If I have learned anything from dealing with gun-related legislation for 43 years, it is this: If a gun-related statute or regulation CAN be abused, it ultimately WILL be abused.
Inevitably, there comes a time when every president is driven by an anti-gun media to lash out at the Second Amendment.
nd guess what? The path of least resistance is almost always to take a poorly drafted statute or regulation which is already on the books and stretch it to do what they want it to do.
Just consider gun control initiatives that have been pushed by past presidents, such as the green tip ammo ban, the gun collector ban, the shotgun import ban, the gun-smithing ban, or the ban on transmitting “how-to” gun information over the Internet (ITAR).
One can hardly be sanguine about the fact that the proposed Trump bump stock regulations look, from the beginning, like they are intended to ban millions of semi-automatic rifles — and confiscate all of them immediately.
To review the bidding: Federal law defines, as a “machinegun,” any part “designed and intended solely and exclusively” to turn a gun into a full automatic. An automatic is a gun which fires “more than one shot … by a single function of the trigger” [26 U.S.C. 5845(b)]. Under that definition, a bump stock is not a “machinegun” because, while it allows a semi-automatic to fire faster, the trigger resets and functions discretely every time a round is discharged.
But the proposed Trump bump stock regulations would throw that statutory definition in the wastebasket. They would define a bump stock as a “machinegun” because it allowed multiple rounds to be fired, based on a single pull of the trigger, not a single function of the trigger, as the law provides.