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Don't panic over the bump stock ban proposal


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#1 MrTriple

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:00 PM

I'm copying and pasting my response to the bump stock thread into a separate topic so that it can be seen by a larger audience. I was compelled to write this after logically thinking through Trump's bump stock ban announcement and the wording he used to describe it.

 

He specifically...

 

 

"[...asked the DoJ to] propose regulations to ban all devices to turn legal weapons into machine guns..."

 

This strikes me as a very legaleze statement. Note that he doesn't say "propose regulations to ban bump stocks". He instead uses the unnecessarily drawn-out "turn legal weapons into machine guns."

 

Machine guns have a very specific, black-and-white definition under federal law: any weapon which, with a single pull of the trigger, can fire multiple rounds at a time. Semi-automatic fire is defined as any weapon which, with a single pull of the trigger, can only fire one round at a time. "Machine gun" can also refer to the legally registered part that renders a firearm fully-automatic, such as the full-auto sear in an AR-15.

 

The ATF authorized the sale of bump stocks and trigger cranks after examining the devices and determining that they don't turn semi-automatic weapons into machine guns. Wait, how is that possible? people ask. Haven't you seen these things in action? How is that NOT fully-automatic fire?

 

To which I ask them: how many bullets fire per pull of the trigger?

 

I ask them to look closely at a bump stock in action. What's the shooter's trigger finger doing? I ask them. Is it holding down the trigger the entire time?

 

No, they answer. The trigger is being pulled again and again.

 

And how many rounds per trigger pull are being fired? I ask them.

 

One.

 

One shot per trigger pull. Nevermind the fact that these devices allow you to pull that trigger more quickly, you're still being forced to release the trigger after every shot, and press it again to fire another, singular round, over and over, always letting go of the trigger before you can fire another shot. They're nothing more than a mechanical device that simulates the act of slapping the trigger with your finger. They aren't, and cannot be classified as machine guns because they cannot fire multiple rounds per pull of the trigger. They are not "devices [that] turn legal weapons into machine guns..." That's why the ATF allowed them in the first place.

 

So what's gonna happen here?

Sessions will remind the President (and the public) of what the NFA says, about the differences between a machine gun and a semi-automatic weapon, remind him of why the ATF made the decision they did, and why they cannot make any other determination given the current definitions as they exist under federal law. He'll remind us that there's only two ways to ban bump stocks under existing federal law:

 

  1. A congressional act that purposely targets bump stocks, etc. and bans them, or:
  2. Redefining and blurring the purposeful, black-and-white definition in federal law that differentiates between a machine gun and a semi-automatic weapon, the functional differences between each, and thereby allow Congress to outlaw rapid semi-automatic gunfire, ignoring the obvious subjectivity that entails.

 

Trump will then, like with DACA, go on TV and say "well folks, there you have it, we can't just have the DoJ outlaw bump stocks, Congress needs to act. Right, Congress? They heard the man, now they have to act. Like with DACA, the DoJ and I cannot act unilaterally here."

 

And then nothing happens. The GOP isn't stupid enough to piss off their base by passing some stupid gun control law. As for the Democrats, they'll stupidly support such a measure and whine when it fails or doesn't get called for a vote.

 

In an election year when more Democrats are up for reelection in states Trump won than the other way around.

 

Like with DACA, I think Trump is trying to get the Democrats to commit political suicide by getting yet another constituency to turn against them. Trump's legal advisors likely informed him of these distinctions. He knows he cannot just come out and say "let's ban bump stocks" without costing himself significant support amongst gun owners. At the same time, the rabid gun control movement, the media, the Democrats, and everybody on the left will complain that "Trump doesn't care about the dying children, he cares more about the dirty NRA's lobbying dollars."

 

So what are you supposed to do, then, if you're him and you're facing this dilemma? Don't do anything, one side criticizes him. Do something, and he loses vital support.

 

So the workaround is to craft a purposely legalistic statement that, on the surface, appears to express a desire to pursue some new regulations, but when examined in depth turns out to be a completely (and purposely) meaningless statement. In turn, this forces the DoJ to state the obvious ("we can't do anything, Congress has to") thereby tossing the hot potato to Congress and letting them be the bad guys. GOP doesn't act, Democrats try and fail, and thereby paint themselves as the party of higher taxes, more gun control, and general anti-American sentiment. That'll work wonderfully in the red states come November.

Personally I'm not gonna worry about this development. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong, but as it stands I suspect this is gonna turn into a big pile of nothing.
 


"The point of [so-called "assault weapon" bans]...is not to ban firearms that are dangerous, it's to ban firearms that gun owners want to own because the people making the laws don't like gun owners. If we want to buy non-semiauto AR-style rifles, they'll ban those too, and for the same reason."

-Hapless

#2 MrTriple

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:05 PM

Addendum: Remember how everybody freaked out over Trump's comments on DACA, way back at the beginning of the year? When he appeared to be changing course and now "wanted to grant amnesty to the DACA kids"? Remember how everybody branded him a traitor?

 

What became of that?

 

The Democrats made total ***** of themselves. They rejected Trump's proposal, refused to abandon their demands for absolute, compromise-free amnesty, no wall, no enforcement, nothing, and thereby sunk DACA. All the while Trump paraded around saying "well I made them an offer, and they refused. At least I tried..."

 

He made a trap, and they fell into it. Now they're the party of anti-Americanism. A powerful tool in November.

 

Frankly, this bump stock thing appears to me to be the same exact thing all over again. Set a trap, get the Democrats on record as demanding more than just a bump stock, watch the entire thing fail, and BAM! they sunk themselves again.

 

I wouldn't worry.


"The point of [so-called "assault weapon" bans]...is not to ban firearms that are dangerous, it's to ban firearms that gun owners want to own because the people making the laws don't like gun owners. If we want to buy non-semiauto AR-style rifles, they'll ban those too, and for the same reason."

-Hapless

#3 chicagoresident

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:37 AM

We keep hearing this and it keeps getting pushed further and further. First with the NRA deferring to the ATF, then the ATF collecting comments, then Trump polling Mar-a-lago and making his announcement.

They're checking the tempature of their constituency. Most of the NRA Fudds and supposed 2A politicians know that they can allow a ban to happen with very little blowback.

But it's giving an inch and opening a legal pandora's box that future anti gun politicians will use against us. Think of how vague "trigger modification devices" are that we've seen in past bills. Now imagine being able to enact restrictions on triggers without needing to go through congress.

Trump and the NRA want to push this to the DOJ and the ATF? Neither of these institutions are a friend of Trump or the POTG. The bear is being poked.

Edited by chicagoresident, 21 February 2018 - 01:43 AM.


#4 MrTriple

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:49 AM

We keep hearing this and it keeps getting pushed further and further. First with the NRA deferring to the ATF, then the ATF collecting comments, then Trump polling Mar-a-lago and making his announcement.
They're checking the tempature of their constituency. Most of the NRA Fudds and supposed 2A politicians know that they can allow a ban to happen with very little blowback.
But it's giving an inch and opening a legal pandora's box that future anti gun politicians will use against us. Think of how vague "trigger modification devices" are that we've seen in past bills. Now imagine being able to enact restrictions on triggers without needing to go through congress.
Trump and the NRA want to push this to the DOJ and the ATF? Neither of these institutions are a friend of Trump or the POTG. The bear is being poked.


But if Trump really wanted a ban, why’d he go to the DoJ, which is legally bound to give the same answer as they did before?

And I’d have to check, but I believe the memo literally just tells them to keep reviewing the comments, which have come out strongly against any ban.
"The point of [so-called "assault weapon" bans]...is not to ban firearms that are dangerous, it's to ban firearms that gun owners want to own because the people making the laws don't like gun owners. If we want to buy non-semiauto AR-style rifles, they'll ban those too, and for the same reason."

-Hapless

#5 TomKoz

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:22 AM

Checkmate
Stay Alert ... Stay Alive !!

#6 RandyP

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 07:09 AM

Following an altered definition of machine gun, could Jerry Miculek's finger become outlawed???



#7 Jeffrey

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 08:08 AM

Addendum: Remember how everybody freaked out over Trump's comments on DACA, way back at the beginning of the year? When he appeared to be changing course and now "wanted to grant amnesty to the DACA kids"? Remember how everybody branded him a traitor?

 

What became of that?

 

The Democrats made total ***** of themselves. They rejected Trump's proposal, refused to abandon their demands for absolute, compromise-free amnesty, no wall, no enforcement, nothing, and thereby sunk DACA. All the while Trump paraded around saying "well I made them an offer, and they refused. At least I tried..."

 

He made a trap, and they fell into it. Now they're the party of anti-Americanism. A powerful tool in November.

 

Frankly, this bump stock thing appears to me to be the same exact thing all over again. Set a trap, get the Democrats on record as demanding more than just a bump stock, watch the entire thing fail, and BAM! they sunk themselves again.

 

I wouldn't worry.

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#8 gunuser17

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 09:02 AM

The only problem to me with this line of reasoning is that there is  no contemplation of legislation in the President's order.  This is simply a regulatory move.  And, at the same time his Press Secretary came out and said that the President thougt that bump stocks should be banned.  All of the decisions on this regulatory move will be made by the President and his appointees.  Now democrats may ask for more legislation but whether to enact regulation will be strictly be in the control of the President.



#9 chicagoresident

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 09:06 AM

We keep hearing this and it keeps getting pushed further and further. First with the NRA deferring to the ATF, then the ATF collecting comments, then Trump polling Mar-a-lago and making his announcement.
They're checking the tempature of their constituency. Most of the NRA Fudds and supposed 2A politicians know that they can allow a ban to happen with very little blowback.
But it's giving an inch and opening a legal pandora's box that future anti gun politicians will use against us. Think of how vague "trigger modification devices" are that we've seen in past bills. Now imagine being able to enact restrictions on triggers without needing to go through congress.
Trump and the NRA want to push this to the DOJ and the ATF? Neither of these institutions are a friend of Trump or the POTG. The bear is being poked.

But if Trump really wanted a ban, whyd he go to the DoJ, which is legally bound to give the same answer as they did before?
And Id have to check, but I believe the memo literally just tells them to keep reviewing the comments, which have come out strongly against any ban.
The DOJ is the parent of the ATF. It means they could be working on a legal ruling beyond the traditional ATF ruling letters.

The problem is they may of clarified the bump stock as not a machine gun, but they also at one point did classify the Akins Accelerator as a machine gun.
https://www.usconcea...ns-accelerator/ This is a good device to familiarize yourself with.

As it stands now a bump stock with a spring where it slides is a machine gun. This is the flippant nonsensical part of the ATF.

What I could see happening is that the ATF rules that when a mechanical device acts on your finger to pull the trigger your finger is no longer a finger, but a mechanical device and therefore part of a machine gun. (que smartbutt SOT's getting serial numbers tattood on their fingers and registered with the ATF). This is what the Akins ruling was originally saying, but only with a spring. The ATF could test with a dowel as a stand in for a finger.

It would not be as far as a step as you guys think, and the ATF and DOJ are the last branch of government I want deciding my rights. And based on the response from the gun community there would be very little legal challenge.

As for the vendors like slidefire all they would have to do is remove the tab that pushes your finger and keep on selling. I don't know what a pre ban and post ban ruling would look like, but my guess is there would be some grandfather clause like the 90's Assault Weapon Ban.

And a body part used to manufacture? Well that was the law of the land for a long time with SBR's and shouldering a pistol brace. Just remember, the ATF doesn't adhere to common sense, logic, or even legal definitions they set.

Why go this route? It's assured concessions without having to put it through congress where something like the Hughes Ammendment could get snuck in. If he was going to ban bump stocks, which I believe is his intent this would be the least risky way to do it, and he doesn't have to sign it in.

It's still a bad thing for gun rights because it puts on display that the president can sway ATF rulings which every Democrat will now do moving forward.

Remember in the beginning of Trump's term his team released a white paper to the ATF advising them in what direction to tread on their rulings http://www.thefirear...ercing-ammo-oh/ This was a good thing, but a similar white paper could be used to set the precedent in the opposite direction.

This is not "brilliant political maneuvering", this is the exact same practice the Obama administration tried more unsuccessfully then not to erode our 2nd ammendment rights (i.e.green tips out of AR pistols). If the Republicans do this to gun rights and the NRA is cheering on the sidelines then who's left to challenge it? I am worried...

Edited by chicagoresident, 21 February 2018 - 09:45 AM.


#10 tkroenlein

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 09:44 AM

Don't p*** down my back and tell me it's raining.


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#11 TRJ

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:06 AM

 

 

We keep hearing this and it keeps getting pushed further and further. First with the NRA deferring to the ATF, then the ATF collecting comments, then Trump polling Mar-a-lago and making his announcement.
They're checking the tempature of their constituency. Most of the NRA Fudds and supposed 2A politicians know that they can allow a ban to happen with very little blowback.
But it's giving an inch and opening a legal pandora's box that future anti gun politicians will use against us. Think of how vague "trigger modification devices" are that we've seen in past bills. Now imagine being able to enact restrictions on triggers without needing to go through congress.
Trump and the NRA want to push this to the DOJ and the ATF? Neither of these institutions are a friend of Trump or the POTG. The bear is being poked.

But if Trump really wanted a ban, whyd he go to the DoJ, which is legally bound to give the same answer as they did before?
And Id have to check, but I believe the memo literally just tells them to keep reviewing the comments, which have come out strongly against any ban.
The DOJ is the parent of the ATF. It means they could be working on a legal ruling beyond the traditional ATF ruling letters.

The problem is they may of clarified the bump stock as not a machine gun, but they also at one point did classify the Akins Accelerator as a machine gun.
https://www.usconcea...ns-accelerator/ This is a good device to familiarize yourself with.

As it stands now a bump stock with a spring where it slides is a machine gun. This is the flippant nonsensical part of the ATF.

What I could see happening is that the ATF rules that when a mechanical device acts on your finger to pull the trigger your finger is no longer a finger, but a mechanical device and therefore part of a machine gun. (que smartbutt SOT's getting serial numbers tattood on their fingers and registered with the ATF). This is what the Akins ruling was originally saying, but only with a spring. The ATF could test with a dowel as a stand in for a finger.

It would not be as far as a step as you guys think, and the ATF and DOJ are the last branch of government I want deciding my rights. And based on the response from the gun community there would be very little legal challenge.

As for the vendors like slidefire all they would have to do is remove the tab that pushes your finger and keep on selling. I don't know what a pre ban and post ban ruling would look like, but my guess is there would be some grandfather clause like the 90's Assault Weapon Ban.

And a body part used to manufacture? Well that was the law of the land for a long time with SBR's and shouldering a pistol brace. Just remember, the ATF doesn't adhere to common sense, logic, or even legal definitions they set.

Why go this route? It's assured concessions without having to put it through congress where something like the Hughes Ammendment could get snuck in. If he was going to ban bump stocks, which I believe is his intent this would be the least risky way to do it, and he doesn't have to sign it in.

It's still a bad thing for gun rights because it puts on display that the president can sway ATF rulings which every Democrat will now do moving forward.

Remember in the beginning of Trump's term his team released a white paper to the ATF advising them in what direction to tread on their rulings http://www.thefirear...ercing-ammo-oh/ This was a good thing, but a similar white paper could be used to set the precedent in the opposite direction.

This is not "brilliant political maneuvering", this is the exact same practice the Obama administration tried more unsuccessfully then not to erode our 2nd ammendment rights (i.e.green tips out of AR pistols). If the Republicans do this to gun rights and the NRA is cheering on the sidelines then who's left to challenge it? I am worried...

 

+1



#12 Hipshot Percussion

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:15 AM

He's throwing out an old dry bone for the Anti's to gorge on.  But there's no meat.  It's not legislation.  It's just a regulation that can be changed at any time.  JMO


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#13 WitchDoctor

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:21 AM

Always worried when it comes to my Constitutional Rights!


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#14 WitchDoctor

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:23 AM

He's throwing out an old dry bone for the Anti's to gorge on.  But there's no meat.  It's not legislation.  It's just a regulation that can be changed at any time.  JMO

Right on Hipshot, this should placate the left for a few minutes.


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#15 MrTriple

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 11:18 AM

At the end of the day, it still makes no sense what he’s doing here unless it’s a way to placate the gun control movement, string them along with promises of gun control, and then embarrass/disappoint them when nothing happens.

He’s fully cognizant that this is a huge issue for the country and that gun owners will turn on him and the GOP instantly if he pushes for any form of gun control.

Given what the DoJ and the ATF have already said, I still bet that they’re gonna say the same thing as before, punt it to Congress, and let it fail there.
"The point of [so-called "assault weapon" bans]...is not to ban firearms that are dangerous, it's to ban firearms that gun owners want to own because the people making the laws don't like gun owners. If we want to buy non-semiauto AR-style rifles, they'll ban those too, and for the same reason."

-Hapless

#16 seanc

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:31 PM

He also asked congress to strengthen background checks (whatever the heck that means).  I think he's just throwing up chaff.  The antis, if they control the argument, want to ban all guns.  Like Hipshot said, these are meatless bones.  This isn't 3-D Chess, it's controlling the crowd until we get past the current ginned up CNN talking points.  I'm not a Trump fan, but I don't think he's stabbed us in the back.  The knife's being waved around, but it's not in our back.


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