Rolling Stone: NRA Caved on Bump Stocks to Shield Semiautomatic Rifles

The Associated Press

Rolling Stone commented on the NRA’s relative silence regarding the ban of bump stocks by suggesting the gun rights organization surrendered on the issue in order to shield semiautomatic rifles.

On December 18, 2018, Breitbart News reported that the Department of Justice released the final language of the bump stock ban. They accomplish the ban by defining bump stocks as “machine guns.”

An excerpt from the DOJ”s summary of the ban says:

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices-meaning “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics-are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.

The DOJ is ordering bump stock owners to destroy or surrender their bump stocks within 90 days of the ban’s effective date. There is grandfathering clause for current bump stock owners.

The NRA reacted to the language of ban by expressing disappointment in the lack of a grandfathering clause. NRA’s Jennifer Baker said, “Congress made it possible for the Attorney General to provide amnesty for firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act. The Attorney General should have exercised that authority to provide a period of amnesty under this rule.”

Rolling Stone is asking why the NRA is not doing more, even now, to stop the ban before the legally-purchased property of hundreds of thousands of Americans is taken from them, saying, “Why is the NRA not kicking and screaming — or suing?”

Rolling Stone then answers its own question by suggesting the NRA surrendered bump stocks as a way to protect semiautomatic rifles:

The organization has long touted the distinction between civilian semi-automatic rifles and military guns with fully-automatic capability as the reason civilians should be able to own weapons like the AR-15. The sale of devices like bump stocks that put automatic-fire capability in the hands of the masses had threatened to undermine decades of public marketing and court arguments.

Rolling Stone next makes a subtle shift, suggesting a semiautomatic firearm without a bump stock would have allowed the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas gunman to be more accurate and therefore more lethal. This is the shift so many gun owners warned about when the final language of the bump stock ban was put forward; those gun owners fear a bump stock ban is a stepping stone to a semiautomatic ban. And Rolling Stone is already suggesting the real culprit is the semiautomatic rifle itself, not accessories that are added to it.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, 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 Sign up to get Down Range at



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