Politics

It Has Started: Bump Stock Rule

So it has started. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker announced yesterday that the Department of Justice has amended the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), stating that bump stocks fall within the definition of “machinegun” under federal law.

What I find really sad is that the AG and group received 119,264 comments in support of the new rule and only 66,182 comments in opposition. Of those that opposed it, over 40,000 were form letters submitted by National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) on behalf of its members. A little over 25,000 were submitted by individuals. That is just downright sad. That Americans who believe in the right to bear arms, and did not see this ruling for what it was (the first step in more to come), could not be bothered enough to send in a comment. All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

Many that did comment made many valid points that the “Department” responded to. One of the most interesting that I read was the argument that if bump stocks are made illegal then other things that can accomplish the same type of firing of a firearm must be made illegal also, such as rubber bands, belt loops and even just trigger fingers. The Department’s response was very interesting:

“The Department has detailed in the NPRM and this rule the distinction between bump firing with a bump-stock-type device and using belt loops or rubber bands. Although a shooter using a belt loop, string, or other manual method utilizes recoil energy to bump fire, the shooter is responsible for constraining the firearm, maintaining the correct finger pressure, and regulating the force necessary to fire continuously. This is clearly distinguishable from a bump-stock-type device, as ATF has explained that such a device functions as a self-acting and self-regulating force that channels the firearm’s recoil energy in a continuous back-and-forth cycle that allows the shooter to attain continuous firing after a single pull of the trigger so long as the trigger finger remains stationary on the device’s extension ledge.”

Does that make any sense to anyone other than maybe the ATF?

So what will this new rule cost you? That’s right…even if you don’t own a bump stock, it will cost you. Well, first there is the cost to the government (you the taxpayer) as stated in the new rule. “ATF estimates the total undiscounted cost of this rule at $312.1 million over 10 years.” So they are instituting a rule that very few if any will follow, and it will cost the taxpayers 312 million dollars!

Then there is the not-so-small fact that the ATF “estimates the number of bump-stock-type devices held by the public could range from about 280,000 to about 520,000.” And they estimate the value of these at about $139,000,000. Meaning they are going to cost the public over $139 million in personal property! Now, just how does the ATF propose that all of these new illegal devices be accounted for?

You see, again we must look at simple history for things like this. New Jersey enacted a high-capacity magazine ban about a year ago, and they called for owners of them to destroy them or turn them in or face becoming felons. Guess what happened? No one turned any in. Simply put: it’s an unenforceable law that does nothing but make law-abiding citizens into felons and accomplishes nothing for public safety. In other words, a complete waste of time, money and effort. Typical for our government these days.

So to those who think that we should make felons out of more than 280,000 – 520,000 Americans because of the actions of one evil murderer, you just got your wish. But even though I do not own a bump stock myself (and would tell you anyway if I did), I think you are a bunch of idiots. If that is the rationale used then why did we not outlaw box cutters when they were improperly used to kill not hundreds but thousands? You can’t answer that, so don’t even try; you will look foolish.

To those who do own a bump stock, the government has deemed you unable to act like lawful Americans; you are a felon 90 days from now. If you fail to destroy or turn in your bump stock, you are violating this new rule and federal laws. But then again, they have no idea you have it, they cannot come to your home and search it without cause and a warrant (we at least still have that right for now), and like in NJ, when no one turns any of these in, and no one destroys them (except for a few who probably got them second hand to do it for publicity), we will all see this new rule for what it was: the possible start of more restrictions and laws to make law-abiding firearms owners into criminals.

Have we just gotten closer to that “crossroad” I was speaking of in my last article? I think so, and I think the anti-rights and government are driving us faster and faster in that direction.

You can read the new rule, the public comments (summarized), and related things here.

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Chris Wagoner

Chris Wagoner is a U.S. Army Veteran and has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a freelance writer and posts his articles on "Down Range with Chris Wagoner".

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