Bump Stocks, The NRA, And President Trump

Should I serialize this rubber band?

The firearms community is all aflame based on the final announcement of the bump stock ban pushed by President Trump and in some part, the NRA itself. It amounts to base levels of fuckery. Here’s why…

Suddenly, a piece of plastic is a machine gun

The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b), defines a machine gun to include 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.

That’s the current, accepted definition of a machine gun, according to the ATF.

But, in their ruling, they explicitly contradict themselves and misjudge the operation of a bump stock.

Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that 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.

All a bump stock does is enable a user to engage the trigger in a more rapid fashion. One press of the trigger, and one round is discharged, in a a rapid fashion. This can be done without a bump stock, indeed all it takes is a rubber band or a belt loop at most.

Calling a bump stock a machine gun is a broad overreach by the ATF, DOJ, and the President.

The real threat

Bump stocks are just range toys in my opinion. With practice, one can approximate the visual and sonic characteristics of an automatic weapon, but one’s accuracy suffers, and also much like a real machine gun, your ammunition supply dwindles rather fast.

The real threat is that the President and the DoJ have made something illegal by executive fiat. While the ATF claims they are merely “re-classifying” something, the simple fact is that the ATF originally did say they had no authority to outright ban bump stocks. To ban something requires congressional action, according to them.

He told lawmakers in December that the ATF and Justice Department would not have initiated the review if a ban “wasn’t a possibility at the end,” but he has also expressed doubt that it would be able to do so without congressional intervention.

Even Dianne Feinstein, no friend of the gun industry, said that it’s up to Congress.

If ATF tries to ban these devices after admitting repeatedly that it lacks the authority to do so, that process could be tied up in court for years, and that would mean bump stocks would continue to be sold. Legislation is the only answer.

Yes - a Democrat, admittedly the worst kind of Democrat, recognized that the only somewhat-Constitutional pathway was for legislation to be drafted criminalizing the devices.

However, for an inexplicable reason, Trump sidestepped the ATF, went around Congress, and went to the Department of Justice to get them to write the “rule” that bans bump stocks. He decided he didn’t like something, and essentially ruled by decree to get it banned.

Ruling by decree is the hallmark of a monarchy or dictatorship, not a supposedly-functioning Constitutional Republic.

Sure, it might seem benign now, but let’s remember that the precedent for ruling by executive fiat transcends people and “comes with the office” at this point. A future President, even more unfriendly to gun owners than President Trump, may just pressure the ATF, DOJ or some other agency to issue a fatwa using even more convoluted and circuitous reasoning to ban something else, maybe even the AR-pattern rifle itself.

You know it’s bad when I’m actually agreeing with Dianne Feinstein of all people. If a ban were to happen, it needs to be done by Congress, via a law. The law can be challenged in court, of course. So can a “rule”, but it’s a little more difficult.

The NRA Is Revealed to be Rather Useless at This Time

@CordovaOutdoors, out of Nampa, Idaho, is now the official cooler of the National Rifle Association. The owner of @CordovaOutdoors, Doug McMaster, said, “…we look forward to helping advance the NRA’s mission to ensure those rights remain intact for future generations of patriotic Americans.” Give @CordovaOutdoors a follow!

26.2k Likes, 454 Comments - NRA (@nationalrifleassociation) on Instagram: “@CordovaOutdoors, out of Nampa, Idaho, is now the official cooler of the National Rifle…”

Ah the NRA, the “masters” of compromise. Repeatedly in their history, they have compromised on and even supported gun control. Both the NFA and GCA were explicitly supported by them. Sure, in 1977 the “Fudds” got their asses supposedly handed to them and a reinvigorated NRA had a new mission to actually defend the Second Amendment rather than worry about hunters, but that’s seemingly short-lived. They eked out a fair-ish compromise with FOPA, and got the sunset clause into the AWB, but since then, it’s been nothing. Heller was exclusively the provenance of Alan Gura, with the NRA only riding the wave when it looked like he would succeed before SCOTUS. So yeah, bupkis from the NRA.

Even more chillingly, it seems the NRA actually encouraged the ban.

National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.

Ironically, they are expressing “disappointment“ in the final rulemaking from the DoJ + ATF. They were supposedly hoping for a grandfather clause or an NFA amnesty. Easy to say after the PR fallout blows up in your face.

Did they actually think unaccountable bureaucrats and the mercurial king of Twitter, President Trump would do halfway measures?

Yes, I’m being a little petty since it seems the NRA decided to ban myself and others from commenting on their social media accounts. Sure, I used bad words, but whoop-de-fucking do. NRA - you want people like myself on your side. We’re Second Amendment radicals. You talk that talk, but you don’t seem to walk that walk. Instead, when your audience and membership is riled up and concerned about the actions of the President you helped put in office, you choose to hawk a beer cooler partnership? For fuck’s sake, it takes an hour to get the PR flacks to draft up a statement. You had weeks of warning - but said nothing.

So, What Next?

Simply put, the ruling cannot stand. At it’s base level, it does not follow established legal and Constitutional procedure. At the bare minimum, the government cannot take your property (even if they made it illegal) without just compensation. Also, they cannot rule by decree and ban things just because someone, somewhere, doesn’t like something.

However, since there was ample warning, more responsive civil rights organizations such as the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Gun Owners of America have filed lawsuits in federal court. This specific suit is headed up by noted attorneys Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut, who are no strangers to Second Amendment cases.

Other suits are pending as well, and I have a gut feeling we’ll be hearing from Mr Gura in the next few days.

Additionally, the ATF hasn’t banned binary triggers as of yet.

I’m not advising anything, but merely stating that a binary trigger is easier to conceal as it were, if the need to conceal such a thing became necessary.

Also, rubber bands, Jerry Miculek, fingers, and belt loops have not been banned - yet.

So yeah, support the FPC, and GOA.

And if you want, download some handy 3D printer files.

Some Weird Conspiracy Theories

Loyalists to President Trump argue that he’s playing “4D Chess” with this. He’s pushing the ban to mollify some Democrats, and hoping his newly-minted federal circuit court judges, and his two new (and maybe more) Supreme Court Justices strike down the rule. That way he can tell the Dems “Well, I tried…”. I’m not 100% sure on this one, but it’d be nice.

More plausible is that this is a test run against the resolve of gun owners around the country. The idea is to target a kinda-impractcal accessory, and see how compliant we are. If a lot of bump stocks get turned in with no compensation offered, or are voluntarily destroyed, the stage is set for more “rules” which could impact everything from magazines, to the AR-15 itself. So yeah, don’t comply if you happen to have a bump stock. Let’s take a cue from the compliance rates where states have banned them.

Concerns

My biggest concern is that this will further fracture the gun owner population in this country. The simple reality is that there’s a lot of gun owners out there who treat their firearms as a nifty accessory, or something to bust out when the boys come over for football on Sunday. They’re not necessairly committed to the Second Amendment, or the right to keep and bear arms as a whole. A ban comes into play, they’ll comply. We ostensibly call them “Fudds”

A gun-owner who supports traditional hunting guns but favors gun control for other guns such as handguns or tactical rifles.

Yes, I bag on Fudds. But I also attempt to show the incremental nature of gun control. Sometimes it works. Today, it’s bump stocks. Tomorrow it’s ARs themselves. A week later it’s “sniper rifles” (wood-stock Remingtons with a scope) or something even a Fudd would treasure.

A side concern is that there’s actually federal employees out there who have no qualms shooting someone who happens to own a bump stock and hasn’t “complied”. The fact that such monsters are in federal service should concern us all.

Time Delay Fuse

The gun control fetishists are getting crafty. They know that they have two windows to act. One right after a notorious incident where they can dance around in the blood of the victims and demand the government “does something”. Second, when the hubbub dies down and no one is directly paying attention. The “threat” of a rule was over a year ago. The midterm elections came, nothing had happened. Now it’s almost the holidays and the other shoe drops by the end of this week.

Merry Fucking Christmas.

I Hope I’m Wrong

I hope I’m wrong about the NRA. I hope I’m wrong at my grim estimation of the likelihood of Trump’s 4D chess move. I hope I’m wrong about the amount of Fudds out there. Help prove me wrong.

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