Youth Movement Influences Potential Regulation of Bump Stocks

A recent analysis shows that advocates like Team Enough are closing the “participation gap” to make sure that lawmakers, agencies and others know that advocates are serious about making their voices heard to stop gun violence.

Nonprofit news organization The Trace revealed that supporters of regulating bump stocks outnumber opponents 3-to-1 among people who wrote to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The feedback was part of a second round of public comment on potential new regulation.

Bump stocks are devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more bullets more easily, firing more than 500 times per minute. Bump stocks became more well-known after they were used in the Las Vegas mass shooting in October 2017.

Although nearly 75 percent of people living in a house with guns and registered to vote have been shown to support banning bump stocks, the feedback the ATF received in the first round of public comments were overwhelmingly against regulation. That feedback was received in January 2018 and included 36,000 submissions.

The second round of public comment closed in June and included nearly three times as many comments, 94,000. The Trace analyzed the messages and categorized them as proregulation or not and form letter or not. All told, 72 percent of commenters favored regulation.

Parkland survivors, politicians, and other advocates all rallied people to submit comments to the ATF, though so did opponents to the ban. The ATF is reviewing the comments and will then announce how and whether it will move forward with regulation; in the meantime, several states have already been moving to ban bump stocks.