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October 05, 2017

NRA Calls for ATF To Consider New Regulation on Bump Stocks

Kinda predictable.

The National Rifle Association, in its first statement on the Las Vegas shooting and in a rare break from its traditional opposition to gun-related regulations, called Thursday for a federal review of so-called bump stocks and suggested new rules might be needed for the device apparently used by the shooter in Sunday’s massacre.

"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 said in a written statement....

The Obama administration’s ATF gave its seal of approval to selling the devices in 2010 after concluding that they did not violate federal law. On Thursday, the NRA called on the ATF to review that assessment.

"In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved," the NRA said. "Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, 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."

Interestingly, they don't call for a new law to ban or regulate these items, and it has to be remembered that Obama's ATF examined whether existing federal law gave them the power to regulate bump stocks, and they decided it didn't.

If the ATF under Obama found that its pen and phone authority did not reach that far, well then, by golly, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say their authority actually does not reach that far.

I don't see what principled reason could cause a deviation from that first finding -- either the law empowered the federal agency to make a rule in this area, or it didn't. A new fact (There was a massacre) and a new political input (the NRA's okay with it) should not change the more important fact that the law does not grant the administrative agency rule-making power in this area.

So is this a fake-out? Or does the NRA fear a new rule less than a new law (which, presumably, could be read to grant other powers of regulation, by unscrupulous progressive bureaucrats (which is to say, almost all of them))?


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posted by Ace at 03:39 PM

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