Thursday, October 5, 2017

Is The NRA Making A Grand Trade Or Merely Punting?

Bump fire stocks have come under increased scrutiny since the mass casualty even in Las Vegas where it appears the killer used them in his violent rampage. There have been bills introduced as well as increasing calls for them to be banned. They were originally approved by BATFE during the Obama Administration when it was concluded that they did not convert a semi-auto firearm into a full-auto firearm.

This afternoon the NRA released a joint statement from Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox which called upon BATFE to re-review bump fire stocks and to subject them to additional regulations.
(FAIRFAX, VA) - The National Rifle Association today issued the following statement:

"In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world. In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations. In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans' Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities. To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence."
This statement leads to the question of the day: is the NRA trading a bump fire stock ban for national right-to-carry reciprocity or are they merely punting in the face of opposition to them from even some in the GOP who had been supportive of gun rights?

The NRA has always engaged in realpolitik in recent years. This may be a case of appearing to be willing to deal on the regulation of one gun-related item in exchange for loosening another. If so, they are trading a novelty item for something rather substantial. My only fear is that they could get out-maneuvered by trying to placate the gun prohibitionists on this one item.

I don't care about bump fire stocks. I'm never going to buy one or put one on my AR.  However, if bump fire stocks are banned now what is to say that other gun parts such as adjustable stocks or standard capacity magazines won't be banned later. If you open the door to the ban on one thing, don't you open the door to the ban of anything firearm related?

UPDATE: Chris Cox of the NRA-ILA went on Fox's Tucker Carlson Tonight to explain the NRA's position and to call for national carry reciprocity. I'll let you make the call whether it is a good idea or not.


  1. If the NRA gets something useful in return, I will accept even if the people they are bargaining with are completely untrustworthy. If it is just a giveaway, I will not forgive. The left will just check this off on the list and move on to the next items.

  2. Gun banners won't agree to a trade, they cannot help themselves. It's already starting: All the pundits on TV say must ban semi-autos, etc., not just bump fire.

    Meanwhile NRA looks reasonable and willing to compromise. It buys time, and time is the enemy of gun prohibitionists.

  3. Bump stocks and trigger cranks are stupid.

    But here is what I'd trade them for: National reciprocity; Repeal the Hughes Amendment, and SHARE.

  4. PUNT! With the holidays starting Monday maybe something else will be on the public's attention. Let's see now. Trump vs Iran, Kim Jong Un acts up, Kim Kardashian goes shopping wearing a mini skirt and no underwear. Maybe we can run out the clock.

  5. I wish it was a trade but my money is on punt sadly

    - BAP45

  6. Punting. They have been compromising our rights away since the NFA in '34 and GCA in '68. They helped write both of those, and bragged about it in the August 1968 American Rifleman, effusing about how reasonable they were being in compromising our rights away. Just as they did with helping to write the Lautenberg Amendment.

    They are in it for the money and the prestige of being the "gorilla in the room" of protecting - supposedly - gun rights, the Second Amendment. Try the GOA. It is smaller, but is getting bigger, and it has done more for the Second Amendment than the NRA has for quite a few years now. They don't compromise. And Congress _does_ listen to them. Harry Reid use to complain about them often, when he was still around screwing us all over.

  7. I have to admit, when I first heard the NRA was asking the BATFE to re-examine their finding on bump-fire stocks, I was ready to pile on the hate.

    However, the more I think about it, the more I find it's a brilliant move by the NRA:
    - It buys time, allows emotions to die down and cooler heads to prevail.
    - It dares the BATFE to admit it was wrong and that bump-fire stocks should be regulated ... and then have to either offer an illegal (i.e. not allowed by the Hughes amendment) amnesty on existing ones or try to collect them all, and in both cases without being able to prosecute their owners for buying what at the time was a legal, unregulated product (my guess: BATFE will re-examine and opt to NOT reclassify; mass-shooting or no, it still doesn't alter the basic mechanical function of the firearm [it's still semi-auto], plus the legal ramifications are too great).
    - It's a bargaining chip for reciprocity, and possibly the SHARE Act, too (though I wouldn't be surprised if the NRA scuttles SHARE over the HPA). Cox had it right: first let's pass reciprocity, and then we can talk about regulating bump-fire stocks (assuming the BATFE doesn't reclassify them).
    - It makes the NRA appear to be the reasonable party, willing to compromise. If they refuse to bargain, the Democrats become the party of "no".

    Brilliant move. Whether it was intentional or accidental remains to be seen.