The Battle to Save Bump Stocks Just Got Weird
Bump stocks are officially banned. According to regulation, they’re the same as machine guns. That means owning or using a bump stock is no minor violation. Getting caught in this mess is a life-ruining event.
That said, the fight for freedom isn’t over. The regulation has been issued. Now, it has to survive the lawsuits and injunctions that are being filed against it. Leading the charge is a case in D.C., and it points out some very weird stuff behind this ban. By the time you finish reading, you might be more than a little disturbed.
It’s disappointing that the bump stock ban came solely from the Justice Department. President Trump used unilateral power to make this happen, and it’s arguably his worst move as Commander in Chief. The new regulation redefines machine guns for the ATF. Anything that is a “bump stock,” slide-fire device or has similar characteristics to the first two is now officially considered a machine gun according to the National Firearms Act of 1934. This makes bump stocks highly illegal without special licensing, and that legality is subject to enforcement by the ATF.
This ban is a big assault on the 2nd Amendments and personal freedom. Worse, because it didn’t come solely from the left, a lot of groups that would usually fight tooth and nail to stop it have remained silent. Despite all of that, a lawsuit has been filed asking for an injunction against the new regulation.
The lawsuit in question was filed by Stephen Stamboulieh and Alan Beck. They went through the D.C. federal appeals court, and they chose that court on purpose. Rather than attack the rule itself, they’re filing against the procedure used to instate it. For starters, it was signed by the Attorney General. They’re arguing that he doesn’t have enough authority to put such a regulation in place. It’s pretty normal lawyer stuff.
The second major argument attacks the inconsistency of this new rule. Basically, the lawyers are showing that the ATF has consistently ruled that bump stocks are not machine guns, and changing the rules will confuse Americans and lead to unintentional violations. If you have been repeatedly told that something is legal, it’s a bit of a bait and switch to suddenly have the rules shifted.
The final part of the suit attacks the justification of the new regulation. When it was put into play, it cited FBI findings as a motivation. According to Trump’s team, the bump stock ban aims to prevent future criminals from using devices such as those that were implemented in the Las Vegas shooting in 2017.
The Corrupt FBI
Here’s where things get weird. There’s still no official statement as to whether or not the Vegas shooter used bump stocks. There’s no question that he used rapid-fire devices in the shooting, but they could have been illegally modified. In fact, the ATF requested that the FBI allow them to officially inspect the devices that were used in the shooting. As the official authority on the subject, ATF experts could easily have determined exactly how the shooter attained his rapid fire effect. ATF was turned down on the site of the shooting and at every request since.
Even more suspect is how the FBI has blatantly refused Freedom of Information Act requests of that same information. People everywhere want to know if the Vegas shooter used bump stocks. The FBI simply refuses to answer that question. When the Justice Department cited the use of bump stocks in the Vegas shooting, they didn’t have an official, public FBI statement behind them. At this point, the public still doesn’t know what was used in that shooting.
You see where this is going. With the FBI’s recent history of corruption and bending the rules for any agenda they like, we can’t trust them or their secrecy in investigating the Vegas shooting. At best, they’re inept. At worst, this attack on bump stocks is another excuse to round up political opponents. It’s the kind of thing you hear about in Russia or China, but you never think it can really happen in the U.S. Well, we’re at that point now.
We don’t just need this lawsuit to prevent the government from infringing on gun rights. We also need it to expose further corruption in the FBI and help us dismantle the group that now seems poised to strip freedom from Americans at will.