Trump Bump Stock Ban: Now What?

Opinion

2AO Bump Stock Ban
Trump Bump Stock Ban: Now What?

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- This week, with the stroke of a pen, President Donald Trump took a bolder Gun Control step than President Obama ever did. And, he’s done it with the protection of the NRA… at least as much protection as they can give.

The National Rifle Association has said that they are “disappointed” in the Bump Stock Ban, but they technically initiated the focus on this gimmicky accessory just days after one was involved in the Las Vegas Killings in October 2017… and shortly after meeting with President Trump in the Whitehouse to craft a response. The NRA’s influence on the loud social conservative segment of gun owners is important to the view of President Trump’s base, but not very important beyond it. The NRA has been under attack for many reasons from millions of gun owners, and the vast majority of gun owners (over 90%) have just chosen not to support the organization. The machinations of the NRA Leadership, their odd allegiance to President Trump despite his betrayal and the ever louder voices of leaders inside the gun community aligned against them both are important to the broad landscape of gun rights issues.

This article is going to focus on the Bump Stock Ban, what you need to know about it and what our community needs to do in the next 90 Days before the ban takes effect. The Second American Organization maintains its position in opposition to any ban of an accessory, feature or firearm type.

Why Does The Bump Stock Ban Matter? Aren’t They Just Silly Toys?

Bump Stocks are pretty much gimmicks. I thought it was fun to bump fire AK type firearms back in the 1990s… I don’t know many people who tried it that didn’t believe it was neat-o…. for about 48 seconds. After that, it was just something that we had all “done one time.” As I’ve said often since the NRA signaled that they would accept a Bump Stock Ban and the Trump Administration made it an agenda item: “There are many reasons to fight a bump stock ban… but, Bump Stocks themselves are not one of them!”

The underlying concern, in principle, is that this ban opens the door (with acceptance from the NRA and far too many gun owners) to the restriction of inanimate objects on the basis that they are somehow responsible for deaths. We must remember that the impetus for this ban is the killing spree that occurred in Las Vegas in October of 2017. Bump Stocks were used in those killings, yes. But, so were many other accessories. What about those other accessories? What about the types of firearms themselves? What about specific features of those firearms? The same exact “logic” that got the Trump Administration to ban bump stocks this week could have been applied to any item in that hotel room. We cannot afford to let this one go or look the other way.

Is It A “Ban”?

There have been some in the gun community who have wanted to play a semantic game about whether or not “ban” is the correct word. The crux of this, meaningless, issue is whether a retroactive restriction that forces people to turn over or destroy property that used to be legal is a “ban.” I think it is… indeed, for practical purposes and the sake of all future discussion, the term is appropriate. For the very curious or very pedantic, the most common definition of the word is: to prohibit, forbid, or bar; interdict.

Is The Bump Stock Ban a Violation Of The 4th or 5th Amendments?

“A seizure of property, within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, occurs when there is some meaningful interference with an individual’s possessory interests in the property.”  (see more here)

“The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution includes a provision known as the Takings Clause, which states that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” (see more here)

Many people have pointed out there are many issues related to citizens being forced to give up their property without compensation if the ban goes into effect. These issues are part of the grounds for the legal action that has been taken against the ban, which we’ll talk more about in a moment.

Does The Second Amendment Protect An Individual’s Right To Own Firearms Accessories?

We at 2AO see this question as non-sensical. Yes, a very shifty and crafty lawyer might be able to spend time on the argument of “keeping arms” is limited to only possessing the weapons themselves and not the various accouterments that are needed to use them. We believe that the inclusion of the concept of “bearing arms” in the Second Amendment indicates that items which are required or support the use of the firearm itself are included under its protections. For more information on the Positions that 2AO Takes on various gun rights issues, visit gunrights.info.

How Is A “Bump Stock” Being Re-Defined As A “Machine Gun”?

Before we get into how the Trump Administration is doing this, it is worth reading how an anti-gun organization, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, has described bump-stocks (as of 12/19/18, from HERE):

“Bump Stocks And Trigger Cranks: LEGAL AND LETHAL: PRODUCTS THAT COULD BE THE NEXT BUMP STOCK
Additionally, the gun industry has marketed devices such as bump-fire (or bump stock) and trigger crank devices that attach to a firearm and are designed to accelerate the weapon’s rate of fire to rates approaching automatic machine gun fire. These devices skirt the limits of federal law because the federal definition of “machine gun” only applies to weapons that automatically fire multiple rounds with “a single function of the trigger.” Bump-fire devices replace the weapon’s standard shoulder stock and allow the weapon to smoothly slide (or “bump”) back and forth very rapidly between the shooter’s shoulder and trigger finger. By harnessing the weapon’s recoil or kickback, the bump stock causes the trigger to be engaged many times faster than a human could otherwise fire. Trigger cranks attach to a firearm’s trigger guard and similarly enable a shooter to repeatedly pull the trigger in very rapid succession by simply rotating the crank. These devices are marketed as “simulating” automatic fire and are a significant danger to the public. In October 2017, a gunman in Las Vegas used multiple bump fire devices to convert semi-automatic rifles into weapons that fired nine shots per second. He used those weapons to carry out the deadliest mass shooting attack in modern history.”

Again, that is a leading anti-gun organization painting the worst picture they can regarding bump stocks, but not reaching the level of calling them “Machine Guns”… the BATFE is now taking the next step actually to define bump stocks themselves as “Machine Guns”! In 2010, the BATFE had this to say about the bump stocks:

“The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed. … Accordingly, we find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.”

Nothing has changed about the stocks themselves in the last eight years. This week, the order issued by the Department of Justice’s BATFE reads:

“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 “machine guns” 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 machine gun 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.”

There is no real explanation for this re-definition other than politics. Nothing has changed, no new tests have revealed anything different about the stocks or how they work. Anyone who understands how semi-automatic guns work knows that the final clause of the above quote can’t be accurate. The stock could be said to automate the physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter… but, it does not alleviate the need for the said trigger to be physically manipulated by the shooter’s finger. The gun still functions in a way that fires one round each time the trigger operates.

Isn’t This Just A Sophisticated Maneuver By Those Who Truly Care About Gun Rights To Get Us Something Important Like National Reciprocity?

No. Not only is there no evidence of such of convoluted thing going on, but there is isn't even a mechanism for it inside of our government. In both practice and principle, this notion is a non-starter. Even if there were someone or some organization on “the other side” in a position to make such an offer, entering into that compromise would undermine several important foundational principles of our fight to regain our infringed gun rights. The closest you might get to this question is the idea that the NRA Leadership met with President Trump, and they all decided to offer up Bump Stocks as the “least important” compromise of their principles and campaign promises (respectively) they could find. This is a compromise that we do not feel was at all necessary, of course. We are already infringed, and there is no need for the gun community to give up anything in response to a killing spree.

What About The Law Suits That Have Been Filed To Stop Trump’ Bump Stock Ban?

2AO believes that the best chance our community has of stopping the Bump Stock Ban from going into effect is the lawsuit filed buy Firearms Policy Coalition. I applaud Tim Harmsen (Military Arms Channel) for personally investing himself as a plaintiff in another lawsuit as well. The FPC Lawsuit is being handled by Civil Rights Attorney’s Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut. Adam Kraut should be well known to many in the firearms community for his fight to get onto the NRA Board of Directors over the past couple of years, despite the organization's overt resistance to having him there. He has been an outspoken critic of the current leadership at the NRA, and it is fitting that he finds himself at the helm of a gun rights lawsuit against something that the NRA is essentially accepting, despite outrage from the gun community. FPC has been very vocal about their opposition to the Bump Stock Ban since it was first hinted at by the NRA and the Trump Administration. They had continually updated their position on this topic over the past year and filed the suit immediately as a rule changed was announced. A full record of FPC Position Statements, Press Releases, and Court Filings can be viewed HERE. You can also donate to support the lawsuit directly HERE.

What Can You Do To Stop The Bump Stock Ban?

While the legal battles are fought in the courts, you can do something… there are several things you can do:

1. Pressure the Trump Administration and the POTUS Himself to reverse position on the Bump Stock Ban

While this may seem a bit simplistic and sophomoric, we have seen how President Trump will respond to social media and/or groundswells of public opinion. One million Gun Owners tweeting “Reverse the Trump Bump Stock Ban!” would certainly get noticed. Many in the gun community have hoped that Donald Trump, Jr., a professed gun rights supporter who has received great adulation from the gun community, would be an ally since it has become obvious that his father isn’t as pro-gun as many had hoped he had become. He can also be found on social media and reminded of the promises he made over the past few years.

2. Pressure the NRA Leadership

Defunding the NRA is the most powerful way you can influence the organization at this point. The NRA Board of Directors is largely powerless. That said if you are already a Life Member and can vote, Do Vote. Vote for those whom Marion Hammer (DON’T vote for her…) has fear mongered as “enemies within” (people who want to Change the NRA Leadership and strategies) and exclusively for returning members who are overtly for change at the top and not afraid to speak up directly about the Bump Stock Ban and other miss-steps by the current leadership. Votes for the likes of Adam Kraut and Timothy Knight would be votes well cast. Beware the idea that “new blood” is always a good choice… I have been very disappointed in how quickly three friends who became board members last year made it obvious that they are not going to fight for change at the NRA. Remember, the fewer votes you cast, the more powerful your votes are. Believe it or not, the best way to influence the Board Members themselves may very well be to write them letters. Considering their demographics, it may come as no surprise to you that I have been told repeatedly that physically opening and holding a letter makes the message contained within more powerful by several BoD Members over the past few years.

If you cancel your annual membership for simply chose not to renew, let the NRA know why. Similarly, while I used to sponsor and participate generously in Friends of the NRA Banquets around the country, I stopped doing so a few years ago. I have let the local organizers and friends in various communities who would regularly sponsor them know why. I worked closely with the NRA for many years, and I cannot overstate the case for your money being the most influential thing to the leadership. At this point, I believe that there are three paths forward for the NRA becoming a better organization:

  • Coup,
  • Scandal or the
  • current leadership Doing the Right Thing and stepping aside.

I don’t see the first option on the horizon, and I certainly have given up hope on the last option. I fear the decimation that would occur if an organization shattering scandal were to take place and be revealed as the organization has been plagued with issues for the last many years. Defunding the NRA might force the leadership to step-aside as their housing allowances, bonuses, and outrageous salaries dry up or simply cannot withstand the scrutiny of the public amidst cutbacks juxtaposed against the habitual squandering of money.

With enough pressure, the NRA might stop covering the Trump Administration on this topic and fight this ban… because even those who are generally for gun control are noticing that they aren’t and that hurts us all.

3. Reach out to your Legislators about the Bump Stock Ban

Letters to your Representatives in Congress know that you are not happy with Trumps abuse of power can’t hurt. The actions taken by the administration to make hundreds of thousands of gun owners felons with the stroke of a pen should be questioned. I have heard many gun owners decry the abuse of Executive Orders in the past. The mechanism used to create this Bump Stock Ban should be questioned. Regardless of which party you attach yourself to or which party your elected officials ran under, they are in office to serve you, and you need to let them know what matters to you. They were not involved in this action, so there is little point in simply making them know only that you oppose the ban, but they can question the method in which the action was taken.

4. Support the legal action against the Bump Stock Ban by Firearms Policy Coalition. Firearms Policy Coalition sticker

You can use your social capital to spread the word for supporting the FPC Lawsuit, and you can make a tax-deductible donation to help fund their efforts. You can also help fund them with the purchase of this ironically funny sticker.

5. Educate others as a Grass Roots Advocate

Perhaps the most important thing that you can do is educate others and recruit them into this fight to take one or more of the actions above. There are many categories of people who need education in a variety of ways:

  • Gun Owners who don’t understand why it is important to fight a ban on a relatively unimportant accessory.
  • Gun Control Activists who don’t understand what a Bump Stock does.
  • Gun Owners who suffer under the delusion that this ban is some type of sophisticated “deal” that will eventually lead to some great victory for gun owners such as the Repealing of the NFA or National Right to Carry.
  • Americans in the middle ground on gun issues which might be motivated by the abuse of power or seizure of property issues that are related to the Bump Stock Ban.

The Bump Stock Ban is a serious issue that could have long-lasting repercussions regarding what types of gun restrictions are put into place in the future and how they are put into place. There is still time for our community to prevent it from going into effect. Let’s do that.


Rob Pincus, Executive Vice President 2AO

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2AO is a grassroots Second Amendment advocacy and education organization with a focus on all shooters and firearm owners and pro 2nd Amendment businesses in America. Second Amendment Organization (2AO LLC) is a registered 501c3, founded in Washington DC and headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

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  • 22 thoughts on “Trump Bump Stock Ban: Now What?

    1. @Bill.

      Pro Wealthy? Pro Military?

      Sorry bill, but most of us here proudly support our military and true Veterans. What you are preaching sounds closer to Leninist doctrine than anything remotely related to what we believe. Be very careful about how and if you reply. I already know you for what you are, so are you willing to show everyone else here as well?

    2. The NRA is not for us. It is a political tool being used by the 1% and Russia to get their agenda through. Withholding our membership dollars won’t make a dent anymore with the Russian support. NRA is an propaganda-machine to get us to vote pro-military, pro-industry, pro-wealthy.

    3. Quote” Bump Stock Ban is a serious issue that could have long-lasting repercussions regarding what types of gun restrictions are put into place in the future and how they are put into place. There is still time for our community to prevent it from going into effect. Let’s do that”…………………..

      What Planet are you guys on? And, what future are you dreaming about?
      The Future of this country is a mixed-race, homosexual, liberal cesspool.
      Where all guns will be banned, and you will be taxed to death to support
      all the marginalized groups.

      1. lol. Where do you live that you are overwhelmed with gay men? And “mixed race”? Are you a time-traveller from the 1930s?

      2. @Craig

        And just what makes you think we would comply with such a ban? In otherwords, what planet are you on? I know you are trying to trigger some here into an emotional argument, but to make it so obvious is a sign of gross stupidity.

    4. @ Vanns40; I’m not one to go with the flow on the LV shooting, pictures of weapons used, but no true answers on ballistics has been brought to the public eyes to see it out in the open, thus is this being to some point as just to give a statement to close the investigation and swept under the rug by all investigating parties????????? This is getting to be a very bad habit in resent years in all walks of life here in the USA!!!!!!!!

    5. I am not a lawyer.
      I have a question.
      Is there not a “clause” in/among the Constitution and or laws that NO “EX POST FACTO” law can be passed that makes a LAWFULLY PURCHASED A BANNED ITEM retroactively?

        1. @David

          Does the regulation have the force of law with prosecution and punishment? Does it allow for grandfathering in devices already owned?

          Sorry, its an ex post facto law passed outside the bounds of the constitution. Nit picking over the words law and regulation does not change this fact. If it is not a law, then it is unenforceable and cannot have legal ramifications if violated.

    6. I’ll just say that Rob’s opinions and advice are by far more acceptable than Greg Camp’s. FYI Ammoland.

    7. If it is a fact that our DOJ, FBI, CIA and ATF had a part in LV’s, massacre the very act of taking these bumpstocks away might be the real target, how well has the NRA been played, or who has infiltrated the ranks of the NRA? Best yet, why has the DOJ, CIA, FBI, ATF and our own police, turned against their oath’s to uphold and protect our Constitution?

    8. Scary food for thought – in this case, our supposed ally President Trump has shown that when he thinks he can gain points with the right demographic (and in this case, I’m not sure WHICH demographic he was chasing), he will toss the 2nd Amendment overboard in a heartbeat. So what happens when the Demonrats, who will control the House shortly, hound him relentlessly over the next two years with impeachment as the goal? How will he react when they trap him, back him into a corner, find some insignificant business deal they can overblow into an impeachable offense? What will the “Ultimate Dealmaker” be willing to sacrifice in order to save his skin? The 2nd Amendment?
      All bets are off, my friends. Keep your powder dry.

    9. Ok.. I wish people would learn the constitution better so they can at least cite the relevant clauses when they are trying to do so.

      The 5th amendment was correctly addressed here, but with the wrong clause. The takings clause is secondary here, as more important is the due process clause which states.
      “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law;”

      Second, Article 1 Section 9 states in the third clause that Ex Post Facto laws are Unconstitutional and cannot be passed or enforced. They are to be rendered null and void on conception.

      Third, Only Congress has the power and authority to pass law. Its time everyone starts pointing this out any time some head up the butt bureaucrat gets an idea he can institute a new regulation like it is Law.

      So what we have is a person or group with no authority, passing an ex post facto law, in violation of no less than three Amendments to the Constitution and I could make a case for adding in numbers 6, 8, and 9 as well.

      Stop just talking about the constitution and start knowing it people…

      1. You’d be amazed at the twisted road ATF has been able to take, with Congressional approval. It’s not a “law”, it’s a “regulatory” act! Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. Congress allowed them to do this because they were too damn lazy, collectively, to assume the responsibility the Founders intended them to have.

    10. The slippery slope of banishment of semiautomatic firearms just got oiled by Trumps DOJ. The words in the regulation were carefully chosen and are not a mistake. As written it let’s Trump off the hook and pulls the trigger half way for Democrats to complete the firing cycle of total banishment and confiscation which is the goal of all communists

    11. I must agree with Moe and No Filter and what they said. I also have started a petition at petitions.whitehouse.gov and can be found at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reverse-bump-stock-ban-against-firearm-parts

      Everyone needs to get on and sign this petition as a way to let Trump know that we’re not going to take this lying down like the NRA leadership has. NRA members, stop supporting these surrender monkeys and quit NRA for a no-compromise group like GOA! Everyone needs to get “all hands on deck” as our gun rights are now under the most unprecedented attack ever! If you don’t believe me, wait till January 3rd, you’ll see more clearly!

    12. “We must remember that the impetus for this ban is the killing spree that occurred in Las Vegas in October of 2017. Bump Stocks were used in those killings, yes.”

      Respectfully, I must disagree with your statement. In the fifteen months since the LV shooting, not a single agency, federal, state or local, has ever claimed that any of the guns found in Paddock’s hotel room were forensically linked to the actual shooting. All we’ve been shown are pictures of the so-called crime guns but not one piece of empirical evidence linking them to the shooting.

      1. Thanks for making that point, I was just about to and was cruising through the remarks in case someone already had. We, too often, take as fact, rumor that has been widely spread. This has to be one of the longest running investigations (Las Vegas) since JFK’s assassination, and no one “in a high position of authority” appears to be anxious to see it reach a conclusion so a final report can be issued!

        I also agree with “No Filter” that the NRA has compromised itself so many times, over the past few decades, that it would make a pretzel factory jealous with the contortions it has gone to in justifying its positions. Have we, as gun owners, reached the point of “not one inch more”? Are we at that final point of mass civil disobedience where we refuse to obey the law, nationwide, as gun owners did with NY’s SAFE Act? We’ll see.

    13. “Least important” compromise. Really? Does this mean the the NRA has other “more important” compromises? I would say, Rob, that the gun owner community put their faith, trust, and financial support in No Compromise organizations. This weakness in the NRA is exactly what the gun-grabber community wants and until the NRA stands up and says, ” No Compromise”, infringements will continue to be brought upon us.

      1. I’m no fan of the current NRA, its leadership or its strategies… but, I am also not a fan of rhetorically “no compromise” organizations that merely tell gun owners what they want to hear. When I see a 2A Organization marching (peacefully) in open violation of GFZs, NFA and/or GCA, I will believe that they are standing up to their memes. Until then, “no compromise” is just a fundraising slogan.

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