By David B. Kopel David B. Kopel
Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act. S. 1916
On the terrible late evening of Oct. 1, a Twitter user provided
a video showing the hotel tower and the crowd. To me, the audio
sounded like automatic gunfire. There is still much that we do not
know about the crime. We do know that the criminal used “bump
stocks” that allowed him to fire his ordinary semi-automatic
guns as fast as a full automatic.
Under current federal law, the laws for automatics
(“machine guns”) are very stringent. In District of
Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court suggested that
such guns are not protected by the Second Amendment.1 If
a device makes an ordinary gun capable of sustained automatic fire,
then it should be regulated similarly to an automatic itself.
Under the 1934 National Firearms Act, many devices that make a
normal firearm fire like a full automatic are already highly
regulated. Based on the wording of the statute, ATF correctly ruled
bump stocks are not within the scope of the present
statute.2 Congress, not the ATF, has the authority to
change the law.
Source:: Cato Institute