U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- This past Tuesday the ATF and The Department of Justice initiated a regulatory process that could potentially rule bump stocks illegal due to the prohibitions on machine guns as laid out in the National Firearms Act Of 1934 and Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.
The advanced notice of proposed rulemaking was given over to the Office of Management and Budget by the ATF. This notice kicked off the process needed to change the rules in regards to bump stocks. The industry and the general public are allowed to submit comments during the review process.
It appears that Jeff Sessions is on board with changing the regulation in regards to bump stocks. He said in a released statement, “Possessing firearm parts that are used exclusively in converting a weapon into a machine gun is illegal, except for certain limited circumstances. Today we begin the process of determining whether or not bump stocks are covered by this prohibition.”
Sessions did assure the media that they would consider all public input as well as from the gun industry. He also added, “The regulatory clarification we begin (on Tuesday) will help us to continue to protect the American people by carrying out the laws duly enacted by our representatives in Congress.”
Groups such as the Bloomberg backed group, Everytown For Gun Saftey, has pushed for regulating bump stocks. Everytown For Gun Saftey is joined in this call for action by The Major Cities Chiefs Association which stated that in their opinion only devices that aid in hunting should be legal. They view bump stocks as a way around the National Firearms Act Of 1934 which gun advocates see as infringing on the second amendment rights of the people.
The Major Cities Chiefs Association also have pushed for the passing of the Draconian “Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act of 2017” bill which has stalled in Congress. This bill would ban any device that speeds up the rate that semi-automatic weapons can fire. This bill would also include other non-bump stock devices such as binary triggers.
Dealing with the “Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act of 2017” the The Major Cities Chiefs Association stated, “The language within the proposed bill defines that line for citizens as well as exempts law enforcement and the government from this ban. With the use of the bump stock, 59 people were murdered and over 400 injured in a matter of minutes. With a ban in place, we hope to prevent another mass murder on such a horrific scale.”
There is doubt even on the left that the ATF has the power to regulate bump stock as anti-gunner Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pointed out. “The ATF lacks authority under the law to ban bump-fire stocks. Period,” she said referring to the ATF letters submitted to Congress in 2010 and then again in 2013.
Acting ATF director Thomas Brandon disagrees with Sen. Feinstein's opinion. During a hearing in The Senate on Wednesday, He stated that regulating bump stocks was “a possibility.” In his view, the Department of Justice would never have opened the review “if that wasn't a possibility at the end.”
Rick Vasquez was the senior analyst in the Firearms Technology Branch of the ATF in 2010 when bump stocks were ruled legal. He disagrees with Brandon on the issue at hand. He told the HBO series Vice News “We made a technical and statutory decision that was correct.” On the episode, he showed Vice reporter, Joshua Hersh how to bump fire a semi-automatic rifle without the use of a bump stock.
He gave his well thought out reasons to why the ATF cannot regulate bump stocks or other devices such as binary triggers. Instead of relying on emotion he approached bump stocks and other devices with logic and reason. He was chief author of the letter to the Senate in 2010.
Whether or not bump stocks will be banned will depend on if Congress looks at this from an analytical standpoint or an emotional standpoint. In the end, us as right gun advocates, need to let our Senators and Representatives know where we stand as well as the DOJ and ATF.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.