Don Spencer, Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association president, warns an ATF regulation published Friday mandating the surrender or destruction of bump stocks by March, 2019 raises the “possibility for civil war” by gun owners. The regulation is already facing legal challenges.
Don’t look for a rush to the door of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after this week’s announcement that bump stocks must be surrendered or destroyed, the Tulsa World reports.
The regulation, to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, gives owners of the devices until March 21, 2019, to act. A lawsuit challenging the regulation has been filed, and many gun owners are not interested in turning over anything to the federal government.
“I think the president made the wrong decision,” said Don Spencer, Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association president. “I think it’s something that opens up the possibility for civil war. People are not willing to give up their guns just because it has a certain kind of stock attached to it. This is an attack on Second Amendment rights.”
The new regulation follows a promise from President Trump to review the devices after the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017 in which the killer sprayed bullets from above into a crowd of concert-goers, killing 58, wounding 400 and resulting in many more injured in the ensuing panic.
Bump stocks actually are not particularly popular and are seen by most gun owners as a gimmick.In fact, “bump firing” is a technique that can be used with any semi-automatic rifle that is simply made easier using the special stock attachment.
David Reeh of the Shooting Academy in Tulsa said the devices simply aren’t very safe and added that he doesn’t have a problem with the ban. “I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “If you’re firing one of those you lose too much control. It’s bumping back and forth and if it’s moving that much you’re losing control.”
Some critics note that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has beeen surprisingly “muted” in its approach to the ban.
On Tuesday, NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker expressed mild concern, called the final rule “disappointing” and suggesting the administration should have carved out an “amnesty” for “law-abiding Americans who relied on prior ATF determinations” that the devices were legal to buy, reported Rolling Stone.
The new rule is already facing legal challenges, Rolling Stone added. A lawsuit brought by the Firearms Policy Coalition argues that bump stock owners must be compensated for devices that ATF had previously ruled legal.
“ATF’s abrupt about-face on this issue..smacks of agency abuse or dereliction of duty in following the law,” the suit alleged.