Own a bump stock? You have 90 days to turn them all in, or face jail time for owning a “machine gun.”
The Trump Administration, at the behest of organizations like the National Rifle Association and Everytown for Gun Safety, have implemented the long awaited rule banning the firearm accessories.
As Big League Politics reported back in February, President Donald Trump’s call for banning bump stocks comes on the heel of the NRA supporting a ban on the accessory after the Las Vegas shooting.
This move was surprising to most Second Amendment-supporting Trump supporters. But in reality, it shouldn’t have been. The National Rifle Association (NRA), who spent over $30 million supporting Trump’s run for President, has a long record of supporting gun control, especially in the past year.
Immediately following last years Las Vegas shooting that left 58 people dead, the NRA called for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) to look into bump stocks, and review whether they comply with Federal law. In the statement, the NRA also expressed their support for additional regulations on bump stocks, falling short of declaring their support for a full ban.
So the news from today shouldn’t be overly surprising to anybody.
For gun rights supporters, it is an act of betrayal from a President who ran claiming he would be the most pro-gun President in modern history.
The ban itself goes farther than many were expecting it to.
In order to ban “bump stocks,” it changes their entire classification from being a simple gun accessory, with no real special classification, to being a machine gun, therefore being highly illegal to possess.
Those who currently own a bump stock, which the Department of Justice believes to be tens of thousands of individuals, will have ninety days to turn them in to the ATF or destroy them.
“People who posses them will be required to destroy them, or they may turn them in to ATF [within] 90 days,” the order says.
BREAKING — Justice Department is issuing its final rule today that bans bump stocks, according to DOJ official, who tells reporters there are 10s of thousands in US.
"People who posses them will be required to destroy them, or they may turn them in to ATF [within] 90 days.” pic.twitter.com/jIfbf74TWi
— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) December 18, 2018
It is this portion that is causing the NRA to back away from the ban they were the ones championing.
They wanted to have a sort of “grandfathering” process for those who currently own the devices, as stated by the NRA’s Jennifer Baker:
“We are disappointed that this final rule fails to address the thousands of law-abiding Americans who relied on prior ATF determinations when lawfully acquiring these devices. As we recommended to the ATF in our comments on the proposed rule Congress made it possible for the Attorney General to provide amnesty for firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act. The Attorney General should have exercised that authority to provide a period of amnesty under this rule.”
It seems that the NRA is trying to have their cake, and eat it too.
Despite being a major factor in the ban being in effect, they also want to have gun owners look at them as defenders of the Second Amendment. But they can’t have it both ways.
But not all organizations professing to support the Second Amendment were supporting the ban. Both the National Association for Gun Rights, and Gun Owners of America have been fighting it since day one.
In Republican-Controlled Wyoming, A Gun Rights Group is Now being Forced to Reveal its Donors
Violation of privacy.
The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office is cracking down on a pro-Second Amendment organization by forcing it to reveal its donors. This move was spurred by a campaign that Wyoming Gun Owners launched last summer in which it attacked a number of incumbent elected officials in races across the state.
In a letter that the office published on October 14, 2020 Wyoming Gun Owners allegedly did follow the state’s campaign finance law.
The organization pulled off a number victories by unseating incumbent lawmakers last summer and has released advertisement targeting various candidates in the elections on November 3, which includes Riverton Republican Ember Oakley and Democrat Britney Wallesch.
The pro-Second Amendment organization has been around Wyoming politics for some time and publicly disclosed that it is paying for advertisements. However, its lack of registry with the state as either a lobbying organization or a political action committee runs afoul of state guidelines.
“The Secretary of State’s Office has reviewed the advertisements paid for by WYGO and determined that they are clearly electioneering communications,” the letter stated. “As such, WYGO failed to comply with the requirements set forth in Wyo. Stat. § 22-25-106(h).”
It wasn’t until a few months ago that the group’s activities have not been reported within the state government. The Wyoming government cannot initiate the investigation on electioneering activity allegations unless someone files a formal complaint.
An initial complaint was first reported by the Riverton Ranger newspaper earlier this month. It did not gather any further steam because it was lacking in evidence to support the allegations. Subsequently, a second complaint with proper documentation was filed with the state not too long after, which prompted the Secretary of State to take action.
Wyoming Gun Owners now has until November 4 to disclose the names of its donors or be slapped with a $500 fine.
If the group refuses to follow the state’s order, the case will then be kicked to the Wyoming Attorney General, according to secretary of state spokesperson Monique Meese.
“Then we take their advice about what to do going forward,” she stated.
State Senator Anthony Bouchard founded Wyoming Gun Owners almost a decade ago. Nowadays, it is run by various members of the Dorr Family, who operate a network of pro-gun organizations pushing for pro-Second Amendment policies.
Aaron Dorr, Wyoming Gun Owners’ executive director, has had public disputes with elected officials such as Senate Vice President Ogden Driskill, who has repeatedly criticized the organization’s tactics during the 2020 election cycle.
The pro-gun organization bolstered its reputation by killing a firearm reporting bill in 2019 sponsored by former Campbell County Sheriff and current State Representative Bill Pownall. Wyoming Gun Owners ran ads supporting Bill Fortner, Pownall’s opponent. Throughout these ad blasts, Pownall was depicted as anti-gun. Fortner ended up winning in a landslide.
Such a case shows how even Republican governments will go out of their way to prop up incumbents and infringe on the privacy rights of organizations that wish to restore freedoms such as the Second Amendment. Just because politicians have an “R”s beside their name does not guarantee that they will protect individuals’ rights.
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