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The New Federal Bump Stock Ban – A Threat to Freedom

Updated June 14, 2024

The Federal Ban on Bump Stocks which is the subject of this article has been declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.  The ATF rule redefining “machine gun” is no longer valid.  This article will remain on our website for historical purposes, but the rule discussed is no longer enforceable.   To learn about the U.S. Supreme Court decision, click here.

A New Federal Bump-Stock Ban has just been signed by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker,.  This ban follows on the heels of the Florida Bump Stock Ban which went into effect on October 1, 2018.  The new ban is, expected to go into effect on March 21, 2019. This ban is unlike any previous federal law we have seen and poses a threat to freedom-loving Americans now and in the future.

Bump stocks will now fall into the definition of “Machine-gun” found in 27 CFR Parts 477, 478, and 479. Previously, this term was defined as: “[A] firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” The term also includes any part of a machine gun or anything that may convert a weapon into a machine-gun.

Specifically with regard to bump stocks, the new rule adds:  “The term “machine-gun” includes a bump-stock-type device, i.e., a device that allows a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semi- automatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.”

This new definition has the effect of criminalizing the possession of all bump stocks. The new rule has no provision to grandfather in and register the bump stocks that many citizens already own. Without exception, before March 21, 2019, if you own a bump stock you must either surrender it to the ATF or destroy it. You will not be compensated for the money you spent when you legally bought this item. Failure to comply with this new rule is a federal felony, punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each bump stock in your possession.

There have already been many legal challenges filed, and there will be many more to come before March 21. Most ask that the courts block this rule from going into effect so that the issue can be fully litigated before any American has to destroy their property without compensation.

Even if you do not own a bump stock, this development is extremely upsetting. The implementation would expand the power of the federal government to an extent we have never seen. Today bump stocks, tomorrow it could be anything from magazines to ammunition.


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