Archive for the 'BATFE' Category



Final Comments On Bump Stock Device Rulemaking, Federal Register Number 2018-06292

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Since it is obvious that the decision has been made and all comments will be submitted to no avail, these will be my last comments concerning the rulemaking.

First of all, unless and until you have dealt honestly and in detail to my first set of comments, your response is incomplete and lack of forthrightness cowardly.

Second, I realize I am demanding that you do something beyond your capabilities, but until and unless you honestly address every one of the comments made by James Wesley Rawles, it will be apparent to readers that you have no way to respond in a manner that is logically coherent, legal, and rhetorically compelling.  In other words, the vacuous nature of your position will be manifest before the public.

Finally, I offer two additional comments beyond what I proffered earlier.

  1. Note for the record any and all registered professional engineers employed and/or contracted and remunerated by the ATF or DOJ, whose job it was to provide input, calculations, analysis or opinions on the technical issues pertaining to this rulemaking.  Provide those analyses for our review, and list the PEs by name, license number and state.  State laws for all fifty states require that such analyses be traceable and sealed or stamped by the PE.  If no PEs have reviewed the technical issues pertaining to this rulemaking, say so with specificity and clarity.
  2. Note for the record any and all licensed professional gunsmiths employed and/or contracted and remunerated by the ATF or DOJ, whose job it was to provide input, analysis or opinions on the technical issues pertaining to this rulemaking.  Provide those analyses for our review, and list the gunsmiths by name, license number and state.  If no gunsmiths have reviewed the technical issues pertaining to this rulemaking, say so with specificity and clarity.

The goal of said discovery will be to hold licensed PEs accountable before their respective state licensure boards.  If no PEs have reviewed the rulemaking, the goal will be, among other things, to trumpet loud and long the illegitimacy of the rulemaking due to lack of technical rigor or qualified oversight.  Illegitimacy of the rulemaking will redound to the illegitimacy of the ATF itself.

ATF Bump Stock Inconsistencies

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

David Codrea:

From their position as stated on July 27, 2017:

“Bump firing is the process of using the recoil of a semiautomatic firearm to fire in rapid succession, simulating the effect of an automatic firearm when performed with a high level of skill and precision by the shooter… The rapid fire sequence in bump firing is contingent on shooter input, rather than mechanical input, and thus cannot shoot automatically”

From their position as stated on Sept. 13, 2017 (scroll to page 8):

“[B]ecause of the manual, skill based methods required to operate a bump fire device they are not machineguns.”

What has changed? Besides a political position ordered by superiors who would not be qualified to intern at the Firearms Technology Branch…?

Of course, nothing has changed, including the lack of integrity of the FedGov who cares not about officially approved lies and inconsistency.

From the comments there is this gem from someone named Dave Brown.

OK, when the pistol arm brace first came out we all said, better get one before they change their mind. WE all said the same thing when they said The Bump was OK. Get one before they change their mind. Me, I don’t need one as I have a few firearms I can bump without adding a stock, but even Bumping is considered a no no. As for Bump Stocks, they should never have been allowed, and you all know it. So quit being a Complainer, ask them to make a special Stamp for The Bump, and pay the price.

Of course, that’s true if you don’t believe in the second amendment.

Information On Bump Stocks And Mandalay Bay

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Via David Codrea, this from Stamboulieh Law.

A few days ago (yes, days), I submitted a FOIA to ATF and FBI regarding bumpstocks and the Las Vegas shooting.  Today I received a CD with 777 pages of information, which you can review at the following links:

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

What shouldn’t even need to be said is that I haven’t had time to slog and crawl through all of this information.  A little reader assistance would be nice.

Comments On ATF Bump Stock Ban

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

James Wesley Rawles at Survival Blog has done a simply magnificent job of upbraiding the ATF.  It’s an absolute throw-down of blood and gore and broken bones when Rawles gets through with the ATF.  If you like seeing the FedGov slapped around, visit Survival Blog.  Here is a taste.

My specific objections are as follows. Note: I reserve the right to litigate on any or all of these. Furthermore EACH of the following numbered items are distinct separate objections and must be addressed individually with logical and complete specificity by the BATFE before the proposed rule is put into force:

1.) To declare existing privately owned devices contraband machineguns with no available method of registering them as machineguns constitutes an uncompensated taking.

2.) To declare existing privately owned devices contraband machineguns with no Grandfather Clause flies in the face of many decades of Federal case law, under Federal Jurisprudence. This also constitutes an uncompensated taking.

3.) The proposed redefinition of “machinegun” (per 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) is vaguely worded. For example: What is meant by “function of the trigger”? Does that mean a trigger pull (only)? Does that mean a trigger release? Does that mean a pull OR release of a trigger? Or does that mean a pull AND release of a trigger? Does a partial pull of a trigger still constitute a function? Or must a pull of a trigger be through its entire arc to a stopping point to constitute a function?   Or must a pull of a trigger be through its entire arc to a stopping point and then a release to a reset point to constitute a function?   Or does a release of a trigger from a stopping point to a reset point to constitute a function? Or does a release of a trigger from a partially-pulled position to a reset point to constitute a function?

4.) More than a mere interpretation, it REDEFINES, AMPLIFIES and EXPANDS the wording of the NFA-’34 (26 U.S.C. 5845(b)). This is clearly bureaucratic overreach by the Executive Branch. Per the Constitution, only congress can MAKE laws. The executive branch and agencies can only ENFORCE already legislated and duly enacted laws.

5.) How can the BATFE redefine the meaning of the phrase “single function of the trigger” (per 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)) without the consent of congress?

6.) How can the BATFE further restrict the possession of Militia Weapons without a modification or repeal of the 2nd Amendment?

7.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” is a violation of the 2nd Amendment

8.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” and mandating its surrender to authorities would IDENTIFY the owner is thus a violation of the 5th Amendment protection from self-incrimination. It would also violate the 5th Amendment’s “taking” clause.

9.) By declaring a previously legal and constitutionally-protected “arm” suddenly “illegal” and “contraband” and mandating its surrender to authorities would violate the 4th Amendment protection from seizure without due process.

10.) I take exception to this wording: “Because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle”. That is vague.

11.) I take exception to this wording: “…initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.” That is grossly vague and violates the plain simple, Black Letter Law and the manifold intent of congress when it enacted NFA-’34 See: 26 U.S.C. 5845(b))

12.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert…” It is not a conversion to the operating mechanism. Rather, it is either an adjunct or a firing technique, or both.

13.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding your your thumb in your belt-loop when firing from the hip!

14.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding the buttstock of a rifle a short distance from your shoulder when firing!

15.) I take exception to this wording: “…these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun.”   By your new definition, then so does holding a rifle loosely at either shoulder level or hip level when firing! See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RdAhTxyP64

16.) I take exception to this wording: “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.” The reset IS indeed physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter because BOTH the shooter’s body (including the trigger finger) and the gun itself (including the trigger itself) are in motion, when under the force of recoil.

17.) I take exception to this wording: “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.” It is NOT automatic fire, as defined by congress in NFA-’34.

18.) I take exception to this wording: “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.” It is not producing automatic fire. The shooter’s trigger finger is still producing the fire, one shot at a time.

19.) I take exception to this wording: “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 Hughes Amendment to FOPA restricts only machineguns, not semi-automatics. Only congress can redefine the word “machinegun”.

20.) I take exception to this wording: “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.” To “surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable” would constitute an uncompensated “taking” which is not allowable under Federal jurisprudence.

21.) I take exception to this wording: “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.” That is fallacious. Stocks that were spring-loaded or hydraulically buffered (to absorb recoil–but that unintendedly can create a bumpfire condition) did indeed exist and were on the open market before FOPA 1986. For example, Winchester’s Hydra-Coil stock was invented and produced starting in the early 1960s. It was made for variety of guns, including some semi-autos including the Remington Model 58 semiautomatic shotgun and the Remington Model 742 semiautomatic rifle (with a detachable magazine). See: https://www.si.com/vault/1963/09/09/596517/an-inventor-takes-the-kick-out-of-shooting

James goes on through number 42.  It’s just a bloodbath, frankly.  He’s not a lawyer and clearly much smarter than anyone who works with the DoJ or ATF.

Closer to home, our own Fred Tippens writes the ATF with the following.

“Turning law abiding patriotic Americans, veterans, suburban moms, and men just trying to raise their families into criminals? Really? Why would I give a flying rat’s backside about a country that does this? Why? Why would I have any loyalty to this country if its government simply takes whatever it wants? I’m sure the irony is completely lost on you but are you going to send men with guns to take them? If you’re going to just up and ban things don’t you make the case for us to stockpile weapons and ammo? Do you know the definition of irony? The courts won’t help. The congress won’t help. The executive won’t help. What redress do we have? Why not just redefine and then ban all of the component parts and accessories of the common rifle? Are you going to ban them one at a time and hope that nobody will notice? Is this not tyranny? Do you want war with your own neighbors? Seriously? I’m only writing this so that I know I’ve done my part to avoid civil war. Now do your part, be for liberty…. I don’t want war so it’s your war to start or avoid. Please choose wisely.”

I have yet to come to terms with writing again.  They clearly didn’t engage what I wrote earlier and have no intention of engaging my points in the future.

I will point out one more thing about this ban.  The GOP establishment is clearly very good at playing the long game.  Trump won, but the GOP establishment is burning the place down, not Trump.

There was no logical or necessary reason to pack the Omnibus bill with spending for Planned Parenthood or for the CDC to issue gun control studies.  They have cut his support from two main constituencies: [1] right to life, and [2] gun rights.

Trump cannot win again without those two constituencies.  I’ve already heard folks in both camps tell me that they won’t vote for Trump again if hell freezes over.  Among pro-life workers (I know some) there was great sadness over the monies given to PP.

Thus the GOP has done two things it wanted to do.  They’ve got their gun control to run on in the next election without having to vote on it themselves (they are cowards).  They got the ATF to do the dishonest work for them.  Second, they have ensured that Trump is a one-term president.

As I said, it is the GOP establishment and not Trump who is burning the place down.

Second Amendment Advocates Should Reject DOJ “Bump Stock” Infringement

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

David Codrea:

That said, and since it looks like the fix is in, it may also be fair to wonder what good it will do to comment on this latest iteration of the proposed rule on “rate-enhancing devices.” There are several reasons to go ahead and submit a comment in spite of such misgivings, not the least of which is it’s the right thing to do.

Well, maybe it is.  I just know that I’ve read the response to the comments submitted on the proposal to propose a rule (some of them were mine), and they may as well have bent over and crapped on the constitution and everyone who made comments about what it said.

It’s an amazing thing to see a group of people so okay with being so hated, detestable and disgusting.  I encourage my own readers to make comments even though the fix is indeed in.  Post them here.  If I make comments again, I won’t be as nice as I was the first time around.

Application Of The Definition Of Machinegun To “Bumpfire” Stocks And Other Similar Devices: Comments On Docket ID ATF-2018-0001

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Addressed to ATF.  Please respond to the following comments, questions and observations concerning the application of the definition of machinegun to “bump” fire stocks and other similar devices.

(1) Regulatory analytical requirements (e.g., cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis) have been established incrementally during the last 40 to 50 years through a series of presidential and congressional initiatives. The current set of requirements includes Executive Order 12866 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-4, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).  Please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the cost-benefit analysis shows that the proposed regulation is in the interests of gun owners in America, business owners in America, and the U.S. government in general.  You are required to supply this cost-benefit analysis for all proposed regulations.

(2) Various firearms experts in America, including commenters at my own web site, www.captainsjournal.com, believe that had a shooter used their firearms by aiming and placing directed fire with good optics, their effectiveness would have been increased (e.g., Charles Whitman and others).  Please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the proposed regulation in any way effects your alleged desired outcome given the apparent disagreement within the firearms community on the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the alleged use of bump fire stocks in the Las Vegas shooting.

(3) The legal definition of a machinegun is established law as follows: ” … any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”  Given that bump stocks do not alter function of the trigger to discharge a single round per operation of the trigger, please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the ATF isn’t fabricating law out of whole cloth, thus usurping the authority of the Legislative Branch of the government, by this proposed regulation.

(4) 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, including and most importantly the LVPD.  Please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that this proposed regulation has any bearing on the mechanics, structures, systems or components, equipment, or devices in use in Las Vegas, which is the alleged basis for this regulation.

(5) To date, the only parties from which we have heard concerning the weapons, devices, fixtures or components allegedly used in the Las Vegas shooting are [obliquely] the LVPD until they were silenced by the FBI, and the FBI themselves.  Given the revelations of untrustworthiness and corruption in the DoJ and FBI over the last few months, demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that this is a wise basis for proposed regulation.  Said another way, demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that it wouldn’t be a wise idea to formulate a fully independent review and analysis team comprised of members of the public and firearms experts (not including law enforcement) to inform the public concerning those devices used at Las Vegas?  Such an action wouldn’t be without precedent.

(6) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that regulation of bump fire stocks, which are used for the purpose of bump firing weapons, wouldn’t also have the ludicrous, laughable and preposterous effect of regulating rubber bands and human hips (both of which can also be used to bump fire weapons).  Failure to demonstrate this causes the proposed regulations to fail due to reductio ad absurdum.

(7) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that given the above point(s), regulation of bump stocks wouldn’t cause a complete failure of confidence in the federal regulatory schema and cause the ATF to become a national laughingstock and disgrace.

(8) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the proposed regulation functions for its alleged purpose given that some firearms competitors (e.g., 3-gun competitors) can discharge firearms with a single pull of the trigger virtually as fast as many machine guns.

(9) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the proposed regulation won’t become precedent-setting (i.e., the rather than pass laws per the constitutional process, the legislative branch requests reviews by the executive who then takes it upon itself to pass laws via the Federal Register rather than the constitutional process).

(10) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that working on the proposed regulation is a wise use of ATF time and resources compared to its other duties, or in other words, that working on this regulation is a good use of our tax monies and provides tangible and meaningful public benefits.  Please provide the cost-benefit analysis for this judgment for our review.

(11) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that this proposed regulation won’t effect any other components of firearms intended to improve their function (e.g., well-designed and engineered triggers, improved optics, grips, other types of attachments or devices to stabilize the weapon for the shooter, night vision equipment, slings and bipods, lighter barrel shrouds or other components like the charging handle, more reliable buffer springs, lighter or faster bolt carrier groups [BCG], etc., etc.).  Some professional and semi-professional competitors already shave weight off of the internal components of their guns to assist faster cycling.

ATF Rulemaking On Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
5 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.

BATFE Tags: ,

Feds Go On Gun Confiscation Spree

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

USA Today:

Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them.

A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

It’s the largest number of such retrieval requests in 10 years, according to FBI records – an especially striking statistic after revelations that a breakdown in the background check system allowed a troubled Air Force veteran to buy a rifle later used to kill 26 worshipers at a Texas church last month.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year. But the thousands of gun seizure requests highlight persistent problems in a system where analysts must complete background checks within three days of the proposed purchase. If the background check is not complete within the 72-hour time limit, federal law allows the sale to go forward. ATF agents are asked to take back the guns if the FBI later finds these sales should have been denied.

In addition to the public safety risks, the ATF agents tasked with retrievingthe banned weapons from unauthorized gun owners across the country are exposed to potentially dangerous confrontations.

“These are people who shouldn’t have weapons in the first place, and it just takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences,” said David Chipman, a former ATF official who helped oversee the firearm retrieval program. “You don’t want ATF to stand for ‘after the fact.'”

No, I don’t.  I’d rather the ATF didn’t exist at all since they are an unconstitutional entity based on unconstitutional laws and regulations.

There.  Fixed it.

BATFE Tags:

Scholarly Analysis Of The National Firearms Act

BY Herschel Smith
11 months ago

Dave Hardy at Of Arms and the Law links a very in depth and insightful commentary and analysis of the National Firearms Act (NFA).  Dave comments concerning SBRs.

In 1934, they were treated as gangster weapons, although I don’t ever recall hearing of gangsters using them. They tended to have their fights at pistol or shotgun range, not at 100+ yards. Originally the minimum barrel length was 18″; then the government discovered it had sold millions of M-1 carbines as surplus, and they had 16.5″ barrels. So the minimum length was reduced to 16″. Which did a nice job of showing how arbitrary it was.

If you follow the link you’ll get to the scholarly paper (PDF), and I highly recommend it to you.  It would be nice if my readers would tackle this document and make some salient points.  There are a lot of observations I could make but just don’t have the time or energy.

One thing I will observe is that on PDF pages 500 and 521, it’s noted that a “pistol” is defined as follows.

[A] weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having (a) a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and (b) a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).

While some shooting instructors may invoke off-hand or one-handed shooting as a small part of their efforts because of possible hand-to-hand combat situations, reaching for reloads, attempting to keep an attacker from taking the slide out of battery, or other reasons, this is usually what we might call “beyond design basis.”

No instructor in his right mind today would actually teach that it’s appropriate or preferable to shoot a pistol or revolver with a single hand.  That’s how much the science has evolved since passage of the NFA.

It’s an old, antiquated, worthless, useless, tangled, self-contradictory, laughable abomination, and the more the Congress and Senate (and by extension, the ATF) hang on to this ridiculous document, the more absurd they look.

As usual, reader remarks concerning the study are welcome.

SBRs And Speedy Trials: The Right Case To Back?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

Codrea:

There are plenty of smears against Barbeau, notably by those who make a lucrative living off ad hominem insinuations like the Southern Poverty Law Center. There’s also no shortage of gun owners ostensibly “on our side” who will argue this isn’t the right case to back, and they’ll cite Barbeau’s own words and actions, being exploited by SPLC and others, to throw him under the bus.

It’s interesting to note that a year-and-a-half after his arrest, Barbeau remains behind bars awaiting trial on a short barrel rifle possession charge.

A speedy trial.  I seemed to remember something about that.  He’s incarcerated because of things other than an SBR.  Hey, I say this is as good a case to take as any.  And I say we take that SBR and cram it up fedgov ass.


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