An open letter to NRA board of directors from past-president Marion Hammer

Lee’s note: I just received a copy of this letter that Marion Hammer, executive director of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida and past-president of the National Rifle Association, sent to all NRA board members, council members and friends.  The letter speaks for itself — loudly.

DATE:   October 9, 2017
TO:       My Fellow Board & Council Members & Friends
FROM:  Marion Hammer, NRA past president
RE:       Misinformation and Distortion Anger Me

In 1934 the first federal gun control law in America was passed. The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) became the law of the land. The NRA was asleep at the switch. Most of us hadn’t even been born then. It is not of our making but like all good, honest, law-abiding Americans, the NRA obeys the law. The NFA regulates fully-automatic firearms and has done so for 83 years.

The “bump-stock” device, used by the killer in the Las Vegas shooting, converts a semi-auto rifle to a full-auto rifle. Anyone who has ever used a bump-stock or watched a video demonstrating its use, can only conclude that it is a converter.

If you listened to an audio recording of the shooting during that horrific massacre, you must have concluded that it was full-auto fire. You were not alone, many firearms experts and law enforcement professionals came to the same conclusion. It was not until later that information was released disclosing that bump-stocks had been used to convert semi-automatic firearms to perform like full-auto firearms.

In spite of the seemingly noble reason the manufacturer claims for developing it, the bump-stock circumvents federal law. Regardless of the quality and reliability or lack thereof of this device – it converts a semi-auto to full-auto when installed.

Do you have any idea how many people were shocked out of their minds when ATF decided bump-stocks were not subject to regulation and APPROVED them for sale and use? That was under the Obama administration for crying out loud. Your mind is forced to run wild wondering why.

Once the ruling was made, what would you expect NRA to do? Do you think NRA should have said, Oh! No, ATF is wrong, ATF made a mistake?

It doesn’t matter what laws the NRA doesn’t agree with or doesn’t like, the NRA must abide by the law. For decades, over and over again when the enemies of the Second Amendment have tried to capitalize on tragedies by calling for more gun control, NRA has called for enforcing existing law. That is exactly what we are doing now.

Make no mistake, the NRA has NOT cleared the way for more regulation. If it were not for ATF’s wink and nod to the manufacturer of the bump-stock, it would already be regulated under federal law. NRA has tossed it back into ATF’s lap where it belongs. NRA has not agreed to any new legislation nor has NRA said we agree with any existing NFA legislation. NRA has not agreed to a ban. NRA has not agreed to anything. NRA simply insists upon enforcing existing law.

The enemies freedom and the Second Amendment are spewing hysteria from the podiums they have planted in the blood of innocent victims. These anti-Second Amendment heretics are using these victims as their stalking horse to get some new gun control legislation on the floor of the Congress.

These victims have fallen and are suffering because of the evil acts of a deranged madman who could have carried out his destruction even if bump-stocks were not available under ATF’s approval. He would have found another way.

Don’t blame bump-stocks, don’t blame ATF, don’t blame anybody but the evil people who perpetrated this crime. No law, no regulation stops those with evil in their hearts.

“No law, no regulation stops those with evil in their hearts.”

The frantic cries from antagonists who want to take your freedom are intended to stampede you and Congress into supporting more gun control.

But it doesn’t stop there. Is it not clear to you that, just like the media, some members of the NRA Board are misinterpreting what the NRA has said?

Additionally, there are “Trojan horse members” who are deliberately misinterpreting what the NRA has said. Just like having an (R) after your name doesn’t make you a conservative Republican, having an NRA membership card doesn’t make you an honest member.

Be very careful of anti-NRA people claiming to have many supporters who are merely standing in a hall of mirrors and seeing their own reflections. Don’t be fooled.

This fight is not about the personal financial interests of NRA Board members. This fight should not be used by any individual Board member to attack NRA as a means elevate their own popularity with dissidents and “Trojan horse members.”

This particular fight is about following existing law. If you don’t believe that bump-stocks convert semi-autos to full-autos then you have not seen what I have seen. While the conversion may be reversible by removing and replacing the device, it none less makes a semi-auto perform like a full-auto when installed.

We do not need new legislation, we do not need new regulation, we simply need ATF to review it’s previous approval and enforce existing law. That’s what NRA said. That will render bump-stocks irrelevant. There is no need for Congress to be stampeded into doing anything else. No matter how you twist it, or what your own personal agenda may be, the NRA has not compromised.

If ATF won’t do it on its own, President Trump should order ATF to review it’s ruling made under the Obama administration.

We should stand united. We need to enforce existing law. We don’t need any new gun control legislation. Any member of Congress who wants to sacrifice more of our freedom under the pretense of providing safety should know that we don’t forgive the betrayal of freedom or the Second Amendment and we won’t give a wink and a nod to political eye wash as a substitute for backbone.

The only legislation we need to see on the floor of Congress right now is carry reciprocity and elimination of suppressor regulations.

Marion Hammer


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Having been a life member of the NRA for 40+ years , I have great respect for Ms. Hammer. However, she is not correct in her stating that it converts a rifle to full auto. Full auto means firing multiple times with one pull of the trigger and Semi-auto means firing one time with each pull of the trigger. The bump fire system does not change the fact that the rifle only fires one time with each pull of the trigger, it only allows you to pull the trigger more rapidly. I am not defending the bump fire but lets get the facts right, maybe that is why ATF approved the device.

    • I do not need a piece of plastic to bump fire my SKS or my LCP. I need a stiff trigger finger and to pull forward on what holds the barrel from the bottom.

      Feinstein claimed the fire was aimed. It was pointed like a shotgun. The effective range of this less than 25 yards if you are intending on hitting a single target; not 300 meters.

      The ATF approved the device because they are a politically driven irresponsible bureaucracy. This was the Fast and Furious answer to gun control and foreign policy that armed the Mexican Cartels.

      Full auto select fire self loaders should never have been restricted because that means tyranny has more firepower than citizens’ freedom.

  2. When I read the original statement released by the NRA, I watched people going rabid on social media. A lot of them seem to think a “bump stock” is THE line in the sand, not one more inch. Talk about choosing your battles poorly. I agree, put the burden on the ATF and keep the Dems legislation out of Congress and out of a vote. It was nice of them to mention national reciprocity but I’m afraid the message is falling on deaf ears of their members. For those that aren’t, stop bitching, you never supported them or US anyhow.

  3. The law is clear on what makes a machine gun a machine gun and bump fire stocks in no way turn a rifle into a machine gun. It’s not hard to see why they were approved. They follow the letter of the law.
    The NFA was an unconstitutional law. Period. End of story. The 1986 machine gun ban was not passed properly and anyone who has watched that debacle knows it wasn’t. It is even more unconstitutional than the NFA.
    Taking a not one more inch stance over this is not wrong. Not one more inch is the only stance anyone who stands for liberty should take. If they can ban this stock through regulatory whim then they can ban anything. What’s next? 2 pound target triggers? Rubber bands? Quick reflexes?

  4. Feinstein and all of her mongoloid followers are idiots, Period,. But having said that, I have to admit openly that i was surprised that there were no regulations on bump stocks. I’m not saying I agree or disagree with it, and I do understand why there aren’t. A bump stock is not a modification to the sear or trigger group that allows full auto fire. Again, period.

    But what has happened is that the ATF allowed an item that has now been used to commit an atrocity, so the antis will use that as fodder for their idiot arguments. But we have to ask ourselves if that was really a good thing or not/ Bu,p stocks were not created to enable people to spray bullets into crowds, they were meant to be an item to allow those of us who can’t afford the cost of a selective fore weapon plus the $200 tax to go out and hove fun wasting ammo. But like so many things, including cars and pressure cookers, they have been turned to an evil or simply foolish destructive purpose.

    The NRA isn’t selling us out, no matter how the Liberal slime media crow and misrepresent what they’ve said. They are simply holding the government . . . our government to a standard of honestly that is all too rare in the government of the United States today. In the end, the Vegas shooter was a psycho who would have found a way to commit mayhem with or without bump stocks. Seeking to stop violence by regulating weapons just plain stupid and I don’t intend to simply stand by and have my rights eroded to satisfy political correctness.

  5. LOL a former NRA president arguing in favor of the anti-gun view.
    What a load of pathetic shit.

    The bump-stocks are not machine guns and the NFA is unconstitutional anways.

    The NRA needs to get it’s shit together and start making the pro-gun argument

  6. Guess I’m a Truman because I believe in what the second says. The NRA and this worthless wench. Can bite me. We have the GCA and Hughes because of the NRA now they want to place further restrictions because a semi fires too fast. What’s the correct rate. Is Malkin(sp?) Going to jail because he can fire faster than a bump stock. As a benefactor the NRA JUST ensured they will never see another dime from me until the re-read the 2A and can define what “shall not be infringed” means and actually follow it.

  7. It’s just completely not true that a bump fire stock converts a semi-auto rifle to a fully automatic one.

    The simple truth is that someone who has practiced the technique of bump-firing can achieve the same results with a regular fixed or collapsible stock on the same semi-automatic rifle. Bump firing is nothing more than allowing recoil to move the rifle while keeping your finger in position on the trigger but without gripping the pistol grip. When your position is right and you do this properly, you get trigger activations from your finger’s contact with the trigger at a much greater rate than you can squeeze the trigger.

    You’re basically using the recoil and rebound to your advantage. But in no case does the function of the rifle change. It still requires one activation of the trigger for each round fired.

    There’s no need, at all, to regulate bump-fire stocks as they don’t bring anything new to the world. ANY semi-automatic rifle, of ANY description, can be bump fired without any special stock at all. It’s just a technique that you can learn. No rifle modification needed, not at all.

  8. Frank in Spokane on

    Following the bombing of the OKC Federal Bldg, Billary decried the attack as having been perpetrated by militia types — people who take the Second Amendment seriously. Rather than develop a plan to come alongside and address the militia movement — e.g., by discussing history, philosophy, training, practical application, etc. — the NRA instead denied that the RKBA has any implications whatsoever re. militia membership.

    IMO, they disowned the burgeoning militia movement in order to maintain the favor of the Fudds (and the cop and soldier fanboys). I canceled my provisional Life Membership in writing shortly thereafter.

    If the NRA truly expects people to take seriously their rhetoric about the Second Amendment being “America’s first freedom,” they need to vocally stand in support of the idea that citizens bear arms to dissuade tyrants. And that includes getting involved with the citizen militia.

  9. Since the federal ban on new machine guns along with taxes/restrictions on old ones are blatantly unconstitutional, it philosophically hardly matters whether anything is called a machine gun. Machine guns are “arms.” They’re protected from government infringement.

  10. A bump stock does not covert a semi-auto into a machine gun. You are still pulling the trigger for each and every bullet that leaves the barrel. I have lost my confidence in the NRA to protect my rights and until/if they change I will no longer support them. The idea that you can bargain with the left on gun issue is so wrong, we will only lose more and more freedom for nothing in return.

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