Earlier today, President Trump signed the disastrous $1.3 Trillion omnibus spending bill. In a second move set to infuriate the base, Trump has just declared on Twitter he is slated to push the DOJ to issue a rule banning bump stocks today.
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
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The notion that bump stocks “turn a legal weapon into illegal machine guns” has been discounted time and time again as the National Firearms Act defines the function of a machine gun as being able to fire multiple times “by a single function of the trigger.” Bump stocks increase the rate of a rifle’s fire, although they also dramatically decrease the weapon’s accuracy while increasing misfires. Previously, Reason Magazine analyzed the issue, calling a ban a blatant “political attack on the rule of law”:
While bump stocks became a bête noire of the anti-gun movement only recently, they were never the sort of product that gun controllers would happily tolerate. It is therefore telling that the Obama administration, which was much less supportive of gun rights than the Trump administration, never tried to restrict bump stocks. To the contrary, the ATF during the Obama administration repeatedly affirmed their legality—in a 2010 letter to Slide Fire Solutions, which makes one version; a 2012 letter to a competing company, Bump Fire Systems; and a 2013 response to an inquiry from Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.). As the agency explained to Perlmutter, “Bump-fire stocks (such as the Slide Fire Solutions stock) that ATF determined to be unable to convert a weapon to shoot automatically were not classified as machineguns.”