Duty? What Duty?

As a child growing up, most of the TV shows tended to portray law enforcement as heroes. They always got there in the nick of time, and if they were called in after the unfortunate event happened? They always knew what to do about that as well. They could do a dandy chalk outline of the corpse and then find out who made that happen to the unfortunate victim. And the really superior thing about law-enforcement back then is they could always make it happen in an hour. Minus the time for commercials of course. That’s not like the modern day shows that have running story lines. Like soap operas did when I was growing up. This is back before the day of “Cops as the bad guys”. Oh of course there have always been bad cops, it’s just they weren’t really so much a part of the TV land experience back then. We were taught to respect them, and if we were in trouble, look for a cop. TV shows where the guys stealing cars were the good guys didn’t happen. Nor was there near the amount of realism that you see in shows today.

Hospitals probably weren’t target rich environments back then, aka “gun-free zones”. But to be honest, I doubt that many people carried while at work either. It’s just that now the signs make it clear unless the crew of “Third Watch” happens to be in the ER waiting room they can pretty much be assured everyone will be doing what the medical staff was doing. Ducking, hiding, running, praying. Because throwing chairs, rocks and baseball bats don’t look to be a viable option to me there. No one is going to be firing back at them.

So if the crew of “Third Watch” happens to be in the ER waiting room, and 1-Adam12 has been dispatched to assist in response to Cruz’s call in for back up, how long will it take for Malloy and Reed to arrive on the scene?

Average-Police-Response-Time to a 911 call?

“I would just call 911 for help.” There’s this false sense of security that we have created with the 911 system that has people believing that with a single call, a swat team will be dispatched immediately to save you and your family within moments of the call.

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. So what is the average-police-response-time to a 911 call?

According to American Police Beat, the average response time for an emergency call is 10 minutes. Atlanta has the worst response time with 11 to 12 minutes and Nashville comes in at a lightning speed of 9 minutes.

The Department of Justice, with their statistical prowess, reports that the best response time is 4 minutes and the worst over 1 hour. Interpretation? If you live in an upper income area you probably are privy to the 4 minute response time, while middle to rural areas will see a much longer response time.

Now here is where things get interesting. Even though the Department of Justice determined that the average police response time to a 911 call is 4 minutes, the average interaction time between a criminal and his victim is 90 seconds.

That translates to you being robbed/injured/maimed/raped/murdered and waiting for an additional 2 and a half minutes for the police to arrive. The truth of the matter is that the police will almost always arrive AFTER the crime has happened and the criminal has gone.

In rural areas the time can be even longer. A lot longer. Think 30 minutes, maybe more. It’s not that they are hanging out at donut shops, or trying to get someone at Taco Smell to take their order, there is a lot that goes into 9-1-1 calls, and a lot of calls can go into 9-1-1. The lady with the cat in the tree may have got a call in seconds before you were calling in about the guy fixin to come in through your back door.

Actually, school shootings seem to have an even worse set of numbers. Quicker Response to Active Shooters

There are four possible ways to mitigate the damage inflicted by an active shooter. You can harden the target, arm and train potential victims, strengthen prevention programs and suspect identification, and improve law enforcement response times. Each one of these steps is easier said than done because of the associated bureaucratic, political, and budgetary considerations.

Department of Homeland Security research reveals that the average duration of an active shooter incident at a school is 12.5 minutes. In contrast, the average response time for law enforcement is 18 minutes. That means it only makes sense for us to find ways to improve our response times. Working on our response times is about the only anti-active shooter measure that we can take at the operator level. We must find a way to shave off some time and in doing so, create some type of tactical advantage.

A little discouraging that political weighs into the mix making it harder. But when you consider two Buckets O’Chum in Florida were part of Barry’s social engineering project where by kids got a pass on criminal behavior to make statistics look better and law-enforcement agencies got money in return, I guess it’s the truth. Both of them had criminal actions in their backgrounds. Were they in jail? Juvenile court? Detention? Nope.

And law enforcement is trying to find creative ways to decrease the response time, coming up with an app they designed for cell phones. Embracing Technology to Decrease Law Enforcement Response Time.

But you know what the bottom line on all of this is? They don’t gotta. What do I mean? They police do not have a duty to protect you, yours, your kith or your kin. Or Barbie either for that matter. I know, I know that’s what it says on the side of the Police cars, “To Serve and Protect”. Look, everyone needs a goal, a mission statement if you will. So think of it like that, it’s a goal, it’s their mission. Mine is to lose 7 pounds. They have equal chances of succeeding. They can’t be everywhere at once and fried okra still exists in the world.

This has become an issue again the wake of the actions of the law enforcement of Coward County Florida. Scot Petersen, not the Scott Peterson who murdered his pregnant wife, he’s still on death row, but the deputy who cowered outside as a Bucket O’Chum shot students in a Parkland school after security monitor Andrew Medina failed to confront O’Chum when he saw him or call a “Code Red” in the school. So, because Parkland is a safe gun-free zone and had the crack Coward law-enforcement on hand you have a massive #GunControlFail.

It should be no surprise some of the parents sued.

A judge has rejected a deputy’s claim that he had no duty to confront the gunman during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Refusing to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the parent of a victim, Broward Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning found after a hearing Wednesday that ex-deputy Scot Peterson did have a duty to protect those inside the school where 17 people died and 17 were wounded on Feb. 14. Video and other evidence shows Peterson, the only armed officer at the school, remained outside while shots rang out.

The negligence lawsuit was filed by Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed. He said it made no sense for Peterson’s attorneys to argue that a sworn law enforcement officer with a badge and a gun had no requirement to go inside.

“Then what is he doing there?” Pollack said after the ruling. “He had a duty. I’m not going to let this go. My daughter, her death is not going to be in vain.”

That lasted a week. Cops and schools had no duty to shield students in Parkland shooting, says judge who tossed lawsuit

Bloom ruled that the two agencies had no constitutional duty to protect students who were not in custody.

“The claim arises from the actions of [shooter Nikolas] Cruz, a third party, and not a state actor,” she wrote in a ruling Dec. 12. “Thus, the critical question the Court analyzes is whether defendants had a constitutional duty to protect plaintiffs from the actions of Cruz.

“As previously stated, for such a duty to exist on the part of defendants, plaintiffs would have to be considered to be in custody” — for example, as prisoners or patients of a mental hospital, she wrote.

But this isn’t the first time such a case has come up. In an excellent book on Missouri Weapons and Self-Defense law the author talks about Warren vs. District of Columbia. This was such a horrible case it always stuck with me.

Police are not the only ones shielded from the consequences of the failure to protect. Another truly horrific case is that of DeShaney v. Winnebago County. That was a spectacular failure of a ‘child protection team,’ consisting of a pediatrician, a psychologist, a police detective, the county’s lawyer, several DSS caseworkers, and various hospital personnel, and the juvenile court. They returned a badly abused child to his custodial father. The father did not meet the requirements in the following year and the child protective services did______________nada, zip, zilch, zero, squat. Eventually the poor little four year old boy was beaten so badly he wound up in a institution for the rest of his life. His dad served less than 2 years in jail. And the child protection team? The department of social services that did nothing on their follow up visits? Nothing, nothing happened to any of them when the child’s mother attempted to sue. I’m thinking the court that awarded custody to the dad should be included in the list of shame there as well.

And what say the anti-gun, anti-self defense pink hatted faux feminists? Don’t get a gun, just go through the legal system. Get a restraining order and then sic the cops on him. And Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales will show you that works as well as the law enforcement team of Coward County. That resulted in 3 dead little girls at the hand of their loving father. The mother had begged police to go find the girls. Her ex walked right through the paper target.

The Mises Institute points out in terms of our money, it may or not, be a good investment of our dollars.

This reality does belie the often-made claim, however, that police agencies deserve the tax money and obedience of local citizens because the agencies “keep us safe.”

Nevertheless, we are told there is an agreement here — a “social contract” — between government agencies and the taxpayers and citizens.

And, by the very nature of being a contract, we are meant to believe this is a two-way street. The taxpayers are required to submit to a government monopoly on force, and to pay these agencies taxes.

In return, these government agents will provide services. In the case of police agencies, these services are summed up by the phrase “to protect and serve” — a motto that has in recent decades been adopted by numerous police agencies.

But what happens when those police agencies don’t protect and serve? That is, what happens when one party in this alleged social contract doesn’t keep up its end of the bargain.

The answer is: very little.

The Mises Institute also makes another excellent point.

The taxpayers will still have to pay their taxes and submit to police agencies as lawful authority. If the agencies or individual agents are forced to pay as a result of lawsuits, it’s the taxpayers who will pay for that too.

Oh sure, the senior leadership positions may change, but the enormous agency budgets will remain, the government agents themselves will continue to collect generous salaries and pensions, and no government will surrender its monopoly on the use of force.

No government will surrender it’s monopoly on power? Well what I ask, could go wrong with that??

Venezuelans regret gun ban, ‘a declaration of war against an unarmed population’

“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, 28, a Venezuelan teacher of English now exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

Under the direction of then-President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2012 enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law,” with the explicit aim to “disarm all citizens.” The law took effect in 2013, with only minimal pushback from some pro-democracy opposition figures, banned the legal commercial sale of guns and munitions to all – except government entities.

Dang, huh? I hope Bosco will be ok though.

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“Expropriation”

I was cruising the usual gun bloggers for newsletter fodder last week and came across this.

“Expropriation Without Compensation” is Theft
There is no voice of reason. One guy is worried it will stop foreign investment. (Really? Just because you steal things that have been in another’s possession for generations, you think people might be turned off by that?)

When I saw the post title, and knowing that a big expropriation is coming, I initially assumed this was the bump-fire stock ban, in which a minimum of hundreds of thousands of people will theoretically lose anywhere from 280,000 to 520,000 pieces of property to corrupt government acts.

But no.

South Africa is just about set to steal land from white farmers because whites are not allowed in SA anymore. (Almost) South Africa white farmers crisis: This IMPORTANT date could change South Africa FOREVER.

The date in question for South Africa is March 31, 2019, which might add to the confusion, since our ban was formally published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2018. 90 days after that (when the ban proper goes into effect) is March 26, 2019.

Pretty close coincidence. And yes, I do equate the South African and American government thefts. Both establish precedents that the government can take whatever it wants, whenever it wants, and doesn’t even have to make a token payment. In South Africa, it’s farms. In America, it’s toys.

For now. It’s a precedent. What might our benevolent government decide we don’t need next? Yes, a semiauto ban could be on the horizon. But why limit the precedent to firearms?

Anyone remember a guy named Gore, who planned to outlaw internal combustion? Take a look at the Green New Deal being pushed by incoming Democrats.

I will admit that the SA and American thefts differ in a key aspect. The South Africans formally (if rather corruptly) amended their constitution to make their theft “legal.”

In America, the ATF simply (and rather corruptly) wrote a new rule. No amendment, legislation, or rational rationale required. Just language games.

How crazy is it that the South Africans stealing land are paying more lip service to law than the United States?

Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.

 

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Screw you, NRA

The NRA has released a Statement on Bump Fire Stock Rule. Feel free to read it, but I can paraphrase their five paragraphs in a few words:

Don’t blame us. We only wanted regulation under the NFA, registration, taxes, and a ban on new stocks. And our compromise saved us from other bans. Let’s work together.

Wayne LaPierre, or Chris Cox. It’s hard to tell them apart sometimes.

The preemptive surrender monkeys of the NRA asked for the ATF to regulate bump-fire stocks as National Firearms Act items. They asked for this as nearly the entire politico-media industrial complex was saying that bump-fire stocks turn semiautomatic rifles into machineguns.

And just in case it wasn’t clear enough, the NRA told them: “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

Does that language sound familiar?

What type of NFA item did the NRA think the ATF would call them? I recall when the NRA helped draft a city “assault weapon ban” and similarly claimed they were preventing something worse. It didn’t. And the NRA version even banned SKSs with fixed ten-round magazines.

Capitulating on “bump-fire stocks turn guns into machineguns” before anyone even entered a bill merely signalled to the gun control crowd that they’re fair game, and open season. It told their pet RINOs that they would not be held responsible for human/civil rights infringement. Semiauto ban bills were then entered.

The NRA claims there could have been an amnesty for existing bump-fire stocks, as provided for in the Gun Control Act of 1968, and gives an example from 1981. Apparently they completely forgot their complicity in the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 that completely closed off any possible amnesty for anything built or imported after the May 1986 deadline. (For that matter, the NRA was complicit in the NFA, claiming it would have been worse without them caving on militia grade weapons for militia members.)

If the NRA wanted an amnesty to register existing bump-fire stocks, it had to be through legislation to change the complete ban on new machineguns in FOPA. By going the ATF regulation route, they guaranteed a ban on bumpfire stocks. The Zelman Partisans have been pointing out this problem for months. The NRA didn’t notice until the rule was signed (and the problem of a semi-auto ban because they can be easily converted to “machinegun” with bump-fire stocks, the same way we lost open-bolt semi-autos)?

The NRA told the ATF to regulate these inert chunks of plastic as machineguns, and then act shocked that FOPA applies.

Either the NRA is staffed with complete idiots, or it was just another cunning plan to push rights violations so they could then fundraise to “fight” the rights violation. Or buy Wayne a limo; whichever makes him happier.

“It’s critical that all gun owners unite and prevent the Bloomberg-bought Congress from dismantling our Second Amendment freedom.”

It is critical for all gun owners to unite. Folks, it isn’t your grand dad’s NRA anymore, and it’s too far gone to ever fix and make into whatever you imagine the NRA once was. The NRA has been doing this for more than two decades. I quit the NRA over it in the mid ’90s. It’s past time to tell them you aren’t buying this load of manure anymore.

Take your time, money, and effort to someone who will work for you, instead of the NRA which consistently — NFA, GCA, FOPA, GFSZA, Brady, constitutional carry, ERPOs, bump-fire — works against you and your rights.

 

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Amnesty: GCA ’68 vs. FOPA ’86

I’m going to be posting another column tonight. This is going to be background material for it.

Some people are defending the NRA’s call for regulating bump-fire stocks under the National Firearms Act; the NRA’s… thinking… being that there could have been an amnesty to grandfather in existing stocks.

An interesting theory. The Gun Control Act of 1968 did allow for amnesty and registration periods.

But then, just 18 years later, we got the Firearms Owners “Protection” Act of 1986.

FOPA flat out slammed the door on registration of “machineguns” manufactured or imported — for civilians — after the May 1986 deadline. The possibility for other NFA items — suppressors, short-barrel firearms, etc. — might still be there. One might even argue that machineguns that had, at some point, been lawfully possessed prior to the ’86 deadline (had been registered, but somehow got improperly transferred) could still get an amnesty.

But nothing manufactured or imported after ’86. Like bump-fire stocks, which suddenly became “machineguns.”

Sorry, NRA. You should have read those laws, in which you are complicit, a little more closely.

I did. In fact, I always read legislation as, “What’s the worst possible interpretation an abusive ATF or administration could make of this?” The NRA should do the same. You aren’t going to be fundraising on your screw-ups forever; folks are getting tired of your backstabbing.

 

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GAO: Background checks STILL don’t work

This just screams for comment, given that universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence prior restraint is probably going to pass next year.

GAO: Few Individuals Denied Firearms Purchases Are Prosecuted and ATF Should Assess Use of Warning Notices in Lieu of Prosecutions
Federal and selected state law enforcement agencies that process firearm-related background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) collectively investigate and prosecute a small percentage of individuals who falsify information on a firearms form (e.g., do not disclose a felony conviction) and are denied a purchase. Federal NICS checks resulted in about 112,000 denied transactions in fiscal year 2017, of which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) referred about 12,700 to its field divisions for further investigation. U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAO) had prosecuted 12 of these cases as of June 2018.

CNN is reporting this as “More than 99.9% of those who were investigated escaped with nothing more than a warning.”

But that’s misleading. It’s far, far worse than that.

112,090 denials. 12 prosecutions. Only 0.0107% — a hair over one-one hundredth of one percent — of denials are prosecuted.

112,090 denials. Only 11% are even referred for investigation. Meaning it was clear that 89% of the denials were false positives. 89% of denials were clearly violations of constitutionally protected human/civil rights.

Of the 12,710 that warranted looking into, only 12 were clear enough cases of prohibited persons trying to obtain firearms to bother going to court. That suggests that the percentage of rights violations was actually 99.99%, but not necessarily.

ATF field divisions […] generally only refer cases to USAOs for prosecution when aggravating circumstances exist, such as violent felonies or multiple serious offenses over a short period of time.

It turns out that they referred 50 cases for prosecution. Fifty cases of people allegedly with a history of “violent felonies or multiple serious offenses over a short period of time” referred.

12 the prosecutors actually think can be prosecuted.

But there’s a big gap between 12,710 investigations and 50 prosecution referrals. And the report does not give a number for “proper denial, but we didn’t think it worth wasting our time,” or “Nope; X number shouldn’t have been denied.”

By the government’s own numbers, a bare minimum of 89% percent of false positive denials are proof that NICS background checks don’t work. The number could range as high as 99.99%.

Background checks don’t work. The results are meaningless. And the GAO essentially found that other folks agree with that assessment.

Officials from 10 of our 13 selected POC states said that they do not
investigate or prosecute NICS denials.

Here’s another number: 77% of states know NICS results are worthless and will not even try to investigate referred (the one’s which might actually be problems, much less the rest) denials.

 

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“What could go wrong?” she chirped.

The NRA, Trump, and a gaggle of gun controllers and politicians have pushed for “red flag” Extreme Risk Protection Orders The alleged idea is to bypass due process to confiscate firearms from someone who supposedly poses a threat to himself or others, no evidence needed. “Due process” would come after the theft — sometimes weeks later — and leaves the allegedly “dangerous” person free to do whatever they think he might do sometime in the future.

Just yesterday, I wrote a bit of satire about the just-signed rule banning bump-fire stocks, and added this bit:

When asked about the NRA’s position on “red flag” extreme risk protection orders, another controversial gun control proposal the NRA has supported, Aikiddin whined, “No one who isn’t potentially thinking about doing something, but hasn’t, has anything to fear from red flag laws. And we think that balancing PRE-crime infringements of rights with POST due process offers legal symmetry.”

“What could go wrong?” she chirped. “But we can raise money on that, too.”

I stand corrected.

No one who isn’t potentially thinking about doing something, but hasn’t, and doesn’t know someone who maybe might consider doing something eventually, has anything to fear from red flag laws.

UPDATED: Police, school officials avert Middlebury middle school shooting
After confirming the whereabouts and establishing short-term plans for both young suspects, police turned their attention to securing their alleged source of guns.

“We executed what is called an ‘extreme risk order’ (Monday) night at a relative’s house who had all these firearms,” Hanley said. “They were locked up (in the home), but one of these kids said he had access to them and could get them. So we took advantage of that extreme risk order statute that was passed. We needed to separate the person from their ability to do this.”

Not the suspect. Firearms safely secured. And they executed an “extreme risk order against an innocent person no one had even claimed was a risk.

They just violated someone’s human/civil rights for as much as six months, and without the chance to beg for restoral for up to two weeks. Because someone else — who may not even reside in that home — was accused of a pre-crime.

And the minors whom they believe were planning a crime?

“There may be some other charges down the road, but right now it’s the treatment issues we’re dealing with.”

They confiscated ten firearms from someone else based on something that they not even charge anyone for.

What could possibly go wrong? It isn’t as if anyone will ever further abuse that precedent.

Right?

 

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The Motivation for Lying

There’s been a shooting. The shooter claims self defense. But then witnesses come forward and contradict his story. Who knows? Witnesses honestly do not always see the same thing, or they might misinterpret what they saw. The shooter may honestly believe he had to shoot the person, and maybe he did.

Then photographic evidence reveals the shooter not only blatantly lied about a crucial fact that “supported” his need to shoot, but afterwards he — or someone helping him — tampered with evidence to back up the shooter’s lie.

About now, I — and you, I hope — would have serious doubts about the righteousness of that shoot. Why did he lie? Why was evidence tampered with?

What was his real motivation?

But I’m not really talking about use of defensive force.

Now, suppose someone is passing a law or a new rule that will ban something. It’s something you consider silly, unnecessary, and wasteful. Even potentially dangerous. The rulemaker may honestly believe the item needs to be banned. And it sounds reasonable to you.

But then documentation is presented that shows the rulemaker blatantly lied about what the item does. It simply doesn’t work that way; the lie is contrary to physical reality.

Having any doubts about the rulemaker’s motivation yet?

The ban already seemed reasonable even to you, a person familiar with the topic. It already seemed beyond reasonable and absolutely imperative to a very large segment of the population. And that was before the lie.

So why would the rulemaker bother to lie about it? What does he have to gain? What’s his… future?… motivation?

Bothered yet?

Then you realize there’s another lie, that the item changes the inherent speed at which another device operates, and you know it doesn’t; it’s only an aid for the user. The user can actually do the same thing without the gadget at all.

Why lie about that, too?

This rule is intended to clarify that the statutory definition of machinegun includes certain devices (i.e., bump-stock-type devices) that, when affixed to a firearm, allow that firearm to fire automatically with a single function of the trigger

And now that the “bump-stock-type device” ban is set, imagine a change in the DC power structure after the 2020 elections, less than two years away.

What would an administration even less friendly to human/civil rights do with that ban rule and it’s precedent?

Bump stock owners resist ban, in no hurry to surrender devices
“I hadn’t even heard about it,” David Reeh, an operating partner at U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa said Wednesday.
[…]
He said the ruling doesn’t raise alarms with him about a slippery slope for future seizures of other guns or gun parts.

I suppose if he hadn’t even heard about, then he certainly never read the NPRM, much less the rule. The ATF was counting on that kind of ignorant complacency. Lies work, if no one questions them.

 

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“Compliance”: Bump-Stock-TYPE Devices

The bump stock ban rule is out. Bump-fire stocks are now machineguns. To power-crazed tyrants, anyway. But, since FOPA forbids possession of machineguns manufactured or imported later than May 1986, you’ll have to get rid of them.

You want to be good, right?

I suppose you could simply destroy your bump-fire stock, but if the ATF gets hold of some retailers’ customer list and comes knocking, you’ll want some proof that you already complied. You could hang on to the properly cut up pieces (you do have an oxy-acetylene torch?) and show them that.

Or you could turn in your new contraband like a good little citizen. Mail your bump-fire stock to the ATF.

Oh. Wait. That’s “bump-stock-TYPE device.” “Type” is fairly all-inclusive. To be safe, you should send in any bump-fire assist gadgets you have on hand.

Rubber bands come to mind. So do Jeans (belt loops).

For that matter, none of this is needed to bump-fire a rifle; you can do it with bare hands. But you don’t want to ship those off, so represent them with gloves.

Heck, send them a finger.

Again, any semi-auto rifle can be bump-fired, so any stock is a “bump stock,” right? If you happened to replace the original wood stock for your SKS and have the old one laying around…

..send ’em that.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
99 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20226

Heck, you might even toss some shoestrings in with your bump-fire toys, just in case they change their minds again.

They do that, after all.

Don’t forget to ask for a receipt. You should even consider sending it certified mail.

On the other hand, you might want to keep your stocks. I supppose you could tie 2 bump-stocks together. “No, Mr. ATF. That there is my constitutionally-protected nunchuks.”

 

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Analyzing the Bump-Stock-Type Devices Rule

Sorry this took so long. It’s 157 pages of bureaucratese. And partway through I got sidetracked by a closely related issue.

The key points are:

  1. It is an outright, ungrandfathered, ban on bump-fire stocks (BSTD; and there’s a reason I’m adopting the ATF’s acronym -grin-), as expected.
  2. It is as bad as expected, reiterating lies.
  3. It is potentially the basis for a complete semi-auto ban, due to the nature of the lies.

I’ll address things as I encountered them as I read the document, so this will ramble.

Page 22 presents an important false claim.

The Department explained that when a shooter who has affixed a bump-stock-type device to a semiautomatic firearm pulls the trigger, that movement initiates a firing sequence that produces more than one shot. And that firing sequence is “automatic” because the device harnesses the firearm’s recoil energy in a continuous back-and-forth cycle that allows the shooter to attain continuous firing after a single pull of the trigger, so long as the trigger finger remains stationary on the device’s ledge (as designed). Accordingly, these devices are included under the definition of “machinegun” and, therefore, come within the purview of the NFA.

They consistently refer to a single trigger pull “initiating a firing sequence.” They treat all other actions of the trigger finger on the trigger as something magical that the BSTD does, not the shooter.

They consistently claim that BSTDs are “automatic” because the device harnesses the firearm’s recoil energy in a continuous back-and-forth cycle,” totally ignoring the fact that recoil only disengages the trigger from the finger. Somehow, the BSTD magically redirects the energy to push the trigger against the finger again. Of course, this is a lie; the spring-equipped Akins Accelerator did do that, but springless bump-fire stocks do not. BSTDs require the shooter to manually push the firearm forward with the supporting hand/arm.

As I said, this is a ban, so you have to destroy the BSTD.

Acceptable methods of destruction include completely melting, shredding, or crushing the device. If the device is made of metal, an alternative acceptable method of destruction is using an oxy/acetylene torch to make three angled cuts that completely severs design features critical to the functionality of the bump-stock-type device. Each cut should remove at least ¼ inch of metal per cut. Any method of destruction must render the device so that it is not readily restorable to a firing condition or is otherwise reduced to scrap. However, as the majority of bump-stock-type devices are made of plastic material, individuals may use a hammer to break them apart so that the device is not readily restorable to a firing condition or is otherwise reduced to scrap, and throw the pieces away.

Turning it in to the ATF is also an option.

However, current possessors also have the option to abandon bump-stock-type devices at the nearest ATF office.

That’s the option I recommend.

The doc spends page upon page addressing specific concerns raised in the public commenting period, mostly to hand-wave and declare, “Nah. We don’t think so.”

Heh.

One commenter said that should ATF be asked to demonstrate the firing of a rifle equipped with a bump-stock-type device with the shooter only using his trigger hand, and no coordinated input from the other hand, it could not be done, as it requires two hands, skill, and coordination.

That was me. Challenge declined, by the way.

The Department disagrees that a shooter repeatedly actuates, functions, or pulls the trigger of a semiautomatic firearm using a bump-stock-type device with the non-trigger hand by “pushing the firearm forward.” In fact, the shooter “pulls” the trigger once and allows the firearm and attached bump-stock-type device to operate until the shooter releases the trigger finger or the constant forward pressure with the non-trigger hand. The non-trigger hand never comes in contact with the trigger and does not actuate, function, or pull it. By maintaining constant forward pressure, a shooter relies on the device to capture and direct recoil energy for each subsequent round and requires no further manipulation of the trigger itself.

“relies on the device to capture and direct recoil energy for each subsequent round The BSTD pushes the firearm forward, not the shooter.

In this way, the Department also disagrees that “[r]ecoil is incidental to the firing sequence of a bump-stock type device equipped semiautomatic firearm, not intrinsic.” Without recoil and the capture and directing of that recoil energy, a bump-stock-type device would be no different from a traditional shoulder stock. As numerous commenters acknowledged, bump-stock-type devices allow shooters to fire semiautomatic firearms at a faster rate and in a different manner than they could with traditional shoulder stocks. Bump-stock-type devices do this by capturing and directing recoil mechanically, enabling continuous fire without repeated manual manipulation of the trigger by a shooter.

And things get potentially truly nasty with that. A BSTD would be just like a fixed stock if it — not the shooter, mind you — didn’t magically push the gun forward with mystically redirected recoil forces…

Did they do all their testing with previously banned Akins Accelerators?

But since BSTDs do not push the gun forward, then — by their definition of reality — BSTDs are the same as fixed stocks. If one is banned for being a machinegun… I’ll let you reason that out.

Naturally, they had to address the fact that you can bump-fire a rifle with pretty much everything, no required.

This rule defines the term “automatically” to mean “functioning as the result of a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism.” Bump-stock-type devices enable semiautomatic firearms to operate “automatically” because they serve as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism. An item like a belt loop is not a “self-acting or self-regulating mechanism.” When such items are used for bump firing, no device is present to capture and direct the recoil energy; rather, the shooter must do so.

False. The belt loop serves exactly the same function as the bump-fire stock: to help your finger engage the trigger as you pull the firearm forward after recoil.

In fact, the belt-loop method provides a stabilizing point for the trigger finger but relies on the shooter-not a device-to harness the recoil energy so that the trigger automatically re-engages by “bumping” the shooter’s stationary trigger finger.

They are so full of… semi-hard intestinal thing… bump-fire stocks — except the spring-equipped Akins Accelerator — do not “harness the recoil energy” to return the trigger to the finger. The shooter’s tensioned arm does that, whether using bump stock, fixed stock, belt-loop or simply two hands.

In short, a BSTD is an inert object. Anything it does in terms of causing the trigger finger to engage the trigger is same as a fixed stock, or belt loop. If a gun with a bump stock is a machinegun, then so is a gun with a fixed stock, because it can be bump-fired.

Therein lays the potential semi-auto ban. Think not? Imagine if HRC has won in 2016, and this were from her administration.

And then we get to page 113. Though page 117.

Holy carp! This is fishy. They spent five pages discussing commenter’s complaint that they hosed the commenting period by linking to the closed ANPRM instead of the NPRM, and making it impossible to comment online for a brief period. And blow it off as “Too bad.” And they claim they the “online author, whose comments seemed to vanish, direct links to his comments.

I have reason to believe I am the “online author.” 1) I’m a writer for The Zelman Partisans. 2) I made a comment which was misdirected to the ANPRM instead of the NPRM. 3) I noted that comments closed. 4) I contacted the ATF to complain. 5) I wrote about this at the time, as the document describes. (Hi, ATF! So you read my stuff now?) 6) I have a series of emails between myself and the ATF, and a comment about the issue, so I may even be the commenter with which they started this section.

Where I seemingly differ from the “online author” is that no, the ATF did not provide me with direct weblinks to my comments. If that is me, as I think, then they lied. The last email I had from “The Office of Regulatory Affairs” was April 2, 2018, in which they said they’d fixed the problem. That email included the tracking numbers for my comments, but no links. I eventually dug up the direct links myself.

In fact, my last email to the ATF, in which I mentioned that a correspondent still couldn’t comment online — after the issue was supposedly addressed — went unanswered.

(And they gloss over the online commenting failure by claiming tnhat comments could have faxed their comments, ignoring the fact that they still would have had the wrong docket number.

But they lied about 1) BSTDs operate repeatedly with a single trigger pull, 2) BSTDs magically push the gun forward themselves, so why not lie about the rule-making process, as well?

Tomorrow I will offer some suggestions on compliance with this ban.

 

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Bump-Stock-Type Devices now banned

Acting AG Whitaker signed the rule today.

I will be posting more, after I’ve read the entire 157 page document.

So far, the ban appears to rest on this:

The ruling determined that the phrase “single function of the trigger” in the statutory definition of”machinegun” was best interpreted to mean a “single pull of the trigger.”

They transferred the “definition” of machinegun from the device to the user.

More later.

ADDED: 12/18/2018, 17:27ET: I am working on a detailed analysis, which I’ll publish later as a separate post (there it is). It’s bad, but there’s some mildly amusing — to me anyway — stuff in there.

Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could really use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills. And the rabbits need feed. Truck insurance, lest I be forced to sell it. Click here to donate via PayPal.
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