Another big 2A week. If you hadn’t heard, the Supreme Court decided 6 to 3 that “bump stocks” are not machine guns. For those who might not know what these things are and why it was an important case, let me explain.

Bump stocks are based on a concept of having a gun (usually a rifle) physically move or shift back and forth on its own due to recoil while you keep your trigger finger in one place. The recoil causes the gun to move in such a way that your finger depresses the trigger after every round is fired – until you run out of ammo, you stop the recoil process by moving the rifle out of position or take your finger out of the trigger housing. These stocks have generally been manufactured for the most prevalent rifle platforms in America. If you fire a rifle equipped with a bump stock, you can allegedly shoot at rates of 700 rounds per minute.

That’s interesting, but you’re going to go through ammo in short bursts. 5.56 rounds are routinely found for about 55 cents each. Ammo for a 30-round magazine is about $16.50. I forgot to mention – this is a mechanical device, so it’s a bit iffy to keep the gun firing at these rates. Accuracy because of the moving stock is an issue, plus the muzzle rise from pseudo-sustained shooting. Bottom line – it’s klunky.

Want to see more? Here’s a link:

Commercially, this issue is not a big deal. Out of the purported 20 million AR-style modern sporting rifles in American’s hands, only a half a million bump stocks have been purchased. That’s 2.5% of all of the ARs out there. Personally, as an NRA Instructor I visit a lot of different ranges over the years and have seen exactly ONE bump stock-equipped rifle actually in use. When I saw how klunky it was, I knew I didn’t need one in my collection. However, if you think it’s cool and a fun novelty, then hey, go for it. My only request is to please shoot your rifle in a safe manner.

But wait, there’s more. It seems like everyone wants to opine about bump stocks now, and even creating revisionist history on the subject. New York Governor Hochul made a stunning statement that the Buffalo supermarket shooter used a bump stock. Well Kathy, sounds good to those who don’t know any better, but the evidence is contrary to your comment. To the throngs of Americans who know better, we need to step back and not just throw verbal rocks at these people who are ignorant of the facts. What’s missing is our missionary work of E D U C A T I O N. People can make the dumbest comments (“AR15s are as heavy as two moving boxes”) because they just don’t know right from left. It’s our job to calmly explain what a bump stock is, and why they are not very prevalent in the shooting community. Non-shooting courses like NRA’s Gun Safety Seminar and Home Firearm Safety are two of the most under-rated courses available from E&T. Tell your anti-gun elected officials you want to give a course on why firearms should be safely stored – both courses discuss that. What we don’t tell those officials is that having a firearm available for instantly defending yourself or others around you is OK too. Let them figure that out on their own AFTER you provide life-saving educational facts about unloading and storing firearms and ammunition. You might just win a few hearts and minds in the process.

Now to make a point. The BATFE, a federal agency, makes rules – not laws. That’s the job of Congress. However, this agency tends to find itself in the news on a too-regular basis, including the recent no-knock raid on a prominent Arkansas airport operator who ended up dead…all over a paperwork regulatory issue. There’s far too many questions about the motives of this agency than to just give the bump stock ban issue a pass.

In other news, Ranjit Singh from Bearing Arms had a very thought-provoking story about Pennsylvania elections. He mentions our long 225-mile border with New York, and how it’s getting harder for Western New Yorkers to put up with state shenanigans. Obvious Second Amendment issues aside, the tax rates in that state are horrendous. If a certain number of New Yorkers jump the border and move to freedom in Pennsylvania, it could swing the Presidential election in a way that would sew up the state for our single pro-gun presidential candidate. Interesting theory!

However, I’d love to debate this theory with Ranjit with a slightly different tilt. While we are always happy to welcome out-of-state Second Amendment supporters as fellow Keystone taxpayers, we have our own folks to haul out by their lapels and collars. As I keep hammering home, we all know people who just don’t vote. “Aww Todd, what’s my one vote gonna do? Those idiots on the other side will win anyways.” Yeah, well, with that attitude fella, they WILL win. Just go ahead and bring all your guns to the next so-called gun buy back and get it over with, comrade.

Folks, you and I are to blame for politely letting these folks off the hook and letting them mope around at home. Make your own course correction this summer so that by this fall, you can accompany your non-voting shooting buddies to the polls to vote together.

Please tell your shooting buddies to make sure they are registered to vote in the General Election in November. As we found out in the last U.S. Senate race, every vote matters. If 150,000 gun owners voted for someone other than the now-junior Senator from our state, the election outcome would have been quite different.

Todd Ellis – President