Gun Laws & Legislation

CCW Weekend: What’s The Point Of A Bump Stock Ban?

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Guns and Gear Contributor

By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

The Trump administration has announced a ban on bump stocks, slide-fire stocks and every other permutation of the phrase used to describe the accessory. Some begrudgingly accept it, others decry the move as a betrayal to the voter base to which Trump promised to be an ally.

A cynical person would point out an elected official – Republican or otherwise – going back on his/her campaign promises is nothing new; how or why anyone could get surprised by that at this point boggles the mind. However, we’ll just set that aside for now.

As of the time of this writing you have 90 days to turn in or destroy your bump stock.

Herein lies a sticky wicket. On one hand, nobody is really losing anything of serious value. On the other, that doesn’t mean it’s necessary or proper for them to be taken away.

Bump stocks don’t really do anyone a lick of real good. They’re basically toys, and that’s in the best-case scenario. Bump stocks don’t increase accuracy, especially under rapid fire and the cyclic rate is less than half that of an actual select-fire capable rifle. So it’s a poor simulacrum for an actual machine gun.

In short, there is no useful purpose for one outside of conjectured scenarios that would pretty much only happen in the movies and everyone knows it.

But that isn’t the point.

There’s no real purpose for a lot of gun accessories and furthermore a lot of different firearms that are on the market at the moment. The truth is .223 is a great varmint round, but very few people who own .223 rifles actively varmint hunt. It’s good for personal protection with the right load, but what most people own a black rifle for is punching paper at the range. It’s a lousy hunting round, especially compared with .243, .25-06, any of the other 6mm rounds and certainly the 7mm and .30-caliber families.

Is there any real reason to own a .50 BMG outside of shooting pumpkins from a half-mile away? Not really, no.

But that really isn’t the point, is it? No, many of us own AR-platform rifles because they’re fun to shoot.

Do people need vacation homes or convertibles? Of course not, but does that mean no one should be able to get one if they wish to? At what point does it become necessary, proper or even permissible for government to tell people what they do or don’t need?

Not that there isn’t a place for regulations of some sort, on some things, in the grand scheme of life because frankly, sometimes they work. Annoying as they can be, seat belt regulations have inarguably reduced car crash fatalities. Requiring a license to practice medicine is a good idea. The Pittman-Robertson Act and the permit and season model of hunting has inarguably helped conserve wildlife. Other examples of actually beneficial legislation can certainly be found, of course, and those are just a few examples.

Will there be a clear-cut benefit to banning bump stocks? Probably not. This has the feel of a sacrificial lamb, giving something up to appease gun control advocates despite bump fire stocks not really being a “problem.”

Obviously, there was one instance where a bump stock was used for a horrible crime. It happened, but then again, a person with the right type of deranged mindset is going to figure out how to do something awful.

Most bump stocks get used a few times and then put back into the closet. It usually happens after the owner realized, “Holy-moly, I just burned through $200 worth of ammunition in less than a minute and I have to rebarrel my AR.” Maybe it gets on YouTube video once or twice.

So, instead of any legislation that might actually have something to do with the root causes of violence (poverty, alcohol drug/abuse, cycle of violence, mental illness, social alienation, etc.) they’re banning a range toy that only a few people bought and rarely use.

Maybe there’s some gun-related legislation that might actually do some good without infringing on the rights of the law-abiding, responsible gun owner. It’s sort of like Bigfoot; there’s no concrete evidence that a law like that exists, but there’s a lot of forest out there so it’s not completely impossible.

The bump stock ban is not that law. Instead, the bump-stock ban is token appeasement to the emotions of gun control advocates, but how long will it satiate them?

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.