The Legality of Selling Your SlideFire/BumpFire Stock According to Gunbroker & the PLCAA

PLCAA

When Gunbroker changed their stance on whether or not to allow the sale of SlideFire, BumpFire and similarly related stocks this weekend, it caught many people by surprise. They sent out an e-mail detailing this new position. If you have not read our previous article covering this surprising move, here is the exact message Gunbroker sent out:

Dear Gunbroker User,

As the public face of internet gun sales, GunBroker.com works closely with the NRA, NSSF, and other industry organizations on matters of public policy. Initial reaction from the industry was that support of bump stocks was PR disaster. However, the industry and NRA have softened their stance and asked regulators and Congress to make a decision as to whether or not these items are legal. As a result we have changed our position to allow the items to be sold as long as they are sold in full compliance with state and local laws.

As a seller you should be aware that bump stocks / slide stocks are not firearms and are almost certainly not protected by the Protection in Lawful Commerce of Arms Act (PLCAA). This means that if you choose to sell these items and get sued over their use or misuse, you will not have the PLCAA to protect you.

Be aware that bump stocks / slide stocks may not be legal in every state and we have not been able to fully assess what jurisdictions in which they may be outlawed. It would be wise to research the local in state laws into which you intend to ship these items to avoid entering into an illegal transaction.

Thank you,
The Management of GunBroker.com

As you can see, they are trying to stay in stride with the stance that the NRA (National Rifle Association) and NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) have taken on the issue of SlideFire and BumpFire stocks.

What is quite possibly more surprising than Gunbroker’s flip-flop on this issue is the fact that they mildly solicited legal advice to all of their users; uncharacteristic of them.

Well, it just so happens that we have a lawyer within our ranks of writers here at TFB. Our very own James Reeves is a full-time attorney during the day, and a vigilante YouTube star for TFBTV and writer for TFB at night. In spite of Gunbroker’s pessimistic viewpoint of the protections available to bumpstocks, James Reeves notes:

The PLCAA protects ‘manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations’ for liability arising from the unlawful misuse of ‘firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.’  So, contrary to Gunbroker’s opinion, while the PLCAA may protect bumpfire stocks, private sellers might be more concerned about falling within the protected class of ‘manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers’ than whether or not the PLCAA protects the stock itself.

I personally am not a full-time attorney (or a make believe one) so I had to read James’ statement a couple times, but he makes a phenomenal point. The stocks, themselves, should be protected under the PLCAA, but you… Mr. Gun Loving, Reseller… are not protected. That is, unless you think you can categorize yourself as a “manufacturer, distributor, dealer or importer.” To flatly answer that question, unless if you are peddling bumpstocks by the pallet full, in the eyes of the PLCAA, you will not be protected.

So with all of that in mind…

Who is still wanting to buy a SlideFire or BumpFire stock?…

Who is still wanting to sell the one they own?…

If you are selling, do you think you will be safe if the next guy or gal does unsafe or unintelligent practices with your stock?…

 





The outdoors, fitness and anything related to firearms are my passions. I am a S&W Armorer, Glock Armorer, reloader and am coping with an addiction to classic S&W and Colt revolvers (by buying more revolvers). I’ve been a guest writer for Sierra Bullets and love long walks to the gun range.


Advertisement

  • SPQR9

    As Reeves says, it is an extraordinarily stupid statement by Gunbroker.

    • DangerousClown

      Does that surprise you?

      • SPQR9

        Like the sunrise

    • derpmaster

      It’s like they had Danny the intern write this press release. Total incompetence on GunBroker’s part.

      I blame the “gun community” on the whole, however. I swear I’ve never been involved in a sport/hobby where the paranoia level was so high and the average IQ and capacity for logical thought was so low. People freak out like the sky is falling and break into their rainy day Cheeto funds anytime something happens to panic buy.

      • Mystick

        It’s a learned pattern behavior. Something bad happens, and suddenly we have new regulations such as NFA, GCA, FOPA. In modern times, every time some event is widely reported on in the media, we see renewed pushes for further regulation. So it is not beyond reason to react in such a way as to anticipate further restrictions in the event of a large-scale attack.

  • Bill

    if it isn’t illegal, it’s legal.

    • Mike Perry

      The article agrees with you on that point.

      What they are really trying to warn you about in that if, as a private citizen, you sell a bump fire / slide fire stock that you already own to another person and that person then commits a criminal act with the weapon that they affixed the stock to you could be facing a financial liability if the victims, or the next of kin of the victims, chose to file a civil law suit against you. They are saying that because you, as a private citizen, are neither a retail business nor the original manufacturer you MIGHT not be covered by the provisions of the PLCAA in the way that the manufacture or the owner of the store that originally sold it to you would be.

      • PaveHammer

        How is that any different than selling the firearm itself? This is a bit fear-mongering for my tastes. You’ve never been protected by the PLCAA before, be it for firearms, magazines, ammunition, night vision devices or otherwise, and no one seemed to mind. Why is this worth mentioning this time around?

        • Aero PA

          DITTO!

        • Landru

          I got that this is more of an FYI then fear mongering.

          Selling a slide fire or bump fire stock “may” open you to lawsuits

          if the buyer uses the weapon equipped with the item you sold the person so you should do your research of laws in your state/city before & know what might happen to you “if.”

          • Mikial

            Correct. The same is true if someone buys a standard capacity magazine, then travels into a Nazi state that bans them and uses it in a shooting incident.

        • Flounder

          Fear, GB doesn’t want to deal with this sh** so they ban it then go OH CRAP WRONG MOVE and unban it with a notice strongly discouraging people from selling.

        • Mikial

          Exactly. This is a non-issue, or at least nothing new.

      • Bill

        Frivolous lawsuits get filed all the time. This would be like worrying that the guy you sold a car to might get drunk and kill somebody in a crash, and their next of kin suing you for selling him the car.

    • Hey @williamdeweese:disqus, like @disqus_SkDI5c3Nyo:disqus says, Gunbroker’s (quasi-erroneous) statement isn’t about the legality of bump stocks at all, it’s about whether or not an individual selling one can face civil liability as a consequence. The PLCAA grants civil immunity to certain categories of items sold by certain categories of persons under certain circumstances. This immunity would almost certainly attach only when the item being sold is “legal”, anyways, so if the bump stock was made illegal, then PLCAA most likely goes out the window altogether.

    • Corey R. Wardrop

      Your answer is correct in criminal law.

      I don’t believe your answer is correct in civil law.

  • Edeco

    Cute graphic

  • Cymond

    I’m going to sell mine, but the website was down earlier. Call me a scalper if you want, but I’m merely offering something for sale. The bidders will decide what is a fair price.

    • mrsatyre

      Nah, it’s only scalping or gouging when you’re selling a necessity, like food, water or shelter.

      • Gary Kirk

        Or government (read, taxpayer funded) supplied MREs sold at the nearest gun shows after a natural disaster. For a premium..

    • Michael Gallagher

      Get your money while you can.

      If nothing happens, you can bet that we will be flooded with Chinese knockoffs in one big hurry. They see the $$$$$s flowing now. It may take another election but they are now a focus item with the leftists.

      If I am right, you will be able to purchase a case of replacements with what you will get for yours.

      • Timmah_timmah

        I say bring them on. They were stupid overpriced to begin with.

  • Ark

    Bump fire was garbage last week and it remains garbage today.

    It’s a plastic stock. It’s not a firearm, it’s just a thing. No judge in his right mind would entertain a lawsuit against someone for selling a mass shooter an unregulated plastic thing.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      You assume every judge is in his right mind. Look at court district 9.

      • Mikial

        Look at the frivolous lawsuit the Brady bunch conned the Sandy Hook parents into filing. Not only did they lose, but the people they conned were ordered to pay all the legal fees.

  • DESTRO YAKISOBA

    Writes scary language, still profits from every transaction.

  • glenn cheney

    Lmao, by the time LaPiere and the NRA are finished, they’ll have ATF move them to NFA status, drive the price from 300 to 3000, then EVERYBODY will be happy.
    ATF gets more to regulate and drive revenue, those holding will be happy, those that sold will be happy.
    They’ll be off the street, seen only at exclusive showings. Welcome the new status symbol.
    Me? I’ll dump that truckload sale I grabbed at the next gun show. Back up da truck, Chuck.

    • Cymond

      If they become NFA, they probably won’t be grandfathered in to the registry. ATF straight up reclassified and confiscated the Akins Accelerators, which were the spring-loaded predecessor to today’s bump stocks.

      • glenn cheney

        You mean to say, if La Piere’s NRA is successful in having ATF reJIGGER their ruling on what is, what ain’t, then Wayne will have unleashed the hounds upon gun owners, and safe queens nationwide.
        Wow, NRA Sr. Senator from? House of Who?
        So now the fork in the road. NRA wants them regulated/reclassified, if you are correct, ATF be busy soon. NRA just wants “it” to go away, interferes with their fund raising. Wayne has our backs.
        THANK YOU WAYNE, THANK YOU NRA, THANK YOU ATF.
        BTW, my truckload has been heisted, now on the loose, anyone seeing fleeing plastic please call Wayne, they are manning the phone banks to gather intel on bump sightings.
        What we need is a new nra association, one to represent Patriots in deed, not P.C. B.S. If their membership flipped to a new outfit, CHIT WOULD GET NRA MINDS RIGHT. Time to send the money to someone else.

      • int19h

        For those things, did they previously issue a letter saying that it was not an NFA-item?

        After it was reclassified, did anyone sue them for violation of the constitutional clause that prohibits taking property without compensation?

        • Cymond

          ATF claimed that the Akins sample was non-functional, and different. They actually allowed people to keep most of the stock, but remove and surrender the spring that pushed the action forward, effectively rendering the stocks useless. I have no idea if anyone sued.
          Certainly, that does raise a significant issue.

          • int19h

            I see. So there’s no clear precedent for this.

            Ironically, if it’s ATF that ultimately applies a regulatory “fix” (i.e. “we changed our minds”), as NRA and Congress Republicans are currently pushing to avoid touching the issue, it seems like straight-up confiscation would be more likely, since ATF has no legal authority to re-open the registry for full auto guns. Nor can they, as an executive agency, set up a compensation scheme, I think. So the only way forward for them would be to demand surrender, and then I guess we’ll have a long and protracted legal fight.

            I wonder if ATF will push back strongly against attempts to pin this on them for this reason alone, and just tell Congress that, no, if they want it to happen, they’ll have to pass a bill (and risk the wrath of their base) – or do nothing, and own the political outcome of that.

            Now, if Congress does find the balls to deal with this, I think the most likely outcome is that any existing stocks will be grandfathered one way or another. If they reclassify them as NFA, they might re-open the registry just for them. If it’s a separate ban distinct from NFA, then probably it’ll be a lot like state-level AWB bans, where you can continue to own it, but can’t transfer it.

            Another possibility is a mandatory buyback, but they’d have to appropriate money for it then, which is always extra headache; they’ll probably want to grandfather instead, just because it’s easier.

  • gunsandrockets

    Yikes, shines a whole new legal light on potential hazards of private transfers of firearms and ammunition. Thanks for the advice, James.

    But would the forces behind the old anti-gun lawsuits, who prompted passage of the PLCAA in reaction, have the gall to pursue mr average john smith? At least that would be a more honest representation of their real targets than the bogeyman “gun industry”.

  • John

    Just a fear mongering article! How about surefire magazines? By this extension they can be misused and resellers held liable. Or triggers, scopes etc.

    • Timmah_timmah

      Don’t give the grabbers ideas. Oh… wait… Feinsteins proposed bill is so loosely worded that it could impact aftermarket triggers. No, don’t mean binary.

  • Timmah_timmah

    I was actually planning of a “BumpSAW” style build for giggles months ago. Even considered using 6.5 Grendel for the hell of it… and bc cheap Wolf. But the current prices are INSANE. Oh well. I’ll probably have as much or more fun with a good trigger.

  • B-Sabre

    “…they mildly solicited legal advice to all of their users…”

    You can’t solicit to somebody, only from somebody.

    Solicit – verb; ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone

  • spencer60

    No different than selling a firearm on GB, or anything else.

    The main reason not to sell your SF on GB is that there are 141 pages (last I checked) of people trying to do just the same thing. And they all seem to think their $99 bump-stock is somehow now worth $500…. because the ATF is about to outlaw them.

  • Mystick

    “Dealer” doesn’t necessarily imply bulk sales. Many firearms “dealers” practice low or singular-inventory sales. In fact, the proper term for an entity that deals in bulk sales, including “retail” is a “distributor”.

    That being said, as with many pieces of legislation today, it is poorly worded and vague while at the same time being too specific.

  • Shim Snee

    I bet they won’t even find out where the Las Vegas shooter obtained his slide fire stocks. Not that it matters. I don’t believe they are serialized in any way. They are just a piece of plastic.

  • uisconfruzed

    Looks like I’ll need to sell for cash at a gun show.

  • Diver6106

    The actual item … is a PIECE OF PLASTIC… It must be fitted to a rifle for application. If they make it a class III item, there will be a an underground production of plastic copies. And it is not a lot of difference from the crank and lever fire mechanisms for rapid fire. I guess it was ok for the NRA to toss a bone to the liberals, but they didn’t call for making it illegal – just a REVIEW of the law. I hope after ATF review, it remains legal and up to Congress to write a law – if they so desire.

  • ROBARTIST

    Gunbroker is a POS company and barely a business. How many consumer complaints are against them? Its in the thousands. Thier customer service is practically nil and now they are trying to police a non-law?!?. Should I bring in a lawyer when I sell a hammer or a car? F all these moron little bchs. I fear for this country as a whole…….