Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

FOIA On Bumpstocks Used In Crimes

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 2 weeks ago

In FOIA Response From The ATF: No Bumpstocks Used In Any Crime To Date, I conveyed an ATF response to a FOIA request.  This request was made on behalf of Len Savage, and Len sends me this initial letter making the request.

Obviously, they had trouble getting anything out of the ATF.  Len also sent some other email exchanges between him and the ATF which I will eventually post.

In the mean time, David Codrea had this to say.

Herschel has some thoughts. [More]

To reiterate, it’s not “us” creating “conspiracy theories”: Mr. Stamboulieh, Mr. Savage and I are simply repeating what the government is saying, and if that results in inferences and conclusions, they are the ones who can clear it all up — and won’t.

I received the Chisolm letter from the principals the other day along with the document that prompted this response. There’s more to say, which I will in a day or so when I finish some other stuff I’m working on first.

The main “spoiler” I’ll give away is that the government attorney is being cute here, and I don’t think the federal judiciary is going to appreciate that.

Stay tuned.

Okay, I’m a bit out of the loop on this and both Len and David know more than I do about what’s going on.  I’ll try to stay in better touch with both of them on this.

I accept David’s observation that the government is trying to be “cute.”  But I’ll throw in that they’re also being very careful.  I’ve worked with FedGov lawyers before, and they don’t like putting documents out containing material false information.  If any licensee of any kind sends information to FedGov that causes them to repeat it in such a manner that the FedGov owns it, e.g., it ends up in the federal register or other archived government documents, they get really pissed and come after you.

They don’t like material false information because for one, it’s illegal to communicate it (either to or on the part of FedGov), and two, it’s unethical.  If it can be demonstrated that the material false information was knowing and intentional, that can mean disbarment (for a lawyer) or even imprisonment.

I’m sure they’re being “cute.”  I am also sure they are being very, very, very careful.

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

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 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.


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