NRA Asks for Reevaluation of Bump Stocks

I’m not surprised by this. I do wonder why you’d invite ATF to reclassify rather than use it as a bargaining chip to get our two bills through Congress. I know a lot of people are going to freak the ever loving hell out about this, but there’s several truths, unpleasant truths to be sure, but truths nonetheless:

  • With this incident, continued grandfathering of machine guns is going to be at risk. I’ve been told by very experienced people who work with Congress that the current machine gun regime exists because for the most part it flies under the radar. There’s only been one incident where a legal machine gun was used in a crime, and that was committed by a police officer.
  • Machine guns are a hill you’re going to die on. The time to have that fight was in 1934, and the population was too busy trying to survive the depression. Rightly or wrongly, and I believe wrongly, machine guns have never been considered by most Americans to be in the scope of their Second Amendment rights. This probably has something to do with the fact that they were banned before there was any great awakening on the Second Amendment, or maybe Americans just didn’t care enough to fight until they started going after guns that weren’t machine guns. Either way, it’s a lost cause. You might not like hearing this, but it’s reality. Our best bet to preserve what machine guns are left is to let them continue to fly under the radar.
  • Semi-autos are put at risk because one of our powerful arguments is that they are not, in fact, easy to convert. We largely have overcome the assault weapons issue by relieving people’s confusion that assault weapons are machine guns. Why did this work? Because the vast majority of Americans are OK banning machine guns. I’ve been talking to numerous people who are not inherently hostile to guns who are asking me why the feds allowed a conversion that was so easy to do. You’re not going to argue back with “But it’s not a conversion. It’s only simulated full auto fire.” You’re splitting hairs, and people know what they heard and saw on those videos.
  • Bump fire stocks are a range toy. They aren’t particularly useful for target shooting, aren’t particularly reliable, and aren’t particularly useful for self-defense. If you like the citizen militia purpose of the 2nd Amendment, and I do, they aren’t particularly useful for that either. No current military would field them. I’m not going to agree to risk suffering real and substantial losses to defend them. Is banning them stupid and useless? Yes. But public policy is rarely decided on the basis of reason.
  • SHARE and National Reciprocity were probably going to pass the house, but both were likely going to fall short of 60 votes in the Senate. We know this because the last time the issue came up we were short. If attaching a reclassification of bump stocks gets us past 60 votes, I’ll take it. Those are real and substantial gains for the Second Amendment. I think it’s well worth the trade.

I know this is going to piss off a lot of people, but this is reality.

UPDATE: The more I think about this, the more I think this is a tactic to buy time. Time is our best friend here. Most likely scenario: ATF reviews its determination and says, which is perfectly true: “We can’t reclassify these things without legislation.” By that time, politicians are acting more reasonably, and the public has moved on. We get out of the immediate crisis and have more room to make a deal.

80 thoughts on “NRA Asks for Reevaluation of Bump Stocks”

    1. Me too. If the NRA actually gets something useful in return, I will get over it. I do question the strategy of doing deals with people that want us dead.
      If they don’t get anything in return, I will not forgive.

    2. So we’re going to pass Gun Control before Tax Reform, ObamaCare repeal, National Reciprocity and [insert every other GOP promise here]?

      Smart. That’ll get us motivated in 2018.

      I think the GOP establishment really hates being in the majority and would much prefer going back to verbal sniping from the back of the room. That’s when they made the most money, anyway. This whole “doing what we said we’d do” thing is kinda hard on our little snowflakes in Congress.

      1. So we’re going to pass Gun Control before Tax Reform, ObamaCare repeal, National Reciprocity and [insert every other GOP promise here]?

        Gun control and amnesty for “dreamers”, silly.

  1. Doesn’t piss me off. What you stated is reality. Heller protected firearms commonly in use. Machine guns weren’t common before 1934, they weren’t common before 1968, and they weren’t common before 1986. That ship has sailed. It’s life. Embrace the suck.

    1. Miller protects militia/military guns. This doctrine just hasn’t really been tested. Probably for good reason.

  2. If asked “why did they allow this,” explain that part of the reason is that they are a toy, and would actually make semi autos less dangerous. If Pulse and Newtown shooters used them, I believe there would have been a lower body count.

    Vegas guy put together a perfect storm attack that no one foresaw and was the one scenario where they are in fact more dangerous.

      1. They would need to redefine what automatic fire is and I think Congress may not let them do that easily.

        And if people in our side are ready to sacrifice National Reciprocity and Silencers for Bumpfire, we deserve to lose this and all other fights as we have become a nation of morons.

        1. This isn’t a debate. The left wants to repeal the second ammendment and people are openly calling for the death of nra members. There is no negotiation because the left will not give us anything. They will consider themselves reasonable when they take away only a little and not everything they want. We will gain nothing by capitulating.

          1. If you want to stand firm, you better be able to deliver a lot of GOP heads on platters come primary time. Because that’s what will have to happen if we shout NO at the incoming tsunami.

          2. “We will gain nothing by capitulating” is similar to what Saddam Hussein said when he closed down negotiations with the Americans. A short time later his kids were dead and he was hanging from rope while his party was removed from power.

            The only true morons are those that realize that not every hill is worth dying on and sometimes you have to negotiate with the devil himself.

          1. Yup, the rulemaking process will take months.

            Plus, NRA just asked for ATF to “review” them. That’s ambigious. ATF could well review them and find that they can take no action until NFA is amended by Congress.

            By that time, the immediate passion has cooled, we have more facts about the shooter (let’s hope he was obviously either Loony Tunes, which points towards a mental health bill, or a Leftist mowing down Trump supporters, which might stiffen the GOPe a bit) and people have forgotten.

    1. That’s my concern. If we get something out of it, I’ll be a bit upset, but okay with banning bump stocks. Like Sebastian said, they have little utility. But if we get nothing? I’ll be pissed.

  3. Agreed on all points. I don’t personally care for bumpfire stocks, but it really does come off as a loophole to the machine gun ban. Rapid fire like that is a harder sell on self defense too, whether you honestly believe it’s practical or not.

      1. Well, I wouldn’t trust Congress to be able to define them to the proper degree of granularity…

        I would trust them to try – this is how we ended up with the mess that is non-MG NFA firearms.

  4. How about the theory that the NRA is just playing defense here, asking for an ATF review to pre-empt any legislation that could be the foundation for addtional restrictions?

      1. Having been there, done that I am inclined to be understanding of the front line troops when the situation is fluid. But they have to deliver something positive.

    1. That was my thought too. They’re closer to this than we are, but they aren’t going to get any support from us without attaching a pro-gun pill to this one.

  5. Yet another shameful capitulation by the quislings in the NRA and GOP establishment pukes.

    The “”bump stocks” allow a high rate of relatively indiscriminate fire. Shooting into a crowd of 22,000 with a single-shot will do the same thing eventually.

    Tossing accessories to the gun-control wolves only whets their appetite for more sacrifices.

    1. They wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t necessary. They are the ones talking to lawmakers. All we get to do it write angry letters.

      1. Sebastian, I just sent angry emails to my Representative and Senators basically telling them no more infringements or else no more RINOs! They are all three pretty solid on “present-day” gun rights (i.e., they don’t hold to my militia-arms interpretation of the 2A), but I demanded both Senators filibuster “any and all further infringements” on our right to bear arms. I don’t expect a direct response, just a milquetoast form letter “supporting the Second Amendment with reasonable restrictions.” If I get a noteworthy response, I’ll share it with everyone here.

        Respectfully, Arnie

          1. Agreed.
            On another note:
            Not sure if this meets with everyone’s approval here, but I also sent a rather stern E-message to the NRA asking them why they are trying to throw away a bargaining chip for passage of reciprocity, etc., by handing bump stock regulation over to the ATF instead of Congress, making my emails to my reps pointless. NRA sent a robo-reply saying someone would contact me, but I don’t expect a reply. I am sure they are being inundated with inquiries even as we speak.
            – Arnie

    2. Mbogo, you may be right. I just now heard on CBS Mrs. Pelosi being asked, “Won’t your critics call this restriction the ‘slippery slope’ to total gun control?” Her response: “I certainly hope so!” [shudder!]
      – Arnie

      1. We really need to see if we can get a copy of the quote. People all the time say that no one wants total gun control, that there’s no slippery slope. We need good evidence that prominent people in power indeed wish grease the skids down the slope.

        1. We really need to see if we can get a copy of the quote. People all the time say that no one wants total gun control, that there’s no slippery slope. We need good evidence that prominent people in power indeed wish grease the skids down the slope.

          Here you go, about 30 seconds in:

          1. I bookmarked it. Hopefully I’ll remember it next time I encounter someone who claims that “slippery slope gun control” is a logical fallacy.

  6. ATF already banned open bolt guns like open bolt UZI and MAC-10 semi-autos in the early 1980s because they were easy to covert to full auto and no one has been losing their shit over that “compromise” for the past 35 years. Get over it.

    1. Did the NRA ask for open bolt guns to be banned, Maxpwr? That is what this is about.

      1. No, but no one was bitching about the NRA for not asking for that open bolt ban to be overturned for the past 35 years, either. Be consistent and be mad at the NRA for the past 35 years if you are all about trying to get a machine gun ban overturned that will NEVER be overturned.

        1. Sure they have. People STILL bitch about their support of FOPA in 86 because of the Hughes Amendment.

          And never say never. Ten years ago, I NEVER would have thought any other state except Vermont would have Constitutional Carry. Now we have around a dozen.

          It may not be in a decade or two, but I believe it can happen.

        2. The NRA tried to get the MG ban overturned after it occurred. They funded a lawsuit against the Hughes Act. The lawsuit won the first round. It lost the second round. The Supremes refused to review the loss. That is a fact.

          Why are you damning the NRA about open bolt guns when that was not a gun ban proposed by them? That makes no sense at all.

          I think the NRA’s statement about slidefire stocks is terrible. If we were to trade it for CC reciprocity and the SHARE act, it would be worth it, but I, for one, don’t believe the liars in congress will pass either one. I think we will lose bumpstocks in return for NOTHING.

          And when the next mass shooting happens, what will Congress want to ban next? A bumpfire ban will do nothing prevent another murder, anyone with a brain knows this.

          1. If they pass a ban on bump stocks and we get nothing in return, there will be a lot of GOP congressmen who will need a primary challenger.

  7. If the choice is between the ATF reclassifying bump stocks as NFA or Feinstien’s ban (that can easily be spun to ban any aftermarket trigger) we’re much better off having the ATF reclassify the stocks.

    Considering the limp-wristed GOPe leadership, we’re going to be forced to pick one of these two.

  8. I see even Oklahoma representatives saying we need to review “bump stocks” so I’d assume they are gone (even though they’re really just duplicating a function people were already doing on their own). Maybe NRA has seen they’re gone, they’re not going to get a deal anyway (if even OK reps are capitulating) and are trying to get in front of this as the good guys?

    I dunno. The NRA has been effective overall the last decade (CCW, etc.) I have been keeping watch, but when I look at the history I haven’t figured out yet if they are cunning and brilliant or just plain freakin’ lucky.

    Either one is fine, and either one can fail you, I just hope they can keep it up.

    1. If they are cunning … if they have assumed that ATF will say they need a new law to get the fix … then they have gotten out front on the position, let their support be known, and perhaps the bump stock thing can just be bundled up in SAFE.

      Sometimes you gotta give up stuff. 1986 was the firearm owner protection act which some say basically saved the gun culture, but also ended the machine gun registry.

      1. I really hope they are that cunning. I really hope that’s the plan.

  9. SHARE and National Reciprocity were probably going to pass the house, but both were likely going to fall short of 60 votes in the Senate. We know this because the last time the issue came up we were short. If attaching a reclassification of bump stocks gets us past 60 votes, I’ll take it.

    Any other magical thinking you’d like to “share” because the democrats are never ever ever going to pass SHARE. Ever.

    The NRA just compromised with a group that never does.

      1. Which Republican legislator is going to add this to SHARE? Which Republican leader is going to allow SHARE to come to the floor?

        TLDR; None of them.

          1. The U.S. Senate is the root of most of the problems the Republicans have been having with most issues since 2016.

          2. We were not even scheduled for a vote, in fact, we were not appreciably farther along in the legislative process for share or reciprocity than the last 10 years. bills introduced, lots of co-sponsors and alleged support, but it never manages t get anywhere. an all too familiar story.

  10. For better or worse, quite a few gun owners with no ill-intent want to be able to shoot machine guns — or shoot rapidly like one would with a machine gun.

    If these bump stocks get banned (unregulated), the NRA should insist that the ATF NFA machine gun registry gets re-opened (heavily regulated).

    (+ suppressor de-regulation + CC reciprocity)

    Package all-or-nothing deal.

    Simply making one-sided concessions without getting ANYTHING in return is no way to get back our lost gun rights.

  11. Nobody in congress is going to change their vote on the SHARE act or reciprocity because the nra was weak on bump fire stocks. I would have preferred they say nothing than give in openly.

  12. It pisses me off, but I have to admit Sebastian is right.

    There are lots of variables at work in this immediate political crisis, and who wins and who loses is complicated and not at all pre-ordained. But I have to admit I can’t see any outcome in which the slide-fire stocks come out unscathed.

    If the Republicans screw this up, they will not only screw us over but also screw themselves. But If the Republicans play it right, they get at least some wins for us, and also eff over the Democrats by coasting on the inevitable backlash to the new push for gun-control.

  13. National Reciprocity will be so laden with “poison pill” amendments no sane person will vote for it. That few, if any, Senators are sane we’ll probably end up worse off than now.
    Illinois senators will insist anyone transiting the state obtain an Illinois FOID. MD will continue to extort money for Dem pols. God only knows what a Blasio lead NYFC would demand in amendments.
    Sadly the Status Quo is probably our best bet at this time.

  14. I don’t care about bump stocks. I don’t own one. I think that they are foolish toys. With that being said, I care very much about gun rights. Here are my fears:

    Since when has “compromising” with the anti-gun crowd EVER worked out in gun owners’ favor?
    Name one “compromise” on gun control that resulted in gun control groups loosening a single regulation or law…
    The art of negotiation is where you give up something that you don’t really care about in order to gain something that you DO care about.
    I get tired of the NRA giving in, and I tire of the Republicans counting on our votes and then abandoning us when it counts.

  15. No. ATF says we reclassify because the original filing, based on its use as a device for shooters with mobility impairments was based under false premises, ie: Slide Fire never marketed the device in that manner and instead marketed it as a tool to turn your AR15 into a machine gun.

      1. No. I am thinking about the 2010 letter from ATF to slide fire.

        To quote it: “You letter advises that the stock (reference in this reply as a “bump-stock”) is intended to assist persons whose hands have limited mobility to “bump-fire” an AR-15 type rifle.”

        Slide Fire’s approval was made under a false pretense, that it was intended to be marketed as a device for mobility impaired individuals.

        Rescinding this, and frankly throwing Slide Fire to the wolves, is the easiest thing in the world to do.

          1. It would be good to see what Slide Fire actually filed with ATF. But I have to believe Slide Fire made the claim of using this solely as a device for mobility impaired individuals, and that the Obama controlled ATF didn’t come up with that.

            If that’s the case, its very easy for ATF to throw Slide Fire to the wolves for making a dishonest filing.

            Also, since the ATF letter is very clearly applicable to the Slide Fire as a device for the mobility impaired, if I were a prosecutor looking for a scapegoat, I’d go after Slide Fire, prosecute them for every single Slide Fire they sold that wasn’t marketed as a device for the mobility impaired.

            I can’t believe Slide Fire hasn’t shut their web page down already and I hope for their sake they have retained some pretty top notch lawyers .

            1. Do agencies have blanket authority to go after marketing? I know FDA does, but I’ve never seen ATF do it. I suppose they could try that move, but what law was SlideFire violating?

              1. The approval was based upon the facts as laid out in Slide Fire’s application. Those facts clearly are not aligned with how they marketed the item. The marketing shows their intent all along. That they intended to use this as a means to simulate automatic fire.

                I wish I could find a copy of Slide Fire’s actual application materials.

                This is like the shoelace situation. You can’t ban shoelaces, especially when they are intended to be shoelaces. But you can declare that when used to create an automatic weapon, the gun becomes a machine gun.


  16. Let’s be perfectly honest here.

    Bump stocks appear to exploit loopholes, because they exploit loopholes. There is little functional difference between “actual” full auto and “simulated” full auto. Yes, the trigger itself needs to be pulled each time to fire the weapon, but by using the bump stock, the return of the weapon to a firing position causes the trigger to be depressed again. We all know that the real reason the vast majority of bump stocks are purchased is to circumvent regulation on full auto.

    The same goes for arm braces. This is a way too circumvent SBR regulation. We all know that those arm braces are being used as shoulder stocks when no one is looking. We’re winking at the law with each new pistol brace.

    Short barreled, unrifled firearms, with a total length of greater than 26″, that just happen to fire shot shells, but aren’t designed to be fired from the shoulder, right? Might be a loophole.

    That last one is probably slightly less egregious than the other two. Bump fire stocks and pistol arm braces are accessories that transform a semi-auto rifle or a semi-auto rifle-based pistol into “simulated” full-auto and “sorta-kinda-secret-wink-wink” SBRs, respectively. At least 12ga fun-sticks start out as 12ga funsticks.

    It’s almost like the ATF under Zero was giving us enough jolly rope to loop around our necks. And we were happy to oblige. Now when a nut-job-whack-a-do goes and stirs things up we get caught with our hands in the loophole cookie jar.

    If there’s a law you don’t like, go to court or push your congressmen. Show them why the law is silly. Explain your position clearly, provide examples, frame your arguments reasonably.

    Don’t flaunt the loopholes. That’s the kind of shit my kids try at home. You know what it gets them? More trouble. Sure it feels great to thumb your nose at authority, to be so clever. Then authority puts its foot in you ass.

    I’m not saying we should give up. If we want to win the culture, we need to act like responsible adults. Acting like sly, cantankerous juveniles isn’t going to help us. We’re always just one screw-loose nut-ball away from having to justify everything to an ignorant population that fears what it doesn’t understand and can barely be bothered to learn.

    We don’t like it, but we’re the nerds in this highschool. Our non-gun culture fellows are the sportsball meatbricks. When we get too clever and make the meatbricks feel dumb, bad, or scared, they give us an atomic wedgie and stuff us in our locker. So, let’s not be to clever for our own good.

    1. Complying with the law isn’t a loophole. If the law says that it is illegal to own a gun that fires more than one round per function of the trigger, having a device that operates the trigger more quickly isn’t a loophole. It’s complying with a poorly written law.

      Unless you are going to agree that firearms complying with the AWB by removing bayonet lugs, using thumbhole stocks, and adding bullet buttons were all “loopholes.” In that case, let’s just turn all of them in and give up.

      1. Having a device that pushes the gun and the trigger forward, against the waiting trigger finger, so that the trigger is activated repeatedly seems a little like the gun is being made to fire automatically.

        Sure, it meets the letter of the law, but it’s flagrantly against the spirit and purpose of the law.

        Then we’re all surprised when people are upset that the law has been circumvented and demand harsher laws.

        1. I agree that bump-fire and slide-fire stocks “come off” as exploiting a loophole in the law restricting fully-automatic rifles.

          That said, if the “letter of the law” does not match precisely with the “spirit and purpose of the law”, then it’s a poorly-written law; it misidentified the cause to their desired effect.

          If the purpose was to make it illegal to modify a semi-automatic rifle to be able to fire 10+ rounds per second, then that’s what it should have banned. Instead, they banned what we understand as “machine guns”, defined (in layman’s terms) as “capable of firing two or more cartridges with a single pull of the trigger”.

          (Alternatively, it WAS a well-written bill, but the reality of negotiations and amendments took its toll and this is what we got.)

          Divemedic makes a good point about the ’93 AWB. If you want to ban something, you have to first define it. Coming up with a product that by the Congressionally-approved legal definition is not covered and is therefore lawful, is not a loophole (unless you’re an anti-gunner, to whom “loophole” means “anything we don’t like but is nevertheless legal”); it’s complying with the legal definition.

          Bump-fire stocks “come off” as exploiting a loophole, but I’d counter-argue that they “come off” that way mostly because that’s what the media (quoting anti-gunners) is saying about them, because the media can’t be arsed to understand the distinction between cause and effect.

    2. You sound just like “gunshow loophole” folks who want to eliminate all private transfers.

      Freedom is not a loophole.

      1. “Freedom is not a loophole!” I love that! May I commandeer your quote for future use? It’s a beauty!!!
        – Arnie

  17. Bump fire is just a trick to use recoil as a way to refire. A little forward pressure needs to be used, with the trigger finger not moving. Thise can be done with a shoestring or putting the thumb of the same hand as your trigger finger in a belt loop.
    Banning bump fire stocks won’t do it, they will some be coming back for mags over x rounds and then semi auto.

  18. Good luck with that if we-just-compromise-on- this-little-issue-this-time-our-enemies-will-leave-us-alone-and-everything-will-be-alright crap.
    As someone else asked above when has compromising with the gun-confiscators EVER worked out well for us gun-owners?
    I suggest you all go over to the Raconteur Report website and consider his thoughts on the subject.
    That said, we were NEVER going to get the SHARE bill through.
    Ryan – the worthless-bag-of-Hillary-fleching-pus that he is(and let’s not be forgetting McConnell and friends in the senate – same snakes different faces) were all just looking for ANY reason to drop SHARE like a hot potato – which they immediately did.
    You will get the bump-fire stocks banned and then the next accessory that our enemies decide they don’t like will go on the chopping block.
    Can anybody tell when was the last time the nra did anything for us besides beg for money?

  19. If they’re going to ban or regulate bump fire stocks, we HAVE to get something in exchange for it. We can’t go back to the precedent of not getting something.

    If anyone in the GOP or the NRA is smart, they know this.

    See what ATF says, add a clause in SHARE that puts them on NFA, then force the Dems in the Senate to either choke on it and pass SHARE (intact) or get nothing.

  20. One of the reasons we haven’t seen more gun control following other mass shootings is that the other side only proposes things that would not have made any difference.

    For the first time, we’ve identified something that yes, probably enabled him to fire more rounds during a 5 minute window…and it’s an accessory that is only otherwise used by people with more money by sense. (and please, show me one video of someone with a disability using a slidefire stock).

    The fact that people can make them is meaningless. I can grow opium in my back yard but that doesn’t make it legal.

    The NRA is right on this one.

  21. I think the NRA is right. Namely stall. Let things settle down. On the other hand should this thing get some real legs. I would like to see us get reciprocity and with that at least fix the GFSZ. As is is you need a license for the state that the school is in. If you have a PA LTCF and go to VA and wander into a VA school zone your breaking the law. Also we get suppressors. The PA GFSZ is worded in the same manner but that is a state matter.

  22. “If there were only a few thousand of these things out there…”

    According to a story on npr, Slide Fire has sold $10 million dollars worth of stocks in the last six years.

    Assuming a price of $200 a pop, that’s about 50,000 stocks. Figure maybe another 30,000 or so from the other companies that make similar devices.

    That ain’t a lot of people who have skin in this particular game.

    Source for the initial number:

  23. FYI – The Second Amendment was gutted a long time ago. There’s no way we could keep the government in check the way our forefathers could. The only time the 2A came in to use against the government, in modern times, was either just after WWII or Korea – the name of which escapes me right now. I believe Alan Korwin wrote about that event.

    We are severely under-armed. That’s a fact.

    So, what’s the best strategy moving forward? Hard to say. We need to preserve what’s left as best we can and maybe the “bump stock gambit” is the best way to go. Not sure.

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