The Washington Times reported Monday that the federal government had collected less than 1,000 “bump stock” devices earlier this year prior to the accessory being banned in reaction to the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas two years ago, while possibly hundreds of thousands of them remain in private hands.
The story noted that the Trump administration estimated anywhere from 280,000 to 520,000 bump stocks were in private ownership last December when the final rule on the devices was published.
This could signal real trouble for Democrats now running for president, as every one of them have declared some sort of program that might regulate so-called “assault weapons” to the point of Beto O’Rourke’s now-infamous threat of confiscation. With this kind of resistance to a ban on a shooting accessory, just how much resistance will the government face if an outright ban on semi-auto rifles is announced?
The story said that as of late March, only 582 bump stocks had been “abandoned” to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Of those, 98 were “kept as evidence.”
The ban took effect March 26.
O’Rourke’s remark was so offensive to the Second Amendment community that Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms immediately condemned the candidate, and his colleagues for not speaking up.
“Thanks to O’Rourke,” Gottlieb noted at the time, “Democrats have graduated from being the ‘party of gun control’ to officially being the ‘party of gun confiscation,’ and nobody in the firearms community is going to forget that.”
Gottlieb was quoted by the Washington Times, explaining to the newspaper that gun owners simply did not comply.
“There’s a significant feeling of ‘will not comply’ with gun confiscation-type laws on one hand, and on the other hand quite honestly, most gun owners probably don’t know that you were supposed to turn them in or destroy them and so they’re just keeping them anyway,” he said.
Gottlieb added that he does not know one person who voluntarily turned in a bump stock.
There are an estimated 15 million to 18 million semi-auto sporting rifles in private hands. They are routinely mischaracterized as “weapons of war” but as semiautomatics, they would not likely be deployed by the military anywhere. They would be just as difficult, if not moreso, to collect.
O’Rourke and others have suggested a mandatory buy-back of so-called “assault rifles,” and critics of that scheme have called it “compensated confiscation.”
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