Distribution Restricted with Passage of Legislation Aimed at Magazines, Triggers, Bump Stocks, and More

Written by Orchid


June 29, 2018



Distribution Restricted with Passage of Legislation Aimed at Magazines, Triggers, Bump Stocks, and More

Last month we discussed the much-anticipated Export Control Reform and the impact it will have upon the firearm industry.  This month we return our focus to state legislation and its impact upon consumer sales and the distribution of firearms and firearms accessories. 

Since April several states have passed legislation that further restrict sales of firearm products. These additional restrictions come in the form of not only what type of products may be sold, but also in the form of eliminating classes of people who may purchase firearms, removing a segment of the population to which companies may market and sell firearms.  The following list, as always, is aimed at identifying new legislation which will have a direct impact upon the supply chain and omits those laws which are more “personal-usage focused” (e.g., restrictions on carrying a firearm in a park).

  • Connecticut – House Bill 5542
    • Effective October 1, 2018, “rate of fire enhancements,” including binary trigger systems, bump stocks, trigger cranks, and other similar items are prohibited for sale, purchase or manufacture, with limited exceptions. The exceptions in the legislation do not provide for purchase or sales by distributors or retailers.
  • Delaware – House Bill 300, as amended
    • This bill, signed by the governor on June 14, immediately prohibited the purchase, sale, and possession of “bump stocks” and “trigger cranks.” The bill’s definitions of “bump stocks” and “trigger cranks” was tailored to narrowly address those specific items. 
  • Florida – Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 7026
    • This lengthy piece of legislation has wide-ranging provisions. Among its provisions affecting distribution:
      • Effective immediately, prohibition on the purchase of firearms by persons under 21 years of age.
      • Also effective immediately, institution of a three day waiting period for firearms purchases with specifically identified exceptions (e.g., holder of a concealed weapons permit, purchases of long guns if the purchaser has sixteen hours of a hunter safety course, and more).
      • Prohibition on “bump-fire stocks” defined as “a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.” This provision, vaguely worded and open to interpretation on exactly what parts are prohibited, is effective October 1, 2018.Distributors should exercise caution and consult with counsel as to what products may be sold into the State of Florida.
    • Maryland – Senate Bill 707
      • SB 707, effective October 1, 2018, provides a definition for each of and prohibits; binary trigger systems, bump stocks, burst trigger systems, hellfire triggers, rapid fire trigger activators, and trigger cranks. The legislation does specifically exempt “a semiautomatic replacement trigger that improves the performance and functionality over the stock trigger.”
    • New Jersey – Assembly, No. 2757
      • With limited exceptions A.2757 provides for universal background checks and allows for FFLs to charge a fee to conduct the NICS check on the purchaser but does not specify what fee may be charged. The requirement is effective October 1, 2018.
    • New Jersey – Assembly, No. 2759
      • New Jersey swapped its definition of “armor penetrating bullets” in favor of the federal definition of “armor piercing ammunition” with this bill which took effect immediately.
    • New Jersey – Assembly, No. 2761
      • This legislation reduces New Jersey’s already-existing “large capacity ammunition magazine” limit from 15 rounds to 10 rounds, excluding attached tubular devices which are capable of holding only .22 caliber rimfire ammunition, and took effect immediately.
    • Rhode Island – H7075 / S2292 Substitute A
      • This legislation defined and prohibited “bump fire device[s], binary trigger[s], trigger crank[s] or any other device that when attached to a semi-automatic weapon allows full automatic fire” and takes effect 90 days after passage of the act (June 1, 2018).

As one can gather from above, the imposition of further restrictions on “bump fire stocks” continues. While this may seem a straightforward concept, the various states all define this term and other terms (such as trigger cranks or rate of fire enhancements) differently.  Thus, it is imperative that distributors work with their advisors to determine the legality of distributing these products nationwide as many of the prohibitions do not provide for FFL to FFL exemptions. 


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