Conservatives Point Fingers At Obama’s ATF For Approving Bump Stocks In 2010

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

As Republicans in Congress voice increasing openness to reviewing bump stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, conservatives have sought to tie those gun add-ons back to the Obama administration.

Several conservatives have pointed out since Wednesday night that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) decided in 2010 that bump stocks would not be regulated under the Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.

Bump stocks are a legally available mechanism that, when attached to a semi-automatic weapon, increase the speed at which the weapon can fire, allowing the gun to shoot between 400 and 800 rounds in a minute. They were initially created as a way to help disabled people shoot guns. Police found bump stocks on 12 guns in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room, prompting lawmakers to take a closer look at the devices.

When asked Thursday morning on CNN about the potential for gun control legislation to move forward, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway mentioned twice that bump stocks had been approved by the ATF under the Obama administration.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who said Wednesday he was open to reviewing bump stocks, also noted the ATF’s 2010 decision in a tweet Thursday morning.

Several conservative news outlets seized on that timeline, too. Breitbart News noted that the ATF approved bump stocks under Obama “because they do not convert a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic.”

The Resurgent went up with the headline, “Guess who approved the ‘bump stock’? That’s right, Obama’s ATF.” The article’s author, Steve Berman, wrote, “Liberals are all enraged that Stephen Paddock could transform two AR-15s into ‘machine guns’ using a simple ‘bump stock’ device. Now they know who to blame.”

National Rifle Association spokeswoman and conservative radio host Dana Loesch also noted the 2010 approval on Twitter:

Latest DC

Notable Replies

  1. The Salt Monster speaks.

  2. Avatar for tacoma tacoma says:

    the REPUBLICANS seem to forget that POTUS OBAMA had a REPUBLICAN congress… who passed the law about these things.

  3. Avatar for sjk sjk says:

    They are all vile creature

  4. It’s tough to strut, grovel, and cower at the same time."

  5. What a bunch of cynical assholes. The ATF made a legal determination based on the laws passed (or in this case not passed) by Congress. Had the ATF ruled that it could bar bump stocks, the Obama administration’s “theft of freedom” would have become cause celebre among these very same people.

Continue the discussion at

170 more replies


Avatar for someguy Avatar for littlegirlblue Avatar for mattinpa Avatar for squirreltown Avatar for lio Avatar for sniffit Avatar for ralph_vonholst Avatar for arc_of_the_universe Avatar for airportman Avatar for exspectator Avatar for dickweed Avatar for mtblaze Avatar for fiftygigs Avatar for darrtown Avatar for thunderclapnewman Avatar for tena Avatar for jonney_5 Avatar for maricaibo Avatar for tsp Avatar for rickjones Avatar for susanintheoc Avatar for greysea Avatar for jakebarnes Avatar for brissy

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: