Coming “machinegun” to any device that allows

Coming about in response to a proposal by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to redefine “machinegun,” are a slew of questions as to the legitimacy of such a rulemaking and the consequences it entails. The redefinition would classify bump stock-type devices and “rate increasing devices” as machineguns. “Machinegun,” as found in the National Firearms Act, is defined as “. . . any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” (Cornell Law School, 26 U.S. Code § 5845 (b)). ATF has previously ruled that bump fire devices (specifically those submitted by Slide Fire in 2010) are legal and do not classify as machineguns under the NFA and Gun Control Act. Prompted by the Las Vegas shooting and consequent public outcry, ATF has made public its intentions to reconsider its 2010 ruling. By doing this, ATF would claim that bump fire stocks do classify as “machineguns,” which contradicts the current definition of the term, as bump stocks do not allow any firearm to fire more than one round by a single function of the trigger. As allegedly acknowledged by ATF, it would be necessary to extend the scope of “machinegun” to any device that allows for an increased rate of fire. These devices, coined “rate increasing devices,” are difficult to define. This could entail bans on a wide range of devices that have an effect on the cyclic rate of a semi-automatic firearm. ATF’s legislative power, which is detailed in the United States Code, does not appear to extend to an act of this nature. The Bureau’s power is based on preexisting Statutory Law, and does not include the authority to add, remove, or alter any laws or regulations. The inclusion of bump stock-type devices in the definition of ‘machinegun’ would be illegitimate and impractical due to its inaccuracies and vague nature. This rulemaking is a blatant violation of constitutional rights and disregards the narrow legislative powers the Bureau possesses.