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Trump Angers Conservatives With Illegal Bump Stock Ban


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, January 2, 2019


   President Trump has angered many in the conservative community by allowing the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) to arbitrarily pass a rule banning so-called bump stocks for semi-automatic rifles.

   Like all firearms rules and laws, this one does not comply with the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.”

   While the Constitutional requirement to leave firearms alone applies to laws passed by Congress, what is being lost in the noise is that the new rule by the BATF is just that—a rule—and has not, like nearly all BATF rules pertaining to firearms,  gone through the proper Congressional channels to become a law to begin with.  Therefore, it is null and void on two counts but is being unilaterally treated as if it were a real, legitimately established law.

      “Bump-fire works by utilizing a firearm's recoil impulse to help the shooter actuate the trigger more quickly than with traditional shooting techniques. To complete the technique, the shooter holds his finger stationary inside the trigger guard and uses their non-trigger hand to push the firearm's trigger into the stationary finger. If done correctly, the recoil generated from each shot then pushes the firearm backwards far enough to reset the trigger. The forward force applied by the non-trigger hand then pushes the trigger back against the stationary trigger finger causing another round to be fired,” said Steve Gutowski, from  “Bump-stocks allow the stock and pistol grip of a semiautomatic rifle to slide independently of the rest of the rifle, which assists in accomplishing the bump-fire technique by allowing the shooter to hold onto the grip and keep the stock pressed against the shoulder. The technique can still be accomplished without the specialized stocks.”

   But the BATF is loosely reading the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 to arbitrarily and inaccurately reclassify a semi-automatic weapon fitted with a bump stock as a “machine gun.”

   “The National Firearms Act of 1934 defines a 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.'“ explained Gutowski.  “The operation of bump-stocks requires an individual trigger pull for each individual round fired. The DOJ nevertheless decided they 'initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.'“

   “The bumpfire stock is a stock. If you are experienced and well trained, it is possible with certain weapons to slightly increase the rate at which you pull the trigger, by shoving with the other hand while pulling the trigger.  If you're a guitarist, think of a hammer-pull combination.  It's not something a noob does to any good effect,” explains Michael Williamson at his blog,  “The second claim is that, just like a machine gun, it allows firing multiple rounds with a single function of the trigger.  This is also provably false.  Again: Place it on a bench, pull the trigger, it fires one shot.”

   BATF chief, Jeff Sessions has falsely and arbitrarily declared a bump stock-fitted semi-automatic rifle  to be a “machine gun,” and therefore contraband ex post facto (making something illegal that was otherwise not illegal when it was originally done), with absolutely no compensation for the “contraband,” in complete contradiction to the experts' findings.

   “The trigger must be released before it can shoot again. This cannot possibly be defined as a “machine gun” that fires more than one shot per pull of the trigger.  Yet, that is what Sessions has done, via a false statement--a lie,” said Williamson.  “The manufacture of machine guns [for civilian use] has been illegal since 1986. Real ones command a high price. The finding of the Firearm Technology Branch was not only that these devices were not machine guns, but that in fact, they are not even firearms.”

   “This kind of ex post facto law is exactly what our founders warned us about, and yes, the Trump administration is passing this off as law because you will be considered a criminal, but constitutionally, the ATF has ZERO authority to write law,” said Gutowski.  “Since Congress cannot lawfully restrict or regulate arms or the right of the people to keep and bear them, the NFA is unconstitutional on its face.  Congress was never given such authority.  Furthermore, since they were not authorized to write such laws, the Executive Branch is not authorized to enforce them, and since they just killed an entire industry with this measure after saying it was perfectly fine less than ten years ago, I can only conclude that this is a political ploy and that Donald Trump is not what he's been saying he is, which is something I've warned about before too.  For all the talk about jobs and the economy, Trump just put the nail in the coffin to an entire industry, and rest assured, bump stocks will now become a black market, and law-abiding citizens will be criminalized.”

   Federal authorities previously concluded bump stocks were merely a gun accessory and were not subject to federal regulation.  Barrack Hussein-Obama and his BATF actually approved the use of bump stocks in 2010 because even they understood they were not, and did not create, a “machine gun.”  Trump and his boys seem to be horribly confused on the issue.

   “I believe we should be concerned with the President ordering an agency of the executive branch to effectively re-write a law passed by Congress to mean something completely different than what was originally passed,” said Luis Valdes, from the  “The National Firearms Act of 1934, Gun Control Act of 1968, and the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act clearly spell out what is and is not a machine gun. The National Firearms Act defines 'machine gun' 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.' ( see 26 U.S.C. 5845(b) ). A bump stock in no way meets any of those criteria. And that’s why the ATF approved them for sale back in 2010.”

   The rule adopted by the BATF, which is not a bona fide law passed by Congress and signed by the President, gives owners 90 days to destroy their bump stocks or face a possible prison term of 10 years on a whim.  While it was legal to purchase bump stocks prior to the rule, the ex post facto nature of it makes current possession of those formerly legal items illegal without any due process or compensation.

   It took only hours for a lawsuit to be filed after the federal government announced the ban on bump stocks.  The complaint was filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Firearms Policy Foundation, the Madison Society Foundation and others targets against the unlawful and arbitrary rule change.

   The lawsuit, detailed on, challenges the confiscatory ban.  “‘Bump-stocks’ were legal under federal law and prior determinations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives until the agency issued a new final rulemaking today. Under the new rule, owners of the devices have just 90 days to surrender or destroy their property, after which they could face federal ‘machinegun’ charges that carry up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each violation,” the lawsuit’s backers explained.

   While bump stocks have been illegally and unilaterally outlawed, the BATF is ignoring the fact that the same increased firing rate can be obtained using a belt loop, elastic band, or even holding the weapon the right way in an experienced hand.  Also, the Echo Trigger, produced by FosTechH, has received BATF approval and accomplishes the exact same result as the bump stock, but it is not included in this arbitrary ruling at this time.

   So-called machine guns were legal to own prior to the years of alcohol prohibition but were outlawed in 1934 due to illegal bootleggers and gangland wariors utilizing them to run illegal alcohol and enforce territorial leadership.  But, Tim Brown, from says that agency's role is now moot.  It's time we put the federal government in its place and eliminated the unconstitutional ATF.  “We don't have prohibition anymore.  Tobacco is legal, and arms are protected under the Second Amendment.  There is nothing truly for them to enforce.”