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. 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$$ed off beyond belief, again, that no elected official will stand up and represent my voting @$$.

  2. 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.

  3. 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… ????

  4. 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?

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

      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.

      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.

  8. 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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