Completely unsurprising to anyone who has been following the process, ATF has essentially ruled that the distinction between the currently available bump stocks and the Akins Accelerator is one without a distinction, and that they were wrong when they classified Bump Stocks as not machine guns. Essentially ATF ruled the shelf where you rest your finger is the difference, since it allows the recoil of the rifle to successfully actuate the trigger as it’s pulled into the finger.
Does this mean a belt loop is a machine gun? Probably better not to ask that question. There are a lot of things we do that are honestly better off flying under the radar. Bump firing was one of them, but that asshole in Vegas brought the issue front and center. Home built firearms are another. You don’t have to spend much time in politics, or on social media, to realize the people are extremely irrational about guns and weapons in general. Libertarians are often too clever by half. We want to outsmart the system. But the system doesn’t care about your logical universe. ATF’s ruling here doesn’t really make any sense, but you know what? They don’t care, because it’s politically convenient.
And whether anyone will admit it or not, ATF is doing us a favor, because this doesn’t deal with cranks, doesn’t deal with match triggers, doesn’t deal with rates of fire or other bullshit the preferred bills that are passing are based on. I really don’t like that some people are likely to get screwed by this because they bought bump stocks and likely won’t hear of the reclassification. I do hope the feds exercise discretion.
I’ve said it before, but machine guns are lost. I can’t see beyond 20 years, so maybe by then it will change. Maybe by then we will have lost everything. Who knows? Our immediate goal is saving semi-automatic firearms, and in that fight we don’t need to do Josh Sugarmann any favors by helping blur that line.