GOA: Voice Your Outrage Over the ATF’s Threat to AR-15s

Posted by on June 15, 2018 11:27 am
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Categories: Column 2

There is now less than two weeks left to comment, and voice your outrage, on ATF’s proposed regulations ban on bump stocks and semi-autos. For starters, the proposed regulations would ban bump stocks outright—and turn gun owners who fail to comply as instant felons. It would do this by classifying bump stocks as “machineguns.”  And, under the Hughes Amendment (18 U.S.C. 922(o)), every “machinegun” manufactured after May, 1986, is banned for civilian use with no grandfather clause or grace period.

ATF Form 4473 with revolver on top

If gun owners do not act and make their collective voices clear, the rights we lose today may have a lasting impact that future anti Second Amendment administrations use to take away our rights.

This means every bump stock owner immediately becomes a felon, subject to a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison. Now, you may not care about bump stocks … may not own a bump stock … and may think these regulations are harmless because they won’t affect you in the least—but that’s where you would be wrong. These regulations would most certainly set the table for a future ban on millions of semi-automatic firearms.

Here’s the bottom line: The regs claim that bump stocks make semi-automatic weapons fire “automatically.” (See p. 13443 of the ATF regs.) Well, if that’s so, then the same can be said about many other common items around the house—belt loops, rubber bands, index fingers, etc.

The current regulations do not classify any AR-15 or other semi-automatic rifle you own as a machine gun—not yet. However, gun owners should not be surprised if a future anti-gun administration uses these ATF regs to deem that semi-autos like AR-15s are too readily convertible to machine guns.

That’s because:

  1. According to these regulations, a bump stock can “readily restore” a semi-auto into a machinegun, simply because the gun owner can effectively fire the weapon continuously with a “single pull” of the trigger.
  2. Under federal law (at 26 U.S.C. 5845(b)), any firearm that can be “readily restored” or “converted” to fire automatically is a “machinegun.” Period. End of story.
bump stock on an Ar-15 with banned message to voice your outrage

Gun control leftists are constantly trying to expand the reach of every gun control law on the books. Consider how the Brady Law has resulted in hundreds of thousands of military veterans losing their gun rights. Then, imagine how the antis would use this in the future.

And as noted above, given that there are a countless number of items which can be used to bump fire a semi-auto, an anti-gun administration could deem that millions of rifles are “readily restorable” and, therefore, are banned. I don’t believe this is the result desired by the current administration. Yet, it’s the unintended consequences of gun control that we have seen over and over again.

The Slippery Slope of Gun Control

Remember how Obama tried to use the armor piercing bullet ban to outlaw common green tip M855 ammo for the AR-15—or build upon prior import bans to outlaw semi-automatic shotguns? Or how he attempted to use laws regulating gun dealers to punish private gun owners selling more than one personal gun with five years in jail and a $250,000 fine? Or when he expanded the reach of the anti-gun ObamaCare law by telling doctors they could glean information on gun owners and feed them into a federal database? Or when he sought to expand the so-called NICS Improvement Act to outlaw millions of Social Security recipients from owning firearms?

Gun control leftists are constantly trying to expand the reach of every gun control law on the books. Consider how the Brady Law has resulted in hundreds of thousands of military veterans losing their gun rights. Or how laws supposedly aimed at stopping criminals from carrying weapons have incarcerated innocent victims such as Shaneen Allen, a lawful concealed carry holder from Pennsylvania.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi hopes the Bump Stock Ban results in more Gun Control. Examples of gun control’s slippery slope abound at the federal and state level. Heck, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she “certainly hopes” that a bump stock ban will result in a slippery slope for more gun control. Well, she may be right. And gun owners may one day look back at these bump stock regs as the catalyst that gun banners used to ban AR-15s and other semi-automatic firearms.

The comment period on this AR-15 ban will be closing soon (June 27). You have just under two weeks to make your voice heard. Please feel free to use our suggested comments here. You can copy-and-paste GOA’s prewritten text to the ATF—or amend them in any way you deem fit.

Please submit your comments to the ATF, and tell them you are 100% against any infringement of your Second Amendment rights and this ban targeting AR-15s and other popular sporting rifles. Now is the time to voice your outrage!

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