Though ATF Has No Authority To Ban Bump Stocks, They Seek Your Comments On Banning Them
With over 6,000 comments on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bump Stock Ban “rulemaking page” concerning the ban of bump stocks, what everyone fails to understand is that our Constitution provides zero, zip, nada authority to the ATF, the Justice Department nor the Executive Branch to ban anything. All legislative authority is invested in Congress, and Congress alone, and they are prohibited by the Second Amendment from infringing on the public’s right to keep and bear arms, including those with bump stocks.
Obviously, this is coming from the White House after the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas shooting in which bump stocks were attached to several of the rifles that were allegedly used in the shooting. Both President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, as well as the Justice Department, were calling for a ban on the accessory that accelerates the firing of a semi-automatic rifle without converting it to fully automatic.
However, as I said above, there is no authority for any agency in the Executive Branch to create a rule that bans an item pertaining to arms.
Bob Adelman pointed out at The New American relates some of the history of the ATF concerning bump stocks.
The language hid the fact that on 10 previous occasions the ATF had ruled that it had no authority to ban bump stocks but has now conveniently changed its mind and its definition:
[Now] a semi-automatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.
In June 2010, John Spencer, then the ATF’s firearms technology chief wrote that since the device that he examined, which had a bump stock attached, had no “functioning mechanical parts or springs” that made it operate like a machine gun, it therefore fell outside the ATF’s purview to ban them. “Accordingly,” he wrote, “we find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under [the] Gun Control Act [of 1968] or the National Firearms Act [passed in 1934].”
In April 2017, the ATF issued a similar ruling:
Since [the device we examined with the bump stock attached] does not initiate an automatic firing cycle by a single function of the trigger, FTISB [the Bureau’s Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch] finds that it is NOT a machinegun under the [National Firearms Act], or the amended [Gun Control Act]. [Emphasis in original.]
In December the ATF reiterated its stance: “Since 2008 ATF has issued a total of 10 private letters in which it classified various bump stock devices to be unregulated parts or accessories, and not machineguns or machinegun conversion devices.”
That was then; this is now. Bump stock devices are now redefined as machineguns and would be banned, with sanctions for violators: “Consequently, current possessors of these devices would be required to surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable upon the effective date of the final rule.”
Gun Owners of America wrote that engaging in such a ban of bump stocks “would set an incredibly dangerous precedent which would lead to administrative bans on virtually any type of firearm.”
Others are questioning just how the ATF can change its mind in the first place on something they have already approved.
“How can they just change their mind now and go to court and defend that position, other than to say the president told us to find a way to ban them?” said Michael Bouchard, a retired assistant director who is now president of the ATF Association. “There are so many other kinds of devices that mimic what a bump stock does, it’s a can of worms as to which one you ban and which one you don’t.”
Of course, it is! This would lead to banning belt loops on jeans...
Or maybe banning people having shoulders and fingers…
While the NRA is ready to sell out the rights of gun owners on this issue, as they have in the past, Gun Owners of America has pledged to fight it, calling it a “gross infringement of Second Amendment rights.”
“Gun Owners of America remains committed to fighting any bump stock ban or regulation — including the use of legal action,” said GOA.
What’s most amazing is that the ATF and the DOJ believe they are the ones to propose these regulations. Take a look at the summary at the Federal Register where comments are being taken.
The Department of Justice (Department) proposes to amend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regulations to clarify that “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics (bump-stock-type devices) are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), 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 machinegun 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. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. With limited exceptions, primarily as to government agencies, the GCA makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute. The bump-stock-type devices covered by this proposed rule were not in existence prior to the GCA’s effective date, and therefore would fall within the prohibition on machineguns if this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is implemented. Consequently, current possessors of these devices would be required to surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable upon the effective date of the final rule.
Just take a look at the outright lies in that summary. Bump stocks do not “convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.” That is a lie. So is the next part, “… 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.”
Actually, every round fired requires pulling the trigger. While it’s true that the bump stock does harness recoil energy to operate, the fact is that the results are the same: One pull of the trigger produces one round fired. End of story. So there is physical manipulation of the trigger. However, as you can see in the video above, you don’t even need these devices to bump fire. You can do it and be pretty accurate if you just use the right technique.
But we have Mr. Do Nothing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who should know better, orchestrating this unconstitutional fiasco.
President Trump said on Monday that if he had known Sessions would recuse himself concerning the Russia probe, he might would have sought a different AG. Well, there’s lots of reasons Sessions should have never been put in the DOJ, and among them are things like asset forfeiture, continuing to push the fictitious notion the federal government has the constitutional authority to make a plant illegal and this ridiculous notion that he has authority to push this through the Executive Branch.
The motions that the Trump administration are going through are things that even the Obama administration didn’t do. In fact, under Obama, bump stocks were made available.
“By banning bump stocks, Sessions is taking an action President Obama’s anti-gun rights Attorney General Eric Holder said he refused to take without explicit congressional authorization,” wrote former congressman Ron Paul.
June 27, 2018 is the final day that comments may be submitted. My suggestion to anyone submitting a comment is to keep your eye on the ball and ask the ATF where in the Constitution they get the authority to engage in this behavior and institute a ban on such an item because understand this, if they can ban a bump stock, then there is no reason they can’t ban a semi-automatic rifle since there are some people who can produce the same results as bump stock without the bump stock.
Article posted with permission from Freedom Outpost