I very much enjoyed the write-up you provided on the proposed rule-making. The more people that are aware of the issues and comment the better our chance of getting the issues addressed.
I had a couple of additional issues that I thought I would share.
- The proposed rule does not properly account for the monetary losses of each individual currently in possession of a “Bump Stock”. Not only is an individual losing the initial money spent on purchase and shipping of the product, they are now being placed under the additional burden of having to purchase a new stock to replace the one that is being lost. There is a cost associated with the time spent shopping for a new stock, purchase, tax, shipping, and also a value to the time that the existing gun has been made unusable while the new stock is obtained.
- Your statement that “Because these bump-stock-type devices allow multiple rounds to be fired when the shooter maintains pressure on the extension ledge of the device, ATF has determined that bump-stock-type devices are machinegun conversion devices, and therefore qualify as machineguns under the GCA and the NFA” indicate that the “extension ledge” makes the stock function as an automatic. Therefore, simply removing the ledge would allow a user to legally maintain ownership of the stock.
- Your statement of “Bump firing and other techniques for increasing the rate of fire do not satisfy this definition because they do not produce an automatic firing sequence with a single pull of the trigger. Instead, bump firing without an assistive device requires the shooter to exert pressure with the trigger finger to re-engage the trigger for each round fired” would apply equally to a bump stock. The recoil action allowed by the bump stock does not in any way fire the trigger. The recoil only allows for the trigger to reset. In order for the trigger to actuate again, the user must apply pressure to the trigger again (accomplished by applying forward pressure with the other hand). As such, without the direct application of pressure from the second hand, the gun can’t fire again. To count as automatic fire, the weapon should be able to be operated with one hand. Otherwise, it is not the accessory causing the repeated fire but your personal manipulation of the gun.
- I disagree with the statement: “As with the Akins Accelerator, the bump-stock-type devices at issue cause the trigger to “bump” into the finger, so that the shooter need not pull the trigger repeatedly to expel ammunition.” This is not technically correct, since the recoil causes the trigger to jump away from the trigger not towards it. Any actuation of the trigger is done by conscious application of force by the user. Without the application of force, no additional rounds would be fired.
Sincerely – J.K.