The National Rifle Association (NRA) released a statement on October 5 calling on Congress to allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) re-evaluate bump stocks while Congress gets on with the work people have been waiting for since January 3: national reciprocity.
In other words, the NRA is calling on members of Congress to squash talk of more gun control by moving the bump stock discussion back where it began in 2010: with the ATF.
The NRA statement begins:
In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world. In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. 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.
The NRA goes on to state that the organization believes “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
Notably, in 2010–when bump stocks were approved–the ATF saw no need for additional regulations. Moreover, Rick Vasquez, former acting chief of the Firearms Technology Branch of the ATF, told USA Today that bump stocks were legalized because they are “an accessory, not a conversion device.” And the distinction between “accessory” and “conversion devices” could not be more important; it is the difference between allowing a semiautomatic to mimic automatic fire in short bursts verses actually converting a semiautomatic into an automatic rifle.
So the NRA is asking Congress to end the gun control talk arising from the bump stock by sending it to the ATF, away from Congress’s purview. They say this with hopes that Congress will then become serious about passing concealed carry reciprocity.
The NRA’s statement concludes:
In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans’ Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities. To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence.