Calls Growing for NRA Board to Repudiate Bump Stock Statement

By Jeff Knox : Opinion

NRA Statement on Bump Stocks
NRA Statement on Bump Stocks, a big whoops?
Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- The Executive Vice President of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, and Chris Cox, the Executive Director of NRA-ILA, the association's lobbying arm, issued a joint statement in response to the horrific atrocity perpetrated last week in Las Vegas.

The bulk of the statement was practical and reasonable, sounding a balanced tone between concern for the victims and determination to not let the acts of a mad man be used to undercut the rights of Americans. It also showed a willingness to at least discuss whether some action related to guns might be warranted.

There is nothing wrong with them being willing to talk, as long as they stick to core principles, and refuse to allow blame for the tragedy to be dumped on responsible gun owners.

Unfortunately LaPierre and Cox didn't stick to principles. Instead of just calling for regulatory review, they declared – in the name of NRA – an opinion on what that review should conclude, and it's not an opinion that The Firearms Coalition can begin to agree with.

Here's the part of what LaPierre and Cox said that we have a problem with:

“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

The theories from NRA supporters all suggest that the statement was part of a delay and diversion tactic to buy some time for the heated emotions dredged up by the Las Vegas attack to simmer down, so that the discussion can then proceed in a rational and logical manner, and keep that debate within regulatory channels, rather than Congress. The suggestion is, that by putting the ball in the court of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, NRA is trying to keep Congress out of it. A BATFE review will take some time, and if BATFE rules that they made a mistake when they concluded that bump-fire stocks were not restricted devices under the definitions of the National Firearms Act, and places them in one of the restricted categories, that would take the wind out of Feinstein (D-CA) and Schumer's (D-NY) sails. If the review concluded that the BATFE doesn't have the authority to regulate the simple devices, the hope would be that the focus would be pretty firmly shifted onto these novelty devices, rather than the guns they are attached to.

That might actually be the strategy, but unfortunately it falls flat with the inclusion of the above sentence.

By stating that NRA believes the devices “should be subject to additional regulations,” they are not only abandoning bump-fire stocks and trigger-cranks – which is a pretty stupid move in our opinion – but they are conceding the notion that these devices, and full-auto firearms, are too dangerous for average Americans to own. LaPierre and Cox have since doubled down on the statement, saying on Sunday talk shows that

NRA supports the restrictions of the NFA, and thinks that rapid-fire devices should fall under the purview of that law.

This is really troubling, as it abandons the critical, core principle that you cannot control criminal behavior by regulating inanimate objects.

While it's possible that pitching this issue to the BATFE might cause some delays, and give some politicians an excuse to sit on their hands while BATFE is conducting their review – if they conduct a review – Feinstein, Schumer, and their media pals are already calling out the NRA position as a political ploy, and are pushing all the harder for immediate congressional action. With NRA already conceding on the issue of bump-fire stocks, they have surrendered any reasonable grounds for objecting to quick congressional action. And since a ban on bump-stocks is now a given, the anti-rights zealots will set their sights on additional targets like limiting magazine capacity and expanding background checks, along with yet another run at an “assault weapon” ban, which they might use as a bargaining chip.

With NRA “leaders” having conceded that bump-stocks should be regulated, and with that concession, also abandoning the notion that restricting tools is never the answer to controlling crime, any arguments they offer against expanding background checks or restricting magazine capacity, will be pounced upon as specious and in contradiction to this stated position. After all, “if it saves just one life…”

The values expressed in that one sentence of LaPierre and Cox's statement, represent a major shift in NRA policy, and we're pretty sure that this shift was not approved by the NRA's Board of Directors, which is supposed to be responsible for establishing all policies for the organization. At least we hope that the board would not have approved such a damaging policy shift.

And this is not the first time that LaPierre has shot the organization in the foot. In a speech shortly after the Columbine atrocity, LaPierre declared;

”We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools.”

A dozen years later, in response to the terror at Sandy Hook, LaPierre was singing a different tune, calling for police and armed citizens in schools, a much more sensible approach.

In 1999, testifying in a congressional hearing, LaPierre declared;

“We think it's reasonable to provide mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone.”

Like his gun-free schools statement, LaPierre's position on gun shows didn't sit well with many NRA members and the official position was quietly shifted back to a harder line. Still, as late as 2005, candidate questionnaires were still stating that NRA supported mandatory background checks at gun shows. The questionnaires were only corrected to reflect NRA's actual policy, opposing mandatory background checks for private transfers, after The Firearms Coalition pointed out the discrepancy and demanded the correction.

Now LaPierre has again shot a hole in his own foot – and the NRA's boat he's standing in – with his misguided statements about rapid-fire devices for semi-auto rifles. The difference is that this time the contrary statement has the potential to sink the whole boat. If full-auto is so dangerous that it must be tightly regulated, and devices that make it easier to make semi-auto's “function like fully-automatic” firearms are so dangerous that they must also be tightly regulated, it is a very short step to demands that all semi-auto firearms be tightly regulated since any semi-auto can be made to “function like fully-automatic” firearms with a simple improvised device, or no device at all with a little practice.

When anti-rights politicians and the media make that demand, what defense can LaPierre offer?

We at The Firearms Coalition feel that this was a serious faux pa on the part of LaPierre and Cox, and we see only one way for the mistake to be corrected.

The NRA Board of Directors must immediately issue a statement declaring the true position of the National Rifle Association, and that the statement from LaPierre and Cox did not accurately reflect that position.

They must make it clear that the NRA policy opposes any efforts to restrict or regulate any firearm, ammunition, or accessory under the false premise that such regulation will prevent the illegal acts of criminals and lunatics.

Political gamesmanship is one thing. Abandoning core principles as part of that gamesmanship is totally unacceptable.

Neal Knox - The Gun Rights War
Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 45 thoughts on “Calls Growing for NRA Board to Repudiate Bump Stock Statement

    1. I’ve renewed my membership in Gun Owners of America.
      (along with a large – for me – contribution)
      I will not renew NRA,

    2. Unfortunately, I just paid my membership fee but I doubt I will next year unless they get rid of LaPerre and Cox as well as Grover, what ever his name is, is an anti gun proponent and he is on the board. We were sold down the river once again.

      1. I called them and told them I will not be renewing my membership for another 5 yrs. I told them I was finished with their liberal stance as it relates to guns or gun related products. All they said ”we’re sorry you feel this way” . this response pissed me off even more. Wayne’s time has come to an end !

      2. Grover Nordquist. In the mean time, if we all call and tell the NRA what we want, and tell the NRA that no further donations will be forthcoming, maybe that will get their attention.

      3. This is when the men are separated from the boys. The NRA Board of Directors needs to not only issue a statement decrying the existing “bump stock ban” repeal legislation, they also need to issue a statement saying this is the time to repeal the 1986 Hughes Amendment, along with a lot more changes to the NFA to make it reflect today’s Second Amendment thinking.

        Why isn’t the NRA Secretary helping to lead this charge? You know he wants it.

        1. Poshboy,
          Sadly, you didn’t read my Posting from October 12, 2017.
          Your wishful thinking aside, you fail to realize that “Job #1” at the NRA is “The NRA.” If, the NRA has any money and time left over, then the NRA might get around to “Gun Rights.” But, don’t bank on it. Not after the NRA has spent most of the last 100 years SUPPORTING gun restrictions of one sort or another. As for the “NRA Board of Directors,” well their individual and collective SILENCE on this subject speaks volumes to me. As proof of this, just look at the recent “Rule Changes” that make it impossible for mere “members” to impact NRA Policy.

    3. On one hand, I understand that we have lost rights incrementally, and we’ll likely have to get them back “one lawsuit at a time” (to quote SAF) – mostly because no politician can be persuaded to vote to ‘give domestic abusers guns’ (repeal Lautenburg amendment) or ‘legalize machine guns’ (repeal Hughes amendment). If we can get them back legislatively great, if not, use the courts – one step at a time.

      On the other hand, despite not being argued, and being bad law, Miller IS precedent. History says the 2nd Amendment is to allow “the people” the tools to resist a totalitarian government and when written with the same (or better) tools than used by the standing army. As Miller upheld GCA ’34 on short barreled shotguns as having “no valid military purpose” it also by extension argues not just semi-autos for civilians, but readily available real M4s, not just AR-15s with a SlideFire stock.

      1. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the Second Amendment in the Heller decision: “United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes.”

        The key words being “in common use for lawful purposes.” The AR and other semi-auto firearms, that basically do the same thing, are some of the most popular long guns used throughout the United States. They are in common use and for lawful purposes. Bump firing does not alter firearms to the extent that it creates a machine gun. Ot the BATFE would have not certified it for sale. The government would have to outlaw semi-autos because they can be fired too fast for gun hating leftists. That’s where the recent knee jerk legislation is headed.

    4. “Mistakes happen”??

      This was NOT a mistake. The NRA, like Rahm Emmanuel, doesn’t let a good crisis go to waste. The NRA NEEDS gun control, a constant flow of Pelosi-Schumer, to keep the membership in a froth and busily writing checks.

      Stop writing checks. You’ll just encourage them.

    5. Bump stocks have been around for a number of years ( at least eight). This is the first recorded use of one in a crime. The Dems and their lapdog media must immediately leap on the attempt to ban them because – “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel.

    6. As an NRA member, I’m appalled at LaPierre’ s and Cox’ s recent statement about more gun restrictions. Just what we need…..snakes in the grass! My decision to renew my membership is at best …”shaky”. I’m also tired of the constant deluge of NRA mail requesting more and more financial contributions. No more from me! These mailing costs must be in the hundreds of thousands. If the NRA was a corporation for profit, heads would roll for excessive mailing costs. Do your jobs Wayne and Chris….DISCOURAGE and fight more gun restrictions……not ENCOURAGE it. Don’t make Feinstein and Schumer proud!

      1. If the NRA’s direct mail tsunami was not raising money, they would not be doing it. People complain about the mail, but they keep writing checks.

    7. It is time to change the leadership of the NRA! Don’t get me wrong as I’ve been a supporting member for decades, but when we got a republican congress and a republican president and the NRA failed to move legislation forward to repeal NFA , 68 GCA or any other infringement law they illustrated they appear to feed on firearms controversies to extract more funds from members & recruit more members as well. If you look at their finacial statements over the years they support this.
      The NRA needs a new business plan that will provide a stable financial state. Like maybe shooting ranges in every state that would be financially supporting and grow the interest of firearms in the US ?

      1. Geez, finally. Only when Ackerman-McQween, Wayne, Chris and any mini-Wayne’s are purged and NRA returns to it’s goal of repeal of all gun laws will we be back on track. To the Board: Grow a set and get this organization back on track or fade into the sunset.

      2. @Red, Charlie, Tenn one zero, I called The NRA and told the telephone employee to pass on the message that I was no longer contributing to them until the NRA comes out against new Bump Fire legislation. I think that it is a better idea that we all call the NRA and tell them no more money until there are some staff changes and an obvious, overt, and aggressive effort against any gun control bills. Tell the NRA that,” We do not have to do business.”

    8. Anyone whom is planing to kill and then take his own life is NOT concerned about breaking gun laws. NO law can protect us from this type of insanity. We must protect our self’s. We must not accept any laws that restrict our ability to defend our self and our loved ones!

    9. Any support of more regulations on firearms, any firearm, or firearm parts is a slap in the face of firearm owners and a disgrace on the part of the NRA and shows their true colors under the dictatorship of LaPierre.

    10. I don’t believe NRA said that. They rolled over for the left wing in saying that the bump stock makes a rifle automatic which it doesn’t we all know that it doesn’t hold the trigger back it still makes it semi-auto. I can’t believe the NRA anymore.

    11. HEY NRA, Stop letting the left nibble at the Second Amendment. The GOA is doing more than you are to protect our 2nd Amendment Rights than you are. I have been a Life Member for more than 50 years and I am tired of your capitulating to the Communist party, (AKA Democrats)

    12. Our freedoms don’t exist in a vacuum. Our rights are no less rights because people act irresponsibly, but freedom only works when people know the rules and live by them. As soon as free people forget that, the entire social order begins to breakdown. Add to that, at least half the population can’t seem to understand basic cause and effect relationships and you have the civil chaos you see everywhere now. The government’s instinctive reaction will always be to clamp down on whatever “seems” to be the problem… bump stocks in this case. Dogs bark, birds chirp, governments take control. The NRA is only trying to mitigate the damage. You may not like it, but as long as society at large continues the downward tumble, it will happen again. Count on it.

      1. Billy Spence Jr.: You’ve misread the NRA’s motivations. The NRA has evolved from a purist pro-gun organization to one that is run by a public relations firm that is neither pro nor anti-gun. What they ARE motivated by is $$$ and have been for some decades. They are interested in maintaining the status quo. They neither want defeat of all gun laws nor do they want total gun control. Just a balance so they can keep sending mailers every month with “surveys”, questionnaires etc along with the obligatory request for yet more money. Ackerman-McQween and Wayne is not only the dirty little secret but also the main culprits. This was a Faustian Bargain made decades ago.

    13. Bump stocks serve no practical purpose. They are fun yes, but what can they be used for except having fun? Then do not increase accuracy , increase capacity, longevity or reliability. They just simulate full-auto fire. On the other hand I don’t like the slippery slope of banning or regulating guns parts or accessories. I am sure the NRA has these same concerns. With the exception of wartime, what is full-auto fire good for? I support the NRA.

      1. An M16 has limited accuracy when fired in full auto. Yet it functions for suppressive fire when the situation requires it. The Slide Fire can accomplish the same thing. Few can accurately shoot an M16 or an Uzi in full auto with much accuracy, but that accuracy increases with practice. Similarly, the accuracy of shooting with the Slide Fire can be increased significantly with practice, but few are willing to spend the money on ammunition to do so. Also, just like the M16, the best use of the Slide Fire is for controlled, 2-3 shot bursts. Just because some do not understand or personally find utility in a firearm component, it should not be sacrificed under the guise of “reasonable” or “common-sense” gun control in a vain effort at appeasement with the left.

      2. No practical purpose to you maybe, but others have fun with them! You sound like those that just shoot shotguns when they state there is no use for rifles or handguns! Are you out of touch with what this country is all about?
        Liberty!

      3. jeffery melton, Bump stocks were designed so that disabled persons could participate in the shooting sports. Would you deny the disabled access to shooting?

        1. You’re talking out your ass! Using a bump stock requires more dexterity that without one. Wrap your hands around one and give it a try; we’ll be waiting for your retraction.

      4. What is the point of being able to buy and operate a motor vehicle that can go faster than 80 mph? There are but a few places in the US, if any, that you can do so legally. This is America and we don’t deal in “needs”, we deal in wants. Take your totalitarianism some where else.

        1. @Roy D. I agree and there is more: No one needs more than one car, no one needs more than one house, no one needs to earn more than $40,000 per year, no one needs more than one telephone, computer, pair of shoes, golf club, one child per family and on and on. You are right, Roy, he is a totalitarian.

    14. It is way past time for a course correction for NRA. Follow this line and the final question; We have laws in every State against rape, robbery, assault and murder and enhancements when any weapon is used, be it a screwdriver, foot, knife or gun. Since we already have these laws any further laws are simply “pile on” and irrelevant. Given that and the fact that firearms are the only object that is singled out for additional restrictions, the question I want to see NRA answer is: Do you support a complete repeal of ALL firearms laws?

      If the answer is anything but an unqualified yes, Wayne, Chris and any other associates need to go.

      As a complete aside, it’s worth noting that, since 1934, there have been, on average, 265 gun laws passed every single year (Federal, State & local) in this country. Of further note, they haven’t worked.

      1. @Vanns, I called the NRA yesterday and told them that I was withholding further contributions until the NRA demonstrated an aggressive opposition to the proposed Bump Stock bill. I think that if we all gave them a call and threatened to withhold contributions and the shear number of calls would change their minds.

    15. I’m NRA life member, and I’m not happy wifh LaPierre’s shoe in his mouth. Our self preservation biological imperative cannot be infringed, as well as the tools to use to that end, especially against tyrants and their designs to enslave us.

    16. They also backed lifetime bans for less than felony crimes, as well as ex post facto law.
      This is one Life Member that is not happy…

    17. Most everyone is missing the point about all of this. Nothing new here!!

      The NRA has a long history of supporting Federal Firearms regulation.
      Beginning in the early 1920’s, the National Revolver Association (a long defunct offshoot of the NRA) wrote the first “model handgun regulations”; eighteen States quickly adopted some version of it.
      Here’s more “Gun Control” that the NRA supported:
      1) National Firearms Act of 1934
      2) The Federal Firearms Act of 1938
      3) Gun Control Act of 1968
      4) Firearms Owners Protection Act (banned future Class III for civilians) of 1986
      5) Law Enforcement Officers Protection Act (“cop killer” bullets) of 1986.

    18. When did full auto firearms ever legally belong in civilian hands. They are Military Arms. Same as Magazines’ over 10 rounds. What happened to the core principles of NRA and its members. At least NRA management is partly still on track.

      1. Another uneducated one of the masses arising to speak from ignorance OR another troll. Read the Constitution & Bill of Rights and intention of the Founders.

      2. Moron, you ignore the truth. Fully auto firearms are legal to own in this country. You just cant sell any new ones. Only a couple of retarded states ban magazines over 10 rounds, another moron law. Whats the difference between magazines holding 10, 30 or 100 rounds? Nothing…. And on top of all that, if you are a person intent on doing wrong you ignore all of those things anyways.

      3. You really are at a loss as to why the 2nd Amendment was put in place as well as what it was intended to protect? Additionally, what don’t you understand regarding, ” Shall Not Be Infringed” .

      4. The Constitution says “arms”, not ‘single shots or semi-automatics’. The intent of the founders was to insure that civilians, which constituted militias, had the same arms that the military did. Study your history.

      5. @Morefield, Actually private citizens owned full auto firearms from the very beginning of fully automatic weapons. The first two machine guns that the army owned were purchased by a rich fellow and given to his son’s U.S. Army company in 1998 because he wanted to give his son a better chance of coming home alive. Those two machine guns were the Colt “potato diggers”. Private persons have been buying fully automatic firearms since the Spanish American war. Private persons have been buying fully automatic weapons before the U.S. Government bought them.
        After WWI was over, the Thompson submachine gun was commonly sold to ranchers, living in isolated areas, for the purpose of opposing gangs of rustlers. Private citizens preventing gang crime and violence with no 911, no police response, ever, and no government help at all. Imagine that!

    19. Of course the NRA supports this crap. They HATE full-auto. They encouraged the 1986 ban. They refused to accept ads from Front Sight for their free one day sub machine gun class.

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