The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives posted an “Advance notice of proposed rulemaking: request for comments” on Dec. 26 that, “…would interpret the statutory definition of ‘machinegun’ in the National Firearms Act of 1934 and Gun Control Act of 1968 to clarify whether certain devices, commonly known as ‘bump fire’ stocks, fall within that definition. Before doing so, the Department and ATF need to gather information and comments from the public and industry regarding the nature and scope of the market for these devices.” It’s important opinions are voiced before the deadline, because otherwise bump fire stocks could be listed as an NFA item. The notice and instructions for making comments are posted on the Federal Register and for consideration they must be electronically transmitted or postmarked on or before Jan. 25, 2018.
Consumers are being encouraged to provide information on price, point of purchase and intended use of the stocks. Retailers and manufacturers are posed the majority of the questions, with the latter asked, “If ATF classified ‘bump stock’ devices as machineguns under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, what would you expect to be the impact on your gross receipts for calendar year 2018?”
BATFE isn’t alone in the bump-fire stock efforts. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have also introduced measures in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that would create an outright ban. “The actual language of this legislation, however, reaches considerably beyond bump stocks and threatens almost any part or accessory that would allow a semi-automatic firearm to shoot more quickly,” warned NRA-ILA Executive Direct Chris Cox. “Neither proposed ban has a grandfather provision, meaning they could turn Americans who obtained their parts or accessories years earlier (when they were still lawful) into federal felons. In this regard, the bills are even more extreme than the confiscatory gun bans of Australia—so admired by gun control advocates—which at least allowed current owners to surrender their property for compensation.”
Late last month a Denver city councilman introduced a measure that would make it, “…unlawful to sell, carry, store or possess a bump stock device within Denver City limits.”