The National Rifle Association expressed disappointment with the Trump administration’s bump stock ban, which was announced on Tuesday, for failing to include a grandfather clause for those who currently lawfully own the devices.
The Department of Justice’s summary of the final language of the ban states:
“The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices-meaning ‘bump fire’ stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics-are ‘machineguns’ as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.”
The regulation further provides there will be no grandfather exception to the ban for those who currently lawfully possess bump stocks.
According to a Twitter post published by Washington Free Beacon staff writer Stephen Gutowski, NRA director of public affairs Jennifer Baker said the organization is “disappointed that this final rule fails to address the thousands of law-abiding Americans who relied on prior ATF determinations when lawfully acquiring these devices.”
“As we recommended to the ATF in our comments on the proposed rule Congress made it possible for the Attorney General to provide amnesty for firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act,” Baker said. “The Attorney General should have exercised that authority to provide a period of amnesty under this rule.”
The Gun Owners of America’s Erich Pratt came out forcefully against the ban, stating in a news release: “As written, this case has important implications for gun owners since, in the coming days, an estimated half a million bump stock owners will have the difficult decision of either destroying or surrendering their valuable property — or else risk felony prosecution.”
Pratt continued: “ATF’s claim that it can rewrite Congressional law cannot pass legal muster. Agencies are not free to rewrite laws under the guise of ‘interpretation’ of a statute, especially where the law’s meaning is clear.”
The GOA executive director warned that if the bump stock rule is allowed to stand, it could have implications for the right to possess AR-15s or other lawfully owned semi-automatic firearms.
The GOA plans to file suit in federal court to seek an injunction to block the implementation of the ban.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced on Tuesday that all the bump stocks must be destroyed or turned over to the ATF as of March 21, 2019, to be in compliance with the new regulation.
The ATF has provided instructions online how to properly destroy the devices.
The Trump administration’s new regulation comes nearly 15 months after a gunman, armed with a bump stock-equipped semi-automatic weapon, opened fire from a hotel room overlooking a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, killing 58 people and injuring several hundred more.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the bump stock ban in March.
Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
“Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA,” he wrote. “As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.”
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