BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

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MechAg94
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BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#1

Post by MechAg94 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:57 pm

https://www.federalregister.gov/documen ... pe-devices

I saw this link earlier this morning. Looks like it might be the BATFE's new rule on banning bump stocks. There is mention of a comment period, but I don't know if there is room for change or not.

On the bad side, it looks like they are grouping bump stocks with past things like the Akins Accelerator. It will be illegal to possess them after the rule goes into effect in June.

On the positive side, it appears (to me at least) to be targeted exclusively at bump stocks. No "rate increasing devices" language or other grey area stuff. If you see something like that, please pass it on. I certainly didn't read everything at the link. By my reading, items like the binary trigger would not be covered as they do not mechanically assist the trigger action.


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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#2

Post by dlh » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:36 pm

The notice reads like an appellate brief. What says the NRA?...

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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#3

Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:58 pm

Alternative 3—Opportunity alternatives. Based on public comments, individuals wishing to replicate the effects of bump-stock-type devices could also use rubber bands, belt loops, or otherwise train their trigger finger to fire more rapidly. To the extent that individuals are capable of doing so, this would be their alternative to using bump-stock-type devices.
Nice to know that rubber bands and belt loops aren’t being included in the ban. :roll:
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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#4

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:00 pm

So it looks like a piece of plastic with no trigger, no barrel, and no ability to fire a bullet will now be classified as a firearm, and specifically as a machine gun.

And the ATF is proposing to retroactively ban somewhere between a quarter million and a half million firearms with no compensation to owners. AKA gun confiscation.

All this at a total cost of around $300 million.

And the same regulation openly admits that an available alternative to achieve the same bump firing effect is the use of a rubber band, piece of wood, or just a shooter's finger. So there is no corresponding benefit whatsoever.

Obama didn't come after our guns. But Trump is doing exactly that.
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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#5

Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:29 pm

I left the following comment:
I do not own a bump stock, and absent a change to the proposed ruling, I’m not sure I’d admit it even if I did. Anybody who bought one of these devices did so in good faith that they were legal to own at the time. That good faith was based in part on the ATF’s own prior rulings that a bump stock did not make their firearm into a machine gun, because - despite the untruth in the wording of proposed rule - a bump stock does NOT cause one trigger pull to fire multiple rounds. Rather, all it does is enable very rapid consecutive single pulls of the trigger. I personally avoided buying one of these devices because it seemed predictable (to me) that one day the federal gov’t would determine that bump stock ownership is too much liberty to be allowed. I was right. HOWEVER, as I said, those that did buy one, did so in good faith that it was lawful, per the ATF’s own regulations and interpretations. Requiring those owners to either surrender or destroy their bump stocks WITHOUT compensating them constitutes a taking without due process, and in my opinion it would be unconstitutional. If the gov’t takes or requires destruction of these devices without compensating the individual owners for the material loss, it would be a violation of the 5th Amendment protections under the Bill of Rights.

The 5th Amendment says: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.“

The federal gov’t is taking private property. The claimed “public use” is to enhance public safety by destroying that property. WHERE IS THE JUST COMPENSATION in the proposed ATF rule? I do not see it mentioned in the document.

Although I hate the rule, I accept that the ATF must on occasion make changes to its rules to keep up with changing technologies. But the Constitution DOES NOT CHANGE - except by Amendment - and neither the Executive, or the ATF acting as the Executive’s agent, has the constitutional authority to take private property without due process AND just compensation, when it was purchased in good faith according to then current ATF regulations and rules interpretations. To do so would break faith with the American people, and break faith with the Constitution.

I therefore think that, since the ATF has gone to the trouble to estimate the average retail cost per unit, the proposed rule should be amended to include compensation to private owners for either destroying or turning in their bump stocks for destruction.

Absent that amendment, this proposed rules change lacks any legitimacy under the Constitution of the United States.
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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#6

Post by rotor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:01 pm

I posted too. Explaining that bump stocks are not machine guns are a waste of time. They know that. The argument I think is that they will be confiscating private property without compensation. That argument can go to the courts. I don't think they can call that eminent domain.


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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#7

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:09 pm

I posted as well. In addition to the point about compensation, I called them out on two other things.

They are trying to get around Heller by saying that bump stocks are not "in common use". By their own estimate, there are as many as 560,000 bump stock "machine guns" in existence. Half a million is not "common use"? Maybe not, but I question the ATF's authority and ability to correctly interpret this aspect of the SCOTUS decision in Heller.

The proposed rule clearly states that there are other readily available alternatives to implement bump firing, including the use of rubber bands and even just a finger. They are not proposing to outlaw any of these alternative methods. Therefore bump firing will still be easily achieved, which undermines any potential benefit that they are claiming.
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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#8

Post by The Annoyed Man » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:33 pm

rotor wrote:I posted too. Explaining that bump stocks are not machine guns are a waste of time. They know that. The argument I think is that they will be confiscating private property without compensation. That argument can go to the courts. I don't think they can call that eminent domain.
Soccerdad1995 wrote:I posted as well. In addition to the point about compensation, I called them out on two other things.

They are trying to get around Heller by saying that bump stocks are not "in common use". By their own estimate, there are as many as 560,000 bump stock "machine guns" in existence. Half a million is not "common use"? Maybe not, but I question the ATF's authority and ability to correctly interpret this aspect of the SCOTUS decision in Heller.

The proposed rule clearly states that there are other readily available alternatives to implement bump firing, including the use of rubber bands and even just a finger. They are not proposing to outlaw any of these alternative methods. Therefore bump firing will still be easily achieved, which undermines any potential benefit that they are claiming.
Good job guys. I missed the “common use” angle, but that is surely a legitimate point. However, I think that the unjust taking without compensation angle is going to be more effective.

The “common use” speaks to whether or not bump stocks ought to be banned. I do not personally think they should be, but I also do think that it’s a foregone conclusion that they will be banned. I hope I am wrong, but I fear that I am not. I also think that - just as case law upholds the ATF’s authority to regulate automatic weapons - courts would conclude that ATF is within its authority to regulate bump stocks. The scenario I fear is that, if challenged in court on the “common use” doctrine, ATF would win, and then be emboldened to create regulations against bump-firing a semiauto rifle period - whether you did that with a rubber band or a belt loop. Get caught doing it, go to jail. If the ban does go into effect, I think that it is best to not poke the bear on bump-firing methods. At that point, it would be more productive to challenge the NFA in its entirety.

Also, if challenged on “common use” and ATF wins, they could redefine at will entire classes of firearms. If they get to define what “common use” means, then what’s to stop them from using that doctrine to do away with 30 round magazines, or AR15s or AK47/74s? So although you’re certainly right on an intellectual plain, I don’t know if that correctness will translate to the real world of bureaucratic rice bowls.

However, I think that a legal challenge could be successful on the aspect of taking without due process and compensation.
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#9

Post by bblhd672 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:24 pm

My response:
I wholeheartedly disagree with the proposal to ban this device.
I do not own nor desire to own an accessory like a bump stock. In my opinion using one is a waste of money by firing rounds rapidly and off target.

The Congress of the United States is Constitutionally tasked with writing laws. The legislative branch via the ATF should not be enacting unilaterally regulations that infringe upon the Constitutional rights of United States citizens. If Congress wants bump stocks and like devices banned, let them write and pass laws to be signed by the President.

The Executive branch via the ATF is setting a dangerous precedent when the government via regulation can make citizens criminals if they fail to turn in a legally purchased device without compensation.


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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#10

Post by MechAg94 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:32 pm

I can't help nitpicking a bit, but I believe this just bans the stocks, not the entire rifle. Put a normal stock/grip on and the rifle is fine. Possession of the stock would be illegal. Still declaring a previously legal device to be illegal simply via a new interpretation of the same law so most of the argument is still the same.


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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#11

Post by MechAg94 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:33 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Alternative 3—Opportunity alternatives. Based on public comments, individuals wishing to replicate the effects of bump-stock-type devices could also use rubber bands, belt loops, or otherwise train their trigger finger to fire more rapidly. To the extent that individuals are capable of doing so, this would be their alternative to using bump-stock-type devices.
Nice to know that rubber bands and belt loops aren’t being included in the ban. :roll:
But no shoe strings. :mrgreen:

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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#12

Post by John Galt » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:41 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Alternative 3—Opportunity alternatives. Based on public comments, individuals wishing to replicate the effects of bump-stock-type devices could also use rubber bands, belt loops, or otherwise train their trigger finger to fire more rapidly. To the extent that individuals are capable of doing so, this would be their alternative to using bump-stock-type devices.
Nice to know that rubber bands and belt loops aren’t being included in the ban. :roll:
or trigger fingers


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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#13

Post by jason812 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:42 pm

If this goes through, what is the government prepared to do when nobody turns their bump stocks in to be destroyed?

How can they be dumb enough to claim "Prevents criminal usage of bump-stock-type devices?" I would like to find out how many illegally converted firearms are confiscated or recovered during a crime each year. I'm talking full semi converted not a bump stock. If the number is more than zero, than the machine gun ban didn't prevent criminal usage did it?

Also, if the ATF already acknowledges that a person can use a rubber band, stick, or a belt loop and their finger to do the same thing, what does this really accomplish?


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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#14

Post by imkopaka » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:02 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:I left the following comment:
I do not own a bump stock, and absent a change to the proposed ruling, I’m not sure I’d admit it even if I did. Anybody who bought one of these devices did so in good faith that they were legal to own at the time. That good faith was based in part on the ATF’s own prior rulings that a bump stock did not make their firearm into a machine gun, because - despite the untruth in the wording of proposed rule - a bump stock does NOT cause one trigger pull to fire multiple rounds. Rather, all it does is enable very rapid consecutive single pulls of the trigger. I personally avoided buying one of these devices because it seemed predictable (to me) that one day the federal gov’t would determine that bump stock ownership is too much liberty to be allowed. I was right. HOWEVER, as I said, those that did buy one, did so in good faith that it was lawful, per the ATF’s own regulations and interpretations. Requiring those owners to either surrender or destroy their bump stocks WITHOUT compensating them constitutes a taking without due process, and in my opinion it would be unconstitutional. If the gov’t takes or requires destruction of these devices without compensating the individual owners for the material loss, it would be a violation of the 5th Amendment protections under the Bill of Rights.

The 5th Amendment says: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.“

The federal gov’t is taking private property. The claimed “public use” is to enhance public safety by destroying that property. WHERE IS THE JUST COMPENSATION in the proposed ATF rule? I do not see it mentioned in the document.

Although I hate the rule, I accept that the ATF must on occasion make changes to its rules to keep up with changing technologies. But the Constitution DOES NOT CHANGE - except by Amendment - and neither the Executive, or the ATF acting as the Executive’s agent, has the constitutional authority to take private property without due process AND just compensation, when it was purchased in good faith according to then current ATF regulations and rules interpretations. To do so would break faith with the American people, and break faith with the Constitution.

I therefore think that, since the ATF has gone to the trouble to estimate the average retail cost per unit, the proposed rule should be amended to include compensation to private owners for either destroying or turning in their bump stocks for destruction.

Absent that amendment, this proposed rules change lacks any legitimacy under the Constitution of the United States.

Great comment TAM. However, I disagree with you on one point: "...constitutional authority to take private property without due process AND just compensation..." The 5th Amendment does not require both, it requires one or the other dependent on circumstance. For example, if you get a notice that your house is being taken under eminent domain, they are constitutionally obligated to pay you for the property, but they are not required to go through the courts and win. Another example is a person who commits a felony - their guns and their right to own them is taken through due process after the person's conviction, and no one is required to compensate the criminal for it.

Note the position of the semicolons in the Amendment as they change from one aspect of the material to another: "...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Thus, compensation (but not due process) is required if the property is taken for public use, such as land being taken to construct a new highway, and due process (but not compensation) is required for all other confiscation of property.

The question, then, is this: what constitutes due process of law? Does that power rest solely with the judicial, or do the legislative or executive branches meet that requirement? Can legislation be passed that meets the requirements of "due process of law"? I'm sure this topic has been touched on by someone and now that I think about this question I'm quite curious to hear the answer.
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Re: BATFE: Bump-Stock-Type Devices: Notice of proposed rulemaking

#15

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:03 pm

MechAg94 wrote:I can't help nitpicking a bit, but I believe this just bans the stocks, not the entire rifle. Put a normal stock/grip on and the rifle is fine. Possession of the stock would be illegal. Still declaring a previously legal device to be illegal simply via a new interpretation of the same law so most of the argument is still the same.
I think everyone is in agreement on that point, so you're not really nitpicking, unless I am missing something.

It is interesting that the proposed BATFE rule defines the stock, by itself, as a "machine gun". So given their definition, I did mention in my comment that this would be the first federal gun confiscation in my lifetime. If they want to call a plastic stock a gun, then they are proposing to confiscate 560,000 legally purchased guns. Without compensation. I think the British tried something similar a while back when they were still in charge of the American colonies.
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