Wednesday, October 11, 2017

HR 3999 - The "Bipartisan" Answer To S.1916 Is A Trojan Horse

You knew it was only a matter of time before some spineless Republican - but I repeat myself - introduced a bill that mimicked Sen. Dianne Feinstein's S. 1916 - Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Seth Moulton (R-MA) introduced the bill yesterday and it has 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans as co-sponsors.

Reading the wording of the bill, it is actually worse for the firearms community than avowedly anti-gun Feinstein's bill. Her bill at least makes mention of bump fire stocks and trigger cranks. The operative wording on this bill says:
(a) PROHIBITION.—Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(aa) It shall be unlawful for any person—
‘‘(1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun; or
‘‘(2) to manufacture, possess, or transfer any such part or combination of parts that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.’’.
I call this bill a Trojan Horse because it can mean anything and everything that the regulators at the BATFE and DOJ want it to mean. Improved triggers, springs, and heavier buffers than stock could all be included under the wording of this bill.

Here are the Republicans that have signed on as co-sponsors. Some are the usual suspects like Peter King; some should know better. I have put their NRA-PVF grade for 2016 after their names. Rep. Curbelo, the bill's sponsor, was rated a B+ by the NRA_PVF.
Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]* F
Rep. Lance, Leonard [R-NJ-7]* A Endorsed
Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7]* B-
Rep. Royce, Edward R. [R-CA-39]* A Endorsed
Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]* C+
Rep. Paulsen, Erik [R-MN-3]* A Endorsed
Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6]* A Endorsed
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R-FL-27]* A Endorsed
Rep. Dent, Charles W. [R-PA-15]* A Endorsed
Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]* A Endorsed
It disgusts me to see that seven out of the 10 Republican co-sponsors were "A Endorsed" candidates in 2016. While the NRA meant for their statement of bump fire stocks to be a delaying device, it has also become cover for these Republicans. The average voter isn't going to go into the exact wording of the NRA's statement. They are just going to say, "The NRA says bump fire stocks should be banned and this is what these Republicans are doing." You know and I know that the NRA called for greater regulation which is much different than a ban.

With regard to the Democrat co-sponsors, they are all rated F with the exception of Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) who got a B-.

This bill needs to be stopped and stopped now. The Republicans supporting this bill need calls from their constituents and donors.


  1. HR 3947 is worse. 171 co-sponsors, the Senate version (with the same wording) has 38 co-sponsors. And it bans "any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun".

    Note the incredibly important "designed OR functions". Unlike 3999, the part would not have to be designed or intended to increase the firing rate to be illegal. It could be purely incidental, or even accidental.

    1. HR 3947 is the House version of Feinstein's bill. The difference between HR 3947 and HR 3999 is that the former has zero Republican co-sponsors.