This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights.
A Slew of Forced Reset Triggers Hit Market
Many of us watched in agony as ATF again came after a popular product designed specifically to comply with the letter of the law: the Rare Breed FRT trigger. It’s a trigger that slaps forward after every shot, hence a “forced reset.”
The forced reset provides for an exceptionally fast follow-up shot, meaning people could fire their weapons in a more spirited way, as you’ve no doubt seen in videos.
Never allowing the letter of the law to get in its way, ATF issued Rare Breed Triggers a cease and desist order, to which Rare Breed responded with a lawsuit, seeking to prevent the agency from making good on its threats.
In the intervening time, we’ve seen two similar devices show up on the market: the WOT and the Graves V2 ART. This has spurred some drama as people online have pointed fingers as to who is allegedly copying who, and what patent covers what. I’m more interested, however, in how this might affect attempts to clamp down on this technology.
As I explained in a video on the subject, this type of trigger is undoubtedly designed to strictly comply with the letter of the law. It is very easy for eager government agencies to bully smaller firms into doing what the agency wants. But multiple, larger firms pose a bit of a problem for the regulator, especially if the companies are down to fight it out.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but the timing here is fascinating. ATF set its sights on Rare Breed, then we saw two more triggers using similar technology emerge rapidly and aggressively, one of which from a known deep-pocketed source.
While quietly beating one firm into submission is something federal agencies do all the time, it seems ATF might be looking at another fight of bump-stock proportions, requiring much more aggressive, concerted action.
Not to say the bump stock situation was handled with a spoonful of grace. To be sure, it was a nightmarish miscarriage of justice. One I’m weary to see a repeat of. That said, this may present a very interesting opportunity to fix some of those mistakes. Either way, these products are certainly ones to keep an eye on.
Government Scrubs Afghan Weapon Reports from Federal Websites
A recent Forbes article explores the fact that the Biden administration recently directed agencies to scrub their official websites of all the reports that detailed the roughly $80 billion in arms and equipment provided to Afghanistan’s security forces since 2001.
It might not seem immediately apparent what relationship this has to our space, but it’s instructive on the relationship federal agencies have with Americans.
We’ve come to expect the government to try to keep secrets, but this attempted revisionism highlights issues with both transparency, and any ability to learn from its mistakes.
A whole host of federal agencies have made an even wider range of errors adversely affecting the rights of Americans. The quickness here to try to cover its tracks, and in such a prominent fashion, doesn’t inspire confidence.
Police1: Gun Violence is a ‘Public Health’ Problem, Target Ghost Guns
In a recent paper published at Police1 by Jason Potts, the California cops pushes the “gun violence is a public health problem” lie. Hard. As the article’s title suggests, Potts believes “police should treat gun homicide like doctors treat bloodborne pathogens.”
The thrust of the article is encouraging the use of social media and other tools to target pre-crime and focus on “those 20%” of Americans who commit “80% of the crime.”
Mixed in with this are various intersectional attacks on home gunmaking, non-sequiturs to vaccinations, and more. The paper isn’t completely without rational thought, but the conclusions are concerning and generally unsupported.
I always take issue with the “public health” narrative that’s told all too frequently in American politics. You’ve likely noticed the tendency of the gun control industry to use frequent appeals to the authority of medical doctors to support their arguments despite guns being a matter of policy, not a descriptive science like medicine.
The lie here is in the fact that gun control can’t be equated with public health concerns, such as cholera or bloodborne pathogens. The key distinction is that no one grew up saying ‘We had cholera when I grew up on the farm. My daddy taught me to contract cholera, and we all had a great time doing it.’
Public health studies things like pathogens (or should). Things that are issues of public health. The entire field of study stems from tracing poison wells in the early common law era. These are noxious things, things which have no independent positive utility.
Guns, on the other hand, have a host of positive uses. Hence why we buy them so often. And the repeated attempts to claim firearm-related crime as a “public health” issue is evidence that those who make that argument are out of other ideas.
The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act of 2021
Two foamheads, including Ted Deutsch of Florida, have put forth S.2319, which “makes it unlawful to intentionally publish digital instructions for programming a three-dimensional printer to make a firearm.”
The law is a joke without a punchline, and is clearly not intended to actually pass. Especially given the fact that its text consists of 10 hyper-political “findings” and only one sentence of proposed law. Which, of course, is purported to be inserted into a code section that has absolutely nothing to do with instructions of publication.
This law isn’t worth much of your attention, as it would be uniquely unenforceable as-written. Its primary utility is as a piece of evidence for pointing out the cynical insincerity of its authors.
George W.’s Speechwriter: Convince Gun Owners Handguns Are Dangerous
George W. Bush’s old speechwriter has penned an article explaining that the way to reduce gun violence is by convincing ordinary, “responsible” handgun owners that their weapons make them, their families, and those around them less safe.
His intent is no mystery, as he himself pointed out that his object is to use reasonable sounding soundbites to convince fence-sitting gun owners to hop onto the side of prohibition. As he puts: “In virtually every way that can be measured, owning a firearm makes the owner, the owner’s family, and the people around them less safe. The hard-core gun owner will never accept this truth. But the 36 percent in the middle—they may be open to it, if they can be helped to perceive it.”
This is the type of fellow behind “bi-partisan” gun control. The issue is, he makes some sense. Not in his policy, but in his tactics. The hardcore sides are not realistically up for grabs. Not on the pro- or anti-gun side. But that lukewarm nougat center certainly is. That’s why gun owners need to be super welcoming and friendly to new gun owners, or old dogs like this may beat us to it.