Bump stocks as machine guns: Inside the new ATF ban
By Chris Eger
Patent drawing for Slide Fire bump stock (Photo: USPTO)
The U.S. Department of Justice this week established a national ban on bump stocks to begin in 90 days, with no exceptions for legal devices already in circulation.
“The final rule clarifies that the definition of ‘machine gun’ in the Gun Control Act (GCA) and National Firearms Act (NFA) includes bump-stock-type devices, i.e., devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter,” said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives about the rule, signed by Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Wednesday.
The rule is a reversal of the firearms regulator’s longstanding interpretation that the devices were not, in fact, machine guns. This did not go without notice by one of the most vehemently pro-gun control lawmakers on Capitol Hill, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who said plainly this week, “Until March 2018, ATF maintained that bump stocks could not be banned through administrative action. Legislation is necessary to ensure