Gun Rights Leader Predicts ‘Civil War’ Over Bump Stock Ban

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.


US Has 500K Bump Stocks; New NJ Ban Yields Zero

The Las Vegas mass shooting inspired many states to consider a ban on bump stocks, which enable rifles to fire more bullets quickly. Under a New Jersey law, residents were supposed to destroy or surrender their bump stocks by mid-April. Police haven’t received a single one. A similar Massachusetts law yielded just three of the devices. Officials estimate that Americans own as many as 520,000 bump stocks.

Under New Jersey’s new bump-stock ban, which was approved in January, residents were supposed to destroy or turn in their bump stocks by mid-April. So far, New Jersey State Police say, they have not received a single one, reports Months after a man used a bump stock to quickly mow down 58 people in Las Vegas, seven states now prohibit the sale and possession of the devices, which enable semiautomatic rifles to fire at the rate of fully automatic fire. In Massachusetts, where residents had until February to surrender their bump stocks, state police received just three devices. Bump-stock bans in Florida, Maryland, Vermont and Washington have been approved but have not yet gone into effect. Bans of bump stocks in Hawaii and Connecticut are currently awaiting governors’ signatures, and lawmakers in Delaware and Rhode Island are expected to approve bans soon.

Even though proposed bump-stock bans have stalled in more than a dozen states, gun control advocates who want to rid the country of the accessory are celebrating their existing statehouse victories. They agree with gun owners and police, however, that enforcing the bans will be a challenge. It’s hard to know for sure, but Americans could own as many as 520,000 bump stocks, according to ATF estimates. The government estimates that Americans have spent $96.2 million on bump stocks between 2011 and 2017. These devices can cost from $180 to $425 each. Many of them are untraceable, in part because they don’t have serial numbers.


Eight in 10 Americans Back Gun Control After Vegas: Poll

An NPR/Ipsos survey finds that support for bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and “bump stocks” is rising, though Dems remain stronger on the issue than Republicans and independents. A pollster cautions that there have been similar reactions to other mass shootings–and the impact on public opinion may be temporary.

After the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, most Americans regardless of party favor tightening restrictions on firearms, NPR reports. Eight in 10 Americans told an NPR/Ipsos survey that they favor bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and “bump stocks,” an accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like an automatic weapon.

Eight in 10 also said they favor a federal database to track all gun sales. On each question, majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans all were in favor of the restrictions to some degree.

The share in favor of new curbs, as well as the intensity of their agreement, varied by party, sometimes widely. For example, 91 percent of Democrats, along with 76 percent of independents and 70 percent of Republicans,favor banning assault-style weapons. However, 74 percent of Democrats “strongly favor” this kind of restriction, compared to only 48 percent of Republicans “strongly” in favor and 45 percent of independents who said so.

There are similar divides on other restrictions. Fully 88 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Republicans, and 82 percent of independents favor banning bump stocks. While three-quarters of Democrats “strongly favor” this kind of ban, only around half of Republicans and independents do.

Much interest in gun control is short-lived. Ipsos Public Affairs President Cliff Young said, “Gun violence like this typically has a short-term effect on public opinion where there’s a crystallizing event” that temporarily bumps support for gun control upward.