The Vichy NRA appears to be in full damage control mode as people read the ATF’s final bump-fire stock rule, and realize just how badly the group screwed over gun owners.
This is a bit longer than my usual blog posts, so I’ll give you a TL;DR:
For three consecutive days, columns have been published defending the NRA’s bump-fire fiasco. In all three cases, it is the same refrain we heard after NFA, GCA, FOPA, Brady, Constitutional Carry, and all the rest: It isn’t our fault. And it would have been worse if we hadn’t done it. We derailed legislation that would have banned more. Except the bump-stock-type device (BSTD) rule can be applied to all the devices the NRA claims to have protected, and makes every semiauto in existence “easily converted to a machinegun,” and subject to a post-FOPA ban. And it didn’t even derail any legislation
Keep reading and I’ll address the points made by Marion Hammer, Duane Liptak, and Tom knighton, and explain — yet again — what I mean by that.
On Friday, former NRA President Marion Hammer published her defense of the NRA and Wayne LaPierre.
Wayne is one of the most humble guys I know.
I’ve met LaPierre. “Humble” is not the vibe he gave off. And that was before he opened his mouth. More like “arrogant, self-entitled ass.” When he did open his mouth — a speech at a Gun Rights Policy Conference — the hallways outside the room filled as people walked out. I think there may have been more people walking out than stayed to listen to him to the end.
On Saturday, Duane Liptak, NRA Board member, defended the NRA’s backstabbing, essentially claiming they had to sink in that knife or someone else would’ve used a sword. In short, the usual NRA excuse.
Sick of the NRA? Read this.
In any of this commentary, I’m speaking for myself, not for the NRA. I have to use that disclaimer, as I’m speaking out of turn, and this is MY PERSONAL understanding of the events and information, not official NRA position. I suppose some of this information could also be potentially damaging to future efforts because it lays out some reasoning and strategy, but it’s to a point right now where people need to understand some things.
I did. Now I’m even sicker of the NRA.
After Vegas, bumpfire stock legislation was drafted, but NRA had the juice to kill it.
They pretend they “killed” it by calling for NFA regulation (more on that in a bit).
The language in the legislative ban included binary triggers, cranks, etc., and could also at some point be interpreted by ATF to include ANY aftermarket trigger and even be mangled to include semi-autos in general as having the capability to have rates of fire similar to machine guns and thus, be regulated. It would be a disaster.
Guess what the NRA’s preferred “regulation” will do. There’s a reason they called them “bump-stock-TYPE devices,” not just bump stocks, and emphasized rate of fire.
In any case, the legislation was averted by the push to regulatory, and the regulatory ban is narrow and also likely to be overturned. FPC is making good authority arguments in their suit, and the NRA is arguing on “takings”.
What? I haven’t seen any report of the NRA filing a lawsuit challenging the rule, nor even an amicus brief, and I’ve specifically been looking for any such. The FPC publicly announced preparations for their suit on June 28, 2018, and filed it on December 28, 2018. David Codrea filed his suit December 27, 2018. The GOA filed their own on December 28. The NRA…
The FPC was lining up their suit the day after NPRM comments closed. Where’s the NRA, if they think the ATF didn’t do what they intended?
The NRA didn’t give you GCA ’68. They tried to minimize damage in another time when overwhelming support for even worse gun control existed after Kennedy and King were assassinated.
I’ll let commenter Nanashi reply to that: “That’s a lod [sic] of bull and you know it. Without Orth’s endorsement it never would have passed.”
The hell with quoting this Quisling. I’ll just run down some of his “points.” With a bulldozer.
He claims we just had to put up with the machinegun limits of FOPA’s Hughes Amendment to get those wonderful “firearm owner protections.” What did FOPA give us?
- Safe Passage: Tell it to Haley Leach, Mark Meckler, Meg Fellenbaum, and many others.
- Registry prohibition: Tell that to the ATF who copy bound books during inspections. And remember when it turned out the FBI was saving gun purchaser data when NICS started? (And you remember whose idea NICS was, right?)
Prohibited Person: Oh, right; FOPA “augmented” the classification to include more people.
So basically the NRA traded new machineguns for more prohibited people and a couple of protections that the feds and states still violate at will. Thanks to the NRA, we didn’t merely get buttfucked; we got spitroasted from both ends.
Liptak also claims the NRA stopped “assault weapons” bans. Umm… like the ’94 ban? Yeah. And the NRA wrote a municipal AWB that included SKSes with fixed ten-round magazines. And bragged about it.
Bump stocks: He says they could have phrased their demand for regulation a little better.
“the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The NRA called for the ATF to regulate bump-fire stocks. Under the law the ATF can only only regulate firearms, certain specific, enumerated accessories, destructive devices, explosives, alcohol, and tobacco. Which of those are bump-fire stocks?
None of them, until the NRA helpfully told them that they are devices that make semi-autos function like machineguns. So what else was the ATF going to call them? The NRA told them they look like machineguns, they act like machineguns, by Ghu they must be machineguns!
Which brings us back to FOPA. The NRA pretends lies by claiming they thought the ATF would open the registry for these new “machineguns.” After all, as other NRA apologists have noted, the GCA ’68 still allows for amnesty periods.
Amnesty which, thanks to the NRA, can only apply to pre-’86 machineguns. Found Grandpa’s Lewis gun in a trunk in his basement? That could be amnestied. But a machinegun built after May ’86? Nope, that possibility was closed by statutory law.
If the NRA wanted bump-fire stocks regulated under existing law, then it had to be as machinguns and they’re banned, or they needed new legislation to allow another amnesty period for new manufactured items. Either the NRA knew this, and simply thought bump stock owners could be thrown under the bus (which I believe to be the case), or they are as crazed and incompetent as a babysitter who drowns a child in the bath tub: “I was washing her face; I thought the longer I held her head under water, the cleaner it would get.”
Either way, we can’t trust the NRA to “babysit” our human/civil rights.
IF the NRA simply wanted bump-fire stocks regulated, they could have suggested classifying them as toys and having the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulate commercial sales. Just like lawn darts. Instead, they went to the ATF, with its big fucking NFA hammer.
Liptak dodges the issue, but there’s also Constitutional Carry. Think the NRA would talk about that, and what it pulled in New Hampshire, and why it took years to get it after state people lined up the votes? (Hint: it had something to do with an NRA rep showing up and telling legislators — in an unscheduled after-hours session of which real gun owners were unaware — that the NRA was cool with stopping the bill until it included language duplicating existing federal and state law. The NRA tried to explain that away as, We meant for them to amend it, carefully ignoring that they did that after hours on the very last day of the session; there was no time to amend, so they’d simply given reluctant politicians the excuse to ITL the bill.)
Apparently someone at the NRA is monitoring (overwhelmingly negative) comments on the Liptak and Hammer columns, because Sunday (the third consecutive day) brought us another defense of the weasels. This one comes from Tom Knighton.
What You Need To Know About The NRA’s Actual Position On The Bump Stock Ban
When the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reversed its position on bump stocks, a lot of people were outraged. Yes, I was included in that. I’m still included in that.
However, I also saw a lot of Second Amendment supporters lashing out at the National Rifle Association and its leadership for calling for the ATF to do just that. They viewed it as a betrayal. The NRA had sold out our Second Amendment rights!
But did it?
Yes. It did.
If you recall the proposed legislation, it banned any device that enabled a shooter to fire faster. What did that mean? Well, it’s hard to say for certain, but it opened the door to banning things like binary triggers and even competition triggers, as the lighter pull could facilitate faster firing.
By urging the president and the ATF to reclassify bump stocks, the plan was to avert this bill from passing.
By implementing a regulation that does the same thing. Which thousands of NPRM commenters noted (including myself); arguably, the language is so broad as to include Jerry Miculek, which even the ATF had to address in the final rule, and will again in federal court.
Also, it’s important to note that things didn’t unfold the way the NRA would have preferred. Baker admitted they wanted bump stock owners to have an opportunity to register their stocks. That didn’t happen.
It couldn’t happen. I pointed out the FOPA issue a year ago. NPRM commenters pointed that out. Comments to Liptak point that out. I just went over it again. Stop pretending lying.
Am I saying they screwed up?
If you aren’t saying they screwed up, then I’m forced to wonder how much they’re paying you for that bit of fluffer work.
If the VNRA truly believes they made a tactical error, what they should have done was issue this press release.
The leadership of the National Rifle Association sincerely apologizes to all Americans, and specifically to our members, for our ill-conceived call for bump-fire stock regulation.
We made a monumentally stupid mistake, a series of mistakes. We should have listened to, and followed the advice of, people who actually know what they are doing. We directed our massive lobbying power to the wrong thing once again.
It is time to repair our error. In the past, we have asked for donations for such fights but, given the magnitude of our own gross misfeasance, that is not appropriate in this matter. Instead, the NRA and NRA/ILA have fired Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox and will repurpose their salaries and expenses to the lobby and legal tasks of righting our wrong. Our screw-up, our responsibility. Not yours.
We are very sorry. We hope our members, and all America, can someday forgive the NRA.
In the future, we will restrict our activities to firearms training and encouraging responsible firearms ownership, which is what we were originally chartered to do. We will leave lobbying and legal work to groups and individuals who are competent to protect our rights.
They doubled down.
|If you found this post useful, please consider dropping something in his tip jar. He could use the money, what with truck repairs and recurring bills. Click here to donate via PayPal.
(More Tip Jar Options)