The country has been heading in this direction ever since the Las Vegas shooting, where one maniac used a bump stock to kill 58 people. In fact, even some ardent gun owners called for a ban on the devices. This included President Donald Trump, who actually directed the justice department to rewrite the rules regarding bump stocks. Before this directive, the ATF had classified bump stocks as legal devices. They did this because bump stocks and similar devices still only allowed one round to fire per trigger pull. This means the guns are not fully automatic weapons, which are highly regulated under federal law.
Federal gun bans have happened before, such as the “assault” rifle ban of 1994. That incident had a difference, though. This law grandfathered those who had purchased an AR-15, AK-47 or other semi-auto rifle before the ban. That is not happening in this case. Something that is legal on Monday, March 25 becomes illegal to posses the very next day. Some estimate that up to a half million of the devices have been sold.
Those Opposing the Federal Bump Stock Ban
Some gun groups are still hoping to stop the ban, with Gun Owners of America leading the charge. GOA has filed numerous lawsuits to prevent the rule from becoming active. At the same time, several judges have refused to stop the ban or stated the administration could move forward with it. A federal appeals court is considering a stay, but might not rule until after the ban goes into effect.
Those against the federal bump stock ban claim that the device is not a gun. In fact, people bought these devices without any background check over the counter. So, they claim the governing is banning a piece of plastic, after allowing millions of people to buy that piece of plastic. They also say that this is a backdoor way that could be used to ban any number of items. They say they will not up, and will continue to work for the rights of those who possess these items. Of course, by Tuesday, those who own a bump stock or similar device must either turn it in or destroy it, or face charges of illegally possessing a machine gun, unless a court issues a stay, which doesn’t seem likely.