Tag Archives: ATF

“Due Jun 27 2018, at 11:59 PM ET”

That’s when commenting closes on the ATF’s Notice of Proposed Rule-Making on Bump-Stock Type Devices.

Recently, the victim disarmers have been flooding the system with pro-ban comments. I’m sure the ATF will use that to justify rationalize implementing the rule, despite the fact that it is based on multiple lies, and claims a criminal use of bump-fire stocks which the Mandalay Bay shooting investigators have refused to confirm. (That’s critical because, before the investigators stopped talking, they early on stated that at least one rifle converted to fully-automatic fire had been found in the killer’s suite in addition to the bump-fire stocked rifles.)

I’ve gone into the many problems of the NPRM already, so I won’t rehash it all. The TL;DR is:

  • They lie and say “BSTDs” allow continuous fire with a “single pull of the trigger.”
  • If bump-fire stocks convert a semiautomatic firearm into a machine gun, then any firearm that can readily accept a stock can be “readily” converted into a machine gun; under current rules, any firearm which can be readily converted is a machine gun.
  • It redefines “machine gun” by theoretical rate of fire, rather than mechanical action. Any firearm which can be fired arbitrarily “fast” becomes a machine gun.
  • “Machine gun” is defined in legislation. The ATF lacks authority to arbitrarily expand the definition to new devices.
  • The ATF lacks constitutional authority to exist.

This rule will be implemented; that seemed clear from the beginning. Reality matters not. Now, the point of commenting is just to makes sure they understand that we understand and are watching.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Bump-Fire Rule: If you have not commented, do so

The Brady Campaign to Protect Violent Criminals plans some late comment period “ballot stuffing.” If comments mean anything — which I doubt, or this would not have been proposed — you should make sure your thoughts are known.

Pro-gun voices dominate in debate over Trump’s bump-stock ban
Of the more than 17,000 public comments received so far by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a review by Reuters of 4,200 turned up only 10 favoring the bump stock ban. Almost all the rest criticized the proposal as heavy-handed, unnecessary or unconstitutional.
[…]
“We are rallying our members and we will be putting in a whole additional series of comments,” said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a Washington-based group dedicated to reducing gun deaths.

“The numbers will shift,” Gardiner said.

99.762 against, with logical, legal, and constitutional reasoning. 0.238% in favor, with… feelz. Therefore it will be implemented, is my guess.

It won’t help when the gun controllers start their commenting campaign. Expect to see a lot of last minute identically-worded rants about machineguns, probably from bots.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG



Ed. note: This commentary appeared first in TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

[UPDATE] Bumbling Machinations on Bump Stocks?

[See ATF update below]

I’ve been chasing bump-fire stock commenting on regulations.gov this morning, because it matters, trying to sort out the issues with commenting. What I’ve found so far:

My layman’s understanding is that new rules (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, NPRM) have to be announced in the Federal Register, giving people a chance to voice their views on them, before the rules can be implemented. Sure, they can ignore us, but they have to let us yammer.

The only Federal Register announcement for “Bump-Stock-Type Devices” is “A Proposed Rule by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau on 03/29/2018.” That is Docket No. 2017R-22, which on federalregister.gov shows 35,709 public comments. Clicking the link to those comments takes you to the comments for December 2017’s proposed rule. (Ditto for the GPO PDF of the Federal Register.)

Regulations.gov is the web site where we — supposedly — get to voice those views.

Regulations.gov shows two dockets, neither of which is “Docket No. 2017R-22”.

ATF-2018-0001:
“Comments Not Accepted”
The comment I made on that, 1k2-92ad-9enm, 3/29/2018, shows “This comment was received in Regulations.gov but is not yet posted. Please contact the agency directly for more information.”

A search for comments on ATF-2018-0001 shows “35,709 results”. But the result displayed are the comments from the December 2017 NPRM, “Comment Period Closed, Jan 25, 2018 11:59 PM ET”.

Docket No. ATF-2018-0002:
This docket shows different comment counts depending on the page you look at.

  • ATF-2018-0002
    Commenting allowed, currently shows “3,673 Comments Received”.
  • ATF-2018-0002-0001
    Commenting allowed, currently shows “1,864 Comments Received”.

But no comments on ATF-2018-002 can be found: “0 results”.

My comment on this docket, 1k2-92b5-589w, 3/30/2018, also shows “This comment was received in Regulations.gov but is not yet posted. Please contact the agency directly for more information.”

Please note: While ATF-2018-0001 was published on 3/29/2018 and could be considered the NPRM referred to in the Federal Register, ATF-2018-002 was not published until 3/30/2018, after comment were closed on the 3/29 docket.

SUMMARY: The “Bump-Stock-Type Devices” is being “tracked” under three different docket numbers. The Federal Register — where rules apparently must be legally published — shows only Docket No. 2017R-22, which you might recall is also the docket number for the December 2017 NPRM.

But regulations.gov shows two dockets, neither published in the Federal Register, with different comment counts. And neither of my comments will display for any docket number.

It’s hard to tell with the ATF, but this might be bureaucratic incompetence rather than deliberate malice. Possibly some idiot did a copy/paste from the 2017 NPRM, and got the old docket number. When they tried to enter a new docket number to keep comments separated, they managed to enter two, screwing up the whole NPRM.

Or it might be deliberate machinations, with bureaucratic bumbling as plausible deniability.

Update, 4/2/2018, 11:55 AM EDT: I have received a response from the ATF. As you can see, it fails to explain why commenting closed on one docket, or why there are two other separate (and not listed in the Federal Register) dockets. Comments are still separated across dockets in counts, yet are not visible.

From: Katrina.A.Moore@usdoj.gov
Subject: FW: Comments Closed on Bump-Fire Rule

This is in response to your email to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In your email, which you inquired why the commenting was closed on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in “Bump-Stock-Type Devices” after one day.

As you may know, ATF is responsible for enforcing the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as well as other Federal firearms laws. A significant part of the GCA concerns the licensing and recordkeeping requirements pertaining to the manufacture, importation, distribution and sale of firearms.

The direct link to comment on the subject notice is https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ATF-2018-0002-0001

If you have any further comments or concerns, they may be directed to the Office of Regulatory Affairs (202) 648-7070.

In addition, there may be State laws that pertain to this proposed activity. Contact State Police units or the office of your State Attorney General (www.naag.org) for information on any such requirements. You may also find information in ATF publication 5300.5: State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms.

We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found here.

Regards,

K Moore | Senior Industry Operations Investigator
U.S. Department of Justice | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Firearms Industry Programs Branch
99 New York Avenue NE, Mail Stop 6.N-518
Washington, DC 20226

Update 2, 4/2/2018, 2:55PM EDT:
The inconsistent comment counts are the same, but 431 comments can now be seen. Visible comments include some submitted today. However, neither of my comments submitted last week can be found anywhere. Since my comments have vanished, I have submitted a third attempt to voice my opinion: 1k2-92d6-aj9o, 4/2/2018:

Comment Tracking Number Match
This comment was received in Regulations.gov but is not yet posted. Please contact the agency directly for more information.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Bump Stocks Matter: Banning Semiautomatic Firearms

Some people wonder why I worry about the Trump administration’s move to ban bump-fire stocks (“Bump-Stock-Type Devices” BSTD). After all, they aren’t really useful for anything practical. They’re inaccurate, unstable. Why we’d be…

“ft”: “Bottom line, our country would be better off without Bump stocks or the really stupid trigger cranks.”

“Better off.”

If this were a move to specifically ban bump-fire stocks or trigger cranks on product safety grounds (unstable, inaccurate, etc.) you’d see a lot less opposition to it. But if you read the language of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [NPRM] (and every submitted bill I’ve tracked down so far), that isn’t what is being addressed. It is clearly and explicitly a “problem” of “rate of fire,” in that these devices — training wheels — assist the shooter in merely approaching the semiautomatic firearm’s theoretical rate of fire. (In the case of bump-fire, by using recoil to let the trigger reset, for the next manual operation.)

The NC sheriff candidate, who was criticized for his “cold, dead hands” joke remark (why the assumption that he was joking?), stated earlier in that meeting that he wants to ban anything that allows any firearm to “fire in rapid succession.” That’s what this proposed rule allows, too.

“I think we need to ban the sale of any mechanism that will allow a firearm to fire in rapid succession. And the reason why that’s the terminology that we need to use in our statutes is somebody out there is going to be able to develop some mechanism of some kind that is going to be able to fire in rapid succession.” (emphasis added-cb)
— R. Daryl Fisher, March 7, 2018

Anyone know why paper cartridges for muzzleloaders were invented? Pouring powder, and patching and ramming a ball are slow. Using a cartridge increased “rate of fire.”

Remember the British — Revolutionary War period!Ferguson rifle? As a self-priming breechloader, it greatly increased… rate of fire.

Minié ball? Easy to load; increased rate of fire.

In short, this NPRM, and the intent of the gun controllers, is a camouflaged ban on semiautomatic firearms. Doubt it? Read the NPRM language, and ask yourself how “President Hillary Clinton” would read and apply the rule.

Still doubt that “rate of fire” criteria is what the victim disarmers have in mind?

Some useful criteria
In the Las Vegas shooting, Stephen Paddock used guns that had a rate of fire of 9 rounds per second and magazines holding 60-100 rounds each. With these weapons, Paddock was able to kill dozens and wound hundreds in minutes. If the devastation Paddock caused with his weapons is equivalent to what he could have caused with M16s or M4s, then the weapons he used should be banned from civilian use. This is why I believe using rate of fire and magazine capacity are the most useful criteria for identifying what weapons are or are not protected by the 2nd Amendment. (emphasis added-cb)

Well, any magazine with a capacity greater than one is going to increase “rate of fire” over a single-shot. Or a musket.

“Rate of fire” is the new tactic from the gun grabber playbook to ban semiautomatic firearms. After all, what duck hunter needs anything but a double-barrel (apparently muzzleloaded) shiotgun> What deer hunter needs more than Granpa’s old bolt-action musket?


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

[Updated] Bump-fire Rule: “Comments Not Accepted”

ADDED 2: jim notes in comments that the proposed rule can now be found HERE.

That’s nice. Except…

Scroll down. New docket number. Comment count is zero.

Related Dockets: None
Related RINs: None
Related Documents: None

That means this is not tied to the previous notice with existing comments, and those hundreds of comments that were made before are GONE.

Inquiries to the ATF, DOJ, Federal Register, and various congresscritters have gone unanswered. An automated response from the ATF reads, “It is the goal of FIPB to respond to requests from firearms industry members and the general public within 120 days of receipt.”

Nice trick. If comments aren’t going your way, kill the proposal, reissue it without telling anyone, and do over until you get the results you want to justify violating human/civil rights.

I have two comment receipts now, so I can check if the first is permanently evaporated, or if they’ll… restore it.


Original post (and update) follows:


Something is up with the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “Bump-Stock Type Devices.” I was there earlier this morning checking on comment totals: 941.

I thought of something else I wanted to see again a few minutes ago. I found this.

“Comments Not Accepted”

So I cleared cache/cookies/history/et al and attempted a new comment.

“Document ATF_FRDOC_0001-0036 is no longer open for comment.”

That was supposed to be open for 90 days, until June 29, 2018.

Very odd. Anyone know what’s going on?

Added: I also did a search on the comments submitted before it was closed (remember: there had been at least 941):

Inquiries have been made to DOJ and the Federal Register. No responses yet.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

“Bump-Stock-Type Devices” (sic) Commenting Now Open

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Bump-Stock Type Devices
Summary

The Department of Justice (Department) proposes to amend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regulations to clarify that “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics (bump-stock-type devices) are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger. Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. With limited exceptions, primarily as to government agencies, the GCA makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute. The bump-stock-type devices covered by this proposed rule were not in existence prior to the GCA’s effective date, and therefore would fall within the prohibition on machineguns if this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is implemented. Consequently, current possessors of these devices would be required to surrender them, destroy them, or otherwise render them permanently inoperable upon the effective date of the final rule.

Direct link to comment form.

I submitted my comment a few minutes ago.

Docket number: 2017R-22

The NPRM falsely states: “Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.”

That is factually incorrect, and inconsistent with objective physical reality. Firing still requires the trigger finger to engage and operate the trigger individually for each shot fired, after the firearm is MANUALLY pulled forward again with the shooter’s off hand.

Bump-fire stocks do not increase the “rate of fire.” The rate of fire from a “single trigger pull” is still 1. Each round discharged still requires an individual manual operation of the trigger IN THIS UNIVERSE. The firearm’s cyclic rate of fire is determined by the physics of the firearm’s internal parts: Mass, resistance, inertia, mechanical engagement, force of discharging cartridge. If anything, a bump-stock-type device would bleed recoil energy and cause a reduction in the theoretical maximum.

Bump-fire stocks do not “accelerate the firearm’s cyclic firing rate to mimic automatic fire.” Again, that rate is determined by the internal action of the firearm, not an external stock.

A bump-stock-type device merely aids the untrained shooter in achieving something closer to the firearm’s inherent theoretical rate of fire. (Again, since some recoil energy is bled off to assist in manual trigger operation, it probably prevents the shooter ever reaching the actual theoretical maximum.) Bump-fire stocks are training wheels.

The ATF previously ruled that the Akins Accelerator differed from modern bump-stock-type devices in that the spring in the stock acted as an active component to force the firearm into the ready-to-fire position trigger against the shooter’s finger, without additional action by the shooter. With a modern bump-stock-type device, the shooter must MANUALLY return the firearm to the ready-to-fire position, at which time the shooter MANUALLY operates the trigger again.

This is very easy to test, three ways, each using a bump-stock-type device:

1. Pull the trigger a single time and immediately move your finger forward off of the “ledge” (or “finger rest”). If the firearm continues to fire without further operation of the trigger, it is a machinegun. If it does not continue to fire, it is not a machinegun.

2. Should this not be clear enough, fire again; this time keeping your trigger finger off of the “ledge” so that your finger holds the trigger down, preventing it from resetting. If the firearm continues to fire without further operation of the trigger, it is a machinegun. If it does not continue to fire, it is not a machinegun.

3. If you are still unclear on the concept, pull the trigger, but keep the rifle pressed back in a conventional non-bump-fire mode (i.e.- don’t pull the rifle forward). If the firearm continues to fire without further operation of the trigger, it is a machinegun. If it does not continue to fire, it is not a machinegun.

If one cannot understand this, then that person is mentally incompetent and should be adjudicated as such under 18 U.S. Code § 922(d)(4), and should be removed from office.

If one will not understand this, then that person is guilty of malfeasance and should be removed.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Theoretically Speaking

There is a semi-known NRA apologist who has been advocating for the NRA position of preemptive surrender on bump-fire stocks. I’m going to quote him, but I’m not about to give him free traffic with a link. Nor will I name him, as he seeks his little moments of fame. I only use his words at all because he’s the perfect example of poor thinking on the subject. (You can copy/paste the quotes into a search engine to find the blogger and post to which I refer.)

“I’m very sorry our great-grandparents abandoned Machine Gun Hill in the 1930s. None of us alive today were there. A lot of people seem to want to die on Bump Stock Hill. It’s not that I don’t want to fight, it’s that I’m not going to fight for something I can’t win or can’t defend successfully. I’m going to strengthen my lines against attacks on my flanks and leave that indefensible position to those foolish enough to fight for it.”

He may have forgotten that the NRA abandoned Machinegun Hill. And why is the bump-fire hill worth losing as well?

“The overriding goal is to save semi-automatic firearms as an entire class (i.e. they don’t get to just ban scary looking semi-autos) . We have to fight that with everything we got.”

But that is exactly what he’s giving up.

Every bump-fire ban bill in DC has specifically addressed rate of fire. Every state and local bill I looked at did the same.

The current Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on classifying bump-fire stocks as machineguns also addresses rate of fire.

In every case, bump-fire stocks (and trigger cranks and “Multi-burst Trigger Activators”) are bad merely because they assist the shooter in approaching the firearm’s inherent theoretical maximum rate of fire. The semiautomatic rate of fire is the problem.

Take away the bump-fire stock, crank, or multi-burp shoulder thingy, and the evil — to the gun ban bunnies — rate of fire remains.

Does anyone reading this honestly doubt that establishing the precedent of the theoretical rate of fire being the problem is exactly what they want?

The NPRM would make bump-fire stocks (“bump-stock-type devices” -snerk-) “machineguns” because the rifles fire fast. “Oh, look; it still fires fast, without the BSTD. Still a machingun, folks. Turn ’em in.”

All the proposed rules and legislation ban anything that assists in approaching the theoretical maximum rate of fire. It was never sloppy language in Feinstein’s proposal that would include aftermarket springs and triggers. They can assist in approaching that theoretical max.

So do quick-change detachable magazines. And fixed auto-feeding magazines.

The “problem” is that semiautos fire quickly, therefore they will be classed as machineguns, too. Eventually. That’s the slippery slope that Pelosi advocated, and that spoiled brat Tarr.

Mr. Forget-that-hill-follow-me-to-this-one is giving away the sloped hillside they need. Congratulations, NRA-boy.

“I believe in our current political situation, the ATF classification is the path of least damage to the overall gun rights movement.”

In fact, it’s worse than the legislation, for two reasons.

1) Legislation requires at least two votes and the President’s signature, which would give us someone to fight.

2) The ATF rule proposal is based on an outright lie about how bump-fire stocks work (continuous fire with a single operation of the trigger). That sets a second precedent, that they can lie with impunity. As Michael Z. Williamson noted, “this opens the floodgates for ANY bureaucrat to declare ANYTHING illegal.” By bureaucratic fiat. No vote. No “throw the bastards out” in midterms. With no recourse but to the Supreme Court which has been refusing to hear any RKBA appeal.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Bumping Off the Truth

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is either a liar or mentally incompetent. If not for President Trump’s pro-gun control history, I would question his judgment in appointing Sessions to head the Department of Justice. If Ted Kennedy were alive, Trump would probably have nominated him for National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator.

As noted on Friday, President Trump and AG Sessions announced a coming ban of bump-fire stocks (“bump-stock-type devices,” as the rule notice so eloquently puts it); no grandfathering, get rid of it or go to prison for possession of an unregistered NFA item.

Not to mention PANTS.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) uses the same docket number as the December ATF proposal, so it isn’t clear whether we’ll get another formal chance to submit comments. The press release says there will be a 90 day commenting period, but that docket number makes me wonder.

I did send a comment to the Attorney General via web form (2,000 character limit). The White House is next on my list.

But let’s look at this. From the AG’s announcement:

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice is proposing to amend the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, clarifying that bump stocks fall within the definition of “machinegun” under federal law, as such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger. (emphasis added-cb)

Sessions opens with an outright lie. And he didn’t simply misspeak.

The NPRM makes the same blatantly false claim:

Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger.

No, they do not. Firing still requires the trigger finger to engage and operate the trigger individually for each shot fired. After the firearm is MANUALLY pulled forward again with the shooter’s off hand.

In general, bump-stock-type devices — including those currently on the market with the characteristics described above — are designed to channel recoil energy to increase the rate of fire of semiautomatic firearms from a single trigger pull.

No, they do not. The “rate of fire” from a “single trigger pull” is still… 1. Each round discharged still requires an individual manual operation of the trigger IN THIS UNIVERSE. The firearm’s cyclic rate of fire is determined by the physics of the firearm’s internal parts: Mass, resistance, inertia, mechanical engagement, force of discharging cartridge. If anything, a bump-stock-type device would bleed recoil energy and cause a reduction in the theoretical maximum.

Shooters use bump-stock-type devices with semiautomatic firearms to accelerate the firearm’s cyclic firing rate to mimic automatic fire.

NOT IN THIS UNIVERSE, where the cyclic firing rate is determined by the internal physics of the firearm. Bump-stock-type devices merely assist the shooter in returning the firearm to the ready-to-fire position, and maintains the trigger finger in an optimum position, at which time the shooter manually operates the trigger for the next shot.

A bump-stock-type device merely aids the untrained shooter in achieving something closer to the firearm’s inherent theoretical rate of fire. (Again, since some recoil energy is bled off to assist in manual trigger operation, it probably prevents the shooter ever reaching the actual theoretical maximum.) Bump-fire stocks are training wheels.

The ATF previously ruled that the Akins Accelerator differed from modern bump-stock-type devices in that the spring in the stock acted as an active component to force the firearm into the ready-to-fire position trigger against the shooter’s finger, without additional action by the shooter. With a modern bump-stock-type device, the shooter must MANUALLY return the firearm to the ready-to-fire position, at which time the shooter MANUALLY operates the trigger again.

This is very easy to test, three ways, each using a bump-stock-type device:

1. Pull the trigger a single time and immediately move your finger forward off of the “ledge” (or “finger rest”). If the firearm continues to fire without further operation of the trigger, it is a machinegun. If it does not continue to fire, it is not a machinegun.

2. Should this not be clear enough, fire again; this time keeping your trigger finger off of the “ledge” so that your finger holds the trigger down, preventing it from resetting. If the firearm continues to fire without further operation of the trigger, it is a machinegun. If it does not continue to fire, it is not a machinegun.

3. If you are still unclear on the concept, pull the trigger, but keep the rifle pressed back in a conventional non-bump-fire mode (i.e.- don’t pull the rifle forward). If the firearm continues to fire without further operation of the trigger, it is a machinegun. If it does not continue to fire, it is not a machinegun.

If one cannot understand this, then that person is mentally incompetent and should be adjudicated as such under 18 U.S. Code § 922(d)(4), and should removed from office.

If one will not understand this, then that person is guilty of malfeasance and should be removed.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could seriously use the money, what with truck repairs and bills.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

große Lüge: Firearms are “grossly unregulated”

We’ve discussed the große Lüge of victim disarming gun people controllers. Another lie on the list is this one:

NRA Unveils Drivable Gun That Doesn’t Require Registration Or A License To Operate
Again, NFA items not the point (just as tanks and ICBMs aren’t). Firearms are grossly under-regulated in the United States by comparison with other nations who (surprise!) have far less problems with gun violence.

“Gulliver” appears to be the author of that failed attempt at satire. “Gulliver” also appears to have bought the big lie.

Let’s see how “under-/unregulated firearms are. I’ve done this in abbreviated form in the past, but this will be a little more detailed.

[“Gun Culture” types can stop here; you know this, more than likely. This column is for the less-informed like “Gulliver,” whoever s/he/ze/zyr/&tpen/@/it may be.]

Manufacturing
Naturally, a firearms manufacturer has to comply with all the same rules that any other manufacturer faces: OSHA, EPA, labor law, finance… it’s a long list, which is why we have to import a lot of stuff; regulatory compliance makes it too expensive to actually make a lot of stuff in America these days.

Moving on, we have firearms specific laws and regulations. First, you need a Federal Firearms License to build guns for sale. Usually that will be a Type 7 FFL. Maybe.

Let’s say you had a potentially great idea for a system that disperses fire retardant chemicals over an area. You think it’s just the thing for suppressing forest or grass fires on the perimeter. Fire departments and ranchers will love it. Your system is a 40 millimeter “grenade” full of said chemicals, fired from a light weight polymer launcher.

Whoops. 40mm makes that a “destructive device.” Now you need a Type 10 FFL. And you’ll mostly be able to sell it to governments; tougher for volunteer fire departments of ranchers. Manufacturing the rounds for the launcher also requires a Type 9 FFL, so it’s no good contracting out just the launcher while you assemble the ammunition.

So you scale it back to 37mm. It’s less effective than 40, but better than nothing.

Or maybe you say the heck with it, and move on to a different product. Howa bout a short self defense shotgun with a 14 inch barrel? If you put a standard shoulder stock on it, it becomes a short-barrel shotgun, and buyers will need a market-limiting tax stamp. If you put a pistol grip on the same exact action, it’s magically not. You aren’t sure why, since smoothbore pistols are “Any Other Weapons” (AOW) and require tax stamps. But the ATF made a ruling. (Ghu save the buyer if he puts a shoulder stock on it without getting a tax stamp.)

That’s too complicated, so you decide to enter the light weight polymer defensive pistol market. You have a fantastic design that makes even the slide nonmetallic. This will be easy to to carry on a daily basis.

But is it too light? Federal law bans the production of nonmetallic “undetectable” firearms, even if the dense polymer shows up in x-rays. If your metal barrel is underweight, you have to build in a chunk of nonremovable metal, raising the weight of your previously light weight sidearm.

The heck with it, let’s just make a cute little pistol out of metal, that looks like a cell phone. Except that might be an AOW, too; so you’d better submit a sample to the ATF and get a ruling.

One these is a pistol, and one is an AOW cell phone gun. Which is yours?

Hmm… how ’bout a simple little pen shaped gun (made of metal, of course). You’d best submit your design to the ATF again.

One of these is a pistol, and one is an AOW pen gun. Which did you submit to the ATF?

 

Argh! All right. Conventional pistol, with the action simplified to make it cheap to machine.

Wait. You didn’t make that an open bolt design, did you? That’s a machinegun. I know it’s just a semiautomatic-only, but new open-bolts are automatically machineguns now, under firearms regulations.

Good Bog, you’re trapped in a regulatory maze, and you haven’t even built anything yet!

OK, screw it. You’ll build a simple autoloader pistol. Reverse engineer a Raven with enough differences not run afoul of any patents, and better quality. Good to go.

So you start building guns. Which have to be marked: manufacturer, serial number, caliber. You’re CNC milling these, so you do the marking during initial milling to minimize the process.

Bad move. Every firearm you make — and it’s a firearm once marked — has to be logged in the books for ATF inspection. Yes, inspections. If you make one and it fails quality control testing, and you destroy it, you have to log that, and prove you destroyed it.

So you mark it afterwards. No, no, no! You can’t do that. If firearms are not marked, that’s illegal, too. You’ll just have to guess at what point in production the serial numbers are required. Good luck complying with that rule.

Umm… you did do the marking in the approved font, in the regulated size, and to the specified depth? Right?

But somehow you manage. Your firearms are ready to ship. You exchange FFL paperwork with distributors across the country (under firearms laws and regulations, you can’t ship to end buyers). And away you go!

Wait a minute there, bud. You didn’t design that pistol for a round which the ATF considers armor-piercing (this week), did you? Back to the drawing board.

So it’s finally ready for prime time. Keep your fingers crossed.

State Laws and Regulations
First, you need assorted state (and possibly local) licenses to operate. Not just any old manufacturer licensing; that and licensing specific to firearms. There be additional zoning laws to keep firearms manufacturing out of areas where other manufacturing is allowed. Forget being within miles of a one room schoolhouse in the country.

You can’t just start shipping out federally legal guns to anywhere. Some states will require you to submit samples for evaluation and approval. Massachusetts wants to be sure they’re “safe” and don’t look too much like weapons they banned that complied with their rules but also looked too much like guns they don’t like.

California will do the same and more. Is the gun too small? Too big? Will it pass drop testing? Did you remember to submit a sample of every single variation you make? That means if you offer the pistol with black plastic grip panels and pink plastic grip panels, you have to submit two complete pistols in both colors. We’re aren’t sure how color makes a difference, but we aren’t smoking what the California legislature smokes.

Whoops! Your pistol doesn’t microstamp pistol-identifying data on the case of each round fired, in two places. Yes, we know the technology doesn’t yet exist to do that, but California apparently has really good weed.

So you just scratch off some large potential markets and just ship a firearm that complies with physical reality to the sane parts of the country. Or…

You could say the hell with manufacturing. Eliminate the need for FFLs and all that garbage. You go back to your plastic pistol design and tweak the 3D printing files so the design complies with all federal laws (minimum metal content, and such), and sell those on the Internet. You can draw on the Defense Distributed Ghost Gunner market; they have the mill, you can supply really cool printer files, right?

You’re going to prison for violating ITAR arms export laws and regulations. Yep, more of those “grossly under regulated” laws and regs.

At this point, maybe you’re thinking that firearms manufacturing is too tough and you’ll just say the hell with it and make something safe. Like shoelaces.

Sorry, that might a machinegun, too. Better get an FFL anyway, just in case the ATF changes the rules again.

Back to just selling legal pistols in the safe parts of the US.

The Retail World

So — complying with all federal and state laws and regulations — you sell a shipment of Super-Concealed Thug Slayer pistols to a distributor. Distributor checks laws and regs and sells some to a fully compliant retail FFL (yes, another federal firearms license). The retailer follows all laws and regs and logs the guns into his bound book for ATF inspection.

The FFL dealer also has state and local laws and regulations to deal with. Some zoning laws keep him out of cities altogether. If someone builds a church a thousand feet away, he might be forced to relocate or close. He’ll be required to install security systems beyond that required for banks or jewelry stores. He’ll be required to pull all his merchandise off the shelves and lock them in a safe in a back room after hours, even if the cases are unbreakable and the store has roll-down blast-proof shutters. He might be required to install anti-vehicle barricades to prevent thieves driving a stolen car through his store front.

The dealer is required to be a mindreader or precognitive, capable of determining whether a customer who meets all legal requirements is really a straw-purchaser, or might commit mass murder years down the road, or if the ATF overrides a NICS denial to allow an unlawful sale so they can pretend to “entrap” someone. He’ll be required to provide unlicensed mental health counseling for potentially suicidal customers; he’ll be required to be an unlicensed psychologist to make that diagnosis.

Joe Citizen walks into the Isher Weapons Shop and likes your gun. He presents state-issued photo ID, fills out a multi-page form swearing that he is allowed by the feds to purchase a firearm. As required, he informs the feds of his race. In some states, Joe will also present his license to merely own a firearm (more PPYI, fingerprinting, photos, taxes and fees, probably training). The dealer calls the FBI to complete a prior restraint on the would-be buyer’s constitutional rights requiring him to preemptively prove his innocence.

If the buyer is lucky, the FBI will approve the sale. If he isn’t lucky, they might make him wait a few days for approval/denial. If the FBI doesn’t respond in three days, the dealer has the option of completing or killing the sale. If the buyer is really unlucky, the FBI will declare him a prohibited person and deny the sale.

Joe Citizen, being a law-abiding type, can’t understand why the sale was denied. Assuming he isn’t in one of the states that requires the dealer to report him to the police (whereupon he’s arrested, charged, jailed, etc.), he files an appeal of the denial. Maybe he knows that virtually all NICS denials are false positives, and it’ll all get straightened out. Some day. Maybe. Because there’s a backlog of tens of thousands of unprocessed appeals.

But we’ll back up; Joe was legal and got his new defense pistol. He takes it home and locks it in a safe (per state “safe storage” laws, with ammunition locked away in a separate safe). Because he has not yet also gone through the PPYI check, fingerprinting, photographing, mandatory training by state-approved/licensed instructors, and paid the taxes and fees for a separate carry license for that specific firearm in his state (even though he’s already licensed for the Super-Concealed Thug Slayer with blue grip panels. Bog save him if he lives in Hawaii, where his license is only good in one county and he’ll have to try to repeat the process in every county to which he might travel.

Well, perhaps. In some states, there’s a mandatory waiting period before he can take his new pistol home. He still has to pay for, but he must wait. Even though the point of the federal NICS “instant background PPYI check” was to eliminate waiting periods. He must wait to prevent him from doing anything impulsive with that gun. He must wait even if he already owns a dozen guns with which he could act impulsively. Because of grossly under-regulated guns.

The “End User”

But finally Joe takes it home. After registering it, depending on state. Hopefully with ammunition he purchased after yet another round of PPYI checks, in some states.

And that night, some goblin breaks in, murders Joe, gets into the safe, and steals that Super-Concealed Thug Slayer you built and sold. Goblin steals a Ford Escort, uses it to plow down a bunch of pedestrians, then uses your product to finish off the survivors.

What’s that got to do with you? It’s your fault. Not Ford’s fault, even though Goblin used a Ford. Not the Ford dealer. Not the Ford’s owner. But it is Joe’s fault for negligently storing the gun in a safe that the Goblin could get into after Joe negligently let himself be murdered. Thanks goodness you excluded California sales, or Joe’s estate might be prosecuted for dead Joe failing to report the stolen firearm.

It’s the dealer’s fault for following all local, state, and federal laws. Ditto for the negligent distributor. And most especially you, Mr. Manufacturer, for making and marketing a weapon to kill people.

“But the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act protects me if I followed all the rules and someone else misused my product,” you cry. “Why not sue Ford?”

Possibly they’ll get around to it, though it seems unlikely. But you engaged in “negligent marketing.” By obeying the grossly under-regulating state and federal laws and regulations that damned near kept you out of the market in the first place.

Welcome to the wonderful world of unregulated firearms. Next week, we’ll talk about the laws, regulations, and rules surrounding ammunition for those unregulated guns. If my head doesn’t explode; I may need a Federal Explosives License from the ATF for that.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

Do they care?

A comment was left on the post Commenting Now Open: Application of the Definition of Machinegun to “Bump Fire” Stocks and Other Similar Devices.

Carl… do you actually think any rational explanation of anything will influence the bureaucrats? Do you think that any of them CARE in the least? If they were the least influenced by reality, none of this would be happening.

That could almost be a template for things I’ve been told over the years. Strike out “bureaucrats” and insert “HOA,” “mayor,” “councilman,” “congresscreep,” “senator,” “reporter,” or “pollster.” It’s always pointless trying to reach these folks because they don’t care what us peons think.

I disagree.

I think there’s some value to outreach. Occasionally you reach someone whose mind isn’t closed and is willing to learn. Not the politicians and bureaucrats, of course.

But there is one bit of “reality” that will influence them. Sheer numbers.

So the periodic reminder that there are millions of honest gun owners who won’t play their game gives them pause. Given the blatant animosity towards the Constitution from people like Pelosi, Feinstein, Schumer, Reid — and so many others — I think the only reason they haven’t attempted outright bans and confiscations is that there are too many us, too well armed. It’s too late to “bell the cat,” and they know it.

So they keep trying just a little bit at a time; testing the waters.

And we remind them that the waters still hold piranha. With lots of big teeth.

Do the bureaucrats of the ATF care about the facts in my rulemaking comment? Of course, not. But they do care that hundreds of gun owners per day let them know we’re still watching for those dipping toes.

That said, I strongly suspect we’ll initially lose the bump-fire battle because the ATF is notoriously stupid. They classified a shoestring as a machinegun. They thought no one would notice that they were overriding NICS to sell guns to felons and traffickers with the intent of arming Mexican cartels.

I think they’re looking at potential revenue, too. The request for comments asks manufacturers and retailers how many bump-fire stocks are out there. I’m sure they’re thinking, “Wow! Hunnerds of thousands of new NFA devices that people will have to fork out two hunnerd bucks a pop to keep, if we grandfather existing stocks. That’s millions in new revenue! Oak desks for everyone! Vegas ‘conferences’!

Initially. They think bump-fire stocks and trigger cranks are a small niche that we won’t fight for. They’re wrong, because the proposal is too broad. As my comment indicates, this redefines almost anything as a machinegun, including fingers.* They aren’t dipping a toe in the water this time; they’re sticking their foot in, and they’ll lose it. They’ll be forced to back off just as they did with the full-auto shoestring.

Because they do care. About our numbers, if not our words.


* If you don’t think the vaguely broad scope isn’t intentional, you haven’t been paying attention. If bump-fire stocks were all they were after, Feinstein’s bill could have read like this, or the ATF could have issued the same ruling:

1. It shall be unlawful to possess, transfer, or use an accessory

a. which attaches to a semiautomatic firearm to allow the firearm to be held securely which reciprocating forward and back with the purpose of using that motion to engage and disengage the trigger with no movement of the trigger finger.

b. which engages and operates the trigger of a firearm multiple times for each individual operation of the accessory; this includes, but is not limited to, trigger cranks or motorized gloves.

2. Accessories which do not result in multiple trigger operation per operation of the accessory are not prohibited. Non-prohibited accessories include, but are not limited to,

a. release triggers which allow a firearm to be fired when the trigger is released.

b. set triggers which allow the trigger to be partially pulled to reduce trigger weight for the final operation of the trigger

c. fire on pull and release triggers which operate with separate motions of the trigger finger.

d. replacement light weight triggers to improve accuracy of the firearm.

e. replacement recoil springs.

f. replacement mainsprings.

g. replacement light weight bolts or other reduced mass parts which lower the mass of the firearm.


Carl is an unpaid TZP volunteer. If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar.

paypal_btn_donateCC_LG


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail