Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump Administration Set to Announce Pointless, Legally Dubious Bump Stock Ban

Even the Obama administration recognized it didn't have the authority to ban bump stocks.

Jim LoScalzo/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomJim LoScalzo/CNP/AdMedia/NewscomBump stocks are modifications that can be attached to a rifle to increase the rate of fire, often at the expense of accuracy. Nine months after President Donald Trump endorsed a ban on the devices, the administration appears to be on the verge of banning them.

CNN was the first to report the news yesterday evening, citing "officials familiar with the matter." An administration official confirmed to The New York Times that the rule would be unveiled "in the coming days to weeks." Under Trump's new regulation, a source tells CNN, bump stock owners would have 90 days to get rid of the devices on their own or turn them over to authorities.

The issue first rose (temporarily) to the forefront of the national conversation after the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting, where a gunman used such devices as he killed 58 people.

In February 2018, another mass shooting occurred, this one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Though the shooter did not use a bump stock, Trump announced in the aftermath of the tragedy that he would be banning the accessories, directing then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions "to propose regulations that ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns."

In the following months, Trump continued signaling his intention to make bump stocks illegal. "So we're knocking out bump stocks," the president said in October. "And we are in the final couple of weeks."

The administration probably doesn't have the legal authority to do this. Under federal law, a machine gun is defined 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." But a gun equipped with a bump stock is still able only to fire just one round per trigger pull. "Instead of squeezing the trigger, the shooter holds his trigger finger steady while pushing the barrel forward with his other hand, thereby firing a round," Reason's Jacob Sullum explains. "The recoil repositions the trigger, and continuing to exert forward pressure on the barrel makes the rifle fire repeatedly."

As Reason's Christian Britschgi explained in March, this is probably why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has said multiple times that federal restrictions on machine guns do not cover bump stocks. The Obama administration affirmed the legality of bump stocks on three different occasions: once in 2010, again in 2012, and once more in 2013.

As Sen. Diane Feinstein (D–Calif.) said in a February statement: The ATF "currently lacks authority under the law to ban bump stocks."

In addition to being legally questionable, a bump stock ban probably wouldn't do very much. No mass shooters before or after Las Vegas have used bump stocks to carry out their massacres. Even in Las Vegas, the death toll wasn't necessarily higher because the shooter used one.

Most gun enthusiasts have little need for bump stocks. So they're a relatively easy target for those who want more gun control, and a relatively easy sacrifice for gun rights advocates. Hence the reportedly pending ban. As Britschgi argued in October 2017: "Banning bump stocks is something that can be done without pissing too many people off, placating the crowd that after every shooting in America screams for somebody to do something."

Photo Credit: Jim LoScalzo/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

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  • Don't look at me!||

    Trump will now be the hero to the left.

  • Eric||

    You place too little faith in cognitive dissonance. Both the left and right will find a way to spin this to fit their preferred team's politics.

  • BambiB||

    The ban would be "symbolic" - but of what? Victory for douchebags weakening the Second Amendment? Trump should reject this for the political nonsense that it is. People who hate him wouldn't hate him more. Those who like him would like him no less. The issue of mass shootings will be unchanged.

    Vegas? A shooter with a 1903 Springfield (115 years old!) could have killed more than 58 people. The .30-06 develops more force at impact than the .223 develops at the muzzle. A semi-competent marksman firing into a crowd could have been assured a hit with practically every shot. Since the rate of fire would have been much slower, it's likely the source of the shooting would not have been identified as quickly. 20 rounds per minute. 4 seconds to reload after every 5th round. 80% accuracy would produce 160 hits in 10 minutes. Assume an extra 5 minutes of shooting due to slow fire. 300 rounds. 50% lethality for those hit. 120 dead.

    A .30-06 round is 3 TIMES the size of a .223. The hole it leaves is 40% bigger. It doesn't bounce off of bones - it blasts through them. The .30-06 was developed to KILL the enemy. In Vietnam, the goal was to WOUND the enemy (takes more to care for a wounded soldier.) A .30-06 is big enough for any game animal on the North American continent (including Moose and Grizzlies). The .223 isn't powerful enough to hunt deer, and is banned for that use in many states for that reason.

  • Ragnarredbeard||

    Not that .223 designed to wound crapola again. It was not designed to wound. It was designed to be lighter and faster than previous ammunition because the terminal effects at common engagement ranges was equal to or better than previous generation ammunition, especially with the originally designed bullet shape and rifling twist. A .30-06 bullet has more energy, yes. Its also intended for longer engagement distances, which analysis during and after WW2 showed that you don't really need a bullet that's lethal to 1000 yards when most engagements occur at less than 300 yards.

    Would also note that the Soviets and Chinese, who would have been the main targets, didn't carry wounded guys off the field. Medical care, if it got to you at all, would have been from the 2nd echelon coming up. The Soviets didn't give a damn about the wounded.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Whether it was "designed to wound" or not is not the point.

    Shot for shot I'd prefer the .223/5.56mm to a .30-06 hitting me any day.

    There is no substitute for mass and velocity.

    If the Las Vegas shooter had used .308 or .30-06 the kill ratio would almost certainly have been higher.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    As Britschgi argued in October 2017: "Banning bump stocks is something that can be done without pissing too many people off, placating the crowd that after every shooting in America screams for somebody to do something."

    It's naive to think that this or any other gun control measure short of a total ban will "placate" the antigun crowd.

  • Juice||

    The UK is the prime model. Now the cops go on weapons sweeps confiscating everyone's butter knives. And I'm not exaggerating.

  • Yellow Tony||

    As long as they don't touch my margarine knives, I'm cool.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Waiting for LC1789 to come here and breathlessly tell us all how Trump is the most libertarian of all presidents.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    He's probably in gym class right now.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Does anybody else want to smell lc1789's sweaty gym clothes? The smell of a pubescent boy after a period of physical exertion is heavenly.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm waiting for him to come in and beat the crap out of you vexatious morons for the thousandth time. And I doubt he supports the bump stock ban. But then, people like him are capable of independent thought separate from political dogma, or or soft headed, emotional, sophist thinking.

  • Mithrandir||

    Solid satire.

  • Harvard||

    What will be the penalty for hooking your thumb in your belt loop and bump firing from the hip? Or simply bump firing from the shoulder without using a belt loop?

  • buybuydandavis||

    I see no indication there would be.

  • BambiB||

    They cut off your thumb, of course.

  • TxJack 112||

    A bump stock ban is meaningless because unless it is a law passed by Congress is only applies to the definition from the ATF. The ATF can restrict the sale of bump stocks like it does suppressors but Congress is the only entity that can ban them by passing a law.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Congress is supposed to be the only branch to levy taxes and tariffs as well. How is that working?

  • Mr. Dyslexic||

    Are they coming after rubber bands next?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Shoelaces and keyrings.

  • Ken Hagler||

    The BATFE has already rule that a shoelace is a machine gun, although they later changed their minds.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Let's just cut to the chase and outlaw murder.

  • JWatts||

    No, that's not nearly enough. We need to outlaw hate thoughts!

  • BambiB||

    Outlaw lilbtards.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Redrum! Redrum!

  • DiegoF||

    No murder? Fuck off, slaver.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...after the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting, where a gunman used such devices as he killed 58 people.

    There was a mass shooting in Las Vegas?

  • BillEverman||

    As would I, if I could develop a sarcasm detector that didn't require repeated recalibration.

  • Shirley Knott||


  • Yellow Tony||


  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Trump's eleventy-dimensional chess to make Democrats oppose it.

  • JWatts||

    More likely, Trump will push it but doesn't really care. It will get challenged in court. His administration will defend it weakly. It will be overturned and the precedent will be set.

    I'm not sure if that was the intention. It's more likely a blind squirrel finding a nut. But it does seem likely to end up being a setback for Gun control advocates.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>get rid of the devices on their own or turn them over to authorities.

    or what?

  • LiborCon||

    Or you don't.

  • DiegoF||

    Don't worry our pretty little heads about administrative overreach! The courts will overturn this regulation faster than you can say Jack Robinson. That will destroy the Republicans' disingenuous efforts to duck this issue after the next "mass shooting." Do we really think we can get 40 Senators to stand up against a proper bump stock ban statute at that point? And then it will be "legitimate." Turn in your bump stocks, gentlemen. Next stop we revisit that Bush-era long-shoelace ban suggestion.

  • DiegoF||

    Because that was a statute, Einstein. I didn't say overturn it on 2A grounds.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Only if someone is going to challenge it.

    As far as I can tell the bump stock makers have folded up shop.

    The NRA certainly isn't going to file suit, they were on the bandwagon cheering this.

    So, it will become administrative "law".

  • DiegoF||

    You have to turn over your bump stocks. So anyone who owns one would have standing.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    I don't have one.

    I also doubt that any individual is going to challenge it.

    That would cost a lot of money and I doubt that Gura (Heller etal) would pursue it, nor any of the gun rights organizations.

    I could be wrong of course.

  • DiegoF||

    What role do you keep seeing a gun rights organization playing here at all? They typically are not plaintiffs themselves in gun-rights cases anyway, as they're not normally the easiest party to demonstrate standing; they simply can pay legal expenses if necessary. All you need is a single person who wishes to keep his bump stock; and a law firm who wishes to work pro bono for the sake of the 2A, or a libertarian group, or gun rights group who opposes a bump stock ban (like the GOA). It's not very hard to find any of that.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    gun rights orgs would bankroll the suit.

    that single person buy the way is going to likely have to be arrested first, convicted and then take his case thru the courts.

    you know ANY gun owner willing to do that?

  • DiegoF||

    As I said, yes, a gun rights org, a libertarian org, or the law firm itself could bankroll the suit. All of which there are plenty who oppose bump stock bans.

    Also there are plenty of libertarians willing to get themselves arrested on principle. Some of them are big YouTube personalities. I think you could find a room's worth in New Hampshire alone.

    Also all it would take is one bump stock owner to actually get convicted for possession, whether or not he planned it deliberately.

    Also since when would it even take that? What exactly were Heller or McDonald arrested for? (And which one was bankrolled by the NRA?)

  • DiegoF||

    *or a generous individual

  • DiegoF||

    Actually I take that back about the libertarians. It depends on the penalty. It will probably be pretty severe, so maybe not. Everything else stands.

  • DiegoF||

    *libertarians being willing to go to prison for this

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Are YOU going to volunteer?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Heller and MacDonald didn't need to be arrested. They could apply for the license, be turned down and sue on that basis.

    Your hypothetical gun owner willing to risk becoming a Federal FELON (15 years in the pokey) over a toy is a much rarer commodity.

    The mfg's had the financial incentive to sue to overturn the administrative "law" and I don't see any indication they're going to do so.

    But I'll look forward to reading about YOUR pursuit of justice over bump stocks.

  • DiegoF||

    First of all, I didn't say ME. I am just a dude sitting at a keyboard; maybe I am a pussy. Second of all, I realized I made a mistake about that and took it back. Third of all, YOU are the one who imagines that one needs to be convicted to have standing in the first place. I have been disputing that from square one.

    Perhaps no bump stock owner will deliberately provoke a 15 year sentence over this. But as I explained, he will not need to. You think every single bump stock owner is now going to turn over his toy to the Feds? Or will some of them decide to roll the dice, the way every day countless Americans hold on to small personal drug stashes that risk them felony collars if the cops do decide to bust down their doors and search the place? Well, all it takes is one unlucky fellow to do that. Perhaps it's stupid. So be it. (By the way how has that New York State SAFE Act registration compliance been going?)

    Second, suppose I did buy a bump stock. Now the ATF has announced a law saying I will have to hand over my property to the government before a certain date. I don't want to do that, and I claim the law requiring me to do that is unconstitutional. Boom. Standing. It does not depend on any criminal penalty even existing; the loss of my property is sufficient.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Maybe you can challenge the law without being arrested, maybe not. Maybe you can do this with very little money, maybe not.

    My response to you is based on the fact that YOU are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN this will be overturned by the courts. My ire gets raised real fast by people who are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN something will happen.

    I think it is far from certain, indeed much closer to the certain that it won't be overturned by the courts because no individual is going to challenge it.

  • DiegoF||

    I am sorry about your ire. I am quite confident nonetheless that some person in the United States of America will eventually be caught, or claimed to be caught, with a bump stock. And I am quite confident that having to hand over your private property to the government (or any other party) in accordance with a law gives you standing to challenge the law's constitutionality. I don't know what to say if this is not obvious to you.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "The courts will overturn this regulation faster than you can say Jack Robinson."

    "will eventually be caught, or claimed to be caught, with a bump stock."

    You keep moving the goal posts.

    "And I am quite confident that having to hand over your private property to the government (or any other party) in accordance with a law gives you standing to challenge the law's constitutionality"

    I've never said otherwise.

    Most of the people who have bought bump stocks are sophisticated gun owners who will likely know that they now have a prohibited item and will take great care to see that they are not caught with it.

    So, I think you'll likely be able to say "jack robinson" a gazillion times before anyone gets a chance in court to challenge this "law".

    And no individual is going to place themselves in the Federal cross-hairs over this on purpose.

  • DiegoF||

    You keep moving the goal posts.

    No, I don't. I acknowledge that it might take some time for someone to be caught with a bump stock. Not as much time as you believe, I think. I don't care how "sophisticated gun owner" you are (let us put aside the bizarre claim that this describes "most of the people who bought bump stocks," of all things), I do not know what sort of "great care" is going to keep you from "getting caught" with it when the police are executing a permissible search on whatever grounds. Why I don't even know why we have any limitations on law enforcement searches at all; we could all just take "great care" with anything we desire. But all of this is superfluous to my argument...

  • DiegoF||

    I've never said otherwise.

    And there you have it. If you acknowledge that anyone who owns a bump stock has standing to sue the government merely by virtue of its demand to turn over his property to them, then any speculation about the likelihood of the above is moot. I do not have to wait for a bump stock owner to be caught with a secret illegal bump stock, to see this case go to court. I merely need to wait for one to say, "I have a bump stock in my ownership and possession currently. I purchased it when it was legal to do so. You now propose to confiscate this legally obtained private property of mine, to demand that I turn it over to the government. I believe that I need not do that, that this demand by the federal police is illegal and not authorized by statute. Therefore I am suing to have this regulation overturned and keep my property."

    There are no "Federal cross-hairs" to this action. It does not require that the individual be convicted or even be at risk of being convicted. No I do not believe it will take a long time to find a bump stock owner willing to take a stand like this. Fuck, a libertarian activist with no interest in bump stocks or even guns could find a bump stock owner planning to meekly turn over his property to the state, buy it instead from him, and file this lawsuit. And yes, there would be plenty willing to do it because again there would be no risk of criminal prosecution.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Again, I've never said no one has standing.

    And yes, you could even theoretically sue based upon the case that you want to BUY one but can't because it would be illegal and you challenge that, and so not be in any cross-hairs.

    My argument has always been that no individual is going to do that because it costs too much money.

    Why don't you do it?

    You won't?

    Point taken?

  • AZ Gunowner||

    If you don't use it you are extremely likely to not "get caught".

    It is possible of course that the Feds could/would get the sales and go looking for them. CA has done such.

    But I'm not so sure the Feds will go that far in this instance.

    Additionally, they are just substitute stocks for rifles, easy to take off and can be hidden away without great difficulty and the AR returned to normal functionality. I know someone who has 2 of them. And all he has to do is store them off his property and stay mum when/if the Feds come around (5th A and all that). No, I think the Feds know that this would be a pretty fruitless method of rounding them up.

    But let us suppose someone is stupid enough to "get caught".

    That is not oh just give us the bump stock and be on your way you can fight us in court if you want it back.

    No, that is oh hey we're putting you in JAIL for 15 years. Now you've got to fight just to get acquitted of a Federal Felony and that ain't cheap.

    Sure you can throw out the Constitutionality defense but I'll give you good odds the local Federal court is going to convict you. I wouldn't want to bet 15 years on any jury.

    So after that you're fighting an appeals process. A LOT more money. And, you are in jail.

    It isn't going to be reversed faster than you can say "Jack Robinson".

  • ImanAzol||

    The faggots at the NRA ASKED for this ban.

    The pussies at GOA have filed no suits, despite insisting they're "No compromise."

  • Non Usable Body||

    GOA has said that they're going to file suit.

  • Bubba Jones||

    nth dimension chess.

    Trump "bans" bump stocks.

    Courts toss the ban.

    Trump gets to have it all ways. He gets credit for a ban. He gets to lash out at the judiciary. The gun constituency doesn't hate him as much because the ban was ineffective.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    And if he has to sacrifice a few pawns (Americans) so be it? Someone needs legal standing to sue which means they got fucked.

  • Jerryskids||

    So what's the primary difference between the Obama-administration BATF and the Trump-administration BATF? I imagine that about 99% of the BATF employees in both cases are the exact same people and 99% of them don't give a rat's ass who's nominally in charge, they know who really runs things at the BATF and it's them.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    This doesn't go nearly far enough. We need to ban deadly military style assault weapons.

    Related: David Hogg has another brilliant idea!

    Congress ought to create a federal tax on gun sales to fund gun violence research.

    Guns and ammo should be taxed at rates far higher than they are now. Partly to discourage people — especially poor people — from buying them, of course, but also because the additional research money will produce valuable results. For example, research shows the assault weapons ban of the 1990s was a smashing success, but the NRA's influence kept it from being renewed. So once again these weapons of war are legal on our streets, and the results have been predictable.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Related: David Hogg has another brilliant idea!

    LOL! You've really had your "A" game going lately!

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    If it were up to me we'd overturn Heller and recognize that the Second Amendment only protects a collective right. That's why it refers to a "militia" after all.

    Of course I want to ban assault weapons, but that's only the first step.

  • LiborCon||

    The right to keep and bear arms is no more a collective right than freedom of speech, religion, the right of assembly, protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, protection against double jeopardy, protection against self-incrimination, due process, trial by jury, right to confront one's accusers, or right to an attorney are.

    The term militia is in the prefatory clause which describes the purpose of the amendment but doesn't limit it to a collective right. Prior to the ratification of the US Constitution several states had amendments to their Constitutions describing the right to keep and bear arms as and individual right not dependent on service in a militia.

    MARYLAND (November 11, 1776)
    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."

  • Wizard4169||

    Those state amendments were obsolete with adoption of the federal Constitution. Check the Supremacy Clause.

    That's not even how that works. Since a state constitution is binding only on that state, there is no reason that state constitutions can't provide greater protections than the federal constitution, and many do. Granted, these protections are binding only on the state government and not the feds, but that does't make them "obsolete".

    And it was Scalia who reaffirmed the constitutionality of a ban on semi-automatics in Heller, since 1939, by noting the bans on "unusual and dangerous:" weapons at ratification.

    Semi-auto weapons been in common use for more that a century. They've been used by the military, police, hunters, target shooters and ordinary citizens seeking to protect themselves. They are neither unusual nor uniquely dangerous, and therefore clearly not open to a blanket ban. (Scalia's language was unusually sloppy there. After all, a weapon that isn't "dangerous" to at least some degree isn't much of a weapon.)

  • LiborCon||

    There were also alternate versions of the Second Amendment that acknowledged that the right to keep and bear arms was an individual right.

    The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania To Their Constituents
    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up: and that the military shall be kept under strict subordination to and be governed by the civil powers."

    "The inhabitants of the several states shall have liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times, on the lands they hold, and on all other lands in the United States not inclosed, and in like manner to fish in all navigable waters, and others not private property, without being restrained therein by any laws to be passed by the legislature of the United States."

    The people living at the time of ratification knew what the second amendment meant, they also knew that people would lie and distort it's meaning:

    Samual Adams
    "The Constitution shall never be prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."

  • ImanAzol||

    A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.

    Only the well-educated electorate have the right to keep and read books.

    Which means everyone not liberal.

    I'm okay with that.

  • Wizard4169||

    Okay, I think my head just imploded. You want to repeal the 2A to assure a right to self-defense? I can't even begin to fathom the thought process behind that. We're well into insane troll logic territory here.

    Let's examine the idea with some real logic. Is there a right to life? I believe so, and you claim to. If there is, then a right to self-defense logically follows, since a right without a means to enforce it is meaningless. A right to self-defense logically implies a right to own and possess an effective means of self-defense. Otherwise, this right once again degenerates into meaningless rhetoric. As to what constitutes an effective means, that has obviously changed with time. Currently, guns represent the most effective means, but this wasn't true in the past (when guns didn't exist or weren't reliable and widely available) and may not be true in the future (when someone invents something better). This is precisely why the founders used the generic term "arms" in the 2A.

    If you believe the 2A should be repealed, fine, argue for that. Don't try to redefine it.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Despite Scalia's somewhat confusing Dicta Heller does not stand for that proposition.

    If and when the SC actually takes up the question of so-called "assault rifle" bans then we will get an answer to that question.

    I don't think your confidence in the preferred answer is something you should be that sure of.

  • Wizard4169||

    Only one question: how long did you study? Because, seriously, no one is born this stupid.

    Also, close your damn tags!

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Quote the language where he EXPLICITLY defends "it".

    Yes, PLEASE tell me where.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Good examples of reading words and assigning different meanings to them.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Wow, this post is filled with many of the same insights I used to read in Michael Hihn's comments. Sadly, it seems Reason banned him. But I'm happy there are still plenty more anti-NRA libertarians around here. In time I'm confident the rest of the libertarian movement will embrace the Democratic Party's position on guns.


  • Arizona_Guy||

    OBL, you magnificent bastard!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Love it!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Hihn was banned solely because he defended libertarian values against the raging aggression here by the alt-right cyber-bullies."

    George likes his chicken spicy.

  • Wizard4169||

    Oh, dear gods, there's another one? How have I been lucky enough to miss them?

  • buybuydandavis||

    David Nolan - Sock = Hihn

  • buybuydandavis||

    "what *he* says"

    George likes his chicken spicy.

  • Wizard4169||

    What a chickenshit pussy.

    This is your counter-example of a polite and well-reasoned argument?

    Tell uis Sluggo, how the FUCK does it matter WHO posts a supported position

    I hope it doesn't matter too much, because it must get rough keeping track of which of your alters is currently driving.

  • ImanAzol||

    "Breeding ground for the alt-right"?

    It's been sucking ctrl-left cock for most of the last five years.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "It traces to Ron Paul, who is a founding godfather of the alt-right"

    In case anyone missed these words of wisdom.

  • Wizard4169||

    Let's play Hihn bingo! Pretty sure this post won the cover-all. Every single logically and factually incorrect assertion, contradiction and talking shrieking point.

    There's no reason to buy a bump stock, since -- if this is correct, they can't shoot any faster. But this is misleading, since the bump stock increases the firing rate to to dozens in a few seconds.

    Bump stocks make it easier to fire rapidly, but do not increase the weapon's actual rate of fire. As several other commenters have pointed out, there are many techniques for firing rapidly which require either perfectly ordinary items or no additional items at all. Bump firing, with or without a bump stock, may allow more rounds to be fired in a given amount of time, but it also makes it somewhere between difficult and impossible to fire accurately. If someone tries to murder me, I hope he uses a bump stock. Odds are excellent he'll burn through the mag without ever hitting me.

  • Wizard4169||

    Why compare with machines guns, when it's totally constitutional to blame semi-automatic weapons since 1939, and reaffirmed by Scalia in Heller (The NRA was powerless against the ban for 10 long years)

    Neither Miller (I assume that's what you're referring to with the "1939".) nor Heller support your persistently incorrect assertion. In Miller, the Court declared that the 2A only protected weapons "suitable for militia service". Since the AR15 and many other semi-auto weapons are clearly suitable for militia service, a blanket semi-auto ban is clearly unconstitutional. Scalia said that weapons "in common use" were protected. Semi-auto firearms have been widely used for more than a century, so once again there's clearly no grounds for a blanket ban.
    The NRA failed to challenge the AWB for political and tactical reasons, not because of its ironclad constitutionality.

  • Wizard4169||

    Not sure why Reason sucks up to the NRA so shamelessly, in clear violation of individual liberties and fundamental rights, since NO unalienable rights can be absolute,

    You must be very intelligent, because this is the special kind of stupidity that's only available to the very bright. How can unalienable rights not be absolute? And while I'd agree that the NRA doesn't do a perfect (or sometimes even very good) job of defending individual liberties and fundamental rights, I don't think supporting them is necessarily a "clear violation" of said rights.

    Then again,many believe that reality can be changed by forceful bellowing.

    Projection, thy name is Hihn. It doesn't matter how many times you repeat your stupidity, it doesn't get any less stupid. Being wrong consistently and for a long time doesn't make you any less wrong.

  • Arizona_Guy||

    Really, Congress just needs to declare every American's body a "bullet free zone."

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Magic force fields for everyone!

  • buybuydandavis||

    The clear legislative intent is to ban automatics but not semi-automatics, not merely in that particular law, but throughout the legislative history.

    Bump stocks effectively create an automatic by a mechanism attached to the trigger. That they cleverly made your finger part of that mechanism does not make it any less a mechanism. That Congress didn't anticipate this work around to the regulation doesn't change their intent. It's about speed of fire and human agency in the choice to fire each bullet.

    It's hard to write requirements. They wrote them poorly here.

    "The administration probably doesn't have the legal authority to do this."

    Maybe. Maybe not. And that's the problem. It's unclear.

    This will get challenged and the Supremes will rule.
    If in favor, then the clear legislative intent will be given force.
    If against, then the Supremes will give their interpretation, likely giving direction for how the law could be written to achieve the clear legislative intent.

    This is not marching off people to the ovens. This is working through an imperfect process of codifying legislative intent. Laws are often unclear. They get clarified by actually challenging them. You can't ask for an advisory opinion from the Court.

  • DiegoF||

    Semiautos can bump fire. It's not an "illegal technique" or anything. If Congress meant to ban bump firing, ban weapons that can do that, it would have banned semiautos. Bump firing is certainly not the functional equivalent of full auto. And I have not heard of a product being said to include parts not even present within it, let alone the user himself.

    In any case the dominant conservative legal philosophy does not claim to recognize legislative intent. And the newest SCOTUS justice is known, perhaps above all else, for his desire to real in administrative overreach. And the Obama ATF, and the present Democratic leadership, have all insisted that the executive does not, in fact, have the legal authority to do this.

    Also Congress hardly needs Court advice on how to write a law banning bump stocks. It would be an incredibly straightforward undertaking. The cases where they need the Court's advice on how to redraft a law are those where there is a potential clash between the statute and the Constitution. This they can redraft tomorrow, quite easily. (For instance, just copypaste the new ATF regulation into your bill; whatever devices the former does indeed succeed in specifying as illegal, a statute explicity including that wording will make illegal.)

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Bump firing is certainly not the functional equivalent of full auto."

    Bump firing is between normal fire and full auto designed as full auto. We'll see what the Supremes have to say.

    "In any case the dominant conservative legal philosophy does not claim to recognize legislative intent."

    True enough. I didn't say that it did.

    "Also Congress hardly needs Court advice on how to write a law banning bump stocks. It would be an incredibly straightforward undertaking."

    The Supremes will rule on the specifics of bump stocks under the current law. Congress will find out if they *need* to ban bumpstocks, or if they are considered already banned under current language.

  • Wizard4169||

    A weapon is either semi-auto or full auto. Pulling the trigger really fast doesn't change that. Bump firing, with or without a bump stock, is just a method for pulling the trigger faster. This is an idea so simple that even F Troop got it right.

  • ImanAzol||

    You have absolutely no fucking idea what you're talking about, regarding how firearms function.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Well reasoned retort!

  • Ragnarredbeard||

    Bump stocks don't attach anything to the trigger.

  • M.L.||

    What part of SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED don't folks understand?

  • DiegoF||

    Probably the "shall." Who the fuck talks like that? Plus back then it was all "ſhall not be infringed" and shit.

  • M.L.||

    Damn! Probably right.

  • Wizard4169||

    All of it, clearly.

  • Truthteller1||

    I'm very pro gun and I couldn't care less. They are a means to circumvent laws against fully automatic weapons and should be illegal.

  • buybuydandavis||


    The clear intention and expectation of the legislative history is to ban automatics. One bullet per willful firing.

    Making your finger part of an automatic fire mechanism is a clever attempt to circumvent those intentions. Maybe the Supremes agree it does. Maybe not.

  • ArmyATC||

    And why should automatics be illegal? I am of the opinion that if the police can have it, the civilian population should as well. They are a civilian police force, not an occupying army and should not be equipped any better than the people in the community where they work.

  • Robert Crim||

    I won't miss bump stocks, BUT READ THE FINE PRINT!

    Not only does this effort make possession or manufacture of the stocks illegal, IT WILL REQUIRE CURRENT OWNERS EITHER TO DESTROY ANY THEY OWN OR OBLIGE THEM TO TURN THEM INTO THE GOVERNMENT.

    Which has to be the WORST precedent attempted in this never-ending battle to "control" guns by violating the Ninth and Second amendments.

    If the Government can assert power to force a turn-in of the stocks, then that will become precedent for future demands that citizens surrender the entire weapon.

    Which is why everyone needs to write Congress and the President today, saying you oppose such a ban.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Were owners of automatics grandfathered in, or did they have to turn them in?

    I would have expected the latter.

    In this case, no one has to turn in their semi autos, they just have to turn in their bump stocks for them.

  • Wizard4169||

    So it's okay to steal some property?

    As for full autos (and other NFA items), it was originally possible to keep them, with restrictions only applying to transfers of new and existing machine guns. Over the years, there were several amnesties allowing for registration of existing NFA items. Then the Hughes Amendment banned the sale of any new machine guns to private citizens. Machine guns that were privately owned prior to passage may still be possessed and sold. Making this part of the "Firearms Owners Protection Act" is a bit of irony that I'd savor, if it weren't so stupid. One more reason I don't kneel at the altar of Saint Ronnie.

    As for why it's stupid, do you know how many crimes have been committed with legally owned machine guns since passage of the NFA? I'm aware of two. Fun fact: both of those crimes were committed by cops, not private citizens. To the best of my knowledge, exactly zero private citizens have committed any crime using a legally owned machine gun.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Whether or not bump stocks are the equivalent of an automatic weapon, or indeed whether automatic rifles etc should be subject to regulation and such does or does not run afoul of the 2A is not the most important part of this discussion.

    The MOST IMPORTANT idea here is that an administrative agency can declare you to be a felon one day for owning an otherwise benign contraption when 3 times (?) previously it determined said contraption wasn't a fully automatic weapon and that it couldn't classify as such under the law.

    Now it is.

    This is the RULE OF MEN, not of LAW.

    It is perhaps the most important idea the Founders fought a Civil War with England over.

    I'm so glad to see that YOU, and whole lot of other people, no longer give a sh&t about the dangers of the RULE OF MEN.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "We libertarians" who want to "Repeal 2A as obsolete".

    I guess that the Royal We of socks Ellis Wyatt and David Nolan.

    Even pomo Reason hasn't come out for repealing the 2A yet.

  • ArmyATC||

    And NO militia even exists


    wrong. Google "State Defense Force" and tell me there are no militias

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "I see you are rather uninformed regarding SCOTUS rulings on 2A"

    I've forgotten more about the 2A than you ever knew.

    As the SC EXPLICITY said in Cruishank (then endorsed AGAIN in Miller) the right to arms existed PRIOR to the adoption of the Constitution/2A and "doesn't depend on that instrument for its existence".

    The militia clause of the 2A is probably the only phrase in the Constitution that actually has ZERO effect.

    It neither adds nor subtracts from Congress's power over the militia (ditto for the States).

    It was a "consolation prize" to the anti-Federalists who tried to stop the adoption of the Constitution, and tried to amend it to remove the power of the Congress to raise a standing army and return control of the militia's back to the states.

    They lost at every turn in that regard.

    All we got from the anti-Federalist opposition to the new Constitution was the Bill of Rights. A bill protecting INDIVIDUAL rights.

    The militia issues you raise are irrelevant to all of this discussion.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    An actual cogent argument would be nice. But we won't get that from you so what is the point.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Different interpretations of statutory law by different administrations. An inevitable part of the Rule of Law.

  • Non Usable Body||

    It needs to get struck down, on separation of powers grounds if nothing else - although it should get whacked on takings clause grounds and second amendment grounds too (I'm not terribly hopeful there). POTUS and his minions - whatever the agency, but in this case the ATF - should NOT be able to unilaterally redefine things to ban them. Allowing POTUS to do that is a horrible, horrible precedent.

  • ||

    Except that they won't stop screaming because we "did something." The only way to guarantee no mass shootings is to ban an confiscate all guns and institute a police state. Until we do that, they'll still keep screaming.

  • Wizard4169||

    Oh, they'll keep screaming even then. Even if it were seriously attempted, universal confiscation is doomed to failure. Even if someone could wave a magic wand and make every firearm on earth disappear, along with the knowledge of how to make new ones, that would hardly put an end to violence. After all, people managed to kill and injure each other for thousands of years before guns were invented.

    I totally agree that it's a bad idea to even toss the grabbers a bone with a bump stock ban. When they're being honest, they freely admit that their proposals are merely first steps. And when those first steps don't have the desired effect, they'll just call for more. I find it hard to believe that they will ever step back and admit it's not working. Failure can only mean we haven't gone far enough!

  • ||

    The only time they're willing to admit they were wrong and repeal something is if it costs the government money (like the Maryland stamping rule that didn't solve a single crime). As long as the burden is borne by someone else, they don't care. That's why the idiotic interstate handgun ban is still on the books. It's absurd that if you have a Texas carry license that is honored by Louisiana that you can't just buy a pistol in Louisiana to begin with.

  • Non Usable Body||

    If your examples covered more than just the US and Britain, you'd have drawn a pretty different conclusion. On a per capita basis, for both death rate and rate of occurrence, we rank below #50 - with "first world" and "developing" countries both above and below us in rates.
    In 1910, England and Wales had a murder rate of .81. In 2010, it was 1.14. In that timeframe, they went from effectively no gun control, to incredibly strict gun control, and their homicide rate changed very little - in fact, a decade by decade look shows that (at least when data is available) their homicide rate can't really be attributed to any major policy, because it was incredibly stable for all years that we have data (the record high and low have less than a 1 per 100,000 difference).
    Over that same timeframe, the US murder rate started at 4.6, ended at 4.8, and had a high of just over 10 per 100,000, and the fluctuations don't really correlate to the timeline of landmark gun control legislation in the US.
    Your inconvenient facts aren't really inconvenient... All they demonstrate is that Brits, for some reason, are unlikely to murder each other, be it individually, or in job lots.

  • Non Usable Body||

    No, thank you for playing. Using UNODC 2016 numbers:
    The world as a whole is 6.2.
    The Americas as a whole is 16.3
    Africa's is 12.5.
    Russia is 10.82
    The Czech Republic (with the loosest firearm laws in the world after us) is .61
    Switzerland (depending on who's stats you use, the #2 or #3 country for firearms ownership) is .54
    Yemen (the other competitor for #2) is 6.66

    About the only thing you can draw from current UNODC statistics is "No Correlation".
    The US has twice (or more - estimates for number of guns have been fairly stable at "about 300,000,000" for over a decade) as many guns per capita as the next country on the list. Our high
    Two of the top three countries by gun ownership are below the average - in Switzerland's case WELL below the average - and the third is only slightly above it.

  • Non Usable Body||

    I'll add though, that given the EXTREME variance from one estimate to the next, about the only thing that can be said as far as how many guns are out there is that the US has a metric butt ton, probably between 1 and 2 per person.

  • Non Usable Body||

    As for your questions
    1. Assuming that voluntarily armed teachers are equivalent to any other voluntarily armed citizen, and assuming that they choose to engage, you've got roughly a 75% chance that it'll be the next asshole who tries to commit a mass shooting, and a roughly 18% chance that they won't stop the asshole outright, but will reduce the number of innocent lives lost.

    2. Australia, the Philippines, and Brazil, with their high numbers of homemade SMGs (some of which are just as good professionally made SMGs) would suggest otherwise. As would the fact that murder and crime rates (both worldwide and internal to the US) don't correlate to gun ownership.

    3. Britain has had a low homicide rate since we've been keeping track. The others are all similar, plus their total combined population is less than that of the New York Metrolitan statistical area, spread out over a much larger land area.

    4. There are no absolute rights in conflict here. Gun ownership doesn't have any statistically noticeable effect on murder, mass murder, or crime in general, and there's no such thing as a right to feel safe.

    You certainly seem to be advocating a gun grab. Either that, or your Google-fu sucks in just the right way to make it seem like you're cherry picking statistics.

    PS: "ActualRightWingPatriot" said "guarantee", not reduce, so you didn't actually do anything to disprove his point.

  • Non Usable Body||

    Aaand... It looks like the GOA may very well have the balls to challenge this. Or at least they're talking big about it on their Facebook.

  • jerryg1018||

    "Bump stocks are modifications that can be attached to a rifle to increase the rate of fire,"

    Bump stocks DO NOT increase the rate of fire. A semi-auto rifle can only fire so many rounds per minute regardless of whether the trigger mechanism is being actuated with a finger or bump stock. The ATF evaluated bump stocks and determined they were "accessories." If the increased the rate of fire the ATF would have banned them for converting a semi-auto rifle to full auto which must be licensed and taxed.
    Yes, it's legal to own fully auto firearms provided one pays the licensing fees and taxes.


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