The Bump Stock Issue Never Went Away

The ATF, in a rare move, decided several months ago to enter the rule making process with the bump stock issue. There was even the required public comment period. I say rare, because ATF has never liked using rule making, choosing to do most regulation through determination letters. They traditionally prefer policy to regulation.

Now the big deal is that Trump called for a bump stock ban, probably because NRA called for a bump stock ban, and there’s already a rule making process going on that’s headed in that direction. NRA called for a bump stock ban because in Congress, the votes were there to pass one, and all the Congressional bills I saw on the topic were overly broad and sucked. They would have made any gun smithing work on a semi-automatic firearm legally risky, and that’s before you get into the multitudes of constructive possession issues.

So what do you do? Call on ATF to undertake rule making, where you can control the process under a friendly administration, and make sure whatever comes out is narrowly worded. Also, since it’s regulation, rather than law, it’s much easier to change.

So that was the choice: a bump stock ban that swept in a lot other ordinary and legal activity, and a bump stock ban that was just a bump stock ban, and was regulation rather than law. There are no other options. Don’t like that? Then you’re left replacing many of the squishy Republicans. But you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone running for office in this country willing to stand up and shout, “Yay for machine guns,” let alone win on it. And if you challenge all the squishy Republicans and lose? You’re done. Finished. Bump stocks ain’t a hill I’m dying on, and trust me, it is a hill you’ll die on.

22 thoughts on “The Bump Stock Issue Never Went Away”

  1. I completely agreed with you on this issue. Nearly all the time I prefer well crafted legislation over rule making. But the proposed legislation both in Congress and before various state legislatures (see Washington State where a bill mimicking the bill before Congress will likely become law) is not close to being well crafted and would be very detrimental to gun rights. Look at the typical politician – on the right as well as the left. Does anyone believe that they, or their most likely replacement come Nov 2018, can do better than the ATF under Trump?

  2. We’re looking at a bump stock ban and maybe the “NICS improvement act”. Neither of which I am adamant about opposing. What bothers me is that Trump has conceded so to speak. I was more pissed about that than anything else. However according to Sarah Sanders Trump is open to an assault weapons ban as well. If he is he will not win in 2020. Just the posible snowballs chance in hell implication he is even considering it is pissing off a large part of the gun community.

    But we’ve done this before: gun legislation that is bipartisan and doesn’t do more than improve or adjust existing law; the gun hating democrats that want the government to ban all guns and kill all gun owners by execution without trail will poison the well attaching horribly anti gun amendments or forcing votes on unpopular bans and overreaching regulations and everyone gets pissed off, dig in there heels and nothing happens. But then again the “#resistance” has the energy and crazy so maybe they will just try and murder a few republicans again like that Berniebro that tried to assasinate the republican senate before a possible vote in an attempt at intimidation. Remember to these people unless you are exactly like them in every way shape and form and believe everything they do you are a feral animal unworthy of life and should be killed. ALL 100+ million of us.

    1. “Look I want to ban all guns for some people, okay? ALL GUNS. FOR SOME PEOPLE. It’s really that simple. Obama didn’t do that, you know. So I will. Okay?” (complete with hand gestures)

      No, he didn’t really say that but I enjoy thinking that is what the inner voices in his head proclaim when I read this:

      Bottom line- despite the flailing over the last day or so, I’m still comfortable with Trump. The things he can do best are deflect, think of his ego/legacy, and raise money for the party. All of those things *generally* help us in this situation today.

      His EO deflects to the ATF, congress, and the federal bureaucracy’s comment process, which buys time. At this point, time is what helps in this situation. For all of his off the cuff antics, there is someone advising him well somewhere.

  3. Trump’s memo looks like a nothingburger. It directs the ATF to continue the rulemaking process. Which it was doing anyways, and could end the same way its ended previously, with nothing and a punt back to congress.

    I actually think this whole debate might work to our advantage. You want to bring up guns in Congress? Ok, let’s do that. The House has already tied “FIX NICS” to national reciprocity (a high quality version that will let people behind the lines carry). In the vote-o-rama in the Senate amendment process I think pro-gun stuff (SHARE Act?) is far more likely to break 50 votes and approach 60 than an AWB or something similar. DiFi didn’t have the votes for an AWB after Sandy Hook and the numbers haven’t changed that much.

    The most likely outcome is a lot of sound and fury and nothing gets 60 votes in the Senate, so status quo.

    The best case outcome is we get something relatively inoffensive like FIX NICS plus a big win like National Reciprocity.

    If we get a worst case output from the Senate, the House is likely to modify it back to our liking, and worst case Trump has a veto pen.

    The numbers might get slightly better for us after the midterms but this is really one of our best chances to get anything positive through. So might as well have the debate now.

  4. There are a lot of people willing to senselessly die on the hill of bump stocks and machine guns simply because they think politics is simply a game of who can scream the loudest. And they’ll die why shouting “fudd” at the top of their lungs.

  5. word.

    Only thing I would add is that the call for “age” restrictions should be deeply disturbing, especially when Trump says it. This is antis wet dream, it keeps people out of the gun culture as kids. From competition shooting to hunting, or plain old self defense if there are any 18 year olds left living on their own.

    bumps stocks are a distraction, age-related restrictions on rifles are the real prize for the antis, and this is what we need to be fired up about.

      1. Sure, but if you can drive a 3 ton killing machine on the highway at 18, you can drive a car. I dont have the stats, but I’d bet teenage drivers 18-21 are responsible for a lot of auto deaths, more than firearms, and over 30% of teen auto involve alcohol, even though alcohol for 18-21 year olds is largely banned.

        How do teens afford their 3 ton four wheeled killing machines?

    1. Indeed.

      That worries me more. And I do have concerns that the antis will use this bump stock move (basically the timing of it) as leverage to push more gun control concessions out of Trump

      1. And looks like the age thing will be “bipartisan” now.–politics.html
        Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said they will introduce a bill to raise the minimum age required to purchase rifles from gun dealers, including assault weapons such as the AR-15.

        “A kid too young buy a handgun should be too young to buy an #AR15,” Flake said on Twitter. The bill he and Feinstein support would raise the minimum purchase age for non-military buyers from 18 to 21, the same age required to purchase a handgun.

        And this guy’s back again, of course

        Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Wednesday that he’ll probably reintroduce bipartisan legislation that would require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. He said he planned to discuss the idea with Trump.

        1. I’ve never understood why people don’t make a counter proposal to lower the age for alcohol and handgun ownership to 18. This whole “You’re an adult, but…” thing is absurd. If you’re old enough to be legally responsible for your actions, you should be treated as a full adult.

          (I say that as a 35-year-old.)

    2. Annnnnd Looks like Trump’s on board with age restrictions and a :comprehensive: background check. Which could mean UBCs.

      Given his tweet this morning.

    3. “kids” under 18 can’t buy anyway. But I don’t support raising the age to 21, unless we’re going to simply change the age of majority for everything to 21.

      But, it’s parents that get kids into shooting. Very few people hit 18 and say oh I can buy a rifle now so I’m going to become a gun nut.

    4. the real prize is banning the AR15. and unfortunately they are winning at the state level on that and the SC is letting them do it.

  6. Unfortunately, yes, you are right.

    But, I think the better play would have been to write a good bump-stock law making them NFA weapons and pairing it with NCCR.

    NCCR will kill the restrictive gun states laws.

    If we’re going to give up the hill rather than die on it get something for it.

    Now it looks like we won’t get anything.

    NCCR ain’t going to pass because the Republicans are squishy.

  7. Actually it looks like now we are going to get a bump stock ban, The NICS improvement will pass, The age to buy a gun will be raised to 21, universal background checks and a magazine ban. The anti-gunners entire wish list is going to be a reality minus an assault weapons ban and the registering of all guns which might pass too. All this while Trump is president and the Republicans control both houses. It seems both parties are full on board for total gun control and disarmament.

    I hate to say it but I think we’re screwed. Trump is going to sign all of this it goes to his desk. And when he gets defeated in 2020 by Democrat because of this they will then finally push for a total and complete ban of the ownership of all semiautomatic rifles and pistols with confiscation like Australia.

    1. You don’t really understand how this works, do you? They are going for bans NOW. Overreach happens once again. They get nothing when they do that.

      The sky isn’t falling.

      We have a Republican president who has actually mentioned the positive aspects of arming teachers and staff. That probably won’t happen, either. Might I remind you and the GOA that the last Republican president supported an all out ban?

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