Gun Owners of America (GOA) is taking the lead against federal gun control and warning that an ATF ban on bump stocks could quickly expand into a ban on magazines and triggers.
GOA’s position is simple — most lawmakers did not even know bump stocks existed until the heinous October 1, 2017, Las Vegas attack. Yet, although they did not understand the devices (they did not know they were accessories rather than conversion devices), they quickly began to call for a ban on the devices. But the idea of banning the accessories did not gain traction with the public, and talk of a ban quietly disappeared.
Nevertheless, the ruling class was determined to get their ban, so they approached it another way — they would let the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) redefine the word “machine gun” so that non-machine guns can also be banned or heavily regulated by the agency.
On December 22, 2017, Breitbart News reported:
The Department of Justice [issued an] announcement that the ATF would be seeking to redefine the term “machinegun,” so as to include aftermarket devices that do not convert semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic weapons. As of now, only mechanisms/alterations that truly convert a semi-action into a full-action are governed by the National Firearms Act (1934). The efforts to redefine the term “machinegun” center on new controls for devices that merely “mimic” full auto fire.
The gist of this move is simple — right now bump stocks are not under the purview of the National Firearms Act (1934) because they do not fit the definition of “machine gun.” So, change the meaning of “machine gun” to include them, and they can be banned or stringently regulated by the ATF.
Watching this fiasco unfold is like watching a city planner ban “automobiles” then attempt to reduce bicycle traffic by forcing the term “automobiles” to include bicycles.
Are bicycles automobiles? No. But bump stocks are not machine guns either. (Note: Barack Obama’s ATF approved bump stocks for sale because of the fact that they do not convert semiautomatic weapons into automatic ones.)
GOA’s position is simple — an ATF powerful enough to arbitrarily redefine words so as to ban legal firearm accessories is an ATF that will not stop with bump stocks. When the next crisis arises, another redefinition could allow them to swoop in for magazines and aftermarket triggers too.
If the ATF can regulate bump stocks, then they can regulate triggers, bolts, magazines — and more.
— GOA (@GunOwners) January 11, 2018
As a matter of fact, the proposed redefinition of the term “machine gun” is already intended to target triggers while banning bump stocks.
This is not a slippery slope. Rather, it is a cliff, and GOA is asking Americans to contact the ATF, by clicking here and letting them know you oppose what is simply the ruling class’s latest attempt to chip away at the Second Amendment.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.