Nobody Obeyed the Bump Stock Ban

The ATF Should "Brace" Itself For More Civil Disobedience

Bump Stock Ban outlawed device pictured that simulated cyclic fire rates in semi-auto firearms
Photo Credit: Reuters/George Frey

Bump stock ban? Wasn’t that a million years ago? We know it can be difficult to remember a time before 2020, but we assure you it was there. Look back with us through the mists of history to 2013, a time beyond imagination, with Joe Biden in the White House. A time when Democrats in the executive and legislative branches were fervently calling for a new Federal AWB, state-level background check laws were all the rage, and two Colorado state senators got tossed out in recall elections as a result. Ok so maybe it’s not actually all that different, but one thing that stands out, (and links back to the topic in the headline, we promise) is the passage of the SAFE Act in NY, and CT’s copycat bill.

Requiring registration of “assault weapons”, which especially in NY’s case included damn near anything designed after 1890, was to be the end of gun violence in New York. Certainly once everyone who legally owned a weapon that fell under this law was on a list maintained by the police, violence and hate itself would evaporate from the souls of all New Yorkers. Well, fortunately we’ll never know if that’s how it works because essentially nobody obeyed. Per Hudson Valley 1, 3 years after the passage of NY’s SAFE act less than 5% of the estimated 1,000,000 people who were supposed to be registering their newly minted Assault Weapons actually did so. CT had similar results, with both landing squarely in the ~95% civil disobedience zone. This pales in comparison to the rate at which Americans at large ignored the bump stock ban, but give the blue states some credit.

So now, when we see that the ATF’s own report detailing that, and let me bold this for emphasis, less than 0.2% of estimated bump stock owners obeyed Trump’s unconstitutional bump stock ban, are we meant to be surprised? Given that NY and CT both have 50% or more of registered voters listing their party affiliation as Democrat, how are we meant to imagine that something like a federal AWB would actually go over? 1/3 adults in CT consider themselves Republicans, and the gun laws enacted there were ignored despite being LESS draconian than the ones being proposed for the entire country. I realize this isn’t a humor column, but take a moment to imagine how deep red states like AL, TX, MS, GA, OK, FL, SC, MT, ND/SD, etc would react to this given the massive failure in powder blue New England. How is the near universal noncompliance with the bump stock ban not instructive to antigun lawmakers?

Lastly, with the recent overturning of the bump stock ban that nobody obeyed, the SCOTUS Bruen decision -and all of the evolving downstream state and federal court impacts thereof- and the general annihilation of anti-gun momentum that has accompanied that, is anyone taking the pistol brace ruling seriously? Looking at the record of such things, the answer is almost certainly “no”, but if you try to run a Form 4 in spring, let us know what the wait time is.

Lars Smith
Lars is one of Gat's Wordmancers, having come to the company after years of experience in biology, agriculture, management, marketing, and writing. He found the gun community through prepping, and after realizing where he was on the Dunning-Kruger scale, jumped into the self-defense community with both feet. Since then, the 80 hours of professional firearms instruction he's taken has only made him hungry for more.