We’ve been waiting for this for almost a year.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has decided to reverse its previous ruling on bump stocks. The new rule is ready for the federal register. It calls on all bump stock owners to either destroy their stocks themselves or to drop them off at an ATF office.
As reported by commenters, the purpose of this rule is to amend ATF regulations to clarify that bump-stock-type devices are “machine guns” as defined by the NFA and GCA. Additionally, a desired outcome ofthis rule is increased public safety. While there has been only one known shooting involving bump-stock-type devices, banning such devices could result in reduced casualties as a consequence of reducing incidents of shootings involving a weapon fitted with a bump-stock-type device. A ban also could result in less danger to first responders when responding to incidents, because it prevents shooters from using devices that allow them to shoot semiautomatic firearms automatically.
Ever since Las Vegas, most of us knew this was coming. Bump stocks aren’t popular enough to warrant the same protection as so-called assault rifles. A number of ostensibly pro-gun people, even those who openly advocate for the Second Amendment, were quick to comment that they were fine with these being banned. The writing was on the wall for some time.
However, we also knew that a lawsuit was going to be filed pretty much the moment the new rule was ready to roll, and that’s happening too.
Gun Owners of America to File Suit Against Arbitrary ATF Bump Stock Ban
Springfield, VA – Gun Owners of America (GOA) and its Foundation (GOF) will be filing suit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice to seek an injunction protecting gun owners from their illegal prohibition of bump stocks.
Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America said, “As written, this case has important implications for gun owners since, in the coming days, an estimated half a million bump stock owners will have the difficult decision of either destroying or surrendering their valuable property — or else risk felony prosecution.
“ATF’s claim that it can rewrite Congressional law cannot pass legal muster. Agencies are not free to rewrite laws under the guise of ‘interpretation’ of a statute, especially where the law’s meaning is clear.
“The new ATF regulations would arbitrarily redefine bump stocks as ‘machineguns’ — and, down the road, could implicate the right to own AR-15’s and many other lawfully owned semi-automatic firearms,” Pratt continued. “ATF’s new bump stock regulation clearly violates federal law, as bump stocks do not qualify as machineguns under the federal statute.”
For more information about the suit, or GOA and GOF’s recommendation for bump stock owners, please see here.
I suspect this is just the first of many such announcements coming in the next few days.
Frankly, this is a lawsuit that needs to happen. This nonsense of ruling a device a machine gun because it’s politically convenient needs to end, and it’s time for the courts to do just that. The legal definition of a machine gun is clear; a firearm that will fire more than one shot with a single trigger pull. A bump stock doesn’t violate that rule in any way, so calling it a machine gun is ridiculous.
Additionally, this opens the door up for more liberal administrations to determine other devices are suddenly machine guns too, simply because it’s what they want, not what the law specifies.
I hope the ATF is ready for a fight because they’re about to get one.