New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- Apart from Trump’s rash, incorrigible action, what, if anything, has Congress done to curb possession of “bump stocks devices?”
Curiously, Congress did attempt action to ban “bump stocks,” albeit unsuccessfully. On October 31, 2017, about one month after Paddock’s murderous assault on innocent Americans, Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), sponsored a bill, called, “Closing the Bump-Stock Loophole Act,” 115 H.R. 4168.
The bill had co-sponsors among both Republicans and Democrats. The stated purpose of the bill was “. . . to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat in the same manner as a machine gun any bump fire stock, or any other devices designed to accelerate substantially the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon.”
The bill, if enacted into law would amend Section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States Code (USCS) of 1986:
IN GENERAL. Section 5845(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking “and (8)” and inserting the following: “(8) a reciprocating stock, or any other device which is designed to accelerate substantially the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon; and (9)”.
(b) Semiautomatic Weapon.—and Section 5845 [26 USCS § 5845] of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
“(n) Semiautomatic Weapon.— The term ‘semiautomatic weapon' means any repeating weapon that—
“(1); utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and
“(2);requires a separate function of the trigger to fire each cartridge.”
The bill went nowhere. But, interestingly, the bill, if enacted, would not have redefined or expanded upon the definition of ‘machine gun,’ in 26 USCS § 5845—something the ATF Rule rashly does—but instead would include a definition for ‘semiautomatic weapon,’ which 26 USCS § 5845, at present, doesn’t have. The bill would then ban devices “. . . designed to accelerate substantially the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon.” It would treat bump stocks, “in the same manner as a machine gun,” true, as the language of the bill so states; but that isn’t the same thing as saying that “bump stocks” are “machine guns.” That is an important difference, as the definition of ‘machine gun’ is codified in federal statute. There was nothing in the proposed bill to suggest a Congressional intention to amend or to expand upon the statutory [26 USCS § 5845] definition of ‘machine gun.’
Congress itself obviously had a marked reluctance “to play” with its own definitions and avoided doing so—a reservation that Trump obviously doesn’t have, when he wholeheartedly took upon himself, the role of both Chief Executive and “Legislator in Chief.”
Still, the Congressional bill was a bad idea at the get-go. Had it passed, antigun zealots could have, and likely would have, used the new law to argue that any new development in semiautomatic weapon technology, as a matter of efficiency, accelerates substantially the rate of fire of the semiautomatic weapon and, so, must be banned. After all, Antigun proponents see little if any difference between semiautomatic firearm on the one hand and machine guns, submachine guns, and selective fire weapons on the other, anyway. To these zealots all semiautomatic firearms are “weapons of war,” having no practical civilian use, asserting they—ultimately all of them—should be banned outright.
Antigun proponents have worked for decades to make their goal a reality; and they continue to work toward this end—all with the avid monetary and organizational assistance of wealthy globalists who seek to subordinate our Constitution, our system of laws, and our jurisprudence to a “one-size fits all” set of international norms. If they succeed in that endeavor, the independence and sovereignty of individual nation states will come to a screeching, halt and catastrophic end. All Western nations will all be corralled into a single, centralized and uniform political, social, cultural, economic, and financial system of governance. The EU is the test bed and the basic framework for this system. Even as the citizenry of the individual nations within the EU, realizing that their nations are moving inexorably to dissolution and are beginning to resist that effort, it may be too late for them. But, it isn’t, as yet, too late for us—so long as our Bill of Rights, and, especially, are Second Amendment remains intact. The DOJ-ATF “Bump Stock” Rule is not a neutral rule. If allowed to stand, unchallenged, it can and will have a devastating impact on the continued well-being of the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
The ATF “Bump Stock” Rule that We now have is Worse than the Congressional Bill would ever have been.
As bad as Representative Fitzpatrick’s bill [“Closing the Bump-Stock Loophole Act,” 115 H.R. 4168], was, if enacted, the new ATF Rule, as now finalized, is far worse. Indeed, even Congress was reluctant to subsume the concept of ‘semiautomatic weapon’ into the concept of ‘machine gun.’ President Trump has no such reservations. Trump’s Memo to the DOJ suggests that either he has given little thought to the matter or couldn’t care less about the legal consequences of his actions had he thought about the matter at all. The ATF filled with antigun fanatics, delivered for Trump, with unsurprising, characteristic exuberance.
The ATF has laid the groundwork for subsuming semiautomatic weaponry into the category of ‘machine guns,’ even though a clear bright line between machine guns and semiautomatic firearms exists in Congressional Statute. It is a line that Congress has carefully delineated, and it is one which Congress is loath to tinker with. Yet this sharp, distinction between semiautomatic firearms on the one hand and machine guns on the other is one that Trump has cavalierly, and literally, at the stroke of a pen, erased.
This ATF Rule, if allowed to stand, would severely weaken the Second Amendment. Hopefully, the Gun owners of America, that is challenging the constitutionality of the ATF Rule will prevail. GOA must prevail in its lawsuit. It must do so for the good of the Nation; for the sake of the American citizenry; and for the continued well-being of our Nation’s inviolate rights and liberties.
We urge all Americans, who support the Second Amendment, to sign the Petition, to overturn the ATF Rule that bans “bump stocks.” https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reverse-bump-stock-ban-against-firearm-parts
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