The NRA got a lot of heat for their statement that seemingly supported new regulations on bump-fire stocks. Their comments apparently emboldened House Republicans who quickly rushed out to put their support behind a bill similar Dianne Feinstein’s bump-fire stock bill.
Now, some of those Republican might want to rethink that support.
The National Rifle Association announced on Wednesday its opposition to a new bill that would ban any firearm part that effectively increases the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle.
“We are opposed to the Feinstein and Curbelo legislation,” Jennifer Baker, a spokesperson for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told the Washington Free Beacon.
The legislation, introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R., Fla.) and cosponsored by 10 representatives from each party, is intended to be a response to the Las Vegas shooting, where a number of the rifles found at the scene were equipped with bump fire stocks. The text of the bill goes beyond banning bump fire stocks, however. Instead, in addition to banning bump fire stocks and requiring their surrendering or confiscation, it bans and requires the surrendering or confiscation of any part that increases how quickly a semi-automatic rifle can be fired.
“It shall be unlawful for any person—in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer 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,” the bill reads, “or to manufacture, possess, or transfer any such part or combination of parts that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.’”
The issue is that, like Feinstein’s bill, the proposal is overly broad in that it will also ban any device that may increase the rate of fire. That includes numerous aftermarket triggers that many have on their firearms already, both rifles and handguns.
Few people are so emotionally invested in bump-fire stocks that they would really put up a massive fight against a bump-fire stock ban. Most of those who would dig in for a battle would do so more on the grounds of not wanting to give an inch to anti-gun forces, which I can respect.
However, by making this bill so overly broad, even those in the firearm community who oppose bump-fire stocks are unlikely to support a ban on any device “designed to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle.” After all, how many of them have competition triggers on their weapons?
None of this actually gets into what would serve as the baseline. After all, if you build a rifle, your stock trigger is whatever you put in there. What would be the baseline rate of fire? When is it “fast enough but not too fast?”
Then there is the fate of the existing aftermarket triggers. The bill provides no grandfather provision, which means the bill passing would necessarily require people to replace their triggers with stock triggers (or something) and surrender their aftermarket trigger groups.
In short, there are so many problems with this bill that it’s absolutely ridiculous. In their drive to “do something” following Las Vegas, lawmakers are set to do something ridiculous, and the NRA is calling them on it.
As they should.
Now what matters is for Republican lawmakers to remember that the NRA represents tens of millions of gun owners who vote.