It’s been more than a year since a gunman carried out a massacre assisted in Las Vegas using rifle equipped with bump stocks. Immediately we heard calls to ban such accessories and devices, with President Trump showing an interest in doing so. He’s stated several times they were working on a bump stock ban, and today they got their wish. The new rule was posted today by the ATF that was signed by acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker.
The new ruling is going to classify bump stocks as machine guns. With the Hughes amendment closing the machine gun registry owners of bump stocks now have 90 days to destroy or turn in their devices. No compensation will be offered for turned in bump stocks as of now.
This is a massive overstepping of regulatory bounds, and it’s classifying an amalgamation of plastic as a machine gun, even though it is in no way a firearm. Bump firing can be done without a stock, and most of us who’ve shooting all our live have figured out how to do it with a belt loop.
Bump Stocks Ban Summary
You can read the full text here, but the summary is as follows.
SUMMARY: The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type
devices-meaning “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar
characteristics are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and
the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic
firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.
Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by
functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy
of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue
firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.
Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce
automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. With limited exceptions, the Gun Control
Act, as amended, makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun
unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute.
The bump stock-type devices covered by this final rule were not in existence prior to the effective
date of the statute, and therefore will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective.
Consequently, under the final rule, current possessors of these devices will be required to
destroy the devices or abandon them at an ATF office prior to the effective date of the
The Truth About Bump Stocks
Bump stocks are dumb, tacky and useless. That doesn’t mean they should be banned, in fact, I’m not sure how this ban is even legal without compensation. I’m not a lawyer, but they were approved by the ATF and bought in good faith.
I owned one a while back after the Vegas shooting it was gifted by a friend who didn’t care for it. Specifically, I acquired it to examine and write an article about them. In the time I possessed it I found it to be largely useless, dumb, and using my belt and a rubber band was easier overall. I could aim from the shoulder, but accuracy was garbage. It would literally fall off sometimes.
I quickly gave it away when I was done. These are dumb items, but the power to ban them by decree should have every gun owner up in arms for lack of a better word. Why? Because as a gun control advocate has already said, “When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.”
Feature image Courtesy of Slidefire.com