DOJ Defines Bump Stocks as ‘Machineguns,’ Gives Public 90 Days to Hand Them Over

Bump stock (Allen G. Breed / Associated Press)
Allen G. Breed/Associated Press

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday the finalized form of the bump stock ban, achieved by amending ATF regulation so as to define bump stocks as “machineguns.”

Breitbart News possesses a copy of the DOJ’s summary of the ban, which states:

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 summary says a bump stock allows the trigger of a semiautomatic firearm to reset between the firing of each round, but describes the bump stock-equipped “semiautomatic firearm” as “self-acting or self-regulating,” and therefore a “machinegun.”

The DOJ’s summary explains that there will be no grandfathering of pre-owned bump stocks. Rather, all bump stocks must be destroyed or handed over the ATF within 90 days of the ban’s effective date:

With limited exceptions, the Gun Control Act, as amended, makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute. The bumpstock-type devices covered by this final rule were not in existence prior to the effective date of the statute, and therefore will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective. Consequently, under the final rule, current possessors of these devices will be required to destroy the devices or abandon them at an ATF office prior to the effective date of the rule.

The push for a bump stock ban begin in Congress following the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas attack. But public support for such a ban was scant and the Congressional push for a ban waned.

At President Trump’s behest the ATF began seeking public comment on a regulatory ban of bump stocks in December 2017. In February 2018 Trump made clear he had directed the DOJ to ban the firearm accessories.

The bump stock ban is expected to appear in the federal register this Friday, thereafter giving owners 90 days to destroy them or turn them in. The 90 days ends March 21, 2019.

On December 18, 2018, a senior DOJ official told Breitbart News there are no plans to compensate bump stock owners for the financial value of their legally purchased bump stock accessories. The official also said the DOJ expects a legal challenge against the bump stock ban and is prepared to fight any suit that is filed.

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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