Gun Laws

ATF Seeking Public Comments on Bump Stock Regulations

Consumers, Retailers, and Manufacturers Asked to Weigh in on Machine Gun Classification

ATF-BumpStock-RFCPresumably prompted almost exclusively by (or, at least, jumping at the “convenient” excuse of) their use in the October 1, 2017 attack on Route 91 Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas, the BATFE is now seeking comments from the public regarding new regulations, potentially including reclassification as machine guns, on firearm accessories known as bump stocks.

Share your Comments with the ATF Now

In the wake of the attack, which has since spawned no shortage of conspiracy theories thanks to the dearth of officially released details, there was a brief initial outcry calling for increased regulation before quickly fading from the news. Some of those calls even came from unexpected sources, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and businesses who make their money by renting fully automatic firearms to tourists.

Now, the Department of Justice is contemplating a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would interpret the statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) to clarify whether bump stocks, fall within that definition. Before issuing such an NPRM, the Department and ATF are soliciting comments from the public and industry regarding the nature and scope of the market for these devices, giving citizens the opportunity to weigh in on the topic.

The request for comments was published in the Federal Register, and can be seen here (excerpts are below).  Comments can be left via the regulation’s page on the Regulations.gov website or left directly here. Gun Owners of America have produced a summary of their two main points: that 1) Bump Sstocks do not fall within the definition of “machine gun” under the NFA and 2) ATF has no Constitutional or legal authority to ban or regulate bump stocks.

Share your Comments with the ATF Now

 Below are excerpts from the Request for Comments in the Federal Register:   Continue reading

U.S. House to Vote on Fix NICS Act and Concealed Carry Reciprocity

FBI_NICSThe House is expected to vote as early as this week on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. Currently varying state-by-state concealed carry laws are making unwitting criminals out of law-abiding firearms owners for simply making a wrong traffic turn. There is no justification for individuals’ Constitutional rights to end at the border of their states. This bill would provide for reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms, allow certain off-duty law enforcement officers and retired law enforcement officers to conceal carry in a school zone, and interstate carrying of firearms by federal judges.

This bill, as amended, also includes the Fix NICS Act. There are currently several states and some federal agencies withholding applicable disqualifying records that if entered into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) would help prevent prohibited persons from being able to purchase firearms from a federally licensed firearms retailer. The Fix NICS Act, which builds off of the successes of NSSF’s FixNICS campaign, would improve the current system and ensure background checks are accurate and reliable.

Lastly, this measure calls on the Department of Justice to report to Congress on the number of times a bump stock has been used in the commission of a crime.

Please take this opportunity to email or call today to urge your U.S. Representatives to vote for H.R.38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, as amended.

Email your Representative here

United States Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Look up your U.S. Representative, here

U.S. Attorney Announces New Grant to Expand Efforts to Combat Gun Violence

Additional Resources to Share Gun Intelligence and get Trigger Pullers Off the Streets

BATFEU.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes announced today the expansion of the Project Safe Neighborhood program in the Puget Sound region, with additional focus on crime gun intelligence in South King and Pierce Counties. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded $500,000 to the program which will enhance intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies so that guns used in crimes can be linked, helping law enforcement build cases for prosecution.

“Forensic tools from ATF, and intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies have been key to identifying felons with guns who need to be off the street,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “In three of the cases we are highlighting today, the guns recovered have been tied to multiple shootings – in one case as many as 9 shots fired incidents in a short period of time. Combating gun violence is a top priority of the Justice Department and my office.”

The Project Safe Neighborhood grant provides funding for a Special Assistant United States Attorney to review every firearms case in King County to see if it is appropriate for federal prosecution. Grant money in 2017-2018 will provide for additional personnel to leverage the Gun Crime Intelligence Center to make connections between shooting incidents in south King and Pierce Counties. This information helps law enforcement identify, arrest and prosecute high-impact offenders.

“ATF is proud to partner with local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring the most advanced forensic science to the battle against gun crime,” said Darek Pleasants, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Seattle. “The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. Since the program’s inception in 1999 through 2016, NIBIN partners have captured approximately 2.8 million images of ballistic evidence and confirmed more than 74,000 NIBIN hits.”

Unveiled in May 2001, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a comprehensive and strategic approach to gun law enforcement. PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking both new and existing local programs that target gun crime and then providing them with the resources and tools they need to succeed. Implementation at the local level has fostered close partnerships between federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement.

Giving a Firearm as a Gift? Some Reminders From NSSF

GunLink_GiftThe holidays are just around the corner. As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that . . . it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

The first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place; for example, juveniles (under age 18), generally speaking, are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.   Continue reading

Bad News For “Universal” Background Check Supporters

kennedylewisterrorwatchlistHave you noticed that all the hot takes about the supposed need for more gun control have something in common? Whether it’s a call to limit gun ownership to two firearms or a desire to ban firearms completely, America’s anti-gun pundits have no shortage of different “solutions” they’d like to see turned into laws. But not many of them seem particularly eager to talk about what it would take to actually enforce those laws, or maybe they haven’t even considered that aspect of legislation. All we have to do is a pass a law, apparently. Enforcement is optional.

In the real world, of course, it doesn’t work that way. Now, even some gun control advocates are having to reluctantly accept the fact that passing a gun control law doesn’t automatically lead to less crime. Recently, anti-gun researcher Garen Wintemute took a look at “universal” background check laws in Washington, Colorado and Delaware. All three states passed similar laws in 2013, and Wintemute wanted to see if the laws had led to an increase in the number of background checks. As it turns out, the answer was “no,” at least for Washington and Colorado. Universal background check laws clearly don’t lead to universal background checks for every transfer of a firearm. Gun owners know this, and we’ve tried to point this out to anti-gun activists on many occasions, but they needed to see the science. Now they have.

Wintemute and others are now trying to claim that the problem with the “universal” background check laws can be fixed with “more assertive enforcement.” Yet the study’s authors can’t really point to more assertive enforcement in Delaware, even though it did see an increase in background checks for both handguns and long guns. What would “more assertive enforcement” look like, anyway? It’s a pretty imprecise phrase for a man of science like Wintemute to throw around without offering up specific examples.   Continue reading

Machine Guns Vegas Throws Second Amendment Under the Bus Following Terrorist Attack

In the wake of the awful terrorist attack carried out on concert-goers in Las Vegas, a local firearms playground issued the statement below, throwing the Second Amendment under the bus in favor of increased regulations on law abiding citizens.

We find this statement to be reprehensible and 100% counter to the words and intent of the United States Constitution and the Second Amendment contained in the Bill of Rights.

The Second Amendment protections of the right to keep and bear arms is not intended to protect The People’s ability to hunt, or to goof off with rented firearms that they view as “toys” on gun a playground out in the desert. Likewise, as we have seen time and time again with various attempts at regulating behavior through the regulation of goods, restrictions on those protected rights would not, and could not, prevent madmen from carrying out their twisted agendas.

Good for them for shutting down for a couple of days out of respect for the victims and for promoting blood donation.  Good for them for making a “private” monetary donation to a victims fund (that they boast about in a press release).  But pushing for tighter restrictions, testing requirements for gun owners, mandatory sentencing, and increased regulation?  Congratulations on getting a few minutes of the spotlight by jumping into the media frenzy on this news cycle’s topic du jour, and enjoy the lasting effects of trashing the very mechanism that (barely) allows you to operate your business.

Press Alert issued by Machine Gun Vegas 12:00, 10/2/2017:

On behalf of MGV, we are deeply saddened for the victims and families affected by last night’s activities and absolutely sickened by the behavior of the individual who committed a sheer act of violence on our community. We realize there will be many sensitivities to firearms and their misuse, and we would like to address a few points as a business that offers firearms experiences in a safe, controlled environment in Las Vegas. We believe, as we always have, that there should absolutely be more stringent control on the types of firearms private individuals can own and the processes they must go through in order to own those firearms. There were many factors contributing to this tragic event, but there is no doubt that the shooter’s ability to inflict so many casualties was heavily due to the types of weapons he had access to. MGV agrees that the NRA, Federal Government and individual states have a responsibility to continue to maximize efforts to keep these firearms out of the hands of the wrong people.

We believe that responsible gun ownership is attainable through the application of common sense, more stringent vetting and background checks, dramatically increased mandatory sentencing for gun offences and increased testing standards for gun owners.

In light of the recent tragedy, Machine Guns Vegas feels it’s inappropriate to be open today (10/2) and tomorrow (10/3) in respect for the injured, lives lost and families affected by this senseless act. MGV has refunded all customers who have made reservations on 10/2/17 & 10/3/17. MGV’s parent company, The Compound LLC has also made a private donation to Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak’s Las Vegas Victim’s Fund GoFundMe Campaign in an effort to assist those in need.

A portion of proceeds following our closure today will benefit The Las Vegas operations of United Blood Services, a Blood Systems blood center, which provided blood and blood products to area hospitals treating victims of the Oct. 1 concert shooting. United Blood Services continues to assess the needs and stands ready to support hospitals with ongoing blood product needs. To schedule a blood donation appointment, please visit www.bloodhero.com.

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