The ATF Association (ATFA) was established in 2007. Its purpose is to bring together former and current ATF colleagues for fellowship and friendship, assist with post-ATF career planning and development, and to provide support in a time of need. In honor of the many ATF employees that have died or sustained serious injuries in fulfilling the ATF mission, the Association is committed to the support of members of the ATF Family who have experienced severe trauma or financial need and to keep the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice forever in our consciousness.
Members of the Association include Special Agents, Industry Operations Inspectors and Investigators, Explosive Enforcement Officers, Chemists, Scientists, Attorneys and other personnel who supported the ATF mission.
Letter from the ATFA to Congress, re: "Bump Slides"
October 12, 2017
Representative Carlos Curbelo
U.S. House of Representatives
1404 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington DC 20515
The ATF Association consists of current and former employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and is supported by organizations and citizens across the country. Recently, some have attempted to cast blame on ATF for not banning devices like the “bump slide” used in the Las Vegas shootings. We would like to clarify this confusing issue to protect honorable ATF employees from false allegations that they chose to make this item legal when it was the law that prohibited them from regulating the item. We also hope this information will assist you in a better understanding of this issue.
The National Firearms Act of 1934, Title 26 U.S.C. 5845(b) defines a “machine gun” as any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. ATF also holds that any item that can cause a firearm to fire more than one shot by the single function of the trigger is also regulated as a machine gun.
The Las Vegas killer used a “bump slide” accessory that attaches to the stock of a semi-automatic rifle and enhances the rate at which the shooter can pull the trigger on the firearm. This increases the rate of fire close to that of an actual machine gun. However, under the current law, it does not make it a machine gun.
The bump slide, and several other similar after-market accessories that increase the rate at which a shooter can pull the trigger, are engineered to avoid regulation under Federal law. These accessories DO NOT cause the firearm to shoot more than one shot by the single function of a trigger pull. The notion that ATF chose not to regulate an item it had the authority to regulate is false. The law is very clear and it does not currently allow ATF to regulate such accessories.
In the past, ATF has reviewed accessories that DID cause a semi-automatic rifle or pistol to fire more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger, such as the Lightning Link, the Atkins Accelerator and other “Drop in Sears” which cause semi-automatic rifles to function as machine guns. ATF makes rulings based on the statutory authority contained in law and cannot change the law to add new accessories that do not fall within the scope of existing law. A link to many of these ATF rulings can be found at the following link: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/atf-national-firearms-act-handbook-appendix-b/download
Representative Carlos Curbelo
If it is determined that bump slides and similar devices should be regulated, one way it could be accomplished is to support adding a new category to the National Firearms Act of 1934 allowing for the regulation of “multi-burst trigger activators”. California and New York already regulate such items. The new category of Federal law would encompass other accessories on the market that make semi-automatic rifles fire like a machine gun but are engineered in a way to avoid regulation under current Federal law. These are commonly available for sale in firearms stores and on websites such as Rapidfiretriggers.net and Rockinlock.com.
We hope you will support legislation to regulate these multi-burst trigger activators. As noted, the National Firearms Act of 1934 works well with the items that it regulates. We also hope you will not allow the honorable employees of ATF, who followed existing law in their bump stock ruling, to be falsely accused of not doing their job by those who seek to exploit the situation for political gain.
Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to your response.
Michael R. Bouchard
Urgent Technical Update, Re; Las Vegas shooter & the "Bump Slide"
Common Sense and Informed Talking Points Regarding ATF Rulings on Bump Slide Style Accessories
The Las Vegas shooter had no criminal record or other condition that would prohibit him from purchasing semi-automatic firearms, ammunition, firearms accessories, or even legal machineguns from a licensed gun dealer.
The Las Vegas shooter used a “Bump Slide” accessory that attaches to the stock of a semi-automatic rifle and enhances the rate at which the shooter can pull the trigger on the firearm. This increases the rate of fire close to that of an actual machinegun. Had the shooter chosen to purchase an actual machinegun from a Federally licensed machinegun dealer instead of using a bump slide – he could have. There are more than 490,000 legally registered machineguns available to civilians in the US. The focus on the Las Vegas shooters use of the bump slide obscures the fact that this individual could have just purchased actual machineguns legally.
The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5845(b) defines a “machine gun” to include any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. ATF also holds that any item that can also cause a firearm to fire more than one shot by the single function of the trigger is also regulated as a machinegun.
The Bump Slide, and a number of other similar after market accessories that increase the rate at which a shooter can pull the trigger, are purposefully engineered to avoid regulation under Federal law. These accessories DO NOT cause the firearm to shoot more than one shot by the single function of a trigger pull. There is a trigger pull for each shot caused by these accessories and that is why ATF does not have the legal authority to regulate them. The notion that ATF chose not to regulate an item it had the authority to regulate is completely false. The law is very clear and it does not currently allow ATF to regulate such accessories.
There are many instances in the past where ATF has reviewed accessories that DID cause a semi-automatic rifle or pistol to fire more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger and ATF ruled that those items constituted a machinegun and were regulated or illegal. Such devices include the Lightning Link and other “Drop In Sears” which cause semi-automatic rifles to function as a machinegun; the Glock Switch which causes a Glock Handgun to fire as a machine pistol; the Beretta switch that causes a Beretta handgun to fire as a machine pistol. In 2007 ATF banned the Akins Accelerator which was an after market accessory marketed like a bump slide although it did cause the firearm to fire more than one round with one trigger pull (see more at http://www.tbo.com/news/ban-of-device-by-atf-triggers-inventors-ire-174591). ATF makes rulings based on the statutory authority contained in law and can not change the law to add new accessories that do not fall within the scope of existing law. A link to many of these ATF rulings can be found a the following weblink; https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/atf-national-firearms-act-handbook-appendix-b/download
The NRA and some politicians are now playing politics with a serious issue by claiming the bump slide was made legal by the Obama Administration’s ATF when they know full well the law did not allow ATF to regulate the bump slide. If the NRA genuinely wants to regulate Bump Slides then they need to support adding a new category to the National Firearms Act of 1934 allowing for the regulation of “multi-burst trigger activators”. California and New York already regulate such items. The new category of Federal law would encompass the many other accessories on the market that make semi-automatic rifles fire like a machinegun but are engineered in a way to avoid regulation under current Federal law. The list includes; Slide Fire, TAC Combat Trigger 15, AutoBurst 2017, Hell Fire Trigger System, GAT Crank Trigger, HyperGAT Trigger, and Franklin Arms Binary Trigger System. These are commonly available for sale in firearms stores and on websites such as Rapidfiretriggers.net and Rockinlock.com.
Urgent Hurricane Relief Request!!
Natural disasters are overwhelming our ATF friends, colleagues and our ATF legacy.
Many of them who found themselves trapped in harm’s way are without some of the very simple and routine things we take for granted – like clothes to wear to work, bedding, food pantry stocks, small appliances, vehicles, etc. etc.
Insurance, FEMA aid, other aid doesn’t always allow for the kinds of help needed and even when it does it has been slow in coming.
The ATFA Foundation can respond quickly with money to help BUT the foundation is in immediate needs of donations as these natural disasters continue to wreak havoc on our ATF Family.
For those who have donated – thank you – for those who have not yet done so – we need your help now more than ever.
So now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the ATF Family.
The ATFA Foundation fund needs to be “good to go at all times” - robust and ready to meet the needs of any situation which may arise like the currently expanding devastation from a series of recent hurricanes!
Donating is easy and tax deductible as well - just go online to: http://www.atfafoundation.org
If you have already donated - thank you - much appreciated!
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TSP membership news of interest:
So far this year, here’s what our friends in the federal government have done for — and to — citizens who hope to find simple ways to save enough money for retirement without anyone robbing them blind.
■ Continued a yearslong fight against a rule that requires many retirement advisers to act in their clients’ best interests.
■ Reversed a rule that would have made it easier for states to create retirement savings plans for people who don’t have one at work.
■ Abandoned a new federal program to help lower-income savers, young ones in particular.
This week, meanwhile, brought news of the Securities and Exchange Commission standing up for — wait for it — federal employees and their retirement money! Those workers have what is probably the best retirement plan of its kind in the country, called the Thrift Savings Plan. The S.E.C. accused four brokers in Georgia and a firm they represented of fraud after they allegedly persuaded about 200 people to move money out of the plans and put the funds in expensive annuities, earning hefty commissions.
So this is how things work now: More hurdles for everyday workers and a fabulous plan for federal employees — so good, in fact, that the alleged perpetrators here needed to cheat, according to the S.E.C., to get people to abandon it. We should all have such nice things, and we may yet someday. But meanwhile, sit back and take in the details, as they hold lessons for all of us.
The Thrift Savings Plan, a defined-contribution plan similar to a 401(k) for civil servants and retirees, as well as military members, does nearly everything right. The investment choices are limited, and mostly include index funds that own every stock in a sector instead of trying to pick stocks that will do better than others. The overall costs are about as low as employer-based retirement savings plans get: In 2016, they were 38 cents for every $1,000 someone had invested.
Given how good those federal employees have it, how do you get the older ones who are eligible to move their money out of the plan to do so? According to the S.E.C., you pretend that you’re affiliated with the plan and the government.
Which brings us to the target of the agency’s wrath, Federal Employee Benefit Counselors of Roswell, Ga. It has a spiffy official-looking seal on its home page and notes, despite its name, that it “does not engage in T.S.P. counseling.”
Look further on the firm’s website and you’ll find the following testimonial from someone named Judy, who said, “This service is the best-kept secret in the government” — which certainly implies a connection. Call its phone number even now, and you can press 3 for “Thrift Savings Plan review” information.
According to the S.E.C. complaint, plenty of people did, especially after the firm researched and targeted federal employees. (The agency would not comment on precisely how the firm did this or answer any of my follow-up questions.) In addition to the firm’s name and logo, the agency also pointed to forms and investment names that the firm used to “mislead” customers into thinking that it was “affiliated with or approved by the federal government.”