Why The Bump Stock Ban Can’t Do What Politicians Say It Will

Written by Michael Cummings on December 20, 2018

Add this to the litany of stupid things politicians do to create pointless laws in a feeble attempt to make themselves feel more virtuous and the uninformed more safe. Cue the dumb (emphasis and comments mine):

The Trump administration will ban bump-stock devices like the kind used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, a decision which gun rights groups pledged to fight in court before the ban goes into full effect in about three months.

Justice Department officials said Tuesday that a weapon modified with a bump stock — a type of device that attaches to the butt of a rifle and uses the energy of the gun’s recoil to automatically fire another round — will be classified as a machine gun, meaning that only law enforcement agencies can use them.

As a result, once the new regulations are published by the government on Friday, owners of the devices will have 90 days to destroy them or turn them into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

After the Las Vegas shooting, in which 58 people were killed by a gunman who used rifles with bump stocks to fire down on a crowded outdoor music concert, gun-control advocates began pushing for ATF to reexamine regulations so it could declare bump stocks illegal, because they turn semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic ones.

Justice Department officials said they will publish in the public register in coming days their finding that bump-stock-type weapons are machine guns, “because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.”(This is inaccurate. Even with a bump stock, the trigger is still pulled every time you fire. There is no mechanism inside or outside the firearm to avoid one pull/one bullet.)

The move, which had been expected, led three gun-rights groups and a bump stock owner to quickly announce they were suing the government to stop the new regulation.

The Las Vegas attack stands as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, but it is the only major attack in which the gunman used a bump stock. Law enforcement officials have worried since Las Vegas that its use in that attack could spawn copycat killers.

A 1986 law bans the sale of machine guns manufactured after that year and restricts the sale of such guns made before that year. Because bump stocks were created after 1986, the regulatory change amounts to an effective ban on the devices. Law enforcement agencies are unlikely to use bump-stock weapons, because they are difficult to fire accurately.

As the saying goes, let’s “unpack this.”

First, it’s too bad I have to say this: If someone is intent on harming others – whether using a spoon or bomb — he is going to get it done. As the evidence shows, bump stocks have been used in one shooting and one shooting only: Las Vegas 2017. Any shooting of innocents is horrible, but to target the device is stupid and will not produce the results these intellectual and moral midgets anticipate.

Second, it’s too bad I have to say this, too: Criminals have never cared about gun laws. That’s why we call them criminals. Referring to my first point, if a bad guy is going to hurt someone and his weapon of choice includes a bump stock, he’s going to find one or something like it.

I’m sorry – did you think all bump stocks, estimated to be in the tens of thousands, will be turned over to the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) or destroyed?

I’m sorry – did you think bump stocks are the only devices that mimic automatic fire? You haven’t heard of the BMF Trigger Activator, the AutoGlove, Hellfire Trigger System, or GAT Trigger Enhancement? What about the Double Tap where one bullet is fired upon trigger pull and the other upon trigger release? These devices can all be made in your garage.

Let’s stipulate that we could push a button and eliminate all devices that make guns fire faster. That still leaves us with the problem of the number of truly automatic firearms in the United States. Did you know that the number is close to half a million?

If automatic firearms or their progeny were the problem — you’d know it.

But sure, Republicans, treat this as a political victory. Your near-daily suck up to Democrats isn’t complete without a nod toward the degradation of the Second Amendment.

Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.