On Friday President Trump tweeted a reminder that he is determined to “ban all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal guns,” like bump stocks.
When Obama’s ATF approved bump stocks in 2010, they did so on the basis that the firearm accessories did not convert semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic ones. In fact, Rick Vasquez, the ATF official who signed off on non-regulation of bumps stocks, said, “[Bump stocks are] for those guys who want to look like super ninja when they’re out on the range — they’re the people my peer group makes fun of. If you want a machine gun, join the Marines.”
But Trump describes the accessories as devices that turn legal guns into something else.
Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
His tweet is the culmination of months of behind the scenes work on the part of the ATF and DOJ, both of which are looking to formulate a ban on the accessories.
Bump stocks have been used criminally once since their inception. That one criminal use was in the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting. They were not used in the…
- Maryland High School shooting (March 20, 2018)
- Parkland school shooting (February 14, 2018)
- Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017)
- the Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017)
- Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
- the UCLA gunman (June 1, 2016))
- the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
- the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
- the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
- Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
- the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
- the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
- the alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
- the Muhammad Carton Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
- the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
- the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
- the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
- the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
- the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
- the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
- Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
- the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
- the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007), and many others.
On October 5, 2017, four days after the Las Vegas attack, the NRA asked the ATF to re-evaluate bump stocks. The NRA suggested that the accessories ought be “subject to additional regulations.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.