Donald Trump's Bump Stock Ban Turns Peaceful Gun Owners Into Felons by Fiat

The ban, which took effect this week, usurps congressional authority by rewriting an inconvenient law.


Slide Fire Solutions

As of midnight on Tuesday, owners of "bump-stock-type devices" became felons, subject to a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. That's a pretty nasty surprise for anyone who bought these products, which were repeatedly declared legal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) during the Obama administration. It is especially unsettling because the law has not changed since the agency made that determination.

What happened instead is that the ATF, under orders from Donald Trump, reinterpreted the law to reach a diametrically opposed conclusion that is contrary to the plain meaning of the relevant statutes. Critics of presidential power grabs, regardless of how they feel about bump stocks or gun control more generally, should be troubled by this blatant usurpation of congressional authority.

Bump stocks are accessories that facilitate a rifle shooting technique in which recoil energy causes the gun to slide backward after a round is fired, resetting the trigger. By maintaining forward pressure on the rifle, the shooter bumps the trigger against his stationary finger, which fires another round, causing the rifle to slide backward again, and so on. Until October 1, 2017, the technique, which increases the rate of fire but reduces accuracy, was of interest mainly to gun enthusiasts, the companies that sold bump stocks, and the ATF officials who approved their sale. But after a gunman equipped with multiple rifles and bump stocks murdered 58 people in Las Vegas, Trump promised to ban the devices by administrative fiat.

The ATF rule that took effect this week accomplishes that trick by reclassifying bump stocks as illegal machine guns. The problem is that federal law defines a machine gun as "any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger." A rifle with a bump stock does not fire automatically, since the shooter has to push the rifle forward while keeping his finger in position, and it does not fire more than one round by a single function of the trigger, since the trigger has to be reset before another round can be fired. That is why the ATF concluded, over and over again, that bump stocks are not machine guns. That is why, even after the Las Vegas massacre, both supporters and opponents of a bump stock ban agreed that it could be accomplished only by a new act of Congress.

Trump, who has a habit of ignoring inconvenient laws, was undeterred. He instructed the Justice Department, which includes the ATF, to come up with a legal rationale for the ban he had already decided to impose. The DOJ complied by defining "a single function of the trigger" as "a single pull of the trigger," defining pull to exclude what happens during bump fire, and treating the shooter as part of the rifle mechanism, ignoring his active participation in the process so that the gun could be said to fire "automatically."

Last month, responding to lawsuits by bump stock owners and gun rights groups, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich concluded that the ATF had acted within its authority by reinterpreting "single function of the trigger" and "automatically," terms that he deemed "ambiguous." The plaintiffs, urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn that ruling, vigorously and persuasively contest Friedrich's characterization of those terms.

"A 'single function of the trigger' involves the mechanical movement of the mechanism that constitutes the trigger," they note. "It is complete when the trigger traverses its range of motion and initiates the firing sequence. A separate function occurs when the trigger is released and returns to its starting point to reset….Regardless whether the shooter 'pulls' their finger against the trigger or pushes the firearm and trigger forward against a stationary finger, neither the operation of the trigger's component parts nor the operation of the firearm vary. Each round discharged is the result of a single function of the trigger initiated by the manual act of putting pressure on the reset trigger."

The plaintiffs also point out that the word automatically "means by mechanical process without further human intervention," so shooting automatically "means to continue to fire without further human action beyond a single function of the trigger." Bump fire, by contrast, is "mediated by the human intervention of repeatedly forcing the gun body and trigger forward to reengage the trigger after it has been returned to its starting position and has reset."

Accepting the ATF's counterintuitive definition of these terms "yields absurd results," the appeal brief notes, since the statutory definition of machine gun also includes "parts designed and intended" to convert a weapon into a machine gun and "any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person." The ATF concedes that "individuals wishing to replicate the effects of bump-stock-type devices could also use rubber bands, belt loops, or otherwise train their trigger finger to fire more rapidly." The implication is that any semi-automatic rifle, if owned by someone who also has rubber bands, belt loops, or fingers, could be considered a machine gun. Although the ATF has said it does not intend to follow through on that logic, such reassurances only underline the arbitrariness of its legal interpretation.

Even if the contested terms were ambiguous, the plaintiffs say, the ATF's new interpretation would violate the "rule of lenity," which requires that ambiguous criminal statutes be read narrowly. They also argue that the rule is "arbitrary and capricious," in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

A brief filed by the Cato Institute elaborates on that last point by highlighting the result-oriented process that led to the rule, which "was a fait accompli" before the ATF even began to reconsider the issue. "Expressly declining to pursue a legislative solution, [Trump] directed his administration to redefine bump-stock devices…as automatic weapons," the Cato brief says. In response, the ATF "broke from decades of precedent and discovered a new power to prohibit that widely held type of firearm accessory. This expansion of regulatory authority, motivated by political expediency, is arbitrary and capricious."

The ATF's arbitrary and capricious rule unjustly criminalizes peaceful behavior that not only does not violate anyone's rights but does not violate the law by any reasonable interpretation. The DOJ estimates that Americans own as many as 520,000 bump stocks. Since the Supreme Court has declined to intervene by issuing an emergency stay that would have prevented the ATF from enforcing its rule while the case is pending, potentially hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Americans are now exposed to prosecution for possessing products that everyone thought were legal until Donald Trump decided otherwise.

NEXT: Cory Booker Is the 'Plug and Play' Democratic Presidential Candidate

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153 responses to “Donald Trump's Bump Stock Ban Turns Peaceful Gun Owners Into Felons by Fiat

  1. Seems like bump stock owners should take their bump stocks in the boat with them, when they go fishing...

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  2. Everyone mail your bump stocks to the White House.

  3. "Donald Trump's Bump Stock Ban Turns Peaceful Gun Owners Into Felons by Fiat"

    Yeah, but his ineptitude frustrates and annoys the libs, so... worth it, right?

    1. You know, kinda...

    2. Apparently, yes. A disturbingly large number of Banana Republicans assure me that this is no big deal. And these are people who are otherwise passionate about gun rights. If anyone other than the Orange Messiah tried to do this, I'm sure they'd be going berserk. So far none have offered a coherent explanation of why this is a good thing, yet they insist it is. Apparently it's all part of that N-dimensional chess game.

  4. I don't have a problem with Congress outlawing bumpstocks because after all one of the defenses that gun owners have made about "assault rifles" is that they are not machine guns. Allowing them to function like a machine gun undercuts that argument.

    I think anti-gun groups dishonestly use the confusion between automatic and semiautomatic to try to ban most modern guns, keeping bump stocks to be legal plays into those fears. But existing bump stocks should be legal, and perhaps handled the way pre 1968 legal machine guns are handled grandfathering existing owners.

    1. I have a problem with it, because we're talking about a RIGHT here. And the government needs to have a damned good reason for infringing on a right, better than, "One lunatic misused it, and there aren't a lot of people effected anyway."

      You need something in the nature of, "This exercise of the right directly injures people who are entitled not to be injured." And that's just not the case here, crimes involving bump stocks are practically unheard of.

      But the fact that this arrived via a dishonest interpretation of the law, not even legislatively, makes it doubly offensive.

      1. "I have a problem with it, because we're talking about a RIGHT here."

        There's rights on both sides: One the one side, the right to own the weapon of one's choice, and on the other, the right not not be multiply perforated by projectiles. If you aren't taking both sides into account, your opinion is not useful to settling the dispute.

        1. And if we were discussing a law/regulation which prohibited using a bump stock to commit murder, you'd have a point. As it is, you don't.

          The bump stock ban didn't ban harming people with them, it banned peacefully OWNING them.

          Which means, yeah, only one side's rights are implicated here.

          600,000 bump stocks. One used in a crime. Oh, that's one dangerous piece of property there.

          1. "And if we were discussing a law/regulation which prohibited using a bump stock to commit murder, you'd have a point"

            According to you, people who are injured by not killed have no rights.

            People who are killed without malice aforethought are still dead, even though they weren't murdered.

            Hint: A bump stock is a tool for making a weapon fire way more rapidly and way less accurately. This means that your hypothetical non-murderer has less ability to hit what he's aiming at, but more ability to hit them multiple times. If someone made a device that took passenger cars, and at the same time made them drive faster but steer much more randomly, would you claim that people had a RIGHT to install them, and people who get run over should just learn to dodge faster?

            "600,000 bump stocks. One used in a crime."

            As of Wednesday, 600,000 bump stocks, 600,000 used in a crime.

            1. As of Wednesday, 600,000 bump stocks, 600,000 used in a crime.

              Nope, still not used in a crime.

              Oh, they are certainly breaking a law, but unless they are using their bumpstocks to engage in, or threaten violence against another person, they aren't committing any actual honest to goodness crime.

              1. Good luck at your trial!

                1. Good luck being a moral incompetent. By your logic all congress would have to do is pass a law requiring the killing of James Pollock and I would be a "criminal" for not carrying it out.

                2. being flippant does not make you right.

          2. 600,000 bump stocks. One used in a crime. Oh, that's one dangerous piece of property there.

            More accurately - 600,000 bump stocks (maybe - personally I doubt it's that high) - 58 dead, 851 injured within under ten minutes from roughly 500 yards away from a single abuse of that. Yes that is a dangerous piece of property since it has literally zero 'utility' beyond entertainment at a shooting range. If it can't actually reasonably hit a specific target, then one can't reasonably claim even self-defense

            Bump stocks only exist because a)we no longer have a militia (where some might get their hard-on by firing unit type - not personal issue - weapons like machine guns and artillery) and b)we have a combo gun/entertainment culture that really drives a pathological desire to pretend to be Rambo (name your movie moron with anger issues).

          3. "600,000 bump stocks. One used in a crime."

            Uh, make that zero. There is still NO PROOF that any of the bump-stocked weapons FOUND in the Vegas hotel room were ever anything but operational "floor models." No proof they were fired, no proof that rounds from any of them were among those that hit victims, NONE. The ATF asked to examine those weapons and they were denied.


        2. One the one side, the right to own the weapon of one's choice, and on the other, the right not not be multiply perforated by projectiles.

          Thanks for playing one of these things is not like the other. The next time a bump stock goes and violates someone's rights you be sure to let us know.

          1. Guns don't violate people's rights, people do.

            1. Or, rather pointedly, don't.

              Mostly don't.

            2. Guns don't violate people's rights, people do.

              Now you are learning. And BTW, neither bump stocks nor "projectiles" are guns.

              1. We are born with those Rights and The Constitution protects them. Anyone who is breaking the law here is government. They have no Rights and still ignore the Law of the Land but nobody here seems to grasp that fact.

                Bump stocks does not make a firearm automatic fire, in fact one can do the same type of firing with their thumb in their belt loop...youtube has videos.

                Government should not have any fear of citizens but they obviously do and easy to see why, they are violating their oath and infringing on citizens Rights, so don't just sit there...

            3. Such a basic and yet completely accurate statement. I do not know why this is so hard to understand.

        3. Fuck off, slaver.

        4. your right not to be perforated is a valid point... EXCEPT that that right is already covered by other laws long accepted. To single out one means of illegally perforating people in a way that deprives half a million lawful owners of something thus DENIES the RIGHT to own a given piece of equipment that YOU don't like. Plenty of folks have been killed by the illegal misuse of other weapons, so one's chance of NOT being perforated by a violent criminal using a bump stock type device has not changed one iota.


          1. Further, if you care to look into it, there is so far ZERO solid EVIDENCE that the Las Vegas shooter actually USED the bumpstock device that was found attached to a rifle he MAY have used. BATF were barred from the scene once that room was breached, to do any testing or sxamining of the weapons there. I saw two photographs of the scene with bump stocks... one showed a single rifle of AR pattern with a bump stock attached, it was lying on the floor and there were NO PILES OF SPENT BRASS lying about as there surely would have been had it fired more than half a dozen rounds. NO ballistics tests were done, at least not with any results released, nor was the gun even examined to see whether it had been used at all. The second image showed perhaps four or five AR pattern rifles lying on a table, bump stocks attached, half of them had NO SIGHTING DEVICES WHATEVER, they all appeared to be brand new, never fired. Seems the guy was reported to be some sort of arms dealer, and it is possible/probable that these were part of his inventory ready to be shown. Again not one shred of evidence that ANY rounds were fired from ANY of the guns with BSTD"s fitted. Repeated requests for information have been denied, BATF have been systematically excluded from the closed loop of information.
            Somehow I remain sceptical...... but I KNOW our government have never lied to us, ever ,not even one tiny eentsy weentsy bit... evERRRRRR

            1. Oh gawd. A fucking conspiracy truther emerges.

              1. Oh, that's right. The MSM repeats it, so it must be true. A bleating sheep emerges.


          2. "your right not to be perforated is a valid point"

            No, it is not.

            You don't have a "right" to be free from harm.

        5. It is your job and your job only to defend yourself and so that is also your Right. Some do not care about you or laws so you thinking bans will protect you is still wrong and has been forever.

        6. "the right not not be multiply perforated by projectiles"

          There is no such right. The government can perforate you multiple times with projectiles, via firing squads or police officers enforcing the law.

          Nor is there a right to not be a victim of crime. If there were, the police (as agents of the government) would be obligated to protect you.

        7. You don't have "the right not to [fixed your extra "not"] be multiply perforated by projectiles."

          You demonstrate a fundamental confusion about the nature of rights.

        8. Sorry to say it this way but, No, you do not have a right not to be shot. Constitution is silent on that issue.

        9. Regarding the right not to be multiply perforated by projectiles and a potential conflict between that and the right to keep and bear arms, do you think that the guys who wrote and approved the 2nd Amendment:
          1) ignored the right not to be multiply perforated,
          2) didn't believe in the right not to be multiply perforated, or
          3) didn't see a conflict between the right not to be multiply perforated and the right to keep and bear arms?
          If we could get them in a room and talk to them, my money would be on #3.

      2. "I like taking guns away early," Trump said. "Take the guns first, go through due process second."

        1. I could almost go along with that if, after a hearing on the merits finds you weren't properly deprived of your guns, you got twice as many back as compensation.

          1. And provided that if you are attacked while disarmed by the government, the officials that disarmed you go to prison as accessories before the fact.

    2. While I don't necessarily agree with your point, I will at least point out that there's an argument to be made there. BUT Congress has done nothing, here. This is executive reinterpretation fiat, and has no place in the situation.

    3. The constitution bans Ex Post Facto laws from being enforced. That is the "grand father clause" in the constitution. I don't own a bump stock and never even heard of them until Las Vegas. Not even the POTUS has the authority to over ride the constitution. How about we find us an attorney who knows the laws and doesn't just "practice" law. The other side to this is the 2nd amendment itself, which states that congress shall make no law infringing on the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. ANY law under the guise of "gun control" is illegal. In 1902 congress passed the Militia Enhancement Act of 1902". That law is still valid and not one single congress person or the main stream conspiracy news media will inform we the people that it even exists. The reasons why are obvious. This act nullifies ALL 'gun control" laws, even the banning of fully automatic rifles. If you don't believe it, go read the act, it is on the internet. Send a copy by e-mail to your rep. I did all 5 of the Oklahoma reps and the 2 senators. So far I have not heard back from them. I will continue to keep sending the same e-mails to them until I get a response. We all need to do that.

    4. The problem is that the law that strictly regulates machine guns has a specific description (not a vague one) of what makes a gun a machine gun. Bump stocks under that specific description (the main description in the law having to do with a separate trigger pull per shot) do not make a gun a machine gun.

      I would have no problem with a law that defines a bump stock, and makes them illegal. That is what Congress should have done. The problem comes when an executive order arbitrarily changes the law. Now, the precedent exists for the President to define almost any gun as a machine gun.

  5. This is one of the few Trump initiatives that I genuinely despise.

    That isn't to say that there aren't plenty of things Trump is doing that I genuinely despise, but this is one of the few cases where he's changed policy in a really objectionable way.

    Undoubtedly because the NRA was in a mood to throw bump stock owners under the bus, so he thought it was a freebie. But still objectionable, both in content and manner. And I'm not really confident the Supreme court will care to reverse it, either.

    1. This is one of those situations where Republicans and the NRA figure that by "compromising" they'll neutralize further attempts at gun control. What they don't seem to realize is that gun controllers have a rather odd definition of "compromise".

      To a normal person, once a compromise is reached on something the matter is settled. But it never works that way with gun control. Give them half a loaf today, they're back for the other half tomorrow.

      1. Exactly. I strongly disagree with Trump about trade policy, but that can be kind of a wonky discussion because tariffs aren't an issue involving individual rights as much as what is better in the long run for the American people. I am ambivalent to the wall so it hasn't gotten me upset. I can see both sides.

        But this one pisses me off, because there is no upside. No one is getting any political capital for doing this, and it just sets a horrible precedent in terms of administrative law and regulations.

        1. tariffs aren't an issue involving individual rights

          Bullshit. I have an individual right to keep my property and the fruits of my labor. He by executive fiat has taken my property. No Taxation without Representation.

          1. If it's your property, you don't owe any tariffs on it. You only have to pay tariffs if you import something from outside the country.

            (The argument that the unilateral tariff increase impairs contracts, however, is perfectly valid.)

            1. You only have to pay tariffs if you import something from outside the country.

              No shit, but I pay 20% more for buying steel so he is steeling from me by executive fiat. So it impacts my right to buy and sell peacefully and that can only be done by legislative action as set forth by our Constitution. If you don't think that is a gross violation of my individual rights then you can send me a check for 250K which is at least what he has cost me so far by this bullshit.

              1. Well, from an anarcho-capitalist standpoint, tariffs are a rights violation. But not from any non-anarchistic standpoint.

                They're just a tax.

              2. These tariffs are to protect American jobs from cheaper goods from foreign countries. Up until the 1970's, the US had tariffs on all foreign products to offset cheaper foreign made goods. When the globalists decided that the world needed to become globular the tariffs started to disappear and foreign made goods were very appetizing because they were cheaper. Our manufacturing base went to foreign lands to take advantage of the cheap labor, no federal regs, etc... Millions and millions of jobs were lost. It had almost gotten to the point of no return. The added cost the new tariffs has already started to work. Manufacturing is coming back. The exodus of the manufacturers over the last 4 decades was rather quick. Coming back may take a little longer, but it is happening. When consumers realize higher wages as a result, business will also increase, sales will increase. Business expansions are at record levels, hiring is at record levels with one million more jobs then applicants. With Trump reducing federal regulations that strangle businesses, by the end of his 8 years we might be back to where we were 50 years ago. I remember a huge sign on the Trenton, New Jersey bridge that read, "Trenton Makes, The world Takes". There was a manufacturing plant on almost every corner. A person could get hired on straight out of high school, work 20-30 years and retire with a full company paid pension. Will that happen again? I don't have that answer, but it is possible.

                1. Congrats, you're as economically illiterate as Trump. Manufacturing isn't "coming back", it never left. The US continues to lead the world in manufacturing, we just do it with a lot fewer people. And if you want to help US manufacturers, Trump's steel tariffs are the stupidest possible way to try and do that. There are a hell of a lot more people employed by users of steel than by steel makers. Also, many of the products hit by tariffs aren't even offered by any American producer.

                  The last time we went full retard on tariffs, under Bush II, the entire US steel industry employed about 160,000 people. By the time the tariffs were withdrawn, about 200,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. Net growth in employment by steel makers? Zero, zip, zilch, nada, bupkis and jack.

            2. If I buy something overseas, it becomes my property, you morally bankrupt shitheel.

              1. If you buy something at the corner gas station it becomes your property, too. Good luck using that as a basis for declaring sales taxes unconstitutional.

      2. You'll maybe recall that the NRA was rather friendly with the gun control crowd prior to the "Cincinnati revolt", where the membership ousted existing leadership and turned the NRA into a pro-gun powerhouse.

        Well, some years later the NRA snuck through some 'reforms' designed to make sure that could never happen again. I guess as a result they're now backsliding.

        1. Yeah, I remember that. I joined the NRA as a Life Member in the '80s and there was more than one time I questioned the wisdom of that act, because making deals with gun controllers seemed too easy for them sometimes.

          1. I was at the meeting in Philly where they undid the Cincinnati reforms. Made me so mad I went right out and tore the NRA sticker off my truck.

            Since then they've done some good things, and some not so good things, but backing the bump stock ban is their most bone-headed move since they threw machine gun owners under the bus back in 86.

        2. The NRA has been friendly with the gun control crowd since 1934, at least.

          Repeal the NFA.

      3. What's worse is that this "compromise" not only fails to neutralize future gun control, it will facilitate it. The next anti-gun president is now teed up to declare any firearm that can be bump fired (so any semiatutomatic firearm) to be an illegal machine gun

    2. EVERY ONE of the BATF dweebs that worked on figuring out a way to criminalise these toys swore a solemn oath as tey took their position within the agency. That oath declares they will protect and defend the Constitution and all laws enacted persuant thereto.... the Constotution places the power to make law exclusively into the hands of Congress. ALL of them SHOULD have told Mr. Trump they can't change law, only Congress can do that. The fact they did not means they have all committed felony perjury in swearing their oath of office then refusing to abide by the Constitutoin they swore to uphold.

      Charge each of them with felony perjury. Pretty hard to work in BATF with a felny record... can't even handle guns.

      1. Agreed. Did anyone tell that to Obama when he changed the ACA law? Or when he used an illegal EO for DACA? I do not agree with the bump stock ban, but instead of pounding on a keyboard, call your reps. and demand they stop this illegal ban. I do it all of the time. I send e-mails, I make phone calls, sometimes I get an ignorant response sometimes I get a good letter back with all kinds of excuses. I am only one person, we ALL need to flood their e-mails and phones every day!

  6. It looks like the Federal Judge that ok'd the reinterpretation of the ATF regulation used Chevron deference calling the new regulations "reasonable". Trump supposedly picked Goresuch for scotus hoping he'll lead the charge to reverse Chevron. But this hardly seems like the case to do it, the optics are all wrong.

    1. Optics shouldn't matter, but I'm not naive enough to think they won't.

      1. But Trump getting one of his policies shot down would be good optics.

        They might be able to get a 9th circuit judge to strike it by pitching it as a big loss for Trump. Orange Man Bad might trump the make innocent gun felons angle.

        1. Not a chance; Trump is the enemy of the day, gun owners are the permanent enemy.

          1. gun owners are NOT very forgiving, and seem to have long memories, and they consistently vote.

  7. The Supreme court refused an injunction while the litigation proceeds, not a good sign. Given the mandated uncompensated destruction of millions of dollars of private property, and absurdly over the top penalties threatened against anyone caught not complying, they must have already decided that this regulation is going to be sustained.

    1. I think Roberts wrote the denial of the injunction. You remember him, he's the one rewrote the OhBummerCare law when he declared the FINE or PENALTY was merely a TAX... but then, he flubbed it big time when he FORGOT that OhBummerCare launched in the Senate, and the Constitution bluntly declares that ALL bills of taxation can ONLY originate in the House.

      Since then anything Roberts has touched has been suspect. I'd not exrrapolate HIS knee-jerk order to what the full court would do on appeal.

  8. I don't think it comes as a flaming surprise to anyone that Donald Trump is not a true conservative.

    The 2nd Amendment could not be more clear in its meaning or its intended purpose. Some people seem to think that guns are only for "personal protection," which couldn't have less to do with the intent of the 2nd Amendment.

    The 2nd Amendment is designed to assure that the citizenry are on an equal footing with the forces of the government. Just as liberals like to argue that Thomas Jefferson never could have envisioned lunatics owning machine guns, I doubt that Thomas Jefferson could have envisioned the government owning stealth bombers, either.

    Automatic weapons thus are the bare minimum level of equipment a citizenry would require to effectively resist a tyrannical government. However, I think it is safe to say that absent automatic weapons (the same ones our military uses overseas, and the same ones that have been irresponsibly given to local police) the citizenry does not stand a chance of resisting oppression of the sort feared by the founders.

    1. No, I never thought he was a real conservative, I just thought he had better sense than this. Just because the NRA gave him dispensation to do it, doesn't mean he didn't piss off a lot of people who voted for him, a lot more than own bump stocks. A lot of people who care.

      1. Indeed, because even if you don't own a bump stock you can't help but wonder "what happens the next time?"

        And oh yeah there will be a next time.

        1. Next it'll be the thing that goes up.

      2. "I just thought he had better sense than this."

        What could have possibly given you this notion?

        1. Oh, I don't know, maybe the fact that he doesn't usually piss off his voting base?

          1. That's a deficiency in his voting base.

          2. gun owners aren't very forgiving, and probably the 2nd strongest voting group right behind retired people.

            1. I hate to tell you this, but there are gun owners in both parties.

              1. Yeah, but the ratio is rather skewed.

    2. While I would certainly welcome having someone with an automatic weapon in the trench next to me when the day comes when we throw off the yokes of our bureaucratic masters, or Facebook, or whoever it is we end up fighting; but I would never in a million years want to be next to the yahoo with a bumpstock. He isn't going to hit anything intentionally.

      1. Sure, they're garbage. I own a Hellfire trigger, and aimed fire with one of those is much easier. Also not covered by the current ban.

        Not that I used it more than a couple of times. Fun, but I'm not made of money.

        But it really is the principle of the thing.

    3. Thomas Jefferson dead and buried is still smarter than you are. Citizens do stand every chance since we are in the Right and police will not engage us, the military cannot and will not and DC is a small town.

  9. Until October 1, 2017, the technique, which increases the rate of fire but reduces accuracy, was of interest mainly to gun enthusiasts people who want to spend lots of money on ammunition.

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  11. Remember though, Trump is very libertarian and concerned with the rule of law. I was told so by true libertarian commenters.

    1. I don't know who told you that. So far he's been relatively libertarian compared to the realistic alternatives, but on any absolute scale he's definitely a statist.

      And, yeah, he usually IS a bit more concerned about the rule of law than this. Part of what made it surprising; I'm guessing he didn't bother to look into the matter personally once the NRA leadership told him they were cool with it, and just took their word for doing it being legal.

      1. "So far he's been relatively libertarian compared to the realistic alternatives, but on any absolute scale he's definitely a statist."

        He is whichever one will directly advance Trump's interests in the moment. Unapologetically. And his fan club eats it all up.

        1. "He is whichever one will directly advance Trump's interests in the moment."

          Absolutely, and I was counting on that. This bump stock ban was a departure from that behavior.

          And, are you seeing a lot of "eating it all up" on this thread?

          1. "And, are you seeing a lot of 'eating it all up' on this thread?"

            How many times has he been shot, so far?

            1. That's your critera here? Either we up and assassinate him, or we're "eating it all up"? No room for liking some parts of what he does, disliking other parts, and considering the situation not nearly dire enough YET to justify shooting him?

          2. And, are you seeing a lot of "eating it all up" on this thread?/i>

            The usual suspects aren't here though.

            1. Yes, I was going to say the same thing. It's crickets from the usual Trump apologists. I'm starting to wonder if they aren't paid-for shills, though this isn't the first time.

              1. Or maybe they just see nothing worth defending.

          3. Maybe not, but I am seeing a lot of them "eating it all up" over at another one of my regular online hangouts. And that's a site specifically centered around guns. Even on the rare occasions they don't actively celebrate Trump's latest acts, they still defend them. These were people I had previously thought of as predominantly small government Constitutional conservatives. (Not exactly libertarians, but we agree on a lot of things.) Which is why I just cannot understand their embrace of a chronically dishonest, transparently self-serving snake oil salesman.

      2. Rule of law? Seriously? Trump regularly wipes his ass with the rule of law. He may be no worse than his predecessors, but he's hardly better.

    2. He is the most libertarian president of my lifetime. It's not even close. (Born during the Carter administration). This fact, however, is extremely sad.

      1. There is nothing remotely libertarian about Trump. More domestic surveillance? Check. More bombs and drone strikes? Check. More government interference in the economy? Check. More drug war? Check.

        Given his role in deregulation, I'd find it easier to make a libertarian argument for Carter.

    3. Trump is Libertarian-ish and this bump stock rule is unconstitutional violation of the 2nd Amendment, just like all Arms control.

  12. Bump Stocks are the "third-trimester abortion" of the 2A crowd...a hill to die on to stave off the slippery slope. And a cudgel that can be used against "gun nuts" to show just how unyielding and crazy they are.
    The answer, of course, is to open carry your AR-15 in the ready position at Home Depot. (Bonus points if your "operator-chic" attire is properly equipped)

    1. Well, you know, they are except for the 0.000001% death rate for bump stocks, vs the 100% death rate for 3rd trimester abortions.

      Some of us think that's relevant.

      1. " the 100% death rate for 3rd trimester abortions."

        Your math is rather poor, Brett. Almost 50% of the participants in third-trimester abortions survive the procedure.

        1. Yeah, when we discuss murder, we don't count the murderer to arrive at a 50% survival rate.

          1. When we count medical procedures, though, we count all the patients.

      2. " 0.000001% death rate for bump stocks"

        I suspect you're about right considering how inaccurate firing auto (and especially a silly bump-stock) makes a rifle. Most people unlucky enough to be hit are probably just terribly injured, rather than killed.

        1. They're not THAT bad. Most of the zeros come from the fact that only one has ever, so far as I can tell, been used in a crime.

          1. if you are trying to say that one was ACTUALLY USED in the Las Vegas incident, thus far there is NO EVIDENCE one was actually USED. BATF were ahd have been systematically excluded from the crime scene upstairs, have so far been allowed ZERO ACCESS to any of the weapons or recovered projectiles. Thus, there is NO PROOF any of the rounds fired were fired from any of the guns fitted with bump stocks. Repeated requests for evidence to support/deny that conclusion have been ignored or flat out denied.

            So we have NO PROOF a bump stock was actually used in that event.

  13. It looks like the ATF is pushing an even more unreasonable interpretation than it first appeared. By their definition a semiautomatic with a bumpstock is a machine gun, but they are also claiming that possession of a bumpstock at all, whether its installed on a semiautomatic, or even if you don't own a semiautomatic rifle is illegal. I can see, barely, how you can define something as a machinegun if it can shoot like a machine gun, but a bumpstock by itself can't shoot anything, and you just can't get there anyway, anyhow.

    Here is the summary from the federal register.

    SUMMARY: The Department of Justice is
    amending the regulations of the Bureau
    of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
    Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-
    stock-type devices?meaning ''bump
    fire'' stocks, slide-fire devices, and
    devices with certain similar
    characteristics?are ''machineguns'' as
    defined by the National Firearms Act of
    1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968
    because such devices allow a shooter of
    a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a
    continuous firing cycle with a single
    pull of the trigger. Specifically, these
    devices convert an otherwise
    semiautomatic firearm into a
    machinegun by functioning as a self-
    acting or self-regulating mechanism that
    harnesses the recoil energy of the
    semiautomatic firearm in a manner that
    allows the trigger to reset and continue
    firing without additional physical
    manipulation of the trigger by the

    1. Actually, I guess I'm wrong the current law is:

      "The term ''machinegun'' also
      includes ''the frame or receiver of any
      such weapon'' or any part or
      combination of parts designed and
      intended ''for use in converting a
      weapon into a machinegun,'' and ''any
      combination of parts from which a
      machinegun can be assembled if such
      parts are in the possession or under the
      control of a person

      So you can own a bumpstock or a semiautomatic rifle, but not both. And you better not have any bungee cords or anything you could jury rig into a bumpstock in the house with your semiautomatic either.

      1. "or any part or
        combination of parts designed and
        intended 'for use in converting a
        weapon into a machinegun,''"

        This is the section you skipped over.
        Conversion kits to make a semi-automatic AR-15 into a fully-automatic AR-15 are illegal, too, even if you don't have any AR-15's.

      2. You would do well to aquanit yourself with the term "constructive pssession", before your "knowledge" lands you in jail.

        1. *possession

      3. No rubber bands or pants with belt loops either.

        Guess we're all supposed to go naked now.

        1. Feature, not bug. You can't shoot anyone if you have to use both hands to hold your pants up.

    2. Except that this ruling is functionally incorrect. What a bump stock does is allow the shooter to pull the trigger repeatedly, very quickly. It does not, in any way, allow the rifle to fire multiple projectiles with "one pull of the trigger". The text of the ATF ruling is a straight up lie.

      1. It is, and despite that, the Supreme court without dissent refused to enjoin the regulation until litigation was complete.

        Refused to enjoin a regulation based on an outright lie, that makes a half million people in to felons overnight if they don't destroy without compensation their lawfully acquired property.

        It's been decades since I was so disappointed in the Court. Even Thomas didn't object.

  14. It is a legitimate function of government to steer people into hobbies that don't have the secondary effect of mass murder.

    1. 520,000 bump stocks. One mass murder.

      Safer than swimming pools.

      1. How many mass murders were committed with swimming pools?

      2. and there is NO PROOF that a bump stock was actually USED in the perpetration of that mass murder. And BATF knows that.

    2. Apparently you don't know what cause and effect means. Why haven't there been half a million mass murders with them?

      Mass murder is an effect of bump stocks like cancer is an effect of microwaves.

    3. Tony,
      What's your sign?

      1. Sagittarius of course.

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          Your future is calling, and you realize you need more information before you can answer. A plan to keep yourself financially stable for the long haul is on your mind, and you're eager to put it into action. Your strategy involves both earning and saving, but that's a problem since you're afraid of working hard . You want to be sure that you have everything you need, without depending on anyone else. Money cant buy happiness, but it certainly makes the trip toward finding it a whole lot more fun. Start small and make every penny count.

  15. Better not go see your Dr, they cause more deaths than guns do.

    1. so do carpenters' claw hammers, baseball bats (cricket bats, too_bricks and sticks.

      1. And, according to the FBI Uniform Crime statistics "personal weapons" (hands, feet, etc.) are reported as responsible for more homicides than rifles or shotguns.

  16. The funny thing is that by the Law's definition Bump-stocks can't be considered machine-guns, but binary-triggers could (but aren't). You see, bumpstocks were in the news so....EEEEVVIIIIIILLLLL!!!!!

    1. Between the bumpstock and the binary trigger, the latter is far more dangerous. At least the bump stock doesn't require you to take an additional action to avoid firing if your finger slips.

  17. Can any lawyers here explain why estoppel wasn't listed as the key reason the ban is invalid?

    1. "Because guns"?

      I suppose because they gave us 6 months to comply before making a half million people felons. They ARE allowed to correct mistakes, provided they give notice before putting the correction into effect.

      Not that they were correcting a mistake here, but I'm pretty sure estoppel doesn't apply to regulatory changes with due notice.

    2. it is also an unlawful taking by government without due compensation, and an example of ex post facto law... what was legal yesterday and acceoptible, is a felony today... without your taking any actioni whatever. The erstwhile legal ongoing possession of the device has been converted into a felony level crime. With no legislation enacted by the ONLY body in existence that may pass anything into law.

      1. Correct about the unlawful taking without due compensation. Wrong about ex post facto; It only made possession illegal going forward, it didn't make your possession last year a crime, which is what an ex post facto law does.

        But the unlawful taking is bad enough.

  18. You say that like it's a bad thing.

  19. I'm a felon
    on the loose
    let me pause
    and cook
    a real
    tasty goose

    Burma Shave

  20. Every violent felon in prison was peaceful until he committed his first criminal act.

    1. Most committed non-violent crimes before committing the first violent felony. So what's your point, or do you even have one other than parroting something you read or heard elsewhere?

  21. Is a bump stock a weapon? Does it have a trigger? Does it fire bullets of any kind?

    No, because it doesn't have a trigger. It doesn't have a barrel. It doesn't have a chamber in which to place ammunition.

    Under no circumstance does the ATF's re-classification meet any legal standard. People should refuse to comply with this illegal declaration.

    1. People ARE refusing to comply with it.

      1. They are buying rubber bands.

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  24. Meanwhile the SCOTUS has refused to issue a TRO and a company in Ft. Worth destroyed 60,000 new bump stocks.

    I could be mistaken, but I don't remember the last time the government abruptly changed the law to make a currently legal product illegal, thus depriving people of their legally purchased property and a company (companies?) of a significant amount of property without compensation. Even the '86 Hughes Amendment "grandfathered" any full auto receiver which was produced and registered by the manufacturer by the effective date.

    1. That's what really outraged me about the refusal to grant the injunction. Millions of dollars of private property mandated to be destroyed without compensation, and the Supreme court didn't think an injunction was in order? For any other sort of object, an injunction would have been automatic!

  25. "Trump, who has a habit of ignoring inconvenient laws,". Trump is certainly not unique in that attitude.

    "But after a gunman equipped with multiple rifles and bump stocks murdered 58 people in Las Vegas". NOT proven. No evidence has been offered to prove the LV gunman used a bumpstock.

    1. Look, this is not the hill to die on: While having a bump stock on one of the guns in the room isn't conclusive proof, it's a bit much to claim it isn't even "evidence".

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  29. ...And in other news --- 90% of Gun related deaths are SUICIDE!

  30. What raises my eyebrows on this one is that I could suddenly overnight become a felon without actually having done anything at all.

    Did I miss some set of long-standing precedents, or is this a new step in the US Road to Serfdom?

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  33. *snap

    And just like that, a whole new crop of Americans were made into felons by the stroke of a pen.

    When will the genius' in DC figure out that government manufactured felons are no longer interested in complying with farcical laws.

    Never mind, they'd actually have to leave their gated communities with armed security and leave the urban metroplexes to know what Americans really think of them.

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