Modifying your trigger

Trigger Modifications and Florida Law

Trigger modifications of all sorts may be illegal under Florida law. On October 7, 2018, we wrote our first article about Florida’s then upcoming Bump Stock law. Click here to read that article. In it, we wrote that the new law seemed to apply to:

Traditional Bump Stocks
Crank fire devices
Binary triggers
and many more commercially available conversion kits or devices.

For years since Florida passed our Bump-Fire Stock law, we have been repeatedly asked about various firearm accessories and trigger modifications and whether or not they are legal under Florida law. Our answer has repeatedly been that since there are no cases interpreting Florida Statute 790.222, we can only go by the plain meaning of the words used in the statute. Therefore, 90% of the time, we have been of the opinion that the modification we are being asked about is illegal in Florida.

Does the modification increase the rate of fire?

Florida Statute 790.222 is titled “Bump-fire stocks prohibited.” However, the statute seems to cover FAR MORE than what was commonly recognized as a bump stock when the law was first passed. Per Florida Statute 790.222, the term “bump-fire stock” means a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.

The sentence in bold above is definitely the most troubling part of the definition. According to the statute any trigger modification or other modification using any kit, tool accessory or device which increases the rate of fire to a rate faster than it would fire without the item is a bump fire-stock. Lately, many people have been calling us about Force Reset Triggers. It has been our opinion since the moment we first discovered these clever devices that they were illegal under Florida’s Bump Stock law. We have been amazed that they were built, and sold from Florida as they clearly seemed to fall under our bump stock prohibition.

Binary Triggers double the rate of fire.

We also frequently get calls about trigger modifications using binary triggers. A binary trigger fires one bullet when the trigger is pulled, and another when the trigger is released. This in effect doubles the rate of fire of a firearm with a normal trigger, thus making it a device used to increase the rate of fire faster than possible for a person to fire unassisted. Seems like this too would fall under the definition of bump-stock under Florida law.

Courts will eventually decide!

Ultimately, we do not know for certain how a court will interpret Florida Statute 790.222. Will it include these items and more? The first rule of statutory construction a court is to follow is to give the words in the statute their plain meaning. The plain meaning of the words as we read them define bump-stocks to include ANY device which increases the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm. Some have argued with us that since there are competitive shooters who can fire faster without a binary trigger than the person installing the binary trigger can with one, that a binary trigger does not make it possible for them to fire their gun with a binary trigger to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted. Their argument seems to be that if there is a human on the planet that can fire faster without any particular device than they can with one, it is not a bump-stock. This is an argument that can be made if this is ever in a courtroom, and a judge will interpret the statute as they see it.

If you want to avoid being the test case in Florida. Do not use any device that alters the speed at which you can fire your firearm to a speed faster than you can fire it without the device.

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