As a result of recent regulation, we have lost yet another firearms related business—not to the forces of the market or competition and not due a slowing number of sales or profits. Instead, Slide Fire is closing its doors due the whims of the feel-good politics of politicians and the efforts of gun control advocates.
The Armory received confirmation that Slide Fire plans to announce that it will cease all operations on May 25 at midnight. This will include sunsetting all web sales and properties.
During the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, the shooter was reported to have used a bump fire-style stock on one or more of the firearms used. Although hundreds of thousands of bump fire systems have been sold, and only one recorded criminal act was purportedly committed using the system, politicians across the nation—including President Trump—have sought to outlaw the equipment. Likely this was the final impetus necessary to drive Slide Fire to the decision to cease operations.
In discussions with my non-gun owning friends, I have often pointed out the error of blaming the equipment and not the evil actions of the person committing the act. When discussing bump fire stocks with fellow gun owners, I often hear how they are a waste of expensive ammunition or how that particular person does not own a bump fire system, so they are not concerned with the regulation. This is a misguided attitude.
If one piece of equipment can be outlawed due to a single heinous act, or even the events of a few bad actors, where will it end? Will the United States follow Britain? Will we regulate firearms to the point of effectively banning all firearm ownership? After several years of firearm regulations, edged weapon attacks in Britain have risen to alarming rates. In fact, Britain is now considering regulation on edged weapons. Will this be our future?
I am all for the free market. The success or failure of a business should be left to the forces of a free market and the business’ ability to compete within its sector. In Slide Fire’s case, however, it is not a free market that is causing its downfall. Instead, it is politicians making poor decisions based on blaming a piece of equipment and not the person committing the unlawful act. This should be a lesson to us all and cause every gun owner to take a step back and reexamine the threat to the Second Amendment. Outlawing bump fire stocks will not quench the thirst of feel good politics or the efforts of those bent on repealing the Second Amendment; it will only embolden them for the next attack on our rights.