The slow motion banning of bump stocks is finally upon us. While many gun owners had hoped that the Justice Department would slow down or forget about President Trump’s order to ban bump stocks, the lawyers at DOJ obediently twisted their logic into pretzels in order to ban the devices. The final rule, signed by the Acting Attorney General, will take effect 90 days after its publication in the Federal Register, barring any legal challenges.
Suits against the ban have been brought by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and Gun Owners of America (GOA). Additional groups have joined both of those suits. There’s a good likelihood that a court might order an injunction to keep the ban from going into effect while those two suits make their way through the court system.
The ban is the first major gun control legislation to be passed during President Trump’s tenure. It’s a huge blow for gun owners, who had been able to successfully ward off gun control measures throughout President Obama’s two terms as President. President Trump, who was believed by many gun owners to be a firm defender of the Second Amendment, has now thrown gun owners under the bus. Not even President Obama stooped so low as to use an executive order and the rulemaking process to enact gun control measures.
The last Republican President to do something like this was George H.W. Bush, who issued an executive order banning importation of semiautomatic firearms only months after taking office in 1989. As we all know, he only lasted one term. Will Trump’s cowardly actions cost him similarly?
Trump may have thought he was being smart, egged on as he was by the NRA, which advocated for a bump stock ban. But most shooting enthusiasts and many NRA members bemoan the organization’s tone deaf approach to gun rights, as the organization frequently is behind the times in understanding the issues that are important to its members.
Whether this is a bungled attempt at placating gun control proponents on what they thought was a minor issue, or a first step at enacting more gun control, gun owners need to be prepared. The precedent set by this action is atrocious and could set the stage for future bans on all semiautomatic firearms.