BATFE, DOJ Rethinking Bump Stock Ruling

By Tom Knighton

To call the bump stock controversial at this point may be the biggest understatement of the year, even outpacing “Lena Dunham is unattractive” in its scale.

Ever since the Las Vegas massacre, the devices have been derided, even by people who are ostensible pro-Second Amendment sorts. Even the National Rifle Association appeared to call for new regulations on the items. While the NRA was quick to oppose actual bump stock laws, even bipartisan ones, they maintained that it was the place of the BATFE to step in and act.

Well, it looks like they’re getting their wish.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday that it is considering a possible ban on certain bump stocks, the attachments that make semiautomatic rifles fire faster and were used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas in October.

The Las Vegas gunman’s use of bump stock to allow his weapons to fire like fully automatic machine guns, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds, has led to rare bipartisan agreement in Congress on the need to review whether they should be banned.

“Possessing firearm parts that are used exclusively in converting a weapon into a machine gun is illegal, except for certain limited circumstances,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said in a joint statement. “Today we begin the process of determining whether or not bump stocks are covered by this prohibition.”

Previously, Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill that would outlaw bump stocks, while several Republicans who have typically opposed gun restrictions signaled a willingness to explore the issue.

As part of the ATF’s review into bump stocks, it plans to publish a notice that will eventually appear in the Federal Register seeking public comment.

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