President Donald Trump released a Presidential Memorandum today directing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to complete the review of bump fire stocks and to promulgate a rule banning them. The problem with this Presidential Memorandum is that bump fire stocks as exemplified by the SlideFire Stock do not meet the definition of machine guns under the National Firearms Act and applicable BATFE rulings. That was why Rich Vasquez when he was charged with analyzing the SlideFire Stock found that it was not a machine gun nor did it convert a semi-automatic firearm into one. I made this very point in my own comment under the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
If President Trump wishes to change the definition of a machine gun under the National Firearms Act or if he wishes to pass a bill banning bump fire stocks, then he should ask Congress to pass such a bill. Directing the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to make such a change to the existing rules governing bump fire stocks ignores the rule of law despite what he might say in this Presidential Memorandum.
After the deadly mass murder in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1, 2017, I asked my Administration to fully review how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulates bump fire stocks and similar devices.
Although the Obama Administration repeatedly concluded that particular bump stock type devices were lawful to purchase and possess, I sought further clarification of the law restricting fully automatic machineguns.
Accordingly, following established legal protocols, the Department of Justice started the process of promulgating a Federal regulation interpreting the definition of “machinegun” under Federal law to clarify whether certain bump stock type devices should be illegal. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2017. Public comment concluded on January 25, 2018, with the Department of Justice receiving over 100,000 comments.
Today, I am directing the Department of Justice to dedicate all available resources to complete the review of the comments received, and, as expeditiously as possible, to propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.
Although I desire swift and decisive action, I remain committed to the rule of law and to the procedures the law prescribes. Doing this the right way will ensure that the resulting regulation is workable and effective and leaves no loopholes for criminals to exploit. I would ask that you keep me regularly apprised of your progress.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
DONALD J. TRUMP
If Donald Trump has any desire to have a second term, pissing off the gun rights community which provided his margin of victory in battleground states is a damn poor way to go about it.