USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Exclusive: Trump administration to announce final bump stock ban,” CNN boasted Wednesday. What was so exclusive about that, aside from sourcing the information to nameless “US officials familiar with the matter” is unclear – everyone watching developments has anticipated this happening soon due to the president’s own words in October and also due to a November 8 notice by the Office of Management and Budget noting the “Concluded Action” is “Consistent with Change.”
“Bump stocks gained national attention last year after a gunman in Las Vegas rigged his weapons with the devices to fire on concertgoers, killing 58 people,” CNN continues. If they could say that definitively, they would have an exclusive.
At this writing, assumptions by the media notwithstanding, no official statement demonstrates with certainty firearms found in the hotel room with “bump stock” devices attached were even used in the attack, making it fair to speculate if it's also possible any weapons had been modified. What we believe probable notwithstanding, at this point we can’t say we “know” for sure. As ATF revealed in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request:
Nor can we define the scope of the “problem” nationwide in terms of how many such devices have been used in homicides (something the FBI wants no part in reporting).
“[O]pposition from lawmakers and the National Rifle Association ultimately made a regulatory change the only realistic path forward to accomplishing the President's goal,” CNN further obfuscates. Actually, NRA signaled a green light for regulation:
“Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
NRA wanted to avoid politicians they back being forced to go on record, and then having to reassess “A” grades and “staunch supporter of the Second Amendment” characterizations for those buckling under pressure. Either that or having their grading system held up to wider scrutiny…
It’s unclear what the president hopes to accomplish by alienating his strongest supporters at a time he is being closed in on from all sides by powers intent on destroying him. If he believes this will satisfy the gun-grabbers and make them go away, that ignores everything about their incremental tactics. Experience shows they will take a piece here and a “compromise” there, and then use that position to launch their next demand for more.
We can see it in this case already, with headlines like “Trump to Announce Bump-Stock Ban, a Largely Meaningless Gesture.” They’ll take the symbolic victory and then, emboldened and sensing weakness, circle in closer.
So what’s the big deal? Who really cares about bump stocks? I imagine those who bought the devices do, as they will be required to rid themselves of their property without compensation – or become felons subject to draconian fines and prison sentences for possessing an “unregistered machinegun,” not to mention being mandated “prohibited persons” for life, unable to ever “legally” own a gun again.
Anyone who thinks this is “just about bump stocks” is missing the point.
If President Trump gets away with this usurpation of undelegated power, guess what the Democrats will be able to pull the next time they take the White House.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and a contributor to Firearms News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.