The black box is a device that helps law enforcement determine if a gun has been fired or not, and it’s the device used by the National Institute of Justice to determine if someone has committed a crime.
But for many years, it was not included in the National Firearms Act.
After a number of gun control bills failed in Congress in the late 1990s, Congress created a “bipartisan” commission that included two gun experts, as well as former ATF officials, to study the possibility of removing the device from the act.
In 2007, the panel recommended that the ATF remove the device.
The FBI had until 2013 to agree to the changes, but it failed to do so.
Since then, there has been a lot of discussion about the gun control debate, and gun control advocates have argued that a ban on “bump stocks” — devices that can fire bullets faster than the trigger pull of a firearm — would have made the system more dangerous, and that removing it would have reduced the crime rate.
“We’re not going to be able to stop all the criminals,” said Republican Sen. James Lankford, who voted against the bill, arguing that a “blanket ban” would have failed.
The National Rifle Association said the removal of the device would have no impact on crime.
“The fact is, there is no evidence that bump stocks actually work, and there is also no evidence of an increase in crime,” said David Kopel, a senior policy analyst with the NRA.
So what’s the argument?
In the 1990s and 2000s, the National Rifle Assn.
advocated for a ban, arguing it would “prevent the rapid proliferation of deadly weapons,” as The Hill reported.
“This would have prevented millions of crime victims from becoming criminals and would have helped prevent countless more Americans from being killed by these dangerous devices,” it said in its statement.
However, the NRA has changed its stance, with a statement from the group’s president, Chris Cox, saying the agency’s “current position is that the technology has not proven to be a useful tool for law enforcement.”
In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee last year, the ATF argued that removing the devices would not have prevented a significant increase in violence, but that it would prevent “a significant increase of gun violence.”
The ATF said it had “a very large arsenal of bump stocks,” and “in a large number of states, there have been documented instances of violent crimes committed with them.”
The agency said it would review its position on the devices, and will not comment further.
Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter this week to the Justice Department asking for its “public comment period on whether the FBI should be required to remove bump stocks from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”
Leahy’s letter was first reported by Bloomberg.
Leahys letter is the latest in a series of letters from lawmakers to the ATF about the issue.
In 2014, Leahy called for the agency to “take immediate action to remove the bump stocks” from the system, but his letter to ATF was the first time he addressed the issue directly.
“I have serious concerns that these devices could be used to kill innocent Americans and have no significant effect on crime,” Leahy wrote.
“While I am grateful for your efforts to develop legislation to protect gun owners from these deadly devices, the best way to address these dangerous weapons is to eliminate them completely.”
The NRA, meanwhile, has said that removing bump stocks would have been an “unmitigated disaster” for law-abiding gun owners.
In its statement, the group wrote that the device was “a product of a dangerous criminal syndicate” and that the removal would have “taken lives off the streets and brought a devastating loss of life.”