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H.R.3999 - To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the manufacture, possession, or transfer of any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun, and for other purposes.

Although some here may support the banning of bump fire stocks, read this bill. This bill is very vague. Many target triggers advertise an increased rate of fire. They have a shorter take up, lighter trigger pull, shorter over travel and shorter reset. This bill is the slippery slope. It leaves to much to interpretation.
 

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I agree. I know the mods here don't really want to have more discussions here on this, but this is very important.
My friend Paul Glasco who runs the website www.legallyarmedamerica.com recently posted a video on facebook of a recent Vice episode.
He posted it because Vice took some of the footage off of his site without permission (big surprise) and asked someone from Vice to contact him immediately.
As you all may know Vice is a pretty liberal program but this video is eye opening in the implications of what it means if they want to put some kind of ban on devices that increase the rate of fire.
Here they are interviewing a former ATF agent. Pay particularly close attention to what is said staring at about 3:57. That is the most alarming part of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kryIJIrD5eQ&feature=youtu.be
 

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The bump stock issue needs no legislation, only a determination by the ATF, which is what the NRA said as did the Speaker of the House.
 

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The bump stock issue needs no legislation, only a determination by the ATF, which is what the NRA said as did the Speaker of the House.
As a lawyer and gun advocate, I strongly disagree with that position. Under the current definitions in the NFA and its progeny, any classification of a bump fire stock as illegal would require a complete ignoring of the law by the ATF to reclassify it. And none of us, the NRA included, should be advocating giving the ATF the authority to make rulings clearly outside the statute.
 

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As a lawyer and gun advocate, I strongly disagree with that position. Under the current definitions in the NFA and its progeny, any classification of a bump fire stock as illegal would require a complete ignoring of the law by the ATF to reclassify it. And none of us, the NRA included, should be advocating giving the ATF the authority to make rulings clearly outside the statute.
Please explain to me why it had to be approved by ATF in the first place?
 

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Please explain to me why it had to be approved by ATF in the first place?
It didn't. That's not how it works. They could have rolled it out and sold it and risked the potential penalties and court battles had the ATF later determined it was illegal. They took the safe route and got an opinion from the ATF ahead of time. This is also done for marketing reasons because people are more likely to buy a product if they have the ATF assurances it's legal. But there is no "prior approval" before selling an item required.

And again, the ATF doesn't make the law, nor do they actually interpret the law with finality. They are an executive agency that seeks to enforce the law. They issue interpretive opinions to let people know how they will apply the law in their enforcement. But that doesn't mean that if they issue an opinion contrary to law and try to enforce it that a court can't interpret the law differently and overturn their enforcement.

So let me turn it around to you. Please explain how a bump fire stock can be classified under the definition of machine gun under the definition in the NFA. Here's the definition: "Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger".
 

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It didn't. That's not how it works. They could have rolled it out and sold it and risked the potential penalties and court battles "had the ATF later determined it was illegal." They took the safe route and got an opinion from the ATF ahead of time. This is also done for marketing reasons because people are more likely to buy a product if they have the ATF assurances it's legal. But there is no "prior approval" before selling an item required.

And again, the ATF doesn't make the law, nor do they actually interpret the law with finality. They are an executive agency that seeks to enforce the law. They issue interpretive opinions to let people know how they will apply the law in their enforcement. But that doesn't mean that if they issue an opinion contrary to law and try to enforce it that a court can't interpret the law differently and overturn their enforcement.

So let me turn it around to you. Please explain how a bump fire stock can be classified under the definition of machine gun under the definition in the NFA. Here's the definition: "Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger".
But you posted that that would require a complete ignoring of the law by ATF.

Several devices have been marketed over the years in order to simulate automatic fire using a semi-automatic firearm, and each and everyone of them has been ruled against by the ATF.

Don't get me wrong I'm certainly not for giving the Federal Gov't any more power, especially the beuarucrats. But if ATF has already ruled on the bump-stock then it seems to me that keeping the issue confined to just bump-stocks is better than some sweeping all encompassing legislation.
 

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When dealing with legislators who do not like the average citizen to own guns, the so-called simple 'fixing the issue at hand' (Bump Stocks in this case) will always lead to "what's next." Paul Ryan and the NRA say the Bump Stock issue should be handled by the BATF without any new legislation.

I realize that Zenas (a Colt Forum member and lawyer) appears to disagree with Paul Ryan. I also know that lawyers often disagree on many issues. My fear is that any new law, like HR3999, will have enough 'weasel wording' in it to cause further gun restrictions in the future. If those words are not already in the bill, they might get added as the approval process moves along in Congress.

I appreciate that Zenas is concerned about how this matter will be handled, but I favor hearing how Paul Ryan's (and the NRA's) position will work out.

I see that HR3999 is being introduced by Rep. Curbelo, a republican from Florida.
 

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H.R.3999 - To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the manufacture, possession, or transfer of any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun, and for other purposes.
 

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My wife is an attorney and says laws are generally written with wiggle room for courts to interpret them...and that can be dangerous as it depends on the political philosophy of the judge or judges that make the interpretation. If it's a judge that believes in the law as written then it could be one thing...if it's a judge or judges that believe in a more creative and expansive interpretation of the statute and current political fad view of law it's something else altogether.

Any proposed law has to be reviewed in detail to how it can be enacted and enforced. There are so many laws on the books now that are not enforced, improperly enforced, ineffectively enforced or are in conflict with other laws it defies belief that one more will be any different or effective.
 

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Several devices have been marketed over the years in order to simulate automatic fire using a semi-automatic firearm, and each and everyone of them has been ruled against by the ATF.

QUOTE]

Which ones?
Specifically by name, that I cannot do.
But I remember this gizmo that attached to the triggerguard and when squeezed it activated the trigger three times.
But the one I really remember and maybe it was just a local deal, but it was a device with a plunger that permitted the trigger finger to bounce back and forth. It too was marketed as ATF approved but it wasn't long before it was ruled against.

There is a good op-ed in the Patriot Post about the slippery slope:https://patriotpost.us/articles/51847#post-comment

"The design of semi-automatic weapons uses the recoil of the weapon generated by the gas explosion in the chamber when a round is fired to automatically chamber a new round, and prepare the weapon to be fired again. Because of this, any parts used in that process would likely be subject to the federal ban proposed in the Curbelo/Moulton bill, since they serve to increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic weapon. Gas tubes, gas blocks, buffer springs and main springs, magazines, charging handles, ejectors and extractors, and even triggers themselves could potentially be banned under the bipartisan bump stock ban language proposed by Curbelo and Moulton."
 

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I've mentioned this before but after the original "assault weapons" bill became law, the ATF wanted to regulate lever-action rifles and carbines as "semi-automatic" weapons as John Browning had made one to test the gas operation principle which resulted in the 1895 Colt "Potato Digger" machine gun. By drilling a gas port under the barrel and a series of levers and piston he converted a lever rifle to semi-automatic. The law (I paraphrase) essentially said it included "any firearm which can be made, or remade" to operate as a semi-automatic came under the law. The ATF also wanted to ban .22LR rifles with tubular magazines as many held more than ten rounds and over ten round magazines were banned under the law.

It took members of Congress going to the ATF and convince them it wasn't their legislative intent to have that interpretation of the law.

Regulators regulate...it's their jobs and they often go too far. Regulating agencies try to expand their brief as it gets them more power and that requires more budget. As I once said to the state legislature when testifying against anti-gun proposals..."I defy you to show me one regulating agency that will say no when offered more power."

Be very careful what laws get enacted. Never forget the laws of unintended consequences.
 
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By drilling a gas port under the barrel and a series of levers and piston he converted a lever rifle to semi-automatic.
I believe all Mr. Browning did was to put a "paddle" in front of the muzzle with a hole in it through which the bullet could pass, but the force of the gases hit the "paddle," which was attached to a linkage that worked the action to load another round. There were no holes drilled in the barrel. It was not "full-auto," but proved to Browning that the gas could be used to operate a mechanism. The Model 1895 could have been the fruit of that experiment. I have seen a picture of the rifle and mechanism, but do not remember where.
 

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I could be wrong on the particulars but it was enough to convince someone at ATF it could regulated. I remember seeing the drawing...maybe a patent application drawing. It may have been in the American Rifleman back in early '90s. I also said it converted it to semi-automatic, not a machine...the principle led to the Potato Digger.
 
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But you posted that that would require a complete ignoring of the law by ATF.

Several devices have been marketed over the years in order to simulate automatic fire using a semi-automatic firearm, and each and everyone of them has been ruled against by the ATF.

Don't get me wrong I'm certainly not for giving the Federal Gov't any more power, especially the beuarucrats. But if ATF has already ruled on the bump-stock then it seems to me that keeping the issue confined to just bump-stocks is better than some sweeping all encompassing legislation.
It would. Explain how a bump fire stock can be said to fire multiple rounds by more than a single function of the trigger. No one could argue that with a straight face and not be a liar. It would require departure from clear legislative language. And arguing that they've done it before goes nowhere. The ATF has butchered clear law many times in the past. It's their m.o. It doesn't make it correct.
 
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