New Brief Sparks Hope That Bump Stocks May Be Back 

Look, love ‘em or hate ‘em, the truth about bump stocks is they are not “machineguns.”  

DOJ and ATF, at the behest of President Trump, were wrong to label them as such.  Those agencies overstepped their regulatory authority in placing a confiscatory ban on the non-mechanical devices in 2018, thus subjecting as many as 500,000 bump stock owners to felony charges if they failed to comply.  

Gun Owners of America (GOA) and other pro-gun organizations are working hard to overturn the ban.  

SEE ALSO: Call to Action: Submit Your Comment on ATF’s New Arm Brace Rule Today!

In GOA’s case, its challenge now has the support of eighteen attorneys general from the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

While a panel for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals already struck down the ban in a 2-1 decision back in March of this year, GOA and the 18 attorneys general, who filed the amicus brief (see below) this week, want the full 6th Circuit to reach the same conclusion.  

“In this case, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms’ (ATF) erroneous rulemaking would immediately transform hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners residing in the States into criminals. The panel majority correctly denied that attempt, and this Court should now affirm that decision, en banc,” they wrote in the brief. 

Along with GOA’s case, the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) has its own case bump stock challenge, Aposhian v. Garland, that it is now asking the Supreme Court to consider.  

NCLA wants the highest court in the land to review a “flawed ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which invoked the Chevron doctrine in at least three improper ways.”

The Chevron doctrine holds that the courts should defer to administrative agencies when a law is unclear as long as that interpretation is reasonable and Congress has not directly spoken on an issue.  But as the Supreme Court ruled in 2014, “we have never held that the government’s reading of a criminal statute is entitled to any deference.” (Emphasis in original.) Since the ATF’s decision made millions of Americans felons overnight, Chevron does not apply.

SEE ALSO: Call to Action: Submit Your Comment on ATF’s New “Frame or Receiver” Rule Today!

“All eight court of appeals judges to review ATF’s bump stock ban without using Chevron deference—including five Tenth Circuit judges below—have decided ATF’s interpretation of the statute is flat wrong,” said Mark Chenoweth, NCLA Executive Director and General Counsel.

“The Aposhian case supplies the Supreme Court with a well-suited vehicle to clarify three aspects of Chevron deference and limit the damage this doctrine is doing to the rule of law,” he continued. “The Justices should seize this opportunity to clarify the law.”

While one cannot expect any resolution on the bump stock saga in the near future, the good news is if these lawsuits succeed in the long run, they could help beat back other attempts by federal agencies to ban other commonly owned firearms and accessories.  We’re talking about 80-percent lowers and pistol braces, two products Biden’s ATF currently has in its crosshairs.  

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Bill August 9, 2021, 11:39 am

    The ATF has since the 1960s been a rogue element of the government trying to halt our right to keep and bear arms under any phony pretext. The ATF has no lawful lawmaking authority, that only belongs to Congress at the federal level. They have often been called on the carpet for overstepping their actual given authority and are not allowed to create any laws that infringe our protected rights.
    This government agency has continuously attempted to halt the acts of insane criminals by punishing law-abiding gun owners. They are fully aware that crazy cannot be regulated and try to criminalize the actions of ordinary Americans under the guise of “public safety” which is the favorite ploy of all tyrants.

  • James Miller August 9, 2021, 8:10 am

    …and just think that Merrick Garland could have been a Supreme Court Justice for life (and may still, if the Dems get the chance!)

  • Ron August 6, 2021, 6:21 am

    So it is ok to ban a feature that you do not like. I suppose when they ban something you do, then there is an issue. Isn’t that the definition of a FUDD? You support the rights that shall not be infringed. PERIOD

  • Blue Dog (he/him) August 4, 2021, 5:00 pm

    Bump stocks serve one purpose – to simulate fully automatic fire. The use of a bump stock is to an illicit purpose. Of course they should remain banned. Why overturn the best thing his orangeness did? Why should we let these bump stocks continue to infringe on the public safety? How many more tragedies like Las Vegas, with literally hundreds dead and injured, must we mourn? How much more blood of these victims, these patriots must water the tree of liberty?

    • Mike V August 4, 2021, 7:31 pm

      So what if it simulates freedom, why do you hate freedom?

      How many bumpstocks infringed on your safety? Can you count with your ten fingers how many bump fired crimes were committed with the half million in circulation?

    • Mike V August 4, 2021, 7:39 pm

      Never understood trolls. Do you have literally nothing else to do? My word.

      I know I don’t have time to wander over to to rattle your cage, why do you spend so much time commenting here?

    • kc (sire/your majesty) August 6, 2021, 7:16 am

      “Simulating” something is an illicit purpose?

    • Kane August 6, 2021, 9:48 am

      Repeal the NFA and it’s bad case law on pointless and confusing gun features. The explosive devices can be covered in new legislation. I guess full auto and three round burst could be regulated since semi auto has been argued in cases of “common use” for years.

    • Clint W. August 13, 2021, 9:41 am

      “Bump stocks serve one purpose – to simulate fully automatic fire. The use of a bump stock is to an illicit purpose.”

      An attractive woman dressed in revealing clothes, seductive makeup, does it to simulate the desire to act like a hooker and be picked up for an illicit purpose.

      A person who has a vehicle with a large motor and loud muffler is to simulate a race car with the potential for the illicit purpose of speeding.

      I love sexy women and fast cars, and that’s the reason we defend every attack on the 2A, even a niche subject like bump stocks, is because if we don’t, owning any firearm will be assumed to have an illicit purpose.

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