Watch out, local gun nuts. President Donald Trump is coming for your guns.
Last December, President Trump issued an executive order banning bump stocks (pdf), devices that use the recoil energy generated from each shot of a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firearms’ rate of fire. The new rule amended the definition of “machine gun” to include bump stocks.
The ban went into effect three days ago, on March 26, 2019, exactly 90 days after it was published in the Federal Register.
On March 28, 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court refused an effort by gun nuts to block the ban, so Trump’s new rule is currently in full force, making anyone who owns a bump stock a felon.
On October 1, 2017, a gunman used AR-15s outfitted with bump stocks to massacre 58 people attending an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, firing the devices from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel that overlooked the concert venue. Trump’s new law banning bump stocks mentions the Las Vegas massacre 29 times. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.
What must western slope gun owners do now?
Under Trump’s executive order, owners of bump stocks MUST divest themselves of the devices as of March 26, 2019 or face a felony charge.
You can destroy them yourself or surrender them to the nearest U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) office. The ATF has instructions on its website on how to destroy the devices. Gun owners will receive no compensation for the devices. Estimates are the loss of property will total around $100 million.
Own a bump stock? You’re a felon.
No one’s device is grandfathered in. Either you turn in or destroy your bump stock(s) or face felony charges if you are caught using or possessing them. If you keep one in your closet or your basement, you will be subject to charges.
If you want to turn your bump stocks in to the government, Grand Junction’s nearest ATF field office is:
Denver Field Division (197.8 miles)
950 17th Street, Suite 1800
Last year, when asked about the possibility that President Trump would go farther and support a broader ban on assault weapons, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House has not “closed the door on any front.”