Now is the time when every group that deals with guns will issue their statements regarding not just guns in general, but bump-fire stocks in particular. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is no different. Earlier today, the group issued their own statement following those issued by groups like the NRA and Gun Owners of America.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and loved ones of all those killed and injured in the criminal attack in Las Vegas. The manufacture, distribution and sale of automatic firearms and their components has been stringently regulated by federal laws since 1934. We believe the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should interpret and enforce existing laws and regulations. We call upon ATF to conduct a prompt review and evaluation of aftermarket trigger activation devices such as bump stocks to determine whether they are lawful to install and use on a firearm under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), or whether, if they have no function or purpose other than to convert a conventional firearm into an automatic firearm, they are regulated items under the NFA. We urge Congress to allow ATF to complete its review before considering any legislation so that any policy decisions can be informed by the facts and ATF’s analysis.
Honestly, it’s hardly the least reasonable request. After all, if the BATFE decides they ruled incorrectly on these stocks in 2010 when the bureau, then under the Obama administration, ruled them permissible.
Once that is fully determined, then decide whether legislation is needed. It’s worth noting that for the most part, their statement is rather neutral on whether they believe the stocks should be regulated or not. That may be a nod to the deep divisions some are seeing crop up in the gun community as ostensibly pro-gun allies argue back and forth over whether bump-fire stocks should be regulated.
Or maybe not. After all, as noted previously, it’s not an unreasonable request at this point which may render future statements null and void. Further, by the time the BATFE conducts a review, much of the outrage currently wafting through the country will have died down, thus eroding away any real interest in more federal laws into what is already a heavily regulated industry.
Frankly, this is a stance that should appease all in the firearms community and still be at least somewhat palatable to the anti-gun crowd. Especially since they’re looking at a GOP-controlled legislature that may be open to regulations today, but may not be in a week. A reevaluation by the BATFE could solve their problems too, though truthfully, I see no reason why the BATFE would change their minds except for political reasons. Then again, stranger things have happened.
For the anti-gunners, this stance doesn’t eliminate the possibility for regulation, though even the most optimistic gun grabber should be able to see that time isn’t their ally. Then again, there’s no guarantee a bill voted on today would pass either, so they take their chances either way.