[BREAKING] BATFE: Bumpfire Rulemaking Proposal – Machinegun?

    Bumpfire Rulemaking

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. According to the Federal Register, the BATFE has submitted a bump fire rulemaking proposal to research whether or not these and similar type devices should be classified as machineguns. The official posting date is December 26th and the comment period is open for 33 days.

     

    Bumpfire Rulemaking Proposal

    The Department of Justice anticipates issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would interpret the statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 and Gun Control Act of 1968 to clarify whether certain devices, commonly known as “bump fire” stocks, fall within that definition. Before doing so, the Department and ATF need to gather information and comments from the public and industry regarding the nature and scope of the market for these devices.


    Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before January 25, 2018. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after Midnight Eastern Standard Time on the last day of the comment period.


    Manufacturers

    Are you, or have you been, involved in the manufacturing of bump stock devices? If so:

    1. In what part(s) of the manufacturing process, are/were you involved?

    2. In what calendar years are/were you involved in the manufacturing process?

    3. What is the wholesale price of the bump stock devices produced by the manufacturing process with which you are involved?

    4. In each calendar year in which you have operated, how many bump stock devices were produced by the manufacturing process with which you are/were involved? Of this number, how many devices were sold to (a) retailers/resellers, and (b) directly to consumers?

    5. What were your approximate gross receipts for the sale of these bump stock devices in each calendar year (from 2014—present)?

    6. For what use or uses have you marketed bump stock devices?

    7. If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, what would you expect to be the impact on your gross receipts for calendar year 2018?

    8. If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, what other economic impact would you expect (e.g., storage, unsellable inventory)?

    9. What costs do you expect to be associated with the disposition of existing bump stock device inventory?

    10. If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, do you believe that there would be a viable (profitable) law-enforcement and/or military market for these devices? If so, please describe that market and your reasons for believing such a viable market exists.

    Retailers

    Are you, or have you been, involved in the retail sale of bump stock devices? If so:

    11. In what calendar years are/were you involved?

    12. In each calendar year, how many bump stock devices did you sell?

    13. In each calendar year, what was the average retail price of the bump stock devices you sold?Start Printed Page 60931

    14. In each calendar year (from 2014—present) what were your approximate gross receipts derived from the retail sale of bump stock devices?

    15. For what use or uses have you marketed bump stock devices?

    16. In the 2018 calendar year, how many bump stock devices do you anticipate you will sell, assuming that such devices remain classified by ATF as an unregulated firearm part? What do you expect will be the average price at which those bump stock devices will be sold?

    17. If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, what would you expect to be the impact on your costs/expenses, gross receipts for calendar year 2018?

    18. If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, what other economic impact would you expect (e.g., storage, unsellable inventory)?

    19. What costs do you expect to be associated with the disposition of existing bump stock device inventory?

    20. If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, do you believe that there would be a viable (profitable) law-enforcement and/or military market for these devices? If so, please describe that market and your reasons for believing such a viable market exists.

    Consumers

    21. In your experience, where have you seen these devices for sale and which of these has been the most common outlet from which consumers have purchased these devices (e.g., brick and mortar retail stores; online vendors; gun shows or similar events; or private sales between individuals)?

    22. Based on your experience or observations, what is (or has been) the price range for these devices?

    23. For what purposes are the bump stock devices used or advertised?

    Per 26 U.S. Code § 5845, section (b):

    The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

    Independent of where you stand politically, the comments that the BATFE is requesting appear to be related to impact on commerce logistics, rather than the actual utilization of the “bump fire” components (though there are a couple of questions around usage).

    From a technological standpoint, what do you think—do “bump fire” meet the current definition of a machinegun? For those of you that have had the opportunity to fire a legitimate machinegun vs a semi-auto outfitted with a bump fire stock what is your opinion?

    And ultimately, how does this impact public safety, if at all? If bump fire stocks were that effective, wouldn’t they be a cheaper, and more viable, alternative for military use, and already in use, rather than say an M249 SAW?

    if you decide to comment, please do so in a professional, logical manner. Inappropriate comments get trashed without being reviewed.

    Thanks to Blaine N. For the email tip.

    Pete

    Editor In Chief- TFB
    LE – Silencers – Science
    [email protected]


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