AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File
A Utah man is currently the last legal bump stock owner in the United States. He gained that status thanks to a legal ruling that let him keep his bump stock, but explicitly excluded all others who owned the device. It gave him a bizarre claim to fame.
Now, another court has ended that claim.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday lifted a temporary injunction that allowed Clark Aposhian to keep the device after federal law banned them starting March 26. The Denver-based court issued the injunction March 21 to consider his motion to not enforce the ban against him pending the outcome of his lawsuit.
“Upon review of the materials filed by the parties and the pertinent law, the court concludes that an injunction pending appeal is not warranted in this case,” according to the three-judge panel.
Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, said his bump stock, which modifies a rifle to fire like automatic weapons, would be “impounded” and that he must turn it in, likely to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, by next Monday.
“That’s the way that the court is dealing with irreparable harm, in that it wouldn’t be irreparable then, if and when we win the case, it would be returned to me,” he said.
Unfortunately, I’m not nearly as confident in Aposhian’s chances in court as he is.
So far, every other bump stock case throughout the nation has met disaster. None have gone very far, and it’s unlikely that the Supreme Court will hear a bump stock case any time soon. Should one be presented to the court, I expect it to decline.
In other words, Aposhian should probably go out and enjoy his bump stock this weekend because I suspect he won’t see it again after he turns it over.
Don’t get me wrong here. While I think bump stocks are dumb, I don’t want to see them restricted. I would love to see the bump stock ban overturned. That’s the right call so far as the Second Amendment goes.
As I’ve said before, my approval of something isn’t required for the Second Amendment to apply. This is a prime example of that principle. Bump stocks are dumb, but they should be legal.
However, I also have to acknowledge that because I think something is unconstitutional doesn’t mean the courts will agree with me. If they would have, then the Heller decision would have read, “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ is so damn hard to understand?” Alas, we got something far different.
Aposhian will turn in his bump stock to comply with the law (I won’t speculate as to whether he’ll turn over all bump stocks he may possess or not) and I suspect he’ll be like the rest of us from then on. We’re not likely to see bump stocks legal again any time in our lives.
However, it does bear repeating that banning bump stocks won’t end the ability to bump fire at all. I wonder what the anti-gun crusaders would think if they realized that.