Senator Dianne Feinstein, long a foe of free and armed people, is introducing legislation (PDF) to ban “bump-fire stocks.”
“It shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun,” the bill states.”
Since The Zelman Partisans do value free and armed people, having an understanding of history when wanna-be tyrants like Feinstein succeeded, we utterly oppose this legislation.
We oppose it for the usual RKBA philosophical reasons. It is yet another infringement on the very right to life, as expressed through self defense.
We oppose it for practical reasons as well.
The rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm is based in physics. Force is applied to the firing pin. That force and the pin’s mass determine its acceleration into the cartridge primer. The primer ignites at a given velocity for that cartridge; that in turn ignites the powder with its own ignition velocity. The bullet is propelled forward; force and mass again.
The force of the detonating powder also works to move the bolt backwards; the old “equal and opposite reaction.” How fast the bolt goes back is determined by its mass and the resistance of the spring behind it. When it has traveled all the way back, the spring applies force and pushes the mass forward once again.
The bolt is slowed as it strips the next round out of the magazine. Finally it moves the round’s mass into the chamber.
In a machine gun, the firing pin would continue forward starting the cycle over again. In a semiautomatic firearm, the pin does not go forward until the trigger (with its own mass and springs) returns to the ready position and is manually operated again. So semiautomatics have an inherently slower rate of fire than machine guns, all else being equal.
The only way to even approach the theoretical maximum rate of fire of most semiautomatics is to have a fast finger.
Old-timers know the trick of pushing your rifle forward with your grip on the stock or barrel shroud as you fire. Recoil pushes the rifle back, and your hand acts as a spring to pull it forward driving the trigger into your finger. The mechanicals have typically cycled already, so the rifle fires again. It’s a fun trick, but wasteful of ammunition, and very inaccurate.
Thus were born “bump-fire” stocks. They merely provide a way to hold the rifle a little steadier while you perform the same silly stunt. They absolutely in no way increase the theoretical rate of fire. They help folks with slower fingers get a little closer to the theoretical.
Should Feinstein’s bill pass, it would necessitate outlawing holding the rifle by the stock like we did in the old days. I suppose possession of an off hand would be a felony.
In fact, this bill is so broadly written that far more than “bump-fire” stocks would be banned. Light-weight after-market bolts can increase the rate of fire, as can different replacement buffer springs. Likewise nicely polished and sensitive trigger groups.
Polishing the parts in the stock trigger group would be illegal.
Basically this Constitution-shredding Senator wants to redefine “machine gun” by how fast you can make something fire, rather than being designed to fire automatically as long as the trigger is depressed. Apparently Jerry Miculek is going to be outlawed.
We understand that other people are reacting in shock and grief to the horrible incident in Las Vegas. But if we are to ban every fun or useful thing that has ever been misused, we will have to eliminate microwave ovens, sandpaper, fire extinguishers, doctors, and senators, among many other things.
The Zelman Partisans opposes this, and any other legislation with similar Bill of Rights violating intent, on the grounds that it is both wrong and stupid. We urge Senator Feinstein — clearly in her dotage — to withdraw it and to retire in ignominy.
We urge anyone with a lick of sense to also oppose it.
Please contact your Senators and House Representative to voice your opposition.
We also note that the National Rifle Association has issued a statement in support of further regulating or banning fun stuff, saying, “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” We disagree, and urge principled members of the NRA to consider quitting and joining a real pro-RKBA organization.