President Trump’s Department of Justice rolled out a new federal regulation today, officially banning bump stocks. In it, the ATF classifies bump stock type devices as machineguns.
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.
Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.
Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. 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.
Additionally, people who own bump stocks are required to either destroy them or turn them in to ATF in the 90 days after the regulation goes into effect or else risk owning an illegal device.
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.
No response yet from the NRA, but some conservatives took to Twitter to express their concerns with the new regulation.
Bump stocks don't change semi-automatic weapons to automatic weapons. Even with a bump stock, you still have to activate the trigger every time you fire a round (definition of semi-automatic) vs. automatic you only activate trigger once.
I'm not even a gun expert & I know this. https://t.co/oSdA1GlDOa
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) December 18, 2018
And for liberals, it’s a good start but not enough.
Banning bump stocks was a clear (and good) choice. But this can't be the end — we should make this the start of passing true, common-sense gun safety laws to make our communities safer.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) December 18, 2018