Montana Politics

More bump stocks, please, say GOP leadership, Gary Marbut and the NRA

Damn, you can’t buy a bump stock anywhere. At least for the time being. It isn’t because legislation has been passed banning the devise that turns a semiautomatic weapon into a gun capable of firing 400-800 rounds a minute. It’s that demand has outstripped supply.

From Atlantic Firearms in Bishopville, Maryland:

We are sold out at this time & do expect more. Please enter your Email & we will notify you.

And from a manufacturer (Bump Fire Systems, Moran, Texas):

Due to extremely high demands, we have temporarily stopped taking orders to better ensure customer service. (Emphasis mine.)

It has been over three weeks since Stephan Paddock killed 58 and wounded 500 in Las Vegas. Legislation was introduced in Congress to ban the manufacture, sale and use of bump stocks, twelve of which were found in the gunman’s hotel room. No votes yet on the bill, according to The Hill:

… it’s unclear whether GOP leaders in the House and Senate will want to move the bipartisan bill forward, despite growing support among Republicans for banning bump stocks. Some GOP lawmakers have asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives to consider using regulatory routes to ensure that bump stocks and similar devices are banned.*

Republican leadership is passing the buck. After all, there are millions of dollars in NRA campaign contributions at stake. Missoula’s own Gary Marbut, head of the Montana Shooting Sports Association,  weighed in on the debate.

The issue here is yet another assault on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  The people control crowd see banning these devices as low-hanging political fruit in the emotionally charged aftermath of Las Vegas.  They have zero intent to limit their ratcheting away of the RKBA with just banning bump fire stocks.  That’s just what they think they can get away with right now … The bills to accomplish (additional restrictions) are already written, just waiting for an inflammatory incident to launch them.

An inflammatory incident? That’s one way to describe the massacre in Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Umpqua, And Charleston. And Aurora, And Sandy Hook. And …

Marbut, like the NRA, uses the “slippery slope” argument to keep these instruments of mass destruction available to madmen. Again, Marbut:

In the broader context, a ban on bump fire stocks is just another attack on individual liberty.  Why does anyone “need” a car that will go faster than 65 MPH.  Why does anyone “need” to be able to send uncensored emails or make uncensored Online posts?  Why does anyone really “need” the privacy of their persons, papers, or homes, if they’re not criminals?  Why does anyone “need” to own his or her own property or live outside an urban apartment?  This list is endless too, and all or these are on the chopping block designed by those who want us all subservient to a tyrannous government.

You betcha. Ban bump stocks and the next thing you know, the “tyrannous government” will be taking away your property and forcing you to live in crappy urban apartments. Marbut closes with this:

Contact all three of Montana’s congressional delegation today, Senator Tester, Senator Daines, and Congressman Gianforte.  Tell them NO inroads on the RKBA, zero, none.  Tell them we are all watching closely.

On this, Marbut and I are in full agreement: contact the Montana congressional delegation today. My message will be a tad different, though. Any candidate who doesn’t support a ban on bump stocks or still accepts NRA money after the Las Vegas massacre will lose my vote. As a matter of fact, I’ll do my best to see that candidate is defeated. And I, too, will be watching closely.


*The ATE does not have the regulatory authority to ban bump stocks.

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  • I wonder how many more Charles Whitman would have killed during his infamous 96 minutes if he could have used a AR-15 with a bump stock instead of his old WWII semi-auto M1 Carbine and bolt action hunting rifles? Of course Whitman he could have used the more deadly M-16 (today’s civilian AR-15) in 1966 if they had not been heavily regulated at the time due to the 1934 National Firearms Act which made it very difficult for civilians to obtain military grade weapons. Stuck with using the less accurate M1 (with only a 300 yard range) and bolt-action hunting rifles Whitman was able to murder far less (15 dead, 31 injured) in 96 minutes than Stephen Paddock did (58 dead, <489 injured ) in his 10 minutes.

    BTW, Hey Marbutt and the NRA just so you know – if you make it easy and legal for murderers to obtain military grade weapons then murderers will have military grade weapons and will murder large numbers of people. AND if you think regulations and laws don't work just ask yourself why so few people in the U.S. are being murdered by R.P.G's….or hand grenades.

  • ATF does not make law. It writes regulations to implement the laws that Congress passes. In this case, ATF concluded that the law did not give ATF the authority to prohibit bump stocks and similar devices. Congress needs to change the law so that such devices are illegal.

  • More on this:

    Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, suggested Wednesday that House Republicans would prefer that the executive branch overturn the regulation that has allowed bump stocks rather than a legislative fix. He said it would be the “smartest, quickest fix,” adding, “We are still trying to assess why the ATF let this go through in the first place…Yes, it makes sense that this is a regulation that probably shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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