EDIT 3: Publication date is now scheduled for 12/26/2017. Deadline for submissions would be Thursday, January 25, 2018.
EDIT 2: Document has been reposted. Link is working again.
EDIT: It appears the document has been removed “The Office of the Federal Register withdrew this document after it went on public inspection due to technical errors.” I’ll be keeping my eye for a repost.
Tomorrow, ATF will publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the application of the definition of machinegun to “Bump Fire” stocks and other similar devices. As many have feared, it appears that the regulatory agency is soliciting information to help draft a rule which may potentially lump bump fire stocks, binary triggers, etc., within the definition of machinegun.
Comments are due thirty (30) days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Assuming that nothing goes awry with the publication tomorrow, that would mean any comment you wish to submit in opposition to this advance notice would need to be submitted by
11:59 PM on Sunday, January 21, 2018 11:59 PM on Thursday, January 25, 2018. While one might expect an extra day to be provided to place the deadline on a Monday, agency rules govern. ATF confirmed via telephone that the deadline was Sunday.
ATF is specifically seeking feedback from consumers regarding the following:
- In your experience, where have you seen these devices for sale and which of these has been the most common outlet from which consumers have purchased these devices (e.g., brick and mortar retail stores; online vendors; gun shows or similar events; or private sales between individuals)?
- Based on your experience or observations, what is (or has been) the price range for these devices?
- For what purposes are the bump stock devices used or advertised?
The ATF has a broad range of questions for manufacturers including:
- For what use or uses have you marketed bump stock devices?
- If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, what would you expect to be the impact on your gross receipts for calendar year 2018?
- If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, what other economic impact would you expect (e.g., storage, unsellable inventory)?
- If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, do you believe that there would be a viable (profitable) law-enforcement and/or military market for these devices? If so, please describe that market and your reasons for believing such a viable market exists.
The ATF asks retailers similar questions.
All comments must:
- reference docket number 2017R-22;
- be legible (I expect most submission will be done electronically); and
- include the commenter’s complete first and last name and full mailing address.
ATF will not consider, or respond to, comments that do not meet these requirements or comments containing profanity. In addition, if ATF cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, ATF may not be able to consider your comment.
If you’re a consumer, I suggest you submit a comment to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking. For helpful hints on how to draft a comment, take a look at the information in the article I wrote for Recoil Web, although some of that information would be more applicable for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
If you represent a manufacturer or a retailer and want to inquire about obtaining services for the drafting of a comment, please contact the office as soon as possible to ensure sufficient time to draft a comment.