Saturday, January 20, 2018

Comment On Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Bump Fire Stocks


I submitted my comment to the BATFE today regarding Docket Number 2017R-22 which is the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding treating bump fire stocks as "machine guns". My full comment is below and you are free to cut and paste whatever you want from it.

I did try to answer the questions that they posed for consumers before I said the way the law is currently written does not allow them to classify bump fire stocks as machine guns.

Docket No. 2017R-22
RIN 1140–AA52
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Comment on Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

First, to answer the questions posed by the ANPRM:

Q. 21: a) I have never seen bump fire stock devices for sale in gun stores. This may be a factor of the size or type of the gun store that I patronize. b) I have seen one bump fire stock device for sale at the two most recent gun shows that I attended. It was for sale by a private individual. c) The most common place for these devices to be sold is online directly from the manufacturer.

Q. 22: The price range of the bump fire stock devices online is between $150 and $300. I was told anecdotally by a vendor at the last gun show I attended that the one bump fire stock that I had seen for sale was being sold for $1,200.

Q. 23: The one person I know who does own a bump fire stock is a wheel-chair bound paraplegic who installed it on a semi-automatic shotgun for self-defense in the home. As to the claims of the manufacturers, that I cannot answer as I’m not aware of what they state is the intended purpose for a bump fire stock device.

Second, I would like to respond as to whether a bump fire stock device would fall into the statutory definition of a machine gun as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Per the NFA Handbook, a machine gun is “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 shall also include 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 machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.” This was the definition used by the Firearms Technology Division when it examined the Slide Fire bump stock. As Richard Vasquez, then the ATF’s Senior Technical Expert, who conducted the examination noted the Slide Fire stock was “not designed to shoot with a single function of the trigger.” Designed is the key word. He went on to say:

The Slide Fire does not fire automatically with a single pull/function of the trigger. It is designed to reciprocate back and forth from the inertia of the fired cartridge. When firing a weapon with a Slide Fire, the trigger finger sits on a shelf and the trigger is pulled into the trigger finger. Once the rifle fires the weapon, due to the push and pull action of the stock and rifle, the rifle will reciprocate sufficiently to recock and reset the trigger. It then reciprocates forward and the freshly cocked weapon fires again when the trigger strikes the finger on its forward travel.

ATF Ruling 2006-2 sought to expand the definition of what constitutes a “machine gun”. It equated one pull of the trigger with a single function of the trigger. This was based upon BATFE’s reading of the legislative history of the National Firearms Act. However, even that definition would not apply to bump fire stocks such as the one from Slide Fire Solutions. That is because it doesn’t rely on springs, blocks, rods, etc. which “result in a weapon that shoots more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single pull of the trigger” and thus is a machine gun.

Third, to base any new rule or law upon a single outlying event such as that which happened in the Mandelay Bay shootings in Las Vegas results in bad law and bad policy. This will also bring into existence the law of unintended consequences. If one reads the proposed laws before Congress that seek to outlaw bump fire stocks in a knee-jerk reaction to the shootings, it is clear that a broad reading would include any trigger job, lighter buffer spring, and all after-market triggers. A rough or heavy stock trigger is more likely to cause a shot to go astray and to cause serious bodily injury or death than a replacement.

Finally, it is not the job of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to use regulation to change the meaning of the law. If Congress wants to change the definition of a machine gun, they should pass such a law. They should not pass the buck to the BATFE due to their own inability to agree on new legislation. Any proposed or anticipated rulemaking should be ended until such time as Congress changes the law.

Reminder From GRNC - ATF Comment Period Closes Next Week


Grass Roots North Carolina sent out an alert reminding people that the comment period for the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking closes on January 25th. They also have a suggested comment. I have sent my comment in and will post it as a separately.

Just a reminder, all comments must reference Docket Number  2017R-22.

PROPOSED RULE TO
STIFLE THE 2ND AMENDMENT

It seems our friends at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE, often referred to as the ATF) would like to impose “maximum firing rates” on American gun owners. Apparently, there is even talk that they may classify your semi-automatic rifle as a “machine gun.”

Reason and legalities tell us that a machine gun fires continuously and automatically with a single function of the trigger.  But the BATFE is no longer sure that definition suits them. This is because, since the definition was established, super high-tech items have been developed, such as rubber bands, belt loops, shoestrings and Jerry Miculek.  The truth is, even with these “high-tech” devices, nothing has really changed. So-called “bump firing” still requires one trigger action for each round fired. Yet, the BATFE is looking to “clarify” the NFA and whether certain devices, commonly known as bump fire stocks, fall within the definition of machine gun. Absurd.

With the flick of a bureaucrat’s wrist, your lowly non-NFA firearm (read: semi-automatic) may suddenly be elevated to the status of machine gun. It will be classified not by trigger action, but by arbitrary firing rate, which is something that can be altered by any number of things, including something as nebulous as the skill of its owner. The list of items that can affect rate of fire also includes innocuous, legal and unrelated things such as: optical sights, trigger jobs, muzzle compensators, and who knows what else?

Picture Andrew Cuomo screaming:
“No one needs a gun that can shoot more than once every 5 minutes to kill a deer!”

Surely, we can trust the government to not take advantage of a new-found power over the peoples’ guns, right?

Comment Against This Infringement
The BATFE’s comment period regarding this proposed rule is still open, and it is critical that you submit a comment against this proposed infringement on your gun rights.

BUT HURRY!
THE COMMENTS PERIOD IS
ONLY OPEN FOR FIVE MORE DAYS!
If this is not stopped, who knows when all guns will be classified as “machine guns?” To comment, find a link below, and a copy/paste message you can use to comment.


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • SUBMIT A COMMENT AGAINST THIS SO-CALLED “BUMP FIRE” RULE. Click on the link provided, and use the copy/paste message provided below under ‘Deliver This Message.’ CLICK HERE (or go to: tinyurl.com/yavpvb4n).

    Comments MUST be submitted by Thursday, January 25th.

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


I'm writing to day to speak against the formation of a so-called “Bump Fire” rule.

Clearly, the proposed rule is designed to open a debate about semi-automatic firing rates, something that is not open to debate in a free country. This is dangerous territory where ambiguous language, established by unelected government employees, is sure to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of The People.

The proposed rule references “devices used with a semiautomatic firearm to increase the firearm's cyclic firing rate.” Clearly, that sort of open-ended language could be used to ban any device that increases the firearm's cyclic firing rate regardless of trigger action, e.g. trigger jobs, muzzle compensators, optical sights, shoestrings, rubber bands, and who knows what else?

Given that bump stocks do not alter trigger function, firearms remain semi-automatic, the BATFE has no legitimate authority to impose this infringement on the American people. Indeed, there is no statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 nor the Gun Control Act of 1968 that would allow the BATFE to make this stretch.

Any “Bump Fire” rule would be unconstitutional, and any “rule” imposed by federal bureaucrats is really just a law established without the approval of the peoples’ representatives. Surely, those at the BATFE have no interest in circumventing the Constitution of the United States, nor would they want to disrespect the country’s law-abiding people in such a manner.

For these reasons, I must insist that the BATFE immediately discard any thoughts of imposing a “Bump Fire” rule.
 

ATF Or AEF? Trump Budget Proposes A Realignment Of Agency


"Senior administration officials" have told the New York Times that the Trump Administration plans to strip out the tobacco and alcohol enforcement roles from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. These functions would be returned to the Treasury Department as BATFE has ignored cigarette smuggling and bootlegging in favor "fighting violent crime".
Under the Trump administration’s plan, the Treasury Department would inherit the authority to investigate tobacco and alcohol smuggling. The A.T.F. would need a new name. One possibility: the Bureau of Arson, Explosives and Firearms, or A.E.F.

The move would resolve a bureaucratic split that has existed for years. Treasury collects the taxes on cigarettes and liquor, but A.T.F. investigates efforts to evade those taxes.

The change is included in a draft of President Trump’s coming budget proposal, according to two senior administration officials. The plan envisions hiring roughly two dozen Treasury agents, plus auditors and support staff, the officials said. Congress would have to pass a law to reorganize the agencies.

The officials who discussed the proposal did so on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it in draft form. Though budget plans can change, the officials said the A.T.F. language has remained in place through multiple revisions.
Spokespersons for BATFE and the Treasury Department did not respond to requests for comments.

A quick check of CleanUpATF.org shows no comments on the proposed change.

I'm sure this proposal will be the source of some speculation at this coming week's SHOT Show. If I pick up anything juicy or earth-shattering, I'll share it here as an update.


H/T Stephen Wenger's DUF list

SHOT Show 2018






The Complementary Spouse and I leave in the morning for the 2018 SHOT Show. My coverage of the SHOT Show will be a bit different this year. I am (gasp!) going to try to put together a video for each day based upon what I've seen and who I've spoken with. I am a rank amateur at video but Adobe Premiere Elements seems easy enough for me to use. The videos will be posted here and on YouTube.

If there is something in particular that you would like either myself or the Complementary Spouse to check out, we'll try. It's a huge event and I know we can't see everything. The Complementary Spouse mentioned reading this morning that if one tried to hit each and every booth they would only have less than a minute to see it.

You can either leave a message here or alternatively at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com. I'm thinking the latter may be better as I'll be checking it more often.

A guide to the exhibitors can be found here. Likewise, the list of exhibitors at Industry Day at the Range is found here. The SHOT Show has a free app available for both the IPhone and Android users which is quite helpful.

"The Enemy Within" Is Not Adam Kraut


In a recent commentary published at Ammoland.com, former NRA President Marion Hammer released her list of endorsements. Missing from that list were people like Julie Golob, Tim Knight, and, her obvious target, Adam Kraut. She alleged that those who were nominated by petition, that is the real grassroots, were somehow tainted or less worthy than those nominated by the exalted Nominating Committee.
However, some of the candidates on this year’s ballot were not nominated by the Nominating Committee, but rather they placed themselves on the ballot by collecting petition signatures. Petition signers had no way of knowing the real motives or qualifications of these petitioners.
As someone who signed the petitions of both Adam Kraut and Tim Knight and as someone who actually got off my ass and gathered signatures for Adam Kraut, I take great offense at her comment. I have met both Tim and Adam, I knew their qualifications, and I support them. I am most definitely a fan of Adam's proposed bylaw changes regarding board attendance and the Nominating Committee.

Ms. Hammer also cast aspersions on those in 1997 who stood up and demanded accountability from hired staff of the NRA. Jeff Knox whom I greatly respect has a very good rebuttal to that rewriting of history.

Adam Kraut, who was the primary target of Ms. Hammer's screed, has made a video rebuttal that is worth your time watching.





I have made my feelings known in the past about the celebrities and old hacks on the Board of Directors of the NRA. The world has changed and so has the gun culture. Frankly, most of the Board wouldn't recognize Gun Culture v2.0 if it bit them on the ass. That is a recipe for disaster and it is one that people like Adam are challenging. He has my support. I'm unsure whether I'll "bullet vote" Adam or add a couple of more people to my list. You can be damn sure I'm not voting for anyone of Marion Hammer's list. While some are good, there are a lot of old hacks and celebs on it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Nighthawk Custom Agent 2


Nighthawk Custom of Berryville, Arkansas released another new 1911 pistol in anticipation of the SHOT Show. They will have it on display at SHOT and will start taking orders in early February. The Agent 2 is not cheap. The MSRP is $4495.




Here is a view of the left side where you can see the sights are made by Heinie if you look closely.




You can find more details on the Agent 2 and read the specifications at this link.

The First Bloomberg Professor Is No Surprise


Daniel Webster is a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Anyone who follows "gun violence" (sic) or "gun safety" research should have run across his research. It would not be an exaggeration to say his research is slanted against most of what my readers believe in.

Thus, it is not much of a shock to see he has been named the very first Bloomberg Professor of American Health. This is an endowed professorship funded by one of Michael Bloomberg's charities called the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. For those that aren't up on academia, an endowed professorship is considered an honor, it carries great prestige, and it comes with money in terms of salary, extra research monies, and often a dedicated assistant.

The following comment from his benefactor more or less sums up what to expect in the way of "research" from Webster.
“No other developed country in the world has even close to the rate of gun deaths we have in the U.S., and we can’t accept that,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City. “This new position will support the great work Dr. Webster is leading on gun violence and help build evidence for smart policies that can prevent more needless deaths.”
Johns Hopkins University's school of public health is also named after Mayor Bloomberg.

 You can read the full press release here.

After reading this and being aware of Webster's work, all I can think of is the title of the famous short story by Stephen Vincent Benet - The Devil and Daniel Webster. Unlike farmer Jebez Stone in the story, in this case it is Webster himself who has sold his soul or so it would seem.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

GRNC Reminds Us What Could Have Been


North Carolina is under a declared state of emergency due to snow, ice, and extreme cold. I know those living in the upper Midwest are probably scratching their heads over this but remember North Carolina doesn't have the infrastructure - plows, etc. - to deal with this as a regular occurrence.

I bring this up as a reminder that before McDonald v. Chicago brought Second Amendment rights to the states it was state law in NC that no one could be armed outside the home during a state of emergency. Moreover, firearm and alcohol sales were also suspended. The win in the case of Bateman v. Perdue changed this as the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina found this to be unconstitutional. Thanks needs to go to Grass Roots North Carolina, the Second Amendment Foundation, and attorney Alan Gura for bringing the case. It was the first case filed after the win in the McDonald case. If you search this blog using "Bateman" or "emergency", you will find numerous blog posts about the case.

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out a reminder yesterday about the win in Bateman yesterday.


'STATE OF EMERGENCY' &
YOUR
 RIGHTS


Thanks to GRNC: Your Gun Rights are Recognized and Protected During this Snowstorm. . . 

Due to winter weather, on Tuesday, Jaunary 16th, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a “state of emergency.” What does that mean to you today, and what could it have meant? Find out below. 

As you may recall, Grass Roots North Carolina was a plaintiff in Bateman v. Perdue, when we sued Governor Beverly Perdue over the State of Emergency gun ban, a ban on law-abiding citizens carrying guns during a declared state of emergency.

GRNC argued that the ban constituted an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment. We did so after the town of King, NC posted the entire town against firearms in advance of a pending snowstorm, and after Gov. Perdue declared a statewide State of Emergency, in response to an advancing hurricane, on the opening day of dove season, making criminals of thousands of dove hunters. GRNC and other plaintiffs won the lawsuit, and the law was struck down as unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

Like Our Work?
Thanks to the GRNC, and gun owners like you who support GRNC, law-abiding North Carolina gun-carriers have not been rendered criminals today just because a little snow fell.

So . . . rest easy, and enjoy your hot chocolate! And if you care to contribute to our all-volunteer organization so we can continue to protect and expand gun laws in our state, please 
(or go to: https://www.grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute