Gun Owners Question How Trump Can Enforce Ban Of Half Million Bump Stocks
BY Herschel Smith
11 hours, 33 minutes ago
Months before President Donald Trump announced that he would ban bump stocks in the wake of the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting, Doug Alexander spent $300 on the accessory to show off at the gun range.
“I’ll be real honest with you, the bump stock, I bought it as a toy because it looked cool,” the Abilene resident and Air Force veteran said of the gun device that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire at nearly automatic rates.
Although Alexander purchased the device legally more than a year ago, he’s now among tens of thousands of bump stock owners whose expensive accessories face an uncertain fate under a proposed federal ban of the devices.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimated that more than half a million people own bump stocks in a report released March 29 for the agency’s proposed bump stock ban. The report also found that 2,281 retailers and two bump stock manufacturers would be impacted by a ban. The proposal is expected to cost the industry, public and the government more than $200 million in a 10-year time span.
Alexander, a 61-year-old Dallas native, purchased his bump stock from Slide Fire, the country’s leading bump stock manufacturer based in the tiny Texas town of Moran, 40 miles east of Abilene.
“I thought it was cool that they were producing this, and I kind of figured I was helping the local economy, too,” he said.
ATF posted the proposed ban at the end of March, which requires a 90-day public comment period. The change would revise the agency’s definition of a machine gun to include “bump-stock-type devices,” despite a 2010 decision that determined bump stocks can’t be classified as a machine gun.
Under pressure after mass shootings around the country, Trump ordered the Justice Department and ATF to ban the devices. Bump stocks were found in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room, but they were not used in the Florida high school rampage in February or the massacre at the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church in November.
“Bump stocks are going to be gone,” Trump vowed last month.
Since ATF posted the proposal, more than 14,000 people have commented ahead of a June 27 deadline. Many online commenters voiced their opposition to the ban, arguing that the agency does not have the authority to ban the device. During an initial 30-day comment period, the agency received more than 100,000 comments on its draft of the bump stock ban. An analysis by The Trace, a media organization that reports on gun-related news, found that 85 percent of commenters on the draft ban opposed regulation.
Gun owners like Alexander question how to enforce a bump stock ban.
Under the ban, retailers and private citizens would be required to destroy the device themselves or turn it into an ATF office. The bureau estimates that it would cost $1.8 million to destroy all existing bump stocks.
“Since the majority of bump-stock-type devices are made of plastic material, individuals wishing to destroy the devices themselves could simply use a hammer to break apart the devices and throw the pieces away,” the proposal reads.
ATF’s proposal does not mention any compensation for those who paid $180 to $400 for their device.
Some gun store owners in Texas say they’re not worried about losing a few sales or the cost of destroying their inventory. They’re mostly concerned about the government infringing on their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Michael Cargill, owner of Austin-based Central Texas Gun Works, said the recommendation goes against gun control advocates’ promises that they don’t want to take away guns: “That’s exactly what they’re doing.”
Cargill hasn’t been able to restock his inventory since October, when his remaining 23 bump stocks flew off the shelves after the Vegas shooting. After ATF announced the ban, Cargill said it “backed up everything around the whole country.”
Now that a ban seems likely, Cargill said, he won’t name friends or customers who already own one.
“I wouldn’t even tell you if I own one at this point because they’re going to ban them,” he said. “I’m going to plead the Fifth.”
And you can bet that many gun owners feel the same way. I told you – Trump is a one-termer because of this. They separated him from his base. And in doing so, the Congressmen and Senators managed to get the ban they wanted without having to go on record with a vote, thus opening themselves to the disapproval of the gun owning public.
The NRA gave him cover to do this. You can blame the NRA, and you can blame Trump, who believes in nothing but himself. http://www.captainsjournal.com/2018/04/10/gun-owners-question-how-t...
AM, Thanks for posting.
I personally against the ban. Thought about it a lot. Any more gun regulations takes bites out of the 2nd amendment.
Focusing on gun control allows all to avoid the ills that plague society. Bump stocks is NOT in and of itself a problem. People are the problem.
I feel the Government has already violated every citizens right by making all citizens register for gun ownership. Isn't it the primary reason for the 2ND Amendment, for citizens to avoid confiscation of weapons by a tyrant Government? Now they know which citizen owns a gun. If a citizen owes the IRS money they have, in the past, served a valid search warrant to enter a citizen's home. Could not a gun found while searching for goods to pay the IRS be construed as a threat.
We have towns all across America trying to ban gun ownership. A clear violation of the 2ND Amendment. No, it was never about guns. It was and is about control over the citizens. The poor slob of a citizen who pays his bills, supports his family and obeys the laws is the common target of Democrats. It's probably the only time the Democrats aren't racist in their history. They are going after every race, creed and political persuasion who registers for a gun. Woe is the honest hard-working citizen who pays his taxes and registers a gun.
If a law is ever passed that citizens are denied the right to own a gun, for any reason, then the Government can have just cause to burst into anyone's home not just for weapons but, for all else they deem a threat to the Government. Did not the FBI just violate "client and attorney relationship" to find information on President Trump for possible charges for impeachment?
Christine, You have nailed it!!! I watch always for an entry by you. Always your posting are plain common sense. Thank you!