first published on October 6, 2017 by Matt Silvey
Yesterday, 10-5-17, in the aftermath of the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas only a few days earlier, the NRA publicly called for the ATF to review the legality of bump fire stocks. In their public statement, the NRA said:
“Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the 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. ”
So, as I am quite familiar with how a bump fire stock works, let me answer the NRA’s question about whether or not they comply with federal law. Yes, you morons, they comply! That is why Obama’s ATF twice ruled them legal. This is the very same ATF that said if you shouldered a pistol, you somehow magically turned that pistol into a short barreled rifle and thus committed a felony. This is the very same ATF that was looking for any way possible to make as many firearms devices as they could illegal.
For those unfamiliar with how a bump fire stock works, there is nothing magical about them. The user inserts their trigger finger in the trigger guard and rests their finger on a small shelf on the opposite side of the gun. The user, using their other hand, pulls the gun forward and the forward motion of the gun causes the trigger to get pulled. The recoil for that shot moves the gun rearward releasing pressure on the trigger allowing it to reset, and the user applied forward pressure on the gun causes subsequent trigger pulls resulting in more rounds being fired. In the simplest of terms, a bump fire stock is legal because even with one installed on the gun, the gun is still semi-auto and only fires once for each pull of the trigger.
Before I get any further into this, I want to get a few things out in the open. I do not own any bump fire stocks, as they are already illegal in California where I live and work. I do not see bump fire stocks as a valuable tool in the firearms world. In fact, I see them as little more than a novelty item, something fun to play with when out shooting. As such, I have zero skin in this particular game.
So, why are so many NRA members upset with the NRA? If it is just a range toy, why does it matter? Why should we not compromise on this?
For starters, suggesting that this device is somehow at fault here goes against what the NRA has been preaching for years. They have constantly been telling the gun control proponents that it is not the weapon that is the problem, but rather it is the murderer who is at fault, and on that they are 100% correct. They held that stance for decades, up until yesterday when they suddenly changed course and said it was the gun’s fault. This was one of their most important principles, and they abandoned it most publicly.
— Deputy Matt (@BangSwitchMatt) October 5, 2017
Secondly, there are some NRA members saying they agree with the NRA’s statement on this “because bump fire stocks are just a novelty item and have no real value.” To those who think that, you just put yourselves in the same boat as the hunters who think it is okay to ban AR-15’s because they do not see the AR as a valuable tool for hunting. It is not about whether or not you personally view the item as valuable, it is about principle. The item complies with the law and it should be defended, not thrown under the bus.
To those who feel it is a good compromise, I ask you this: When do we stop compromising? Gun owners have been compromising since 1934 when the NFA was enacted. We have compromised so many times, it is impossible to count all of the individual compromises. That “middle ground” that those who seek to take our guns away keep referring to continues to move further and further down the road. Each step to the middle is half way closer to a total gun ban.
Right now, the gun control proponents are screaming about bump fire stocks. There is already pending legislation calling for the ban of them. In many of those proposed laws, they items they seek to ban are described as “any item that increases the rate of fire.” They say the laws are only aimed at bump fire stocks, but what else could conceivably fit into that category? Items like the Fostech Echo or the Franklin Armory Binary triggers? What about a light pull weight, short travel precision trigger? Do compensators and muzzle breaks not allow for faster, aimed follow up shots? What about light weight bolt carrier groups? Heavier weight buffers? Forward pistol grips or angled forward grips? Where does it stop?
Folks, do not kid yourselves. Throwing bump fire stocks to the wolves is the first step down that very slippery slope. Do not compromise. Not one inch.