BUMP-STOCK RULE BUMPS UP AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION: Some of you own "bump-stocks" (and for those of you who don't, bump-stocks are plastic attachments to semi-auto rifles that utilize the recoil of a single gunshot to repeatedly "rebound" the trigger against the shooter's finger, resulting in rapid fire that mimics the fire of a machine gun).....
BUMP-STOCK RULE BUMPS UP AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION: Some of you own “bump-stocks” (and for those of you who don’t, bump-stocks are plastic attachments to semi-auto rifles that utilize the recoil of a single gunshot to repeatedly “rebound” the trigger against the shooter’s finger, resulting in rapid fire that mimics the fire of a machine gun). If you or a family member is in possession of a bump-stock, be aware that the ATF issued an administrative ruling on December 18th that criminalizes such possession. There is no grand-fathering, there is no grace period, there is no compensation, and there is no legal option for keeping it. Absent court intervention, the rule will become effective on March 26, 2019. If you fail either to deliver your bump-stock to an authorized ATF facility or to destroy it “properly” by that date, you are in criminal violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934 because, as crazy as it sounds, you will be in possession of an unlicensed “machine gun”. You will have committed a felony by, in essence, doing nothing.
If you’re in the firearms industry or just want to take deeper dive on the issue, you can link to the complete (100+ page) ATF ruling and to the lawsuit filed the same day seeking to halt the rule. The ATF reasoning and the legal arguments against it are interesting. Most scholars would agree that Congress has the right to amend the statutory definition of “machine gun” as originally defined in the 1934 NFA (subject, of course, to Second Amendment scrutiny), but the the plaintiffs seeking the injunction argue persuasively that the ATF does not have the authority to redefine statutory language that has been in effect (and without significant ambiguity) for almost 80 years. That authority is reserved to Congress, and Congress has discussed, but refused to pass, such legislation.
For those of you who appreciate the nuances of firearm mechanics, the tortured language used by ATF to justify and explain the distinction between “pulling” a trigger and “physical manipulation of” a trigger is quite fascinating.