From the moment we learned that the Las Vegas killer used a bump stock on his rampage, we knew good and well that anti-gun zealots were going to try and make them illegal. It’s as inevitable as the sun rising in the east.
However, you also had to know that gun grabbers weren’t going to be content to stop at that. No, they want a lot more.
The next bump stock? Gun reform advocates think they’ve seen a few.
The debate over bump stocks –– the little-known devices used to deadly effect during last month’s shooting massacre in Las Vegas –– has all but vanished on Capitol Hill. But gun reformers are already seeking to identify similar products in hopes of convincing Congress to apply new restrictions aimed at preventing the next tragedy.
On Wednesday, the gun-violence prevention group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will release a report detailing nine products –– all commercially available under current federal law –– the advocates say are designed specifically to circumvent long-established gun checks and therefore pose a threat to public safety.
Rather than wait around for lawmakers to react to the next mass shooting, they’re hoping to avert it.
“We can sit back and bring these issues up after something horrible happens, or maybe we can just take a fresh look and … anticipate what might be used in the next shooting and try to create a regulatory structure that makes it harder for criminals to use them,” David Chipman, senior policy advisor with the Giffords group, said Tuesday by phone.
Well, I took a look at what they’re talking about. Yes, I clicked the link to Giffords, to see what they were kvetching about this week.
A few are items that while I don’t feel should be illegal, I can see why a gun control group would want to lump them in with bump stocks. Things like trigger cranks and binary triggers do make shooting a lot faster. I can at least see some sense of consistency by including them on the list.
Then they go off the rails.
For example, they include stabilizer blades and arm braces that are designed to shoot short barrel rifles easier as problematic. BATFE officials have already ruled both legal, mind you, and short barrel weapons often lack the accuracy of longer barrel weapons, but that doesn’t really matter to the crowd at Giffords.
The stupid doesn’t stop there. Also included on their list? All 50 caliber weapons, but especially the SilencerCo Maxim 50. In fact, muzzleloaders get a special spot for Giffords where they say:
Even if silencers were removed from the NFA, the guns they attach to would still be subject to certain basic provisions of federal law. These laws prohibit convicted felons and other dangerous people from possessing guns, require gun retailers to be licensed, and require licensed retailers to conduct background checks on purchasers. There is one blanket exception to these laws, however: the exception for antique firearms, including muzzleloaders. The gun industry is determined to exploit this exception.
Muzzleloaders are firearms that must be loaded through the end of the barrel with powder, wadding and a projecticle. Muzzleloaders fell out of favor as a firearm of choice almost a century ago, and are generally seen as primitive antiques. That’s why federal law generally exempts them from regulation.
Cue the .50 caliber muzzleloader, which delivers a particularly lethal .50 caliber round. This weapon is designed with a built-in device to suppress its sound. If any other firearm were built with such a device, it would be subject to the NFA as a silencer. But since this device is designed to suppress the sound of something that is exempt from federal firearms laws, it is not considered a silencer and not subject to the NFA. In fact, it is not subject to any laws at all and can be bought online.
Of course, Giffords forgets that the muzzleloader fell out of favor of anyone but hobbyists, reenactors, and sportsmen because it has a long, slow reload time that would make it possible for someone with a sharp stick to hold their own against them.
This is especially amusing in light of Giffords’ conclusion that begins, “Our federal gun laws have not kept pace with modern weaponry.”
This from the people who are outraged over firearms technology that’s been obsolete on the battlefield for about 150 years? Yes, it’s suppressed, but that’s century-old technology as well. How does anyone get off calling that “modern weaponry,” anyway?
The reality is that gun control activists are trying to latch onto recent tragedies and use them as leverage to push forward with a radical anti-civil liberties agenda that has no basis in reality and completely circumvents the Constitution.