This past Friday, a ruling from a federal appeals court slammed down a ban against bump stocks that was set in place back during the Trump administration in the wake of the Las Vegas Shooting in 2017.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans slammed back against the ban this past Friday with a staggering 13-3 vote, stating that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) had severely overstepped its power when it enacted the ban.
Back in 2018, the ATF elected to issue a ban on bump stocks at the request of then-President Donald Trump, effectively changing the terms “single function of the trigger” and “automatically” to label bump stocks as illegal due to already existing federal law. The new definitions from the TF effectively shifted guns with bump stocks to a classification of illegal machine guns.
A bump stock is an accessory that can be utilized with a semi-automatic rifle to try and mimic the speed of an automatic weapon.
“A plain reading of the statutory language, paired with close consideration of the mechanics of a semi-automatic firearm, reveals that a bump stock is excluded from the technical definition of ‘machinegun’ set forth in the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act,” explained the lead opinion Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod.
As the attorney for the man that elected to sue the government in the wake of being forced to hand over his bump stocks, Rich Samp stated that the case was not about gun control at all, but about who has the power to just create gun laws.
— Michael Cargill (@michaeldcargill) January 6, 2023
“This case is not about gun control. It is instead about who has the constitutional prerogative to change the criminal law if changes are warranted,” stated Samp. “The current statute, adopted in 1986, defines ‘machinegun’ in a manner that does not encompass non-mechanical bump stocks. It is unlawful for a prosecutorial entity like ATF to rewrite existing law without authorization from Congress. Any change in gun-control laws must emanate from Congress.”
This ruling from the 5th Circuit could end up opening the way for a possible showdown in the Supreme Court concerning the future of the regulation, which has not been tossed out by any other circuit courts.
As a group that has also issued lawsuits to overturn the illegal ban, the Gun Owners of America lauded the ruling from the court, stating that the battle about bump stocks was important for defending the Second Amendment as a whole.
“The fight on bump stocks is CRITICAL to defending all semiautomatic weapons from an arbitrary ban AND against the Biden ATF’s latest attacks on gun owners AND will help defend Forced Reset Triggers,” explained the group via social media.