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The NRA's Phony Concession on Bump Stocks Invites a Real Ban

Prohibiting the accessory used by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock will require new legislation.

Bump Fire SystemsBump Fire SystemsBefore last week's massacre in Las Vegas, most Americans probably had never heard of bump stocks, which police say Stephen Paddock used to increase his rate of fire while shooting at country music fans from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Since then the accessories have become so notorious that YouTube is taking down videos showing them in action and gun owners are rushing to buy them in anticipation of a ban, a step that President Trump and Republican legislators say they are willing to consider. Even the National Rifle Association has said new restrictions on bump stocks may be appropriate.

Although there is less to the NRA's concession than meets the eye, it shows the organization is squishier on gun rights than its reputation suggests. It also illustrates the strength of the urge to do something (or be seen as doing something) in response to mass shootings, even when that thing is unlikely to have any measurable impact on the frequency or deadliness of such crimes.

"Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions," the NRA said last Thursday, "the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF] to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations."

The NRA was referring to letters the ATF sent to manufacturers of bump stocks certifying the legality of their products. "The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed," the agency informed the Moran, Texas, company Slide Fire Solutions in 2010. "Accordingly, we find that the 'bump-stock' is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act." The ATF sent a similar letter to a competing manufacturer, Bump Fire Systems (also based in Moran), two years later.

The ATF determined that a firearm equipped with a bump stock, which harnesses recoil energy to help the shooter fire repeatedly without having to flex his trigger finger, does not qualify as a "machinegun" under the National Firearms Act because it still fires just once "by a single function of the trigger." The agency also concluded that the bump stock itself does not meet the definition of a regulatable "firearm" under the Gun Control Act. Since these conclusions seem like straightforward applications of the statutory language, it is quite unlikely that the ATF would change its position after taking the second look urged by the NRA.

That means a ban on bump stocks would require new legislation, which the NRA opposes. "It's illegal to convert a semiautomatic to a fully automatic," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said on Face the Nation yesterday. "We think ATF ought to do its job, look at this, and draw a bright line." But the ATF already looked at this, and it determined that bump stocks do not "convert a semiautomatic to a fully automatic," which fires "more than one shot...by a single function of the trigger." That is the "bright line" drawn by the law that Congress passed, and the ATF is merely enforcing it.

LaPierre said the NRA won't support legislation to ban bump stocks because it worries that any such bill would turn into "some Christmas tree on the Hill," festooned with new restrictions long sought by gun controllers such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). That prospect is not far-fetched, although the more ambitious the bill becomes, the less likely Republicans and conservative Democrats are to support it. But in practice, the NRA's opposition to new legislation means it does not really favor "additional regulations" for bump stocks, which cannot be imposed through administrative action without bending the law for blatantly political reasons.

It is nevertheless significant that the NRA saw fit to go through the motions of throwing gun owners who like bump stocks (or might like to try them) under the bus. By contrast, Gun Owners of America (GOA)—which advertises itself with a quote from former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who called it "the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington"—firmly opposes a ban on bump stocks. "Any type of ban will be ignored by criminals and only serve to disarm honest citizens," says GOA Executive Director Erich Pratt, who adds that it's "sad to see some Republicans quickly call for a vote on gun control."

Pratt describes bump stocks as accessories that "help gun owners with disabilities fire their weapons." It is true that people whose ability to pull a trigger is limited by arthritis or other conditions might find bump stocks useful. But Slide Fire describes its products as "fun, exciting and entertaining," and that is the way online enthusiasts (such as the ones YouTube has decided to censor) present the devices. Presumably the NRA calculated that it was not politically smart to defend fun against the demands of activists and politicians who portray bump stocks as an intolerable threat to public safety.

That portrayal is questionable, since noncriminal motives account for approximately 100 percent of the demand for bump stocks, which as far as I know have never been used in a mass shooting before. Previous mass shooters nevertheless have managed to kill dozens of people. The previous record, in the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year, was 49, compared to 58 in Las Vegas. Bump stocks, which trade accuracy for speed, may have enabled Paddock to injure more people than he otherwise would have, but it's not clear that they increased the death toll, since he might have killed a similar number of people (or even more) by firing more slowly and carefully.

The ratio of nonfatal to fatal gunshot wounds in Las Vegas was much higher than usual in mass shootings. The most recent count of nonfatal injuries is 489, and most were caused by gunfire. That means at least four people (and probably more) were injured by gunfire for each person killed. By comparison, the ratio for the nine next deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history (including the 1966 attack at the University of Texas in Austin, which also involved a shooter firing from a high structure) was less than 2 to 1 in almost every case. The one exception was the 2009 attack at Fort Hood, where the ratio was less than 3 to 1.

Still, if legislators assign zero weight to the interests of gun owners who use bump stocks for legal recreational purposes, the possibility that future mass shooters might use them is enough to justify a ban. Furthermore, such a policy is likely to pass muster with the federal courts, given the way the Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment (as covering guns "in common use for lawful purposes" but allowing bans on "dangerous and unusual weapons"). In this context, the only people apt to oppose a ban on bump stocks are gun owners who use them or can imagine using them, fussy libertarians (like me) who argue that a tiny minority's potential misuse of a product does not justify prohibiting it, and gun rights supporters who worry about the opportunity that legislation aimed at bump stocks presents or the precedent it sets.

By raising the possibility of new restrictions on bump stocks but opposing them in practice, the NRA is trying to split the difference on this issue, creating the appearance of a concession without actually making one. Still, its position probably increases the likelihood of a legislative ban, since "even the NRA" seems to agree that bump stocks pose a danger the government needs to address.

It could be worse. In the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, LaPierre demanded "an active national database of the mentally ill" to prevent anyone qualifying for a psychiatric diagnosis (nearly half the population, at one time or another) from buying a gun.

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  • Longtobefree||

    Back in the dark ages, the NRA had a sub-group called the second amendment task force. (Mostly to raise more money, but focused solely on 2a. No safety, publicity etc, just 2a)
    They gave that up.
    Now they are happily applying grease to the slippery slope.
    Oh well, bang or whimper, all things end.

  • timbo||

    Well said Long.

    And I would rather risk some more nuts with arsenals than a blood thirsty mob of regulators and do-gooders.

    i'll take my chances with a well armed populous.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Alan Gura and the Second Amendment Foundation are doing the heavy lifting these days.

  • BambiB||

    And they have been for some time. Gura was the lead on Heller and MacDonald. The NRA was horrified at the filing of the Heller case. When Gura won, and moved on to MacDonald, the NRA couldn't wait to horn in and screw the case up. Gura wanted to argue on privileges and immunities. It was the perfect case. But he was sabotaged by the NRA.

    As for the Nevada massacre - I can't help but think that the bump stock and choice of firearm probably greatly reduced the number of fatalities. The .223 is a medium-power cartridge. At 400 yards, it has lost 2/3 of its force. A bump stock probably alters the CEP from a few feet at that range to well over 50 feet. That is, the bump stock turns the rifle into a sort of long-range shotgun. No telling where individual rounds will go.

    Had the killer picked a higher-caliber weapon, had he aimed his shots, he could have killed a lot more than 58 people. Reports are that he was shooting for ~10 minutes. Firing at a very moderate rate of 12 rounds per minute, he could have taken out upwards of 100 people with a bolt-action rifle... and he might have continued to fire for a longer time.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Not that I think the NRA is blameless on many counts, but arguing P&I wouldn't have worked any better.

    Only Thomas was interested in that and his concurring opinion where he proves that the right to arms is a P&I wasn't endorsed by any other member of the court. They simply ignored it in favor of their "fiction" called incorporation.

    But, the truth is there now for anybody that wants to see it in Thomas' opinion.

  • DajjaI||

    Trumpkins hoped to use their gun rights to buy guns to round up illegals, muslims and blacks. And libtards. Yet that never happened. So now they are settling for rounding up people with bump stocks.

    Don't ban me, bro.

  • Sigivald||

    Although there is less to the NRA's concession than meets the eye, it shows the organization is squishier on gun rights than its reputation suggests

    Well, since its reputation among the ignorant ["the Left", particularly] is "for every gun thing all the time", that's not surprising.

    Those of us who follow the NRA - let alone those who are members - know they've never cared about "automatic weapons" or anything resembling them, and are not remotely surprised.

    We were surprised enough they half-heartedly got behind suppressor law reform, though that was a pleasant surprise in any case.

    (n.b. on Vegas and wounding shots - the link provided does not have a breakdown of the injuries from shooting vs. trampling or panic.

    The numbers aren't out yet, as far as I know, on that one.)

  • BambiB||

    It will be interesting to see how many rounds he actually fired v. how many actually hit someone. My bet is that even firing into a dense crowd, his hit ratio was probably less than 1:2, and as many as half the rounds actually fell outside the target zone due to the substantial inaccuracy introduced by the bump stock.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Here's video of Pence's Secret Service detail the moment they realized the flag was about to be disrespected.

    Or they could point out that it does in fact have springs. Depending on the elastic properties of the plastic is still a spring even if it's not a metal coil spring.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Cut and paste fail: "The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed"

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I like your original quote better.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I was stealing Fist's joke

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    YOU BETTER NOT BE.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    OH BUT I AM!

  • Murgatroyd||

    The bump stock does not have a spring or spring-like properties. With one hand, you apply constant pressure to push the gun forwards. With the other hand, you hold your trigger finger still. At no point do you squeeze the trigger. When you push the gun forward, your finger contacts the trigger and fires the gun. Recoil from the gun pushes the gun backwards, pulling the trigger away from your finger and resetting the trigger for the next shot. Once you have absorbed the recoil impulse, for force of you pushing the gun forward pushes the gun against your finger to fire the next shot. This will continue until you stop pushing forward, or the magazine is empty, or you bobble it in some way. Bump firing is notoriously finicky and difficult to control.

    You do not need a bump stock to bump-fire a gun. The stock facilitates bump firing by allowing you to have a third point of contact (your shoulder) and giving you a place to rest your firing hand (the grip), as well as by keeping the movement of the gun linear.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    The shooter's body is basically the spring, as it is what absorbs the recoil and it is what produces the forward force needed to actuate the trigger.

    Obviously we need to ban bodies.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I may be mistaken, but I was understanding that the two sides of the empty triangle where the butt of the stock is flex during recoil, essentially making them leaf springs.

  • Mock-star||

    No, Murgatroyd described pretty much spot on. The only thing that would be applying tension would be a shooters non dominant arm applying forward pressure at the forearm.

  • Horatio||

    "Automatic" being the operative word.

    If it's all too complicated and pedantic for those who wish to legislate away the icky things: I'm sorry, laws are by necessity very specific and pedantic.

  • Rich||

    laws are by necessity very specific and pedantic.

    Especially the ones specifying that the pertinent regulations are to be developed by unelected bureaucrats.

  • Horatio||

    So if I like my bump stock I can keep my bump stock?

  • BambiB||

    You can bump fire a firearm without a bump stock. I've done it. Great way to waste ammo. You can't hit squat.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Listening to our beloved Fifth Column podcast, I hear none other than Matt Welch and Michael Moynihan fine with sending armed state agents into homes to extract by force some plastic and metal.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It's like the incrementalist approach to greater liberty, except the opposite of that.

  • Murgatroyd||

    I was somewhat surprised by this. I don't think either of them are generally the type to say "fuck it, I'll only go to bat for freedoms I personally care about".

    Would the world be an fractionally better place with out bump stocks? Perhaps. But the world is also probably a fractionally better place without "hate speech". The issue at stake is the principle involved, not the item that sparked the debate.

  • timbo||

    Well said sir.
    The rational discussion is the results of regulations vs the negative consequences. The are ample examples of unintended consequences with virtually no measurable positive impact on the issue at hand. usually the regs just grow govt and create idiot bureaucrats.

    This issue is such an easy target due to the bloodshed but banning solves nothing as we all know.

    As I said before, I'd rather take my chances with a well armed citizenry. Who abuses power more, DC shitlords or the average gun toter?

  • SIV||

    Cucks gonna cuck...

  • Brandybuck||

    Before last week I had never heard of bump stocks. I had heard of the concept, and when I first heard I thought it was stupid. The point of using a firearm is accuracy, and these kinds of hacks eliminate accuracy. The reason automatic weapons are nearly all selective-fire is to increase accuracy. Automatic weapons are useless if they can't hit their target. The only purpose to automatic fire is for those situations when you can't aim.

    Before last week, before I realized that these things had a name, I assumed they were just toys by rich fucks who wanted to play at being military. I have cousins who are big into guns and gun modding and none of them have bump stocks. It's a silly idea.

    Should they be banned? No. They may be silly, but is is painting your AR15 with a Bronie color scheme. The only reason it was a problem at Las Vegas was because the shooter was firing down into a crowd. The real problem there was him firing down. I'm not sure the bump stock made him any more dangerous than merely firing DOWN into a crowd by itself. I would hazard a guess that the bump stock actually turned most of his kills into injuries. Yeah, it sounds insensitive and callous, but if someone is firing a gun at me I would rather him be inaccurate at a higher right of fire than accurate at a lower rate.

  • Horatio||

    I used a bump stock on a 9mm AR platform rifle at a shooting range once. It was only fun because it was my bachelor party and I didn't have to (a) pay for the ammo nor (b) load the magazines. I'm an experienced shooter and was the only one able to NOT shoot the roof of the indoor range while firing. I scratched that itch permanently and never thought about them ever again, but...

    Banning the bump stock is an admission that liberty and the logical application of principles apply only if gun-grabbers agree that we "need" a certain something or other. Remember, we've already compromised with the anti-gun lobby: we are not allowed to own automatic weapons and must pass a background check to purchase commercially.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Why you bringing logic to a feelings match, Brandybuck?

  • timbo||

    rich fucks. Good restaurant.

  • Fat Hubie||

    The sound on videos of the shooting were not indicative of a rapid increase in shooting speed.
    Bump stocks are ammo wasting toys at best...

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    We know that the kill rate is proportional to the fire rate.

    Thanks, McNamara.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The real problem there was him firing down.

    Clearly the solution is to ban tall buildings.

  • ||

    The problem with banning bump stocks and even fully automatic weapons is that they are proxies for far less controllable and far more deadly factors. 20,000 people, unarmed, and that close together are pretty much guaranteeing that if the situation goes south in any fashion, between a dozen and a hundred people are going to die. The element of surprise in a target rich environment with little to no cover? It wouldn't matter if it was a gun, a truck, a bomb, or a combination of the three (or something else). Music festivals in big cities are a novelty and not essential to the free speech of a populace, why not ban them as well?

    How about we compromise CA, ban tall buildings in the immediate proximity of music festivals?

  • ||

    The point of using a firearm is accuracy, and these kinds of hacks eliminate accuracy.

    This is getting absurd.

    Bump firing can be done entirely without modifying the gun. So, mechanically, there's no reason why bump firing decreases accuracy intrinsically within the weapon. The idea that we can't mate the stock and the rifle in a commensurately-accurate sliding operation voids the fundamentals behind pretty much every collapsible and adjustable stock everywhere.

    If you can't handle a 9mm AR-frame firing full auto without hitting the roof of the shooting range, it says more about your limp wrists, mushy grip, and inability to shoot than it does about the modification to the stock. I don't say this as an internet he-man, I say this as someone who routinely watches women empty 9mm magazines from semi-auto handguns at similar rates without missing their target. If the inertia generated by a sustained rate of 400-ish ft. lbs. ammunition has you blazing away wildly, probably best to avoid guns altogether and probably a wide variety of tools and machinery as well.

    The reason for selective-fire is self evident and only lends credence to the notion that full-auto fire was a necessity in pretty much everything but the closing decade, maybe two, of the 20th Century. If the principle were so bankrupt, the very notion of the M249 and M240 wouldn't exist, especially not carried around by individuals on the battlefield.

  • jelabarre||

    They may be silly, but is is painting your AR15 with a Bronie color scheme.

    Twilight Sparkle or Rainbow Dash? Because I'm sure you can get a Pinkie Pie color (pink, obviously) pre-molded.

  • Rich||

    LaPierre demanded "an active national database of the mentally ill" to prevent anyone qualifying for a psychiatric diagnosis (nearly half the population, at one time or another) from buying a gun.

    That's just crazy talk.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Has Reason filed a FOIA request for the shooter's tax returns? If this guy was some sort of undercover operative, the Political State won't just volunteer the information. Any claim that he might be "endangered" certainly won't wash as an excuse for secrecy.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Can you imagine if he had combined a bump stock with a suppressor? smh

  • Rich||

    "No one could have imagined that!"

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    We may not yet have realized that anyone was shot!

  • Murgatroyd||

    The BATFE is rather notorious for making creative interpretations of existing law to prohibit certain items depending on political expediency. Famously, the agency has waffled on the legality of so-called "stabilizing braces". The NFA permits guns with barrels less than 16" long that would generally be considered to be short-barreled rifles (and subject to the NFA) to be sold as pistols if they are never fitted with a stock (google "AR-15 pistol"). The stabilizing brace is an accessory for these oversize pistols by allowing the user to strap the firearm to one's forearm for increased stability while firing one-handed. However, they are very stock-like in size and shape and function perfectly well as stocks, as many purchasers of the braces soon realized. The BATFE can only determine the legality of a firearm accessory based on its intended function. Since stabilizing braces were intended to be braces and contain features that are only functional when used as a brace, the BATFE originally ruled that the braces could legally be attached to a pistol.

  • Murgatroyd||

    However, when it became clear that users were using the braces mostly as stocks to make psuedo-short-barrel rifles (and also partially in response to calls for increased gun control), the Obama administration prompted the BATFE to reconsider the ruling. The BATFE then ruled that the stocks were illegal. However, since a couple of million braces had been sold over the preceding few years, public backlash forced the BATFE to again reconsider the ruling. They ultimately determined that it was legal to install a brace on a pistol, but that if the user allowed the pistol to touch their shoulder the user had then illegally manufactured a short-barreled rifle that was then subject to NFA regulation and could be jailed. This ridiculous ruling persisted until the BATFE then reverted back to their original ruling in mid-2017.

  • Murgatroyd||

    Also the BATFE has previously ruled that firearms parts, such as the auto-sear for an M16 rifle, can be regulated as full machine guns under the NFA. The NRA request for review of the legal status of bump stocks under existing law is essentially a request for the BATFE to classify the bump stock as a machine gun. I'm not a fan of the NRA or of the NFA, but such a ruling from the BATFE would be perfectly legitimate under existing law. This would be preferable to a new law, since it doesn't involve any expansion of the definition of prohibited devices under existing NFA law. A new law would almost certainly need to create a new class of prohibited items under the NFA and the potential for future regulatory abuse is substantial. The NRA is offering the GOP and the BATFE an easy out, which allows them to do something to appear less feckless without really changing the current status quo.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Izzis the same BATF that killed 75 people of all ages in Waco, Texas over supposed tax arrearage on a gun part?

  • Bubba Jones||

    I just don't want them to ban the echo triggers. I can't justify the price, yet.... but I want one. They are supposed to be sweet for double taps.

  • Murgatroyd||

    That was my first thought when the subject of a bump stock ban was mentioned. If the public finds it shocking that bump stocks are legal, just wait until they find out about binary triggers.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    You can pry my bump stock out of my cold, dead bump!

  • Malvolio||

    If you are trying to kill someone in particular, a bump-stock would be a considerable hinderance. If you are trying to kill as many people as possible, a bump-stock might help.

    Might not.

  • Brendan||

    Time to ban wood, dowels, and pegs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eluVznzKnzI

  • Myk||

    The NRA has always been squishy, all too happy to give away gun rights and extremely happy to squish other rights. The only good thing about them is their numbers. If GOA could get 5,000,000 members the 2nd would be much better protected.
    Since bump firing can be done without a bump stock a ban on them would open the door to charging people who use a rubber band or a belt loop with manufacturing a machine gun. A simple malfunction has resulted in someone being charged with that.

    Bump firing into a crowd is literally spray and pray. What else could he have done to kill as many or more? Homemade gattling gun? Trebuchet and IEDs? Pulling triggers?

  • SIV||

    We don't have "universal background checks" despite the Chairman of the Cato Institute (and a majority of clueless voters) calling for them. You can thank the NRA for that.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Libertarian Party is the only advocate for individual rights, and just a few of our spoiler votes repeal LOTS of bad laws.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    [Additional regulations] cannot be imposed through administrative action without bending the law for blatantly political reasons.

    You'd like to think that...

  • Hank Phillips||

    The political cowards pretending to lobby for constitutional rights are a perfect example of how ethical standards of utilitarianism aren's worth a bucket of warm spit in the face of the Utilitarian Monster of totalitarian altruism. One by one rights are sacrificed "for the greater good." No straw is to clumsy to grasp at, and every rot-induced weakening of individual rights will be depicted to dupes as an "advance" toward what is definitely NOT "a free State," but something more like East Germany with suicide rates envied by looters everywhere.

  • Curmudgeon44||

    It seems to a lot of people, that bump stocks approximate a fully automatic weapon. That by itself should put it into a different license category (and STILL legal fully auto weapons have never been used in a crime like this). That would be the common sense answer to this product.

    This mass murder looks to be nearly identical to the UT Sniper one in the 1960's, except using more rounds. The murderer's position up high, is key to the crime. This murderer used bump stocks, but he could have done quite a major crime had he used any modern equipment. If the emotionally distraught citizens are calmed by banning bump stocks, then what the heck.

  • Wanderer||

    That's also my view

    Full-Auto weapons are banned. Banning explicitly a sub-class of FA weapons (SA weapons with a bump-stock) does not move the mark.

    This "cave-in" by NRA is very measured, and there is not much to criciticize here.

  • searchingmind||

    I have been a Life Member of the National Rifle Association since 1958. I both study and collect military small arms. When these pseudo-automatic conversions first appeared, early this century, I thought that this was a very bad idea, could conceivably already be illegal, and if not could easily be forbidden. U.S. Code Title 26, Subtitle E, Chapter 53, Subchapter B, Part I, §5845(b) defines a "machinegun" 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," and any parts which could be used to construct, or convert a gun to, such a weapon. The Bureau apparently interpreted "function", in those seven final words, as referring to the action of the mechanism, not of the shooter. The fact that the trigger moved back and forth between shots removed it from the "machinegun" classification. I think it more likely that Congress meant it to describe a singular action of the shooter to fire each shot, both pulling and releasing the trigger mechanism. In my opinion the Bureau should reexamine, and perhaps reinterpret, the statute. I think it would be a legitimate and efficient solution.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The ATF has been making up law for a long time.

    For example, the mere possession of 4 parts to the M2 Carbine (the full auto version of the M1 Carbine) even without possession of an M1 Carbine) are considered to a full auto weapon and will get you 15 years.

    4 pieces of metal.

    But the real question is why is a M16 illegal (yes, I know you can own a FA rifle if you can afford it and find one for sale) and a AR15 is?

    Aren't both "fire"arms?

    Isn't it "arms" that are protected by the 2A?

    A Browning water cooled machine gun is not an "arm", that is clear.

    But why not an M16?

  • ranrod||

    The NRA has been selling out the American gun owner for over 100 years. They actively supported the NFA in 1934, the Gun Control Act in 1968 and the oppositely named Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) which removed the right of Americans to purchase new automatic or AOW weapons, a clear violation of the Second Amendment.

    All of this was done with the cooperation of the sellout Progressive owned and run Republican Party as well.

  • TxJack 112||

    You cannot fault the NRA for supporting the NFA act in 1934 when you consider what was happening in the US. For over 2 years, crime was out of control. Chicago, as it is today ironically, was awash in blood because of gang violence. You had criminals going against police, who carried 38 revolvers, with guns such as the BAR, Clyde Barrow's gun of choice. The NRA is a lobbying group no different that AARP or the Sierra Club. The only difference is what they lobby for and against. I am as staunch a supporter of the 2nd amendment as anyone, but to attack the NRA because you think you have a right to own automatic weapons is ridiculous. There is nothing you can do with an automatic rifle that you cannot do with a semi auto except indiscriminately spray rounds. Stealth, training and marksmanship are much more effective than the ability to spray bullets. If you want proof, look at the US military who have been teaching soldiers for years to use three round bursts instead of rock and roll when shooting.

  • pxm||

    The logical solution here would be to just regulate the maximum rate of fire, which I imagine was the original attempt of NFA, rather than playing this weird whackamole with trigger cranks, binary triggers, bump stocks and whatever other mechanical contraptions people can come up with.

  • ||

    The gun itself is a mechanical contraption and regulating the maximum rate of fire is just as much a whack-a-mole game as these trigger modifications.

    The problem is the (fixation on) guns are a proxy for more broad and even less actionable policies that, arguably, the government shouldn't have a hand in either.

    The government that can protect you from anyone, anywhere, and at any time is the same government that can victimize anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Paddock had been employed as a postal worker, IRS Agent, Defense Contract Auditer, etc.

  • Rebel Scum||

    it shows the organization is squishier on gun rights than its reputation suggests.

    Which is why I support GOA.

  • TxJack 112||

    All we have heard is how the bump stock allowed Paddock to fire at a high rate. I have a much larger question that no one seems to want to address. The police say he had 28 rifles in his room and thousands of rounds of ammo. So a single guy checks into a hotel and proceeds to carry up to his room 28 "suitcases" and no one thinks that is suspicious? Sorry but a rifle case has a very specific size and shape. To carry everything he had in his room is only 28 cases, it means he had to have at least 2-4 three rifle cases which are large and very heavy. How did NO ONE notice Paddock was carrying case after case to his room? If one person, or a single security guard would have been paying attention, may be the shooting could have been prevented. No law or ban will keep you safe. Situational awareness and common sense are the only things that keep you safe.

  • TxJack 112||

    All we have heard is how the bump stock allowed Paddock to fire at a high rate. I have a much larger question that no one seems to want to address. The police say he had 28 rifles in his room and thousands of rounds of ammo. So a single guy checks into a hotel and proceeds to carry up to his room 28 "suitcases" and no one thinks that is suspicious? Sorry but a rifle case has a very specific size and shape. To carry everything he had in his room is only 28 cases, it means he had to have at least 2-4 three rifle cases which are large and very heavy. How did NO ONE notice Paddock was carrying case after case to his room? If one person, or a single security guard would have been paying attention, may be the shooting could have been prevented. No law or ban will keep you safe. Situational awareness and common sense are the only things that keep you safe.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    The NRA gambit might be pretty smart actually.

    Make ATF either reaffirm their original decision on the grounds that it doesn't make it a machine gun (still only fires with one pull of the trigger) or admit that they were wrong the first time.

    And of course expose the arbitrary process as the farce it is.

    If they stand by their original decision then the Congress can go to work, and despite the emotions of the day by the time Congress gets to it it may be a different story.

    Then you also start attaching compromises to it like suppressors of the NFA list and NCCR. See how fast the anti's fold when faced with that choice. I think they'd rather let bump stocks stay than give us suppressors and NCCR.

    Personally, though I'd like to think of myself as a 2A absolutist I don't think FA weapons are ever coming back - the American people aren't going to support that - so giving up bump stocks might not be a bad play if we could get the other 2.

    NCCR will do more to destroy the anti gun states laws than anything else we can do short of a SC decision.

    I'm tired of breaking the law when I drive out of AZ into CA.

  • Samb||

    Why is everyone so focused on the bumpfire stocks? Yes they were used, accomplishes the same thing you can do with your thumb and thigh. Inaccurate high speed fire. Its just an adjustable stock with the pin pulled and a handle attached, not a device. What is it about when people don't understand how things work that is what they go after. The guy intended on murdering a lot of people, you think adding one extra law that says he cant put a handle on a stock that moves would have helped? Another knee jerk reaction to a tragedy. Notice how after Newtown, they didn't try to attempt to reopen any of the mental institution that were shut down for budget reasons. Nope just blame pieces of plastic and metal.

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