One would think that with the Right virtually controlling all levers of government, gun grabber demands to chip away at our common sense civil rights would be met with admonitions that they go play in the traffic. But alas, RINOs being RINOs they knuckled under to these demands and passed off this issue to unelected bureaucrats and the intended consequences of the slippery slope.
In the case of “Bump Fire” Stocks the bureaucracy that ostensibly handles Moonshine, Cigarettes and Firearms is going to hand down a ruling from on high to the great unwashed as to how our civil rights are once again going to be restricted as punishment for the actions of a lunatic.
In order to make this ruling the ATF bureaucracy is going to have to change the very definition of a machine gun from the function of the trigger to the arbitrarily vague rate of fire standard:
The Department of Justice anticipates issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would interpret the statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 and Gun Control Act of 1968 to clarify whether certain devices, commonly known as “bump fire” stocks, fall within that definition.
[One may submit comments on the proposed rulemaking by identifying the docket number: 2017R-22 ]
Their proposed ruling references the definition of a machinegun as:
The NFA defines “machinegun” as any weapon which: “shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” The term also includes “the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.” 26 U.S.C. 5845(b).
Please note the phrase “by a single function of the trigger.” Anyone familiar with the issue of “Bump Fire” Stocks or those common place items that can perform the same function – Belt Loops, string, rubber bands and fingers – should realise that these items operate a firearm by multiple trigger pulls. Thus on the face of it, this proposed ruling contradicts itself. In order to make it work, this specific functional definition would have to be altered to something undefined, opening the door to regulating all semi-automatic firearms as “Machine Guns”. As several commentators have stated, it is a very dangerous precedent and bureaucratic overreach arbitrarily changing the technical meaning of the phrase “Machine gun” from that of the easily defined functioning of a trigger to that of an undefined rate of fire.
Just as the Socialist-Left loves to use undefined surrogates in place of actual civil rights such as the terms “Hate-Speech” or “Assault Weapon”, changing the definition of a “machinegun” from that of the function of a trigger to the vague and arbitrary metric of rate of fire is a slippery slope gun grabbers would love to exploit. As Nancy Pelosi expressed it a few months ago: “They’re going to say, ‘You give them bump stock, it’s going to be a slippery slope.’ I certainly hope so.”
A true machine gun has an internal mechanism to allow sustained fire with one pull of the trigger. To redefine mechanisms using repeated trigger pulls such as “Bump Fire” Stocks and anything else designed “to increase the firearm’s cyclic firing rate to mimic nearly continuous automatic fire”, could easily see this applied to ban any and all semi-automatic firearms.