well be the first true unrepairanle crack in the wall built of our Bill of Rights and the US Constitution. Time will tell us the answer.
    I don’t know how it is expected that this decision will be enforced, or even if it can. The decision is not what the problem is.
    I’m a Conservitive Constutionalist … neither Republican or Democrat. I don’t see this decision being made with the well being of the People in mind.
    I belive that the issue of bump stocks is unimportant when one considers the smoke an mirrors its being used for to conceal the further reaching implacations of this decision to “deal” with this issue.

  7. Like usual, punish the gun, not the criminal. It’s only a (dangerous) weapon if that’s what you intend to be. I can take an ordinary pen and use it as a stabbing weapon. I can take a roll of quarters, put it in a sock and have a blackjack. I can take a set of keys, put a key in-between my fingers and make a fist and punch someone. Ouch, that would hurt. Again, it’s only a weapon if you intend to use it as a weapon. Where will it end?

    1. So you would then be OK with bolt action and banning semi-auto since no one needs a gun faster than a bolt action? Where does it stop. I do not own a bumpstock and really don’t see a reason for owning one, but some people do and it is a slippery slope.

    2. Banning something because it’s “faster than semi-auto” means that by definition all selective fire Class III NFA Firearms should be banned. And frankly I think that’s a ridiculous idea. One motivated person with a 10 rd magazine .308 bolt action rifle using aimed fire could do far more damage than someone spraying and praying hundreds of unaimed rounds downrange.

      By advocating the banning of anything, you’re saying that the object is responsible for the action and not the person, and sound just like the gun banners when you spout that nonsense.

  8. Bump stocks are pricy, all but useless devices that require some modification of the firearm on which they are installed and totally useless, except on certain styles of weapons. That being said, this is just more over-reaching of a bloated federal government. Anything that infringes on the rights of legal firearm owners is to be opposed. In the same vein, ‘add on devices that can cause semiautomatic weapons fire as automatics, almost all semiautomatic rifles can be turned into ‘full-auto’ by using a bootlace. I’ve done this and it works quiet well, no overpriced devices needed. Wikihow has/had a page on google showing how this can be done. What next; make owning bootlaces illegal?

  9. Yeah, I’ve got one. I’ve “played” with it three times. It sits in its box, waiting for the next time I can afford to play with it. Hey, they’re welcome to it, if they’d like to compensate me for it, as in the 4th amendment. It was cool at first, like all toys, but now languishes at the bottom of the “toy box”.
    Its not about the device. Its about the constant “chipping away” of our rights. If the left had their way, they’d abolish the entire constitution. They consider it outdated, and a racist document, written by rich white slave owners. REALLY!!!! WTF!!!! I only wish that throwing them a bone, in the shape of a bumpstock ban, would shut them the hell up. But, alas, it will only fuel their fire of violent resistance and give them an “I told ya so” moment that they’ll ride to death, then ride it some more.
    As for me, if possessing one makes me a felon, so be it. If they want it……buy it.

    As always
    Carry on

  10. I am no fan of bump stocks and don’t own one, but I do respect ALL the amendments. This may or may not be a violation of the 2nd amendment, but certainly of the 4th amendment which prohibits taking of property without just compensation. I think legal action might have more success based on that amendment.

  11. President Trump is a smart man and he knows two things about bump-stocks; they are stupid and they are legal. Though I have no use for these worthless accessories, I don’t want any new gun laws and I don’t think the president does either.. What’s going to happen is someone is going to challenge this rule, it will be struck down in court, bump stocks will be still be legal, and President Trump gets to say to all the Libs, “Hey, I tried, but you know, 2A and stuff. Oh, and thanks for the Wall money you traded for a bump stock ban, dumb ass!”

    1. Well…many people have no use for even firearms themselves, believing them to be worthless or even harmful. Contrary to what you and some “sour grapes” inflicted gun enthusiasts have said about bump stocks, my extensive, frame-by-frame video examination of previously available Youtube postings indicated that bump stocks can achieve an accuracy level and rate of fire comparable to M16-A1 rifles and many other machine guns. I’ve never fired a bump stock but nearly all of the world’s armed forces find such performance from small arms to be valuable and worthwhile. I’m going with what they say! Furthermore, in reading the writings of the founders of the U.S. and the U.S. Constitution itself, it is obvious to me that the founders intended for a ubiquitously armed populace (which they knew as “the militia”) to keep and bear arms that are comparable and equivalent to what the government possesses. They knew it was necessary to the security of a free state (the security of freedom itself, as embodied in a state).

  12. I’ve owned guns of some sort since I was old enough to hold a .22 rifle without falling over. My father (a former Marine) taught me basic firearm safety by the time I was five, and the Army picked up where he left off.

    Bump stocks run afoul of those long-learned lessons. They sacrifice proper control of the rifle in trade for allowing a fast spray in the general downrange direction. They have no legitimate place anywhere — in civilian hands for the same reason that full-auto weapons are regulated, or in military hands because they’re a kludge approach toward something they can already do better.

    If this is the hill that 2nd-Amendment groups opt to die on, then die they shall.

    1. If you read it, you will realize this is setting us up. No grandfather, no buyback, only 90 days to prevent being a felon…. When will this be for AR-15s? I’m definitely not a bump stock fan, but I am smart enough to see the slippery slope. Where is your line in the sand? Hope it’s not too late……

    2. There is no fighting this ruling it is done and most likely has been “done” for sometime, and remember once defence becomes the only option we have to protect any of the amendments … we already lost the battle. The truth of the matter everyone is this … All 50 states better all get on board with the legilazation of pot because it is gonna take a lot of government weed to make people forget about this one.

    3. This entire episode reminds me of the ruckus made over JARTS. They were fun, until some idiot got hurt. Now, all of us are denied having them. Same with bumpstocks. They’re fun. Many of my friends weren’t in the military, and haven’t had the exposure to automatic weapons I have. It was fun to see their faces as they ripped thru 30 rounds. But, alas, now that simple pleasure, just having fun with friends is being legislated away, just like jarts.
      They weren’t meant to be accurate, nor compete with a fully automatic weapon. They were, in my eyes, meant to be fun. Quit being so offended by stuff. EVERYBODY that shoots, wants to shoot a machine gun at least once. We did. Now it sits in its box.

      As always
      Carry on

    4. Saying that bump stocks have no legitimate place anywhere because 1) they don’t lend themselves to precise aimed fire, and 2) you don’t like them, is just the same as saying since you only shoot rifles that handguns should be banned.

      The point is, you don’t get to decide what RKBA provisions and devices are legitimate, and which aren’t. Bump stocks were a LEGAL shooting device, kind of a silly thing that I didn’t own, but a legal device to allow rapid plinking.

      If the government can simply make it illegal, and demand that you turn it in without compensation, then tomorrow they can do the same thing with your rifle. If you allow one you’re giving them the authority to ban the other, that’s the incredibly obvious point you’re missing.

      The biggest enemies gun owners have aren’t the gun banning, pro-criminal, anti-self-defense, unilateral victim disarmament bunch, like Feinstein, Newsom, and Schumer, it’s supposed pro-gun people raised with guns like yourself, who are quick to toss their fellow gun owners under the bus, because they don’t happen to like the gun or gun accessory they own.

      I remember when the AR-15 came out, and guys with Bastogne walnut wood stocked Winchester Model 70’s fell all over themselves condemning “plastic” guns.

      Gun banners love gun owners like that.

  13. Like all the other NFA regulations, this is just another feel good, window dressing law which will, in the majority of cases be enforced against citizens made criminals only thru the enactment of this restriction. And, as we all know, who respect the constitution as an iron clad restriction of government’s power over free citizens, another unconstitutional restriction of the 2A.

    Having stated that; I’m not a fan of bump-stocks, as I’m just to cheap to squander ammunition by indiscriminately blowing off hundreds of rounds. I’ve had the opportunity to fire automatic weapons and run fast boats, but it is a lot more fun when the government is paying for the ammo and the fuel.

    Who can predict future court rulings, especially in light of a recent refusal of an appeals court to accept a case re magazine capacity restriction.

    Let’s face it; these courts of appeal exist solely to protect citizens from government over-reach. When they decline to review these cases they are engaging in an in-your-face refusal to perform their raison d’etre. A brazen and cowardly act of an activist bench. Willfully disregarding their oath of office.

  14. Donald Trump has become a sellout, first over bump-stocks (it’s the principle of the thing) and now the Border wall; and NRA has been selling us out for at least the past 85 years. I am pi$$ed off beyond belief, again, that no elected official will stand up and represent my voting @$$.

  15. I am not a fan of pitbulls, Rottweiler or Doberman dogs. They can be safely raised and can be wonderful animals when properly trained. Unfortunately there is a class of people who purchase these animals who are thugs and want the aggressive breed to intimidate their neighbors. Getting rid of these breeds may not make the country safer, but it doesn’t hurt my feelings when communities choose to place restrictions on their owners.

    I have no use for a bump stock neither do I have sympathy for owners of said devices. They bought the device to play at rapid fire without the expense and responsibilities of a machine gun. There is no bump stock owner that I have ever met who used good firearm discipline. Whenever I put the trigger I know where the bullet is going to go, what is behind the target and whether it will stop the bullet. Bury your bump stock and fifty round magazines for the eventuality that some day there is a need to blaze off hundreds of rounds to defend against the zombies. I will stick to one shot one kill training discipline.

    1. Well said Cmac. No difference between his remark and one made by Feinstein, or any other anti-gun fuzzy-thinking liberal.

      By saying any firearm accessory, add-on, or device is “bad,” they are giving the gun banners permission to classify others as bad as well and put them on their ever growing list. Really stupid.

  16. Certainly didn’t trust Hillary but being suspicious by nature, when it comes to guns and the 2nd Amendment, I have a difficult time trusting any politician who either doesn’t own a gun or didn’t serve. Sorry, I’m working on myself… ????

  17. Banning Bump Stocks is an “exercise in futility” and is another bite at the Second Amendment. I never have seen the word “unless” or the word “except” after the word “infringed” in the Second Amendment, so where does the Government believe it has the authority to add “conditions” to the Second Amendment? NOWHERE! ! ! !
    There are other less expensive implements available that accomplish the same effect as the Bump Stock. Besides, you can always hang your thumb in a belt loop and your semi-automatic becomes a rapid fire semi-automatic.
    Guess belt loops will soon be outlawed.
    I just wonder how many idiots are really going to destroy theirs or turn them in. Who actually owns one? Who knows?

  18. Mixed emotions for me on this one. Never bought one, and they were not allowed at my gun club. Because, idiots try to play Rambo and do not keep control, so definitely a safety issue at public ranges. If you are at your own farm, who would care? I DO NOT think the Supreme Court will over rule the ruling because, the ATF is the experts and agency experts are seldom over ruled. Heller, et all, says reasonable regulations are not an infringement. Many of us may disagree as to what is reasonable. I am not aware of any tournaments or sporting events at which bump stocks are used, so to say they are in common use is a hard sell. And of course, just compensation is not required when something is determined illegal for safety reasons IE, the police power. I think this one is just lost and a fun toy is now illegal. Just my 2 cents. We need one more conservative judge appointed by Trump to save the second Amendment so for that reason it is important to keep him in office. No, I do not agree with much of that he says, but he is the best thing for the second Amendment in my lifetime, I am 70. FWIW

    1. “And of course, just compensation is not required when something is determined illegal for safety reasons IE, the police power.“

      WTH? It isn’t? Oh! OK. Well, I just decided that your firearms are “determined to be illegal for safety reasons.” So turn them in, and don’t expect any compensation for your now illegal personal property!

      Glad that works for you. God, fellow gun owners are our own worst enemy!

  19. Bumpstocks etc.are clearly an accessory and do not become part of a “machine gun” like a suppressor or sights, scopes, slings, butt stocks on and on. The decision to outlaw bumpstocks is pretty pathetic to say the least as anyone can make a semi auto carbine fire like a bumpstock attachment does. Personally I do not see much value in them but that’s just me. The more important is this prohibition is an infringement on the 2nd and Trump and everyone else behind this should be shamed for caving in! Every good hearted supporter of the 2nd should clearly share their opposition to this. Get rid of the accessories one by one and pretty soon the guns. Stand your ground and don’t cave!

  20. Sorry, while bumpstocks may not spray bullets in the rate-range of commercial full-auto’s you’re still spraying bullets beyond a semi-auto.

    So if spraying bullets is your goal then get your FFL 3 license + the allowed WW2 era -or- older full-auto and have your fun.

    Otherwise, w/the rise in mass shootings, we’re just giving gun phobes the _only_ valid reason to ban semi-autos.

    1. Sorry Steve, when BATFE reopens the NF registry and allows newly manufactured machine guns (at new AR-15 $$$) to be registered, you will have domething to contribute. Until then, you have nothing to offer but low intellect word salad.

    2. Steve, haven’t you figured out that they don’t need a “legitimate” reason to ban semi-autos? By saying ANY firearm accessory is “bad,” you’re just giving aid and comfort to the gun banners, and sound just like one of them.

    3. > Bob: …when BATFE reopens the NF registry and
      > allows newly manufactured machine guns…
      Wouldn’t hold your breath on that one.

      > Norman: ….they don’t need a “legitimate” reason to ban semi-autos?
      Well, maybe we should _NOT_ be giving them one…

      > Norman: ….you’re just giving aid and comfort to the gun banners,
      > and sound just like one of them.
      No.

      Sorry to disappoint you both,
      but my semi-auto collection includes
      – rifles in 6.8 SPC, .223 & .22,
      – pistols in .40, 9mm, .32, & .25.
      I use them for hunting & self-defense,
      not for the self-gratification of wastefully spraying bullets.

      My point (apparently lost on you both) is that
      when you add _anything_ to a semi-auto
      and it then walks/acts/talks like a full-auto,
      then at that moment it _IS_ a full auto
      & you legitimately need an FFL 3 for it.
      And that’s not going to happen w/a _removable_ bumpstock.

      Now,
      if they make a permanent version of a bumpstock for your semi-auto,
      and you qualify for your FFL 3 license,
      and a gunsmith permanently mounts it to your semi-auto,
      you get it ATF stamp and your FFL 3 license for it,
      then (FWIW) I’m 100% cool w/that.

      To the best of my knowledge we’ve never had a single active FFL 3 owner commit any crimes w/their full-auto, let alone mass shootings.

      All IMO.

  21. The lies within lies and word salad acrobatics needed to stretch the NFA to cover bump stocks speak to what comes next… When a demonstrable lie becomes law, what good is the law?

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