ATF Rulemaking On Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

David Codrea:

The Department of Justice anticipates issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would interpret the statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 and Gun Control Act of 1968 to clarify whether certain devices, commonly known as “bump fire” stocks, fall within that definition,” a Tuesday Federal Register notice advises. “Before doing so, the Department and ATF need to gather information and comments from the public and industry regarding the nature and scope of the market for these devices.”

The document comment period ends on January 25, the notice continues, providing ways to send them in either by mail or via a submission form. The notice also provides background information, including a summary of claimed statutory authority as well as the ”justification” for the proposed rule, which unsurprisingly relies heavily on last October’s Las Vegas music festival murders to make the case that such controls are needed.

I knew this and had discussed it, but I’m torn on this.  On the one hand, I need to submit comments.  On the other hand, while I’ve seen ATF responses to my points before (concerning importation of shotguns), I’ve never been given more than cursory, dismissive treatment.  I don’t expect better treatment this time around.

I’ll let readers decide for me.  I need help if I’m going to submit comments.  My readers write better than I do, have more background in legal matters than I do, and can present the case better than I can.  I would actually like to submit comments from TCJ rather than just me.

If you have thoughts on this, whether merely single comments, multiple comments, or an actual outline for a response, please respond either in comments to this post or via email.  I’d rather it be in comments to this post since that will cause others to think about the issue and add to the information here.

As always with the federal bureaucracy, although we may want to call them names and curse at them, that will cause them to throw away our comments.  Keep it civil and make it something that will actually be difficult for them to deal with.


Comments

  1. On January 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm, moe mensale said:

    Good, bad or indifferent, this is what I submitted.

    ************************

    Docket No. 2017R-22

    Application of the Definition of Machinegun to “Bump Fire” Stocks and Other Similar Devices

    In the ATF’s current attempt to reclassify bump stocks as machine guns, it appears that you are being driven primarily by the emotional tide and hysteria that came about due to the October 1, 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Perhaps you would do well to remember that, to date, no empirical evidence has been brought forth showing that a bump stock equipped firearm was actually used in the shooting. The public has only seen pictures of bump stock equipped firearms from the crime scene. No one has claimed that those specific weapons were used in the crime.

    The FBI has stated that their final report on the shooting may not be completed until October 2018, leading one to wonder why the ATF is seemingly rushing to reclassify the bump stock when it may not be the actual crime gun used.

    Twice during the Obama Administration, ATF had declared that bump stocks were not machine guns and therefore not subject to NFA 34 regulations. Nothing about a bump stock has changed since those determinations were issued therefore why should there be any new attempt to reclassify and regulate them? A bump stock still does not meet the statutory definition of a machine gun as determined by Congress.

    This current attempt at reclassifying and regulating bump stocks is nothing more than political gamesmanship. It is not about “common sense gun safety” nor “preventing gun violence” nor “getting guns off the street.” The ATF is well aware that many firearms can be bump fired without any modifications or additions being made to them. It is all about bureaucratic and legislative buck passing to once again infringe upon the 2nd Amendment with “feel good” laws and regulations.

    In conclusion, it is my opinion that bump stocks should not be reclassified nor regulated.

  2. On January 5, 2018 at 1:02 am, Peteypete said:

    I find it both concerning and more complicated.

    Yes I feel strongly that we all comment. I believe TCJ should comment as well and that many would benefit from Herschel’s words in comment form even though another cursory dismissal is most assuredly certain.

    Perhaps I am mistaken, or of poor latent memory, but allow us to recall the proposed changes on M855 armor piercing and how comments may have affected that situation – was there not some affect? If there was some affect, would some affect be possible now on this issue? Are we willing to forfeit any such affect now or perhaps unwilling to give this issue similar priority?

    What then is the distinction between re-classification and a ban? I believe we are clear on the pattern which is to re-classify items with more restrictions, never less restrictions.

    Consistency is also a question. Should one who commented on M855 or on other ATF type matters not comment now?

    What does this step of re-classification support, accomplish, or facilitate?

    Looking a few miles down the road, what doors does this open (or perceive to open with or without NRA’s “expertise on the universe”?

    Is this a means to an end of re-defining action types or rewriting the operational definition of semi-automatic or other terms?

  3. On January 11, 2018 at 7:35 am, LiberTarHeel said:

    My comment to the BATFE consists of simply noting that the National Firearms Act of 1934 is unconstitutional on its face, and all legalistic tweaking since then — including the proposed — are thereby rendered irrelevant. For further relevant comments, I support the arguments advanced by Mr. Codrea here: https://www.ammoland.com/2017/12/atf-seeking-public-comment-on-proposed-bump-stock-rule/

    Thank you.

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This article is filed under the category(s) BATFE and was published January 1st, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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