What Does The ATF’s Latest Bump Stock Comment Mean?

What Does The ATF's Latest Bump Stock Comment Mean?
What Does The ATF's Latest Bump Stock Comment Mean?

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- In the latest court filing, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, (ATF) has stated that they do not possess the authority to legislate the banning of bump stocks.

A bump stock is a device that allows the user to use the recoil of the firearm in conjunction with a forward pushing motion on the handguard to pull the trigger rapidly. In theory, this combination enables the user to increase the rate of fire of a firearm.

On the day after Christmas in 2018, the ATF released a final ruling on bump stocks stating that the devices are “machine guns.” All machine guns are a National Firearms Act (NFA) Item. Since the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 bans citizens from owning any machine gun produced after 1986, it made every bump stock illegal.

Owners of bump stocks could either destroy their device or turn them over to law enforcement to hold or be destroyed. States like Washington State held bump stock buybacks which paid owners $100 to turn in their bump stocks. If a bump stock owner refused to turn in their device or make it inoperable, they faced a $10,000 fine in ten years in federal prison.

In Aposhian v. Barr, et al., Firearms instructor W. Clark Aposhian of Utah sued Attorney General Bob Barr. He claimed that the ATF lacks the authority to change the definition of a machine gun. The plaintiff further asserts that only congress can make a new federal law that would ban the device.

AmmoLand reached out to our sources in the Firearms Technology Branch of the ATF. Our source, who was not authorized to talk on the matter stated that the new interpretation of machine gun did not come from their branch. He went onto point out that a person doesn't need a bump stock to bump fire a rifle. He explained how common items like belt loops or rubber bands can be used to bump fire a gun.

Our source went onto say that the Firearms Technology Branch has reviewed bump stocks on multiple occasions since getting one from Slide Fire in 2010. Every time, they have ruled that these devices do not violate the NFA. He speculates that it was pressure from the White House that caused the definition to change, but he states that he doesn't have direct evidence.

I reached out to several other ATF agents and lawyers about the court filing. All our contacts expressed the view that this admittance isn't a deal. In the eyes of the ATF, anyone caught with a bump stock is still guilty of a felony, and they will fully prosecute the owner to the full extent of the law.

The ATF isn't arguing in court that they have the legal authority to change the definition of a machine gun. The ATF is merely claiming they are using the “best interpretation” of the statute.

Sources close to the case on the plaintiff side have also told me that this admittance from the ATF doesn't do much other than creating headlines. This court filing is not the end of the case, and in all likelihood will have little effect on the outcome since the ATF has never claimed to have the power to legislate.

AmmoLand reached out to several sources in the ATF, but none were willing to go on the record.


About John CrumpJohn 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 leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.

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RoyD
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RoyD

Some people don’t seem to remember, or even knew, that the original “bumpstock” which was submitted to the BATFE was denied because it contained a spring in it which allowed the gun to which it was attached to fire in an “automatic” fashion. That which we now call a bumpstock is basically that device without the spring. I think that is a correct recollection of the facts. Feel free to correct any error I may have made.

Docduracoat
Member
Docduracoat

The problem is the precedent that Donald Trump established.
By ordering ATF and DOJ to ban bumpstocks by regulation, now the next Democrat president will do the same thing.
Mark my words, ALL NFA workarounds will be banned.
Your binary triggers and “pistol braces” will be banned.
Eventually there will be another Dem in the White House

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Doc, JFK used the IRS against his political opponents, so I think that JFK set the precedent.

Frank
Member
Frank

Once the ATF stepped on it’s collective dick there was no turning back. It did that when it approved of the bump stock initially. How many people who are all up in arms about this issue would there be if it had originally been shut down and not approved? I would bet like maybe one or two max. Maybe zero? It should never have been approved in the first place. No one would even know about it or care. The argument is now whether the ATF has authority to ban anything. No it does not. But IT DOES have authority… Read more »

Considerthis
Member
Considerthis

Frank, Please, explain why ” IT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN APPROVED IN THE FIRST PLACE” and why you think that, Are you opposed to the National Firearms Act because it allows legal ownership of full auto weapons ? You say “bump stocks DO convert a semi into full ” Put a loaded ,cocked safety off AR with a bump stock on the deck. Put a loaded,cocked,,safety off, selector set to full auto AR on the deck. Pull the trigger with your finger on each one time. What happens ? The AR with the bump stock fires one round , no… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Consider, I fear that “Frank” will not return.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Frank, What is the number of the Executive Order that you claim Trump issued?

RoyD
Member
RoyD

You know, Frank, you could just as easily shown yourself to be the ignorant fool that you are without all that verbosity.

John
Member
John

To say this revelation by the ATF is of no big deal misses the mark big time.!it is a big deal. Of course the good folks at the ATF can not write legislation, but what they can do is interpret a statue and if ambiguity is present, they may fill in the gaps via regulatory action. The big deal is the Courts have found if no ambiguity exists, the rule of lenity (strict standard) applies and an agency may not tinker around the edges. Here, the ATF actually states there is no ambiguity as congress has defined machine gun which… Read more »

USMC0351Grunt
Member

Ban refridgerators, they contain ingredients that make you fat and give you heart disease. Ban automobiles, they allow drunks to murder people. HelI, just ban everything and then somebody point out where in the hell did the, “representative government” ever get the authority to ban anything?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Grunt, ban Libtards, they always make me sick.

Rob
Member
Rob

Shall not be infringed and yet that’s exactly what they do every day. It wasn’t legal for Congress to infringe in 34 and it’s been happening ever since.

USMC0351Grunt
Member

Perhaps between now and the 2020 elections would be a good time to pursue repealing the 1934 in the 1986 OPPRESSION against We the People? It will be our way of “draining the swamp”?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Grunt, DJT wants a second term really bad. So for a little while we have more juice that usual.

Gerry
Member
Gerry

I think having ATF do the dirty work was a good way to deflect the issue away from the Executive Branch and force Congress to take a stand. Courts should follow up on this ATF statement by ruling that ATF had no standing to ban bump stocks, also forcing Congress’ hand. I’m not so certain they will.
It’s a good strategy: everyone blames everyone else, and nothing gets done. This is typically what happens in Washington, by the way, and we usually complain.

Ryben Flynn
Member
Ryben Flynn

Their statement admits they screwed up and knew it at the time, and I believe they knew they would be sued over it. The ATF rewrote the definition which is part of the 1934 NFA LAW for 85 years. Only Congress can change the Law.
The problem with letting the definition change stand is now the Government can ban semi automatic AR style rifles because they can now be “readily converted” to a machine gun.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@RF, Not so fast, the issue before the fed court is Whether the agency went beyond its authority when they chained the definition. The agency can not really ban anything else until that issue is decided.
Congress could legislate, but I don’t see Congress rushing to do anything.

USMC0351Grunt
Member

@RF, we may just have to wait until there’s a federal court trial in front of a jury where somebody sets a bump stock down on a table and say Okay show how it operates as a machine gun “as it sits”? Where do you load the ammo? Where is the triggering mechanism? Where do the bullets come out?

The whole problem is banning, “accessories (inanimate objects) to a mechanism”

jack mac
Member
jack mac

Possessing a hacksaw can readly convert a rifle barrel to under 16″. I would not put it past them.

Morrigan
Member
Morrigan

Basically it means “they are not illegal but we will arrest you and prosecute you for owning one
anyway”. I have no desire to own one, and think the things are silly but not as silly as the ridiculous over-reaction to them by the gummint. I would like to see the “ban” stuffed right back down their throats.

USMC0351Grunt
Member

EXACTLY!

TexDad
Member
TexDad

Congress will ban them immediately if the ruling is overturned. We still should support the lawsuits because this was a dirty, dirty trick, but either way I seriously doubt bump stocks are coming back.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@TD, You speak of Congress as if it were of one mind. Congress contains 552 (more or less) members, all with varying beliefs and constituencies, none of whom can agree on the color of an orange.

TexDad
Member
TexDad

It won’t have to do with their minds at all. It’ll have to do with the media and the emotional public outcry they will manufacture, and the giant snowball it already was. Fact is, there was plenty of public support to get them banned, and Trump kept it out of Congress.

I could be wrong, and it may be a quiet victory. That would be nice, but I doubt it.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@TD, Hmmm, yes, the media, that bedrock of our Republic… I’m sure that you are right. How many votes does the media have again?

TexDad
Member
TexDad

Wow, what an intelligent reply. I always thought the media was in the business of garnering support for gun control and that actually DID affect votes. I see now, because of your sarcastic response, the error of my logic.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@TD, sarcasm is ridicule, scorn, sneering, or scoffing. I intended none of those things. Maybe you could delete the emotional part of your response, and recompute.

TexDad
Member
TexDad

Nah, we’re done here.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@TD, Have a nice day.

Bill
Member
Bill

I pray that the Supreme Court will provide sanity here. Otherwise words will have no meaning.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Bill, I think that was the plan all along. Make the agency change the definition, so that the libtards were happy, and fooled. DJT was off the hook. Congress was off the hook. The S. Ct, with new blood, finds that the agency acted ultra vires, and finds it unconstitutional, so the Second Amendment crowd is happy, and fooled.

Green Mtn. Boy
Member
Green Mtn. Boy

@ Wild Bill

The unfortunate part is where people had to either destroy or surrender their property un Constitutionally,with no recourse what so ever. The worst part is the residence it set as to executive order by fiat and a agency writing law instead of congress,all violations of the Constitution as you are aware.

RoyD
Member
RoyD

“Had to?” What is this “had to” you speak of?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@GMB, I guess that there was that mentally deficient person that the BATFE is prosecuting, but other than that fellow, I don’t know of anyone that did not lose their bump stock in an unfortunate boating accident or really unlucky hand of poker.
But seriously, the idiotic agencies need to go, and first among them should be BATFE! BATFE was created by a Sec. Treas, memo, in an afternoon, and could be eliminated by a superseding memo from Sec. Treas., this afternoon.

USMC0351Grunt
Member

If I’m not mistaken wasn’t the Second Amendment drafted in case the First Amendment became meaningless or, “words not having any meaning”?

Some guy
Member
Some guy

Democrats are a cancer destroying America. No more talk, they want a civil war, let’s give it to them in spades!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Some, Yes, they are a cancer, but it may be a bit early to just start grabbing libtards and betrayers and hanging them. Not that I am opposed.

SoSueMe
Member
SoSueMe

George Washington and company would’ve been stacking bodies by now!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Some, I ran across this and I am sharing it here: “There is (for now) no longer a Democratic Party. Instead, it is a revolutionary Jacobin movement that believes socialism is our salvation, that identity politics is our creed, that gun confiscation is our duty, that the abrupt end of fossil fuels is coming very soon, that open borders is our new demography, and that the archetypical unmarried, childless, urban hipster is our model woke citizen.” Victor Davis Hanson

I wish that I had wrote that!

Truth
Member
Truth

The entire Congress is a cancer not just the DemocRATS. They may be loud, obnoxious and openly telling us what they’re going to do but the GOP, and I’m not talking about just RINO’S, are passive, weak, pathetic COWARDS who, frankly are not much better than the opposite party. A Democrat yells boo and the GOP piss their pants. I have come to believe the GOP are nothing more than the other side of a 2-sided coin; both playing the age-old strategy of Divide & Conquer. I’m fed up with both parties and cannot justify voting GOP other than the… Read more »

Bill
Member
Bill

It’s our Savior DJT. Like all the rest of the people who have the Gene’s and/or money or the backing of MI to inhabit those great white buildings, they dont like guns. They know nothing about guns and they refuse to educate themselves about them. I ask you, when will there be qualifications, testing, DRUG testing and licensing to govern anybody? They require this crap for just about anybody wanting to make a decent living, drive, and in some commie states own a gun. They need nothing to impact 330,000,000 lives. Why is that? Does it make sense? Oh, I… Read more »

Bill
Member
Bill

Opinion of a different “Bill”: My Savior is someone else, thank you. I have the highest esteem for DJT, and consider him the finest president in at least a century, even as I acknowledge that he has grown a lot. But our salvation is not, and cannot be, in one man. There is One far greater, and alongside that, it remains true that every American who would continue to be an American, must diligently fight the good fight in his and her own right. Meanwhile, I thank God every day for Donald Trump standing in the gap.

RoyD
Member
RoyD

I now know what Alice thought when she fell down the rabbit hole.

StreetSweeper
Member
StreetSweeper

So the ruling isn’t a law because the BATF doesn’t have the authority to change the definition of a machine gun but possession is still a felony. Biggest bunch of word-salad BS I have ever heard.

Will
Member
Will

It’s way past time (decades) to abolish the ATF,and reverse the bump stock ban. The GOA is working hard to get that done too.

tetejaun
Member
tetejaun

The FACT that YOU are upset over the ATF banning a plastic toy tells me everything about you.
Do YOU get out and canvass Republican votes?
Do YOU teach gun rights and the Constitution to anyone?
Tell us about YOUR military service.

I am so laughing at you wimps that are upset over a plastic toy.

Will
Member
Will

Toto,you still involved with the Girl Scouts ? A couple weeks ago you said you were involved with the Girl Scouts !

RoyD
Member
RoyD

I’ll say one thing, you are at least consistent……

Considerthis
Member
Considerthis

Hey RoyD, he is consistent.
Problem is, being a jackass consistently is of little value to anyone !
He says we’re upset over a toy, but all of his posts sound like a tantrum.
He claims to teach gun rights and constitution ,but a president demanding a temporary Attorney General order a temporary head of the ATF is a O.K. way to make firearms laws ?

StreetSweeper
Member
StreetSweeper

I spent 6 years in the U.S Cavalry (2nd ACR & 10th Cav. -Buffalo Soldiers) and a service disabled veteran. No, it isn’t the bump stock, it’s the word contortions they used that could be applied to many firearms. Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit apparently Toto.

Will
Member
Will

@StreetSweeper,Toto is a total and complete moron !

USMC0351Grunt
Member

… and the way they stepped around established legal means to acheive something that is wholly void!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@TT, we teach Con Law to you! LOL! I’d love to tell you about my military service. Get a beer, in fact, get a six pack… and pull up a chair. The world began on 15 September 1975, at 1400, hrs exactly. It was the first time that I stood on the company street, as a slick sleeve private, and there was no world before that. At 1403, precisely, we were all doing disciplinary drill on the company street. Little did I know. Nothing, in fact. And twelve years later, I owned the company street. Bored yet, or should I… Read more »

Lee
Member
Lee

I suggest you confront any one of these wimps and state your case. I’ll be your huckleberry.

Bill
Member
Bill

If you lose your RIGHT to own a plastic toy, no big deal, is it? One right lost, or another, who cares? Not sure that you are more than a smoke blower, yourself. What do you actually do? And if you were in the military, I guess that makes you especially entitled to all glory, laud, and honor above and beyond all “common” patriots and citizens, right? Good to show your love of America by being an elitist.

Will
Member
Will

@Bill,that’s what Toto don’t get about the bump stock ban. I never personally cared for them but that’s not the point. A lot of people do like them and now the ATF admits they lacked the authority to ban them and classify as machine guns. Don’t give the gungrabbing socialists a damn thing that will infringe on our 2A civil rights and freedoms,nothing ! PS Toto is a complete idiot !

Tionico
Member
Tionico

It ain’t about the “plastic toy” I’m angry. Nope. If someone GAVE me one of those silly things, I’d just give it someone else, no use for it myself, not at all. Nope I’m angry at HOW this whole thing came about…. while we HAVE the right to keep and bear arms, some two bit unconstitutional FedGov agency made a decision, outside the limits of the LAWS governing them, that pretends to prohibit possession of a cheap plastic toy. There are specific pathways that MUST be followed to make new laws. Executive Branch gummit can NOT make new law. But… Read more »

Considerthis
Member
Considerthis

When my children were quite small we allowed them to watch an educational children’s show called “The Electric Company” They had a cartoon about how a Bill was made, approved by congress and signed into law by the president. You should find that cartoon and watch it if you are going to teach about gun rights and the constitution. It might help you understand.

Lakefoot
Member
Lakefoot

Schoolhouse Rock. It was great and is out there somewhere on CD.

ras52
Member
ras52

Will, right on! Two good ideas! Go get em GOA!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Sweeper, a most perspicacious observation! The agencies’ rules, including BATFE, are “rules” promulgated by the agencies, and not law made by Congress,with signature of the president. Here is the pivot point: Although not law, those rules have “the force and effect of law”. This double talk lie was brought to us by FDR, who wanted to by pass the Constitution, and Congress, and still get re-elected. Every President and Congress, since, loves the arrangement because it allows them to get around the Constitution and if the public hates it, then it is agency’s fault, rather than Congress or the President.… Read more »

Bill
Member
Bill

This makes laws all sorts of interesting. An agency with no legislative authority one day decides that a law needs a “better” interpretation, and from that moment on, what was legal becomes illegal. Indeed, Alice has fallen down the rabbit hole.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Bill, the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) is way bigger than the US Code.

RoyD
Member
RoyD

Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man! LOL!