‘Machine gun loophole’ new WA anti-gun term; CBS to tackle CCW reciprocity

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, a gun control proponent, used a new term for bump stocks: The are now a “machine gun loophole.” (Screen capture, TVW)

Anti-gunners in Washington State supporting a ban on so-called “bump stock” devices used a new term soon to be heard across the national landscape – “machine gun loophole” – during a legislative hearing Friday morning while there appears to be overwhelming opposition at the national and state level to such a ban.

This effort comes as gun owners are demanding action on another gun-related subject, national Concealed Carry Reciprocity. CBS’ “60 Minutes” will air a segment on the controversy this Sunday evening.

The “loophole” term was used Friday morning during a hearing on the proposed Evergreen State ban by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, a self-described gun owner and acknowledged founding member of “Prosecutors Against Gun Violence.” Later testimony from gun rights activist Mike Carpenter took the term to task, noting that by branding bump stocks a loophole, the devices are “wrongly conflated with machine guns.”

Carpenter noted that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is currently re-evaluating the devices, which the agency approved under the Obama administration.

By no small coincidence, The Trace reported earlier this week that 85 percent of people who offered comments to the ATF on bump stocks are opposed to banning them.

“In the week following the Las Vegas massacre on October 1, polls showed that nearly 75 percent of registered voters in gun-owning households supported a ban on bump stocks. Yet despite the public sentiment, an analysis by The Trace of comments submitted in response to a government proposal to regulate bump stocks shows that 85 percent of commenters opposed the measure.”—The Trace

The publication noted that more than 36,000 public comments were received by ATF in its review process, of which more than 32,000 were analyzed by The Trace. The publication reported that the comments “overwhelmingly opposed regulating bump stocks.”

Gun control is a lightning rod topic, and last week the Seattle Channel aired a 30-minute program that covered bump stocks and other proposals, most of which did not survive a legislative “cut off” deadline for action this week. An unscientific poll conducted after the program aired showed overwhelming opposition to any new gun control efforts in the Evergreen State with only 52 people supporting new gun laws and a whopping 2,891 opposed, at last count.

Meanwhile, the “60 Minutes” segment will feature interviews with Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, along with anti-gun Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill. Also appearing, according to a CBS promotional announcement, will be Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC), who sponsored the legislation (H.R. 38), and Robyn Thomas of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Opponents, including Vance, have argued that reciprocity will force states with restrictive gun laws to be subject to less restrictive laws of other states, but a quick read of the legislation shows otherwise:

“(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that—

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“(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

“(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.”

National CCW reciprocity is supported by major Second Amendment organizations. The most recent estimate on the number of citizens licensed to carry was over 16.3 million.

Some gun owners are already expressing skepticism on social media about whether the CBS segment will present the reciprocity debate fairly. Readers will have to tune in Sunday evening and make up their own minds.