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Trump's Bump Stock Ban Shows Once Again He Is Happy to Ignore Inconvenient Laws

The administration usurps Congress by redefining machine guns.

Slide Fire SolutionsSlide Fire SolutionsToday the Justice Department finalized its ban on bump stocks, which Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker claims merely "clarifies" federal law. It actually rewrites federal law, a function the Constitution assigns to Congress. Whitaker also wants us to believe that the bump stock ban shows "President Donald Trump is a law and order president." To the contrary, it shows he is a president who ignores the law whenever it proves inconvenient.

The final rule defines "bump-stock-type devices" as "machineguns" under 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." That understanding of the law contradicts the plain language of the NFA, the position repeatedly taken by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) during the Obama administration, and the interpretation endorsed by both supporters and opponents of a legislative ban.

The NFA 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 bump stock harnesses recoil energy to make a rifle slide back after it is fired, resetting the trigger. If the shooter maintains forward pressure on the barrel, the trigger will bump against his stationary finger, causing the gun to fire again, and so on. This technique increases the rate of fire, but the rifle is still shooting just one round for each function of the trigger.

The Justice Department had to find a way around the clear meaning of the law because the president promised to ban bump stocks by administrative fiat after they were used by the perpetrator of an attack that killed 58 people in Las Vegas last year. The DOJ accomplished that trick by defining "a single function of the trigger" as "a single pull of the trigger" and defining pull to exclude what happens during bump fire. According to this account, when the trigger is activated by bumping against the trigger finger, that is not, contrary to logic and appearances, a "function of the trigger."

Another problem for DOJ was that a rifle equipped with a bump stock does not operate "automatically," since the shooter has to maintain "constant forward pressure with the non-trigger hand on the barrel-shroud or fore-grip of the rifle, and constant rearward pressure on the device's extension ledge with the shooter's trigger finger," as the rule notes. The Justice Department resolved that difficulty by treating the shooter as part of the rifle mechanism.

According to the rule, "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 shooter." That gloss is accurate only if you ignore the role of the human who pushes the rifle forward to engage the trigger and if you insist that activating the trigger in that manner does not count as "physical manipulation of the trigger." The DOJ claims this counterintuitive perspective reflects "the best interpretation of the term 'machinegun,'" by which it means the interpretation that facilitates the result demanded by the president.

As Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut, lawyers representing the Firearms Policy Coalition, noted in comments on the rule, the DOJ's "interpretative jiggery-pokery" is "pure applesauce." It not only is inconsistent with what everyone previously understood the law to mean, but it arbitrarily targets certain products when the DOJ's reasoning would cover all manner of jury-rigged setups that make bump fire possible. "An individual does not require a bump-stock device in order to bump-fire a factory semi-automatic firearm," Prince and Kraut write. "ATF readily acknowledges that bump-firing can be lawfully achieved through the 'use [of] rubber bands, belt loops, or [to] otherwise train their trigger finger to fire more rapidly,' in a clear statement of its intent to unequally apply the law."

Given those alternatives, not to mention the tradeoff between speed and accuracy for shooters using bump stocks, it is doubtful that banning them will have any noticeable impact on the lethality of mass shootings. At the same time, it seems like they ought to be covered by the Second Amendment as arms that are "in common use for lawful purposes," even if they are by no means necessary to exercise the constitutional right to armed self-defense. But the question is not whether banning bump stocks is a good idea. The question is whether bump stocks are already banned.

Although the Obama administration was much more supportive of gun control than the Trump administration, it repeatedly declared that bump stocks were legal, meaning that banning them would require a new act of Congress. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a dogged gun controller, agreed. This is one of the few gun-related questions on which Feinstein sees eye to eye with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), leader of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus. When you look at the law, you can see why: Only by stretching and distorting it can you achieve the end ordered by Trump.

Politically, a bump stock ban makes sense. Like most gun control measures, it creates the appearance of doing something about deadly violence. Furthermore, this particular measure won't raise the hackles of the National Rifle Association, which pre-emptively endorsed an administrative ban on bump stocks, or open the door to more ambitious restrictions, as seeking new legislation from Congress might. Next to those benefits, the political cost of turning otherwise law-abiding gun tinkerers into felons if they fail to destroy or surrender their property seems negligible, notwithstanding the opposition of a few smaller gun rights groups.

Legally, however, the precedent set by Trump's bump stock ban is troubling, regardless of how you feel about the Second Amendment or define its scope. The president does not have the authority to rewrite laws that interfere with his agenda, whether the subject is guns or immigration. Principled critics of this administration should call Trump out whenever he oversteps his legal powers, even when they happen to like the outcome.

Update: Today the Firearms Policy Coalition filed a federal lawsuit challenging Trump's bump stock ban. "The ATF has misled the public about bump-stock devices," said Joshua Prince, one of the group's lawyers. "Worse, they are actively attempting to make felons out of people who relied on their legal opinions to lawfully acquire and possess devices the government unilaterally, unconstitutionally, and improperly decided to reclassify as 'machineguns.'"

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  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The first thing that Trump's done right and Reason has to quibble with it.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Dafuq? This is clearly a violation of not only making an Ex Post Facto law, Trump doesn't have the power to do this unless you think the son of a bitch was elected Autocrat.

  • See Double You||

    What would you know about liberty, Mikey Poo? You're a statist through and through.

  • IceTrey||

    So we can only carry flintlocks? A bump stock isn't a weapon it wouldn't even be good for beating someone with.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yes. Any we can only use speech that was in common use in 1789, especially when interacting with congress congrefs.

  • LiborCon||

    Um, no "at the time" does not mean at the time of ratification. It means the present. They're saying that a weapons commonality of use is to be determined what kind of weapons are in common use at the present time, when a case is before the court.

    "…the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."
    District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) at 582

    That's why the court in Caetano held that stun guns are protected by the Second Amendment. Because they are in common use at the present time, not some mythical set point in time. Stun guns certainly weren't around at the time of ratification.

    "First, the court explained that stun guns are not protected because they "were not in common use at the time of the Second Amendment's enactment.". This is inconsistent with Heller 's clear statement that the Second Amendment "extends ... to ... arms ... that were not in existence at the time of the founding.""
    Caetano v. Massachusetts, 577 U.S. ___ (2016)

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown Mike Hihn.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    Fuck off, Hinh.

  • Fancylad||

    You using so many socks in this thread you don't know what the hell your posting too.
    Anyway, fuck off Hihn.

  • LiborCon||

    "BEARABLE ARMS are the modern equivalent of muskets"

    Like stun guns and nunchaku.

  • California Minarchist||

    You really are a nutjob,aren't you? Do you think it gives more weight to your argument if you respond from multiple accounts?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Now Hinnybinny's falsely attributing statements to me. It must be my special day.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    So his comments are juvenile but yours threatening ass-rape aren't?

    News for you: keeping an enemies list is pretty damn juvenile.

  • perlchpr||

    Oh fuck, it's the hihnswarm again.

    Please go play in traffic.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Bend over! (smirk)

    Aaaaand he's back with the ass-rape fantasies. Sorry you don't have a special someone in the nursing home for that sort of thing, but we don't want it here.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    No, "at the time" means whenever the militia would be called for service.

    So, if called for service during WWII they would bring with them weapons in common use at THAT time.

    Either that or the right to a free press only applies if you using hand operated printing presses.

  • jerryg1018||

    Read the Constitution, Articles 1 , 9 and 10 prohibit retroactive laws. It prohibits making something that was that was formerly legal, illegal. Which the bump stock ban does.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Well sure, the bumpstock ban doesn't go far enough, but it's a start!

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    It's a start in the wrong direction.

  • Presskh||

    I'm generally against the government making any further prohibitions against gun ownership, due to the obvious temptation to keep pushing the limit of what is banned. However, if one believes that a general prohibition against owning true machine guns is OK (which I have mixed feelings about), then I don't see the issue with banning a device that effectively (if not technically) turns an ordinary semi-automatic into a fully automatic weapon.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Mind, it doesn't just ban them. It bans them by deliberately misconstruing the clear language of a statute, and in banning them mandates that they be taken or destroyed without compensation.

    That last is pretty darned unconstitutional whatever your view of the 2nd amendment.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You can say it ten more times if you want, that won't make it true.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    Except there is EXACTLY zero language to that affect and the supposed "crime" involved a sawed-off shotgun.

  • Jerryskids||

    According to this account, when the trigger is activated by bumping against the trigger finger, that is not, contrary to logic and appearances, a "function of the trigger."

    Police officers everywhere celebrate as "a function of the trigger caused the officer's weapon to discharge" becomes the standard legal definition of shooting a fleeing suspect in the back.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Gun crime will definitely nosedive after this.

    /yes, sarc.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Hi, Hinnybinny!! Am I still on your enemies list?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yes.

  • Fancylad||

    Fuck off Hihn

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    If I set you up on a date with Crusty would you show your appreciation by adding me your enemies list?

  • CGN||

    The only low I.Q. here is yours, "DiscoverIdiocy".

  • See Double You||

    which creates TOTAL rage in brainwashed right-wing psychos, who never understood the founding principle of Equal, Unalienable and/or God-Given Rights.

    Says the raging, incomprehensible lunatic known as Mike Hihn. Changed your handle again, eh?

  • See Double You||

    US v Miller (1939), reaffirmed by Scalia in Heller, allows bans of SEMI-automatics

    Dafuq do you get off with claiming this?

    Anyone remember when this was a libertarian web site? And what that meant?

    Remember when Mikey Poo wasn't a total leftwing statist shitbag? Me either.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yes. Am I still on your enemies list?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Do you deny the fact that Hinnybinny maintains an enemies list?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Quoting the lamest Queen song ever? Just go back to your Nickelback collection and stop embarrassing yourself.

  • Kevin Smith||

    Since Heller found that handguns were protected, which were not in common use in the 18th century, your interpretation of Heller is self-contradictory.

    Also, even if your interpretation was accurate it doesn't allow the president to rewrite laws passed by Congress

  • Presskh||

    The 2nd ammendment had two purposes: (1) to ensure that the country had an armed militia to defend the country against foreign invaders and (2) to ensure that the citizenry could defend themselves against a possible future tyrannical government. While some may disagree with the 2nd part, please answer this question: For what other reason would the founding fathers have envisioned that future government leaders would actually ban possessing arms?

  • Fancylad||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • See Double You||

    Heller does not mean that the Second Amendment only protects arms at the time of ratification, your dishonest, selective quotation notwithstanding:

    As the quotations earlier in this opinion demonstrate,
    the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the
    Second Amendment right. The handgun ban amounts to a
    prohibition of an entire class of "arms" that is overwhelmingly
    chosen by American society for that lawful purpose.

    The prohibition extends, moreover, to the home, where the
    need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute.
    Under any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied
    to enumerated constitutional rights, banning from the home "the most preferred firearm in the nation to
    'keep' and use for protection of one's home and family,"
    478 F. 3d, at 400, would fail constitutional muster.

    Admit you fucked up, statist thug.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    Fuck off, Hinh. And stop quoting yourself as someone else.

  • Naaman Brown||

    in response to: discoverLIBERTY! | 12.18.18 @ 6:15PM

    US v Miller 1939, adopting a narrow militia-only interpretation, ruled that if the 2A protects any arms and usage it is military preparedness training with the current military issue service rifle. In 1936 the US military adopted the M1 Garand a semi-automatic rifle.*

    However, SCOTUS in D.C. v Heller 2008 held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

    Under my state's RKBA "traditionally lawful purposes" include:
    _ self-defense
    _ civilian marksmanship practice
    _ recreational shooting
    _ hunting
    _ protecting livestock from predators
    _ collection as curios, ornaments, heirlooms, or keepsakes

    _______________________________
    * That which is of particular interest to the government is either specifically protected or specifically prohibited by law. That which is not mentioned by law is of no particular interest to the government. Taking the Miller view that the federal government wanted to specifically protect the ability to raise a militia from a population familiar with arms, does not mean the government meant to prohibit arms for all purposes other than militia.

  • Naaman Brown||

    19th century rhetoric in the 21st century. "Dangerous and unusual weapons" is like the other 19th century crap that gave Tennessee the "going armed" law and the Virginia "open carry" law.

    To transport a gun in my car to go hunting or target shooting in Tennessee, if the gun were in the passenger compartment accessable to driver or passengers, I was "going armed to the terror of the community". To show good intentions I would transport my gun in a case, locked in the trunk, with the ammo in a separate container, inaccessible to driver or passengers.

    Six miles away in Virginia, to transport a gun in my car to go hunting or target shooting, if I cased the gun and locked it in the trunk, that was illegal concealed carry. Only a despicable blaggard assassin would seek such an unmanly advantage over the unwary by hiding his arms from plain view. A citizen openly carried his arms to show good intents.

    Two diametrically opposed requirements on transport of a firearm in a vehicle, based on rhetorical hypotheticals from the 19th century.

  • CGN||

    Discover Puberty's rant is that a a little girl, a.k.a., because I want it to be true it is true. For starters, "assault weapons" is a vague (at best) term. I guarantee you that if someone really wants to kill a bunch of people all at once a bomb or running a car through a crowd of people is a better and cheaper way to do this. People refuse to think, and instead, as D.P. has, they emote. Go cry somewhere else, little girl.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Which one delusionally imagines that bold all caps (the on line equivalent of shouting) makes his arguments stronger?

  • Naaman Brown||

    Who gets credited in Soros/IANSA and Bloomberg/Everytown propaganda with the failure to get enough votes to renew the 1994-2004 Assault Weapon Ban? Who did Hillary blame on the campaign trail 2016? NRA that's who..

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The NRA was helpless against the AWB, because the Court at the time was still refusing to take any 2nd amendment cases whatsoever. I suspect they only took the Heller case because he'd won at the circuit court level, so that refusing cert would have resulted in a win for gun owners in the nation's capitol.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I swear, it's like arguing with a parrot, except that parrots are actually quite intelligent. You just keep repeating the same things, and don't even grasp that they mean the opposite of what you think.

  • ||

    reaffirmed by Scalia in Heller

    In case anyone is unclear of the facts. Without interpretation, Heller was denied the ability to carry a semi-automatic handgun (as part of his employment) by the city of D.C. Whatever Scalia and SCOTUS wrote, or however Hihn, discoverLIBERTY! or whomever wants to interpret it, the decision was in Heller's favor and he was allowed to keep/use the weapon.

    I'd personally argue that Hihn (or whomever's) interpretation of the decision and the specific acontextual quoting of Scalia's remarks are wrong and/or taken out of context, but the argument is moot and the actions as the outcome of actions speaks louder than any given (deliberate mis)interpretation. Heller insisted he had a right to own his semi-automatic handgun and SCOTUS agreed.

  • ||

    Show me the lie. Heller's gun was returned to him and he registered it after the decision, which he couldn't have done if it were illegal for him to have possessed.

    "At the time" means at ratification. As does bans on "dangerous and unusual weapons"

    If that's how you interpret:

    We think that [Miller's] limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons." See 4 Blackstone 148–149 (1769); {numerous other citations}. It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

    That's your right and I won't (and didn't) argue.

  • ||

    Once again to be clear, I'm not arguing, I'm just pointing out that you're arguing against your own premise and that, absent your premises and interpretations, there's no debate. If you say Scalia and SCOTUS's opinion only pertained to weapons in common use at the time of ratification and, because of that, Heller got to possess and register his weapon which wasn't designed, manufactured, or in common use anywhere near the time of ratification, I'm not here to argue.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    This includes bump stocks.

    A negative for Trump among the many positives.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    MAGA

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    My Associates Giving Allocutions

    My Attorney Going Away

    My Aides Getting Arrested

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Trump's going down this time for sure.

  • DaveSs||

    Umm, it's been centuries since a citizen's militia defended 'Murrica

    I think I remember an example happening but a few years ago.

    And it certainly happened in a little county in Tennessee in 1946

  • Fancylad||

    Fuck off Hihn

  • Robert Ore||

    The Zimmermann Telegram.

  • Fancylad||

    Trump's bump stock ban
    How much you wanna bet that the Justice Department never said a word to Trump about this. Keep fighting the good fight though, Jacob.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I'll take that bet, in as much as I certainly recall him saying words to them.

  • Naaman Brown||

    "A bump stock harnesses recoil energy to make a rifle slide back after it is fired, resetting the trigger. If the shooter maintains forward pressure on the barrel, the trigger will bump against his stationary finger, causing the gun to fire again, and so on."

    You can get the same effect with the thumb of your firing hand hooked in a belt loop (or so I have been told, not that I would ever simulate full-auto fire just fer fun of it).

    Wait til someone actually looks at the FBI Homicide table by weapon used. Typical past years, 350 to 400 homicides by assailants with identified rifles (with ARs, AKs maybe 10% of all rifles), with 700 to 800 by assailants with "personal weapons" (hands, fists, feet). You are a heck of a lot more likely to be murdered by an unarmed assailant than by an assailant armed with a semi-auto rifle with a bump stock.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Most. Libertarian. President. Ever.

  • Qsl||

    Does make for an peculiar position as the overlap of Trump enthusiast and the God, Guns, and Country crowd is near 1:1. What now?

    Even worse that the administration made it retroactive (or so I've read), which makes felons out of owners who maybe didn't catch the notice to destroy their stocks. Even the Federal Assault Weapons Ban wasn't that onerous.

    There was a type of Trump supporter who took glee in anything the president did as the "will of the people" no matter how legally dubious it was. I imagine they are feeling the sting like leftist who suddenly discovered the virtue of states rights after Trump's election.

    Federal overreach is still federal overreach even if it is for things you support.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Not "retroactive", or we'd already be criminals. Just no grandfathering.

    But the decision that there would be no compensation for the confiscated articles seems almost stupidly daring a court to find against them. They're claiming a "noxious goods" exception, but my Helfire trigger came complete with a letter from the BATF confirming that it was a lawful good.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The ATF could have banned bump stocks at any time. No need for pesky laws and legislation. Why all the hooplah?

  • Naaman Brown||

    The ATF under Pres Obama did not believe they could change the 1934 NFA (Title II) definition of machinegun without Congress passing legislation. If the machinegun registry had not been closed bythe 1986 Hughes Amendment, there would have been little to no interest in work arounds like the hellfire switch or bumpstock.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    Citation: Read the fucking article above.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Hey, Donald Jay Grump, if you had read the article before commenting, you would have read:

    Although the Obama administration was much more supportive of gun control than the Trump administration, it repeatedly declared that bump stocks were legal., meaning that banning them would require a new act of Congress. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a dogged gun controller, agreed.

    Or did you only trigger on the headline and go straight to comments?

  • Naaman Brown||

    Donald Jay Grump | 12.19.18 @ 12:50AM
    Why do you NEVER have a source?

    Because people unwilling to question their apriori assumptions don't follow links when I do provide them.
    Because somethings do not require sources. Rain is wet. Stones are hard.
    You claiming what I posted 12.18.18 @ 7:41pm needs sources (for you to ignore or attack) just shows you haven't followed the issue or are just pretending.
    MEVER? Anyone familiar with my postings in general know I very frequently supply sources.

  • dchang0||

    This is going to be a stepping stone to a ban on semi-automatics.

    At some point, the gun control freaks will argue that now that a single-shot-per-trigger-pull can be called a machine gun because the trigger is being pulled too fast, they can begin to push down the speed at which the trigger can be pulled (how fast is too fast?). They'll argue that manufacturers have to install devices to slow down the rate at which the trigger can be pulled, until eventually, they'll ban semi-autos entirely. The argument will be that having to rack the bolt will save lives by limiting the speed at which mass shootings can occur.

    What the hoplophobes don't realize is that patriots can simply borrow a page from their playbook in the 60s and 70s: switch to bombs. IRA-style cafe bombings in the heart of San Francisco or Hollywood or New York will become commonplace.

    The NRA's caving in on machine guns was a stepping stone to the assault weapons ban in the 90s. We can never give an inch on gun rights, because they will take as many miles as they can take.

  • Sevo is my bitch||

    At this point, gunhumpers are fantasizing about what gun control freaks are doing.

    We are having great sex with actual women.

  • vek||

    Yup.

    Their clear position is not to just arrive at some mythical "common sense" set of laws and stick with it... Every time they gain another victory, it is on to the next thing, until nothing is left. We really need to stop giving them anything, because they will never stop.

    The fact is people can still buy machine guns if you jump the hoops, because they knew they couldn't outright ban them because of the 2A. But the fact that they can't sell new ones makes them prohibitively expensive. All the other nonsense will do just the same, unless/until the attempt outright confiscation. At which point a civil war will probably occur.

    So better to just hold the line so shit libs don't have to be shot en masse to maintain freedom.

  • Rich||

    "ATF readily acknowledges that bump-firing can be lawfully achieved through the 'use [of] rubber bands, belt loops, or [to] otherwise train their trigger finger to fire more rapidly'"

    "We must close the belt-loop loophole!"

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Rubber bands, you say?

    Public Enemy No. 1

  • Sevo is my bitch||

    DOTARD IS COMING FOR YOUR GUNZ, BITCHES!

  • vek||

    You know, I didn't even vote for the guy... But the biggest problem with Trump is that he isn't TRUMPY enough a lot of the time.

    He has cucked on too many things when he didn't need to.

    Dems whine, you ignore them, everybody forgets after they're on to their next outrage mob topic. If he had done nothing, which is the correct action here, nobody would even be talking about bump stocks right now. All he has managed to do is piss off 2A supporters. Not even a lot of mild 2A supporters REALLY care about bump stocks, because it isn't a HUGE deal really... But it's the principle of the thing.

    There was no reason for him to cave on this. He needs to realize people would like him a lot more if he was the crazed zealot the leftist media makes him out to be. He has nothing to gain by cucking on things.

    And yeah, you don't even need a rubber band, let alone a bump stock, to fire this way. Many guns you can just do it completely free hand. YouTube people bump firing Mac 10s with no nothin'. Many guns are easy to do just by pulling the gun forward with your hand.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    He's an urban liberal of the old school, who decided to run as a Republican because he could see the GOP establishment weren't serving their own base, and that left an opening for him. As an old school liberal, he was too far 'right' to have gotten the Democratic nomination, even if the primaries hadn't been rigged.

    Now, he usually does have a good appreciation for his need to "dance with the one what brung him", and so doesn't go out of his way to piss off conservatives. But he really has no understanding of actual conservatism, or feel for how much gun owners care about things like this.

    So he really didn't understand that caving on this particular issue was a bad mistake.

  • vek||

    Pretty much. Trump is what used to be considered a "conservative Democrat" or a "liberal Republican" back when the parties were less sorted. 50 years ago I probably would have bitched about him being too squishy about things, but sadly in the modern context he's about as good as it seems to get, so I don't bitch often.

    The truth is if the country were still run by semi-sane people like him, as far as policies go at least, we wouldn't be THAT bad off. Some Dems used to be sane and decent on a lot of issues, and wrong as hell on other stuff... Like Trump is. But he's leaps and bounds better than any Dem I know of today. The sad part is that he's even better than most Republicans that are floating around nowadays. He is a fairly decent mix of traditional liberal and conservative IMO. Not big on the drug war, but doesn't like high taxes etc.

    As far things go though, I do tend to align with him on most things at least in spirit, even if not specific policies to fix things. That includes a lot of his non libertarian positions. I'm not a purist libertarian, so I'm okay with some of the "horrible authoritarian" things he is in favor of, like having national borders and such.

    We can always hope a Ron Paul sort with more charisma comes along, but until then we've got Trump. It is what it is.

  • vek||

    Blah blah blah, I love traps, blah blah blah.

    Don't care dude. I have a few small quibbles with RP, but overall he is 110% the best, and most principled politician this country has seen in the last 100+ years.

    Now take your pills Hihn, and leave the sane adults to discuss things.

  • BenjaminTheDonkey||

    Nouns shouldn't be illegal, only verbs. Behavior is what creates victims, not objects. One more excuse the government pulls out of its butt to rob you of life, liberty, and wealth.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Only the military needs compound sentences.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Eat my full auto conjunction!

  • Naaman Brown||

    Banning things that can be abused (alcohol, guns, marijuana, smut, comic books, video nasties) - nouns - does affect bad acts by bad people - verbs - by promoting black markets in the prohibited items for the abusers and legitimate users alike. The road to hell is paved by the unintended consequences of self-righteous good intentions.

  • Naaman Brown||

    A lot people who accepted the Demon Run crusade believing it was about "whiskey and rum by gum" woke up to a prohibition amendment that took their beer, cider and wine too. Then, as H.L. Mencken pointed out in "The Uplifters Are At It Again" Baltimore Sun 1924, the unemployed prohibitionists launched a crusade against handguns. After repeal of prohibition, the Bureau of Prohibition given administration of the National Firearms Act, which could have been a ban on handguns and national registration of all rifles and shotguns. FDR's AD Homer Cummings admitted in Congressional Hearings that the NFA had to be a tax and register scheme because it was unconstitutional to ban guns. The NRA is credited/blamed with saving handguns from prohibition and restricting the national registry to machineguns, sawed-off rifles and shotguns, and silencers, stigmatized as gangster weapons.

  • Naaman Brown||

    LBJ wanted the Gun Control Act to include a national registry of all firearms. The NRA testified against Sen Joseph B. Tydings registration bill as a gunowners educational association. LBJ was mad at the signing of the 1968 GCA because lacked federal registration. Some Congressman asked the FBI to investigate the NRA as an unregistered lobby. NRA met and decided the best way to preserve the gunowners association was to form and register a separate lobby. When NRA informed the FBI they had formed an institute for legislative action, the FBI dropt the investigation. The NRA lobby arm is credited/blamed with the defeat of Tyding's 1970 senate run.

    There has been a prohibitionist crusade against guns since the 1920s which has included massive bullshit about the constitutionality of banning guns from the law abiding for traditionally lawful purposes. The reeducation plan has included adoption of twisted versions of Hobbes (without an absolute ruler over an absolute state people live lives like Sam Kinnison nasty brutish and short) and Webber (state monopoly on lawful use of force).

    [Hihn at times reminds me of Gilbert Ernest McGill (G. Eyclesheimer Ernst, GEErnst, Publius II) of the Firearms Policy Review and Potowmack Institute.]

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Oh, man, I used to joust with him online occasionally. It was very entertaining the way he ran that "institute" out of his mother's basement.

    Wonder what happened to him? Looks like he forgot to renew the domain registration on his site, which stopped being updated in late 2016.

  • Naaman Brown||

    I believe the last I heard from his direction was his complaints he could not find a lawyer to polish his amicus for the McDonald 2010 case. The PDF he posted was a rough draft.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    When a guy like that drops off the radar, you have to suspect there was a life changing circumstance; Death, institutionalization, finally being put on meds.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The NRA was also no slouch in helping thwart communist efforts to have the government sell SDI for a "Peace in Our Time" Salt Treaty with the Soviet dictatorship. THAT is a heck of a lot more important, in that it made a Red Dawn effort a really bad bet for the Stalinistas.

  • perlchpr||

    "The Justice Department had to find a way around the clear meaning of the law because the president promised to ban bump stocks by administrative fiat after they were used by the perpetrator of an attack that killed 58 people in Las Vegas last year."

    Is there any evidence the rifle equipped with a bump stock was actually used in that attack, or merely present in the hotel room? IIRC, he had quite a few rifles present.

  • ||

    Is there any evidence the rifle equipped with a bump stock was actually used in that attack, or merely present in the hotel room? IIRC, he had quite a few rifles present.

    I'm not a part of the FBI investigation, of course, but the fact that it's still largely a mystery (and I keep looking into it every time it comes back up) strongly suggests that either there's little evidence they were or if they were employed and there is evidence, it refutes the narrative (e.g. most of the casings were fired from the bump stock, but all the bullets that they pulled out of people in tact were not fired from a bump stock).

    From the footage of the scene, he had weapons with bump stocks and bipods, which are... conflicting... modifications so conflicting information or interpretations wouldn't be out of the question. Not that it matters a lick one way or the other. Ridgway is believed to have strangled more women than Paddock shot and Jones killed more than either of them by about an order of magnitude.

  • TGoodchild||

    There was, at least, video footage of and within the crowd cowering during the attack wherein you could hear the gunshots and the varying rate of fire - which we pretty well beyond what someone could do semi-automatically - indicated the (struggling) use of a bump stock.

  • ||

    which we pretty well beyond what someone could do semi-automatically

    This isn't correct or isn't exactly knowable. It certainly wasn't cyclic rate as he didn't have any fully automatic weapons (and it doesn't sound like the cyclic rate to me). However, as has been pointed out repeatedly, with training or even without training but with other modification, any weapon can be bump fired even without a bump stock, (with even less training required to just spray ammunition rather than hit targets). The original notion of a bump fire, where the bump stock gets its name, is that the trigger (or hammer action) is so sensitive that setting the gun down or otherwise bumping it could/would cause a discharge.

    Either way, the minimum bolt travel of the rifle is the 39mm of the (7.62x39mm round) while the minimum trigger pull can be anything down to probably microns and ounces of pull. So, the idea that the trigger finger is the rate limiting step is a flawed notion. Not asserting that Paddock was some champion-level shooter, but that we know so little about the weapons, modifications, and styles (e.g. I think it's correct, but we just assume he was firing one gun at a time) that saying he couldn't possibly have fired that fast manually isn't true.

  • ||

    the minimum bolt travel of the rifle is the 39mm of the (7.62x39mm round)

    Argh. Typing without coffee I confused the Soviet/AK 7.62x39mm round with the 7.62x51mm NATO round. Paddock used the latter.

  • MikeP2||

    "liar"

    mad.casual is absolutely correct. You certainly have the right to believe whatever other random people on the internet better support your world view, but you should apologize for calling him a liar.

  • vek||

    As usual you're an insane moron who misses the point.

    People can easily learn to bump fire a gun, without a bump stock. YouTube "Mac 10 bump fire" and see people firing them faster than anything Paddock did WITH NO MODS.

    People can train to do the same with an AR or AK too. It's just learning a certain style of holding the gun. Now kindly fuck off.

  • philoeleutheria||

    If Hillary were president perhaps this ban wouldn't have happened.
    Given that former Lt. Col. Oliver North, yes, that Oliver North, Iran-Contra mega drug runner, aka "Cocaine Ollie", is now President of the NRA, he'd likely have enough dirt on the Clintons complicity in long-running FBI drug-running operations to hold it over her head.

  • ||

    What makes you think Ollie 'Ex-Con' North has an in at the FBI (or anywhere else)?

  • Uncle Jay||

    The feds didn't go far enough.
    They should've banned shoes, soda pop, airplanes, money, trees, clouds, babbling brooks, wedding rings, hearing aids, right-handed people, everyone with a nose, computer keyboards, tires, poodles, and toilet paper.
    These god damned feds never do enough.

  • Truthteller1||

    The arguments against this common sense law are idiotic. I don't know any gun enthusiasts that have any reservations about a bump stock ban, including me.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    The arguments against this common sense law are idiotic. I don't know any gun enthusiasts that have any reservations about a bump stock ban, including me.

    know some constitution and individual liberty "enthusiasts" who are opposed to it on legal grounds, and as a matter of principles. What are "all the arguments" you refer to?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Don't throw me in dat brier patch, and f'r Allah and 'Murrica DON'T cast a Libertarian spoiler vote and change any laws.

  • vek||

    LOL It's not a common sense law though.

    I could go spend a few hours at the range getting good at bump firing without ANY mods on a regular semi auto, and do exactly what he did. This just makes it more half assed for lazy fucks who don't want to learn to hold the rifle better. YouTube bump firing without a bump stock and you'll see oodles of vids of all kinds of different guns.

    So this is basically like banning velcro on shoes because you don't want people to be able to bind their shoes tightly to their feet... But of course one can still just learn how to tie their shoe laces, since you're not making those illegal... So it accomplishes nothing, as is typical with many laws moron politicians pass.

  • Hank Phillips||

    It's prolly a good thing Jacob wasn't there to disparage Germany's Kristallnacht gun laws. Five'll get you eight he'd've been frogmarched off to some interrogation and deportation facility and the "conscious political lie" simply banned from publication. So how about an investigative article about the Vegas shooter able to buy forklift-loads of guns and ammo no questions? The guy dripped fieldcraft, filled the morgue, and the looter press is wailing about schoolkids with guns in a "no retaliation" zone decades ago?

  • MikeP2||

    Sorry Jacob, but your complaints are overwrought.

    "... it shows he is a president who ignores the law whenever it proves inconvenient"

    This kind of BS statement just shows that you truly don't understand the brilliance of our checks and balances system. A fair read of the machine gun law does leave a small amount of wiggle room on bump stocks. It can certainly be argued that a stationary finger isn't the same as a trigger pull, and the first trigger pull initiates a continuous action similar to an automatic weapon.
    It's a weak argument, and probably would be struck down in the courts. But that's why we have courts. Congress makes badly written laws, the executive interprets them in accordance with their desires, and the courts smack both around. Checks and balances. This is far less executive overreach then 99% of what administrations have done in the last 100 years.

  • jerryg1018||

    Trump could have approved the ban knowing it would be a good vehicle to get the issue before the Supreme Court. A ruling on this case could have a broader impact than just bump stocks. To rule bump stocks, which can't make a semi-auto rifle fire any faster than manually pulling the trigger, legal would also destroy the gun grabbers classification of semi-auto rifles being "machine guns." It would also destroy the myth that a semi-auto rifle is an "Assault Weapon."

  • vek||

    WRONG, as per usual.

    Although I disagree with those laws as written and enforced too... What they DIDN'T DO, was actually BAN those weapons. They made it illegal to sell NEW ones into the market, but the old ones can still circulate. No confiscation.

    I disagree with that too... But the reason they didn't outright make them illegal is because of the constitution you twat. From what I have heard they intend to confiscate existing bump stocks, which is utter BS.

  • vek||

    Also, see bump firing without bump stock vids. Any novice shooter can learn to do it with no mods on most guns in a matter of minutes, and get good at it within a couple hours.

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