Trump: Bump Stocks Are All Obama’s Fault

Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2017, introducing legislation to ban the sale and possession of bump-stocks. Her bill went nowhere, of course, thanks to NRA opposition and Republican cowardice.Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Donald Trump this morning:

This is actually sort of true, more or less. That’s unusual for Donald Trump. But the reason it’s true is that Obama didn’t interfere when the ATF concluded in 2010 that the law gave them no authority to regulate bump stocks. The Kenyan socialist gun-hating dictator-in-chief then followed the law! Hard to imagine, isn’t it?

Needless to say, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others have introduced legislation over the years to ban bump stocks as part of a very modest assault weapons ban, but these bills never saw the light of day thanks to NRA and Republican opposition. Last year, Feinstein introduced a bill limited just to banning bump stocks, but it also died thanks to NRA opposition and Republican timidity. Big surprise, eh? So now Trump is going to try to do it via executive order.

Will this work in the face of previous rulings that bump stocks are legal under current law? Will the NRA sue to overturn the EO? If they do, who will the courts side with? We could know the answers to all these questions next week if Republicans simply passed a bill to ban bump stocks. The original ATF ruling was based on statutory interpretation, not constitutional law, so a new law would clean up any confusion instantly. But Republicans are afraid to take even this tiny step for fear of crossing the NRA, so instead we probably won’t know for years.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest