As Media Adds to ‘Bump Stock’ Confusion, Attorney Asks Fundamental Question

Slide Fire SSAR-15 SBS Bump Fire Stock
Did the “bump stock” ban memo go out as reported and who signed off on the rule? Acting AG Whitaker? And what happens to rules he signs if the Democrat lawsuit disqualifies him as ineligible for that position?

U.S.A. –( “KSTP has obtained a federal memo detailing the new ban on bump stocks, promised by President Donald Trump,” the Minneapolis ABC affiliate reported last Tuesday. “The memo, circulated by the Department of Justice, is being sent to law enforcement agencies and gun shops with a federal firearms license.”

Acting AG Whitaker (United States Department of Justice)

Gun owner rights advocate curiosity turned to confusion not only because the station did not post a copy of the memo, but also due to a follow-up report stating “Feds mum on bump stock ban memo obtained by KSTP.”

The station is being mum itself.

“I am out of state. I will return Mon…,” KSTP reporter Beth McDonough replied to inquiries from me and colleague Carl Bussjaeger.

Monday is here and I have asked Ms.McDonough and the station:

Will KSTP issue a for-the-record statement on why you have chosen to not post the bump stock memo you reported on?

Several hours later there is still no response. Add to KSTP’s sudden silence the fact that inquiries to FFLs of our acquaintances, along with blog and social media posts by me and several colleagues have come up with nothing. And on top of DOJ being “mum,” so, evidently is the Federal Register, which has not at this writing posted the implemented rule (the last entry is Nov. 16). That leads to the questions of just what it is that KSTP has, and how “memos” can be issued prior to that happening.

Attorney Stephen Stamboulieh asks another, perhaps more relevant question: Who is authorized to sign off on the ban so that it can be published?

Can the “Acting” Attorney General enact new regulations?

It’s of particular significance because Senate Democrats have filed a lawsuit claiming Acting AG Matthew Whitaker is legally not qualified to serve in that capacity and a “win” for them could conceivably invalidate everything he signs, including the “bump stock ban.”

“Loretta Lynch (previous Attorney General) signed the last ATF rule and more recently, then-Attorney General Sessions signed the proposed rule for bump stocks,” Stamboulieh notes.

Alternatively, perhaps everything will be put on hold until President Trump’s Attorney General nominee William Barr is confirmed. If an overwhelmingly negative media reaction is any indicator, that could take some time as assorted administration enemies scurry to dig up anything they can use in the press as dirt.

One thing’s for sure – when the final rule finally does get published and enacted, Stamboulieh will be ready to file a lawsuit.

—As a matter of necessary disclosure, I have written about or joined with attorney Stephen Stamboulieh in other ventures included in this link.

About David Codrea: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.

  • 11 thoughts on “As Media Adds to ‘Bump Stock’ Confusion, Attorney Asks Fundamental Question

    1. The bump stock executive / administrative decree hasn’t even gone public and become a sad precedent of Constitution usurpation yet but the ATF’s “legislation by reclassification” is already ramping-up. As reported by Jim Grant in Firearms News issue 23, December 2018 on page 64, the ATF recently reclassified 50 BMG bolt action AR uppers as firearms receivers, in and of themselves. (I could not find an online link to Jim’s very important story.) So now the ATF says some firearms have TWO frames / receivers that are subject to federal regulation. I’m sure the ATF’s goal is to eventually make all ARs (uppers) subject to their new “reclassification” and, based on the ATF’s dual receiver justification, smaller caliber bolt action uppers will probably be next in the ATF’s cross hairs!

      It appears that the only actual rationale the ATF can make for this decree is as follows: “The bolt-action upper assembly differs drastically from a standard AR-type upper assembly, including the necessity of manual operation.” How does manual operation logically support the imposition of more regulation on AR upper receivers? What if I disable my AR gas system, “redesigning it” (that’s ATF speak) into a bolt-action rifle, which the ATF now explains is based on any AR upper design that renders an AR as no longer being an auto feeder, I guess. I could even install a handle on an AR bolt carrier (it’s been done too) but the existing AR charging handle seems to be fully sufficient on its own to support fully manual operation of an AR, by necessity or by operator option and choice.

      If one disables an AR gas system, the AR also becomes a bolt-action rifle. What if I install an adjustable gas block or gas tube and turn off the gas? Does the upper then become a regulated item? To be consistent with ATF logic, It would seem so. What if my AR gas system becomes clogged or I shoot light loads that require manual operation? Have I “redesigned” the firearm rendering my upper receiver as a government regulated receiver, subject to serialization, taxation, and other government controls?

      Does a SLED (single load enhancement device), as commonly used in CMP and NRA service rifle matches, turn an upper receiver into a regulated firearm too? Though the gas system still runs, the SLED transforms an AR into a single shot bolt action rifle, and the user typically manipulates the charging handle manually in order to charge the rifle with each manually inserted round.

      What a stupid justification for this latest absurd administrative decree! I think the ATF is legislating by fiat decree even more actively these days than during Barry ‘bama’s reign but this latest “reclassification” crap is is ALL on Trump’s watch. In addition to Trump’s reclassification bump stock ban, we need to scream bloody murder about this AR one too!

      Sadly, it seems that anti-gun legislating by administrative “reclassification” is becoming just as common as legislating from the bench.

    2. As usual, these people wouldn’t know a bump-stock if I slapped them with one.They definitely couldn’t explain how one works, or they would understand IT’S NOT A MACHINEGUN.

    3. TTAG posted what they thought was the rule weeks ago, and then they had to retract it. The date was 12/00/18, so it might have been a leaked draft. KSTP might have the same thing.

    4. David: for some reason (neurons firing for a change?) I rembered the Minnesota connection. Wasn’t former ATF Director Jones serving as a US Attorney in MN when appointed to ATF? I thought it odd that he retained the role in MN after assuming leadership at ATF. This station in MN? Perhaps just all a coincidence.

    5. The RepubLIPUKES are as bad as the DemoTARDS!
      The RepubLIPUKES have fought President Trump on just about all things! They may have voted for Hilary instead!
      Another UN-CIVIL WAR is on the way! Just a different type of SLAVERY! No weapons to protect yourself + SLAVE!
      I’m a Viet Nam Veteran that took an OATH to protect America from Enemies, Foreign and Domestic!
      I don’t want America to become ameriKa! eLLo Comrades!
      We have Enemies in both House of Congress that disregard their Oath of office!
      Are you willing to DIE for your FREEDOMS and LIBERTIES? I still am!

    6. Trump was all for approving reciprocity. And now there isn’t a peep about it. Universal background checks is being put forward again and it will eventually pass. Why not trade background checks for reciprocity

    7. I don’t care about bumpstocks but any infringement on the 2nd Amendment is just dead wrong because anyone that has been around for any time and knows how to use the internet and has part of a brain all you need is pants with a belt loop to accomplish the same effect!! It has been used for years and also anyone can check on the internet Jerry Miculek world champion shooter who is probably in his 60s missed out shooting another shooter with a bump stock by thousandths of a minute and shot about 98% hits to about 45% hits SO WHAT’S NEXT TO OUTLAW ALL SEMI AUTOMATIC RIFLES AND HANDGUNS THAT’S WHAT, THE COMMUNIST TAKE OVER A LITTLE AT A TIME!!

    8. I expect the ENEMEDIA, the DemocRATs and the RepubliCANTs to raise a ruckus at EVERYTHING that President D. J. Trump is and is trying to do which helps America come back to the ROOTS of OUR Constitution.
      Within bounds, perhaps President Trump needs to follow the actions of 0b0z0 and his co-conspirators with their attempt to “fundamentally transform” America. IGNORE the DemocRATs and do what helps America.

    Leave a Comment 11 Comments