Appeals Court Rules That Federal Agencies Can’t Classify Bump Stocks as ‘Machine Gun’
A federal appeals court on Thursday [March 25] sided with a coalition of gun advocacy groups by ruling that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) cannot classify bump stocks as machine guns for the purpose of federal firearm regulations.
Bump stocks are devices designed to assist a shooter by increasing a firearm’s rate of fire. They reuse the gun’s recoil energy, thereby allowing a standard rifle to shoot continuously if the trigger is pulled once and constant pressure is maintained.
Several gun rights organizations challenged the ATF’s “Final Rule,” alleging it violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
The groups sought an injunction preventing the rule from taking effect but were denied by a Michigan district court in 2019.
But in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Thursday held that criminal statutes, such as those involving the bump stock, are not entitled to Chevron deference.
“Whether ownership of a bump-stock device should be criminally punished is a question for our society. Indeed, the Las Vegas shooting sparked an intense national debate on the benefits and risks of bump-stock ownership. And because criminal laws are rooted in the community, the people determine for themselves—through their legislators—what is right or wrong,” the court wrote. “The executive enforces those determinations. It is not the role of the executive—particularly the unelected administrative state—to dictate to the public what is right and what is wrong.”
Click here to read the entire article at LawandCrime.com.