A little while ago the ATF was allowing comments for their new purposed rule-making. This proposal is to apply the definition of Machinegun to “Bump Fire” so it will fall under the 1934 National Firearms Act. The comments are now closed, 85% of them opposing such a ruling under the ATF. Here is what I sent in.
Putting the fundamental debates of the right to bear arms and current machine-gun regulations aside, this reapplication of a definition is concerning on its own.
Bump firing a firearm is just that. To utilize recoil and forward force as an assistant in pulling the trigger as quick as possible. This does not somehow magically convert a semi-automatic firearm into a machine-gun. Every function of the trigger still only fires a single round (contrary to the federal definition of machine-gun). To ban bump fire stocks would not only do nothing in preventing bump fire (which can be achieved without a specialized stock), but contradicts our other legal standards.
The inclusion of unrelated items to unrelated bans could be used in the future to ban any firearm or accessory with similarly negative press. What keeps this agency in future endeavors from expanding the definition of “machine-gun” to include any firearm that CAN be bump fired (or fired quickly), rather than accessories that assist in the practice? We must stick with what we currently have unless we want laws to be meaningless. If Congress didn’t vote to ban bump fire stocks, and if a machine-gun is a firearm that can shoot more than one shot with a single function of the trigger, then bump fire does not equal “Machinegun.” Whether you hate bump fire stocks or not, compromising law for political gain threatens everything we hold dear in this Constitutional Republic. Many people have lost their lives defending our liberties, to give up the legal safeguards of those liberties for some kind of false security is insanity.
NOTE: More gun control or accessory control would do little to prevent mass murder. As we’ve seen in Europe; bombs, cars and illegal weapons are still acquired even under regulation. Let’s not forget bump fire stocks are under scrutiny because of the massacre in Las Vegas, which has been kept in secret with no motive provided to the public to this day. Maybe federal agencies should spend more time and money looking into how Paddock planned to manufacture bombs and got 20+ firearms into a hotel rather than regulating what law-abiding citizens can legally obtain.