DOJ proposes banning bump stocks
The DOJ seeks to change the legal "definition of 'machinegun' in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act [to include] bump stock type devices," which would effect a ban. That change would also reverse an Obama-era determination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that bump stocks do not fit the machine gun definition and thus cannot be prohibited without new legislation from Congress.
Justice Department proposes banning bump stocks
The Trump administration said Saturday it has taken the first step in the regulatory process to ban bump stocks, likely setting the stage for long legal battles with gun manufacturers while the trigger devices remain on the market.
The move was expected after President Donald Trump ordered the Justice Department to work toward a ban following the shooting deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school in February. Bump stocks, which enable guns to fire like automatic weapons, were not used in that attack — they were used in last year's Las Vegas massacre — but have since become a focal point in the gun control debate.
The Justice Department's regulation would classify the hardware as a machine gun banned under federal law. That would reverse a 2010 decision by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that found bump stocks did not amount to machine guns and could not be regulated unless Congress amended existing firearms law or passed a new one.
A reversal of the department's earlier evaluation could be seen as an admission that it was legally flawed, which manufacturers could seize on in court. Even as the Trump administration moves toward banning the devices, some ATF officials believe it lacks the authority to do so.
But any congressional effort to create new gun control laws would need support from the pro-gun Republican majority. A bid to ban the accessory fizzled last year, even as lawmakers expressed openness to the idea after nearly 60 people were gunned down in Las Vegas.
Justice Department moves to officially ban bump stocks, classifies them as ‘machine guns’
The proposed regulation defines bump stocks as “machine guns” and seeks to have them outlawed under the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act. If the regulation is approved, bump stocks will be illegal to buy, sell, possess and manufacture.
Assault Weapons Preserve the Purpose of the Second Amendment
Banning them would gut the concept of an armed citizenry as a final, emergency bulwark against tyranny.
At its core, the Amendment protects a person’s individual inherent right of self-defense and empowers the collective obligation to defend liberty against state tyranny.
The right of self-defense is best understood as a right of effective self-defense, and the tools for effective self-defense will evolve right along with weapon design and development. Any other conclusion leads to absurd results. Consequently, as the Supreme Court held, the amendment protects weapons “in common use at the time.”
As Justice Scalia ably articulated in Heller, the Second Amendment was designed to protect what Blackstone called “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation.” Without access to the weapons in common use in our time, the law-abiding citizen will grow increasingly — and intolerably — vulnerable to the lawless. Thus, to properly defend life and liberty, access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.