ATF Admits It Lacked Regulatory Authority to Ban Bump Stocks

Courtesy ATF.gov.

You know that bump stock ban that the Trump administration imposed upon Americans? As I’ve written before, I suspect the President knew the regulatory reclassification of these obscure accessories lacked enforceability in court. And now, sure enough, the ATF has admitted in court filings that it lacked the authority to ban bump stocks in the way it did.

bump fire stock ban

Dan Z for TTAG

In “Boch: Democrats’ Universal Background Check Bill is DOA in Congress,” I wrote about the bump stock ban:

Oh yes, earlier this year President Trump directed government bureaucracies to “ban” bump stocks. That ban made a lot of Democrats, gun control advocates and the mainstream media piddle themselves with excitement. It also upset a lot of gun rights supporters.

The Firearms Policy Coalition and Gun Owners of America wasted no time filing well-argued lawsuits. The courts may well sack the ban even before it takes effect a few months from now.

And I fully believe President DJT has no problem with that. Here’s the thing: Trump likely expects this extra-legal ban to go down in flames via the courts. Ever the master negotiator, Trump merely gave the media yap dogs and Dems a big, fat red herring – and they swallowed it whole.

And when the courts strike down the ATF’s regulatory over-reach, Trump can then shrug his shoulders and say he tried. And then continue with his agenda of jobs and America first without breaking his stride. Once again, he’s playing Democrats and the mainstream media hacks for fools.

Now that seems to be exactly what’s hapening. From Yahoo Finance:

Congress has not prohibited bump stocks, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has made them illegal with a Final Rule issued without statutory authority. In a noteworthy development, ATF’s latest court filing admits that it lacked rulemaking authority under the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act to issue a legislative rule. ATF thus now agrees with NCLA that the district court below was wrong on this point of law.

The New Civil Liberties Alliance has filed a brief on behalf of client Clark Aposhian, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to reject ATF’s remaining defenses of the Final Rule, restore Mr. Aposhian’s constitutional rights, and grant him a preliminary injunction to possess his lawfully acquired property. Specifically, NCLA argues that ATF’s interpretation is not the best reading of the statute and that the Court of Appeals cannot properly invoke the Chevron judicial deference doctrine to defer to ATF’s interpretation.

This case is not about whether gun control is a good idea. Rather, Mr. Aposhian’s appeal raises key issues about how an agency may create such a ban—that is, whether agency regulations may contradict a statute passed by Congress. The appeal also challenges the notion that a mere interpretive rule can bind third parties, such as owners of bump stocks.

Bump fire stock ban atf trump

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

From the court filing:

The Final Rule is void as a matter of law because, as ATF has conceded, it lacked “the authority to engage in ‘gap-filling’ interpretations of what qualifies as a ‘machinegun’” under the Gun Control and National Firearms Acts. (See Appellees’ Br. at 41.) The Final Rule, however, was designed to do just that—expand the definition of a “machinegun” to now include bump stocks, with such new legislative regulations taking effect only “after the effective date of th[e] regulation.” Final Rule, 83 Fed. Reg. 66523 (emphasis added). The Final Rule is therefore invalid and unenforceable.

Recognizing that it has the lawful authority to issue legislative rules only if there is a statutory ambiguity, ATF concedes that “the Rule’s application of the terms used to define ‘machinegun’ in the National Firearms Act is correct, and there is no ambiguity[.]” (Appellees’ Br. at 35-36.) ATF then goes one step further and concedes that it has no legislative rulemaking authority at all. (Appellees’ Br. at 40.) ATF agrees that “Congress did not expressly task the Attorney General with determining the scope of the criminal prohibition on machinegun possession” and that “statutory scheme does not … appear to provide the Attorney General the authority to engage in ‘gap-filling’ interpretations of what qualifies as a ‘machinegun[.]’” (Appellees’ Br. at 40-41.) ATF then argues that the Final Rule is an “interpretive” rule that does nothing more than provide “the best interpretation of the statute” that bump stocks “were machineguns at the time of classification[.]” (Appellees’ Br. at 36, 38, 40-41.) ATF has thus staked out the untenable position that the Bump Stock Final Rule is valid, only because it represents nothing more than a mere interpretation of an already unambiguous statutory prohibition.

This means that ATF agrees that the district court committed legal error. After all, the district court upheld the Final Rule only after concluding that “the Attorney General has been implicitly delegated interpretive authority to define ambiguous words or phrases in the NFA and the GCA” and that the term “machinegun” was ambiguous. (Aplt. App. at A133.) ATF’s present defense of the Final Rule therefore tries to make up for what it agrees was the district court’s erroneous legal analysis. (See Appellees’ Br. at 35-36, 40-41.)

Beyond showing its disagreement with the district court, ATF’s present argument also mean that if this Court decides that the Final Rule is legislative, ATF has conceded that is was promulgated without any lawful “authority” and is therefore void. (See Appellees’ Br. at 40.)

If even the ATF is acknowledging that it lacks statutory authority to ban bump stocks by administrative fiat, it would seem the days of the bump stock ban are numbered.

Bigstock

And Donald Trump can, as I predicted, shrug his shoulders and say, “You know, I tried” and get back to creating jobs and making America great again.

And bump stock owners may soon be able dig them up or pull them back out of their closets or dog houses and take them to the range again.

comments

  1. avatar PK says:

    The ATF didn’t admit any such thing… the plaintiff’s lawyer said they know they lack the authority.

    HUGE difference.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      The filing references and quotes from ATF’s prior brief.

    2. avatar We The People " Know " what you are. says:

      The BATF is a fraud of massive proportions. Some like to call the following research ‘ conspiracy theory ‘, many are stunned to find this quite accurate.
      NO JURISDICTION —- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, has no venue or jurisdiction within the borders of any of the 50 States of the united States of America, except in pursuit of an importer of contraband alcohol, tobacco, or firearms, who failed to pay the TAX on those items. As proof, refer to the July 30, 1993 ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1 F.3d 1511; 1993 U.S. App. Lexis 19747, where the court ruled in United States v. D.J. Vollmer & Co. that “the B.A.T.F. has jurisdiction over the first sale of a firearm imported to the country, but they don’t have jurisdiction over subsequent sales.”

      ” For further evidence of the fact that the I.R.S. and the B.A.T.F. are one in the same organization, check 27 U.S.C.A. Section 201.
      Secretary Humphrey with NO AUTHORITY, creates an AGENCY of the Department of the Treasury called “Internal Revenue Service”, out of AIR, from AN OFFSHORE PURE TRUST, called “Bureau of Internal Revenue”. The “SETTLER” and “BENEFICIARIES” of the trust are UNKNOWN. The “TRUSTEE” is the “SECRETARY of THE TREASURY”. Acting Secretary Walker further LAUNDERS the trust by CREATING from the alleged “Internal Revenue Service”, the “BUREAU OF ALCOHOL TOBACCO AND FIREARMS”.
      PERSON BECOMES THING — Unlike Humphrey, however, Walker ASSUAGES himself of any guilt, when he NULLIFIED the order by PROCLAIMING, “The terms ‘Director, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division’ and ‘Commissioner of Internal Revenue’ wherever used in regulations, rules, and instructions, and forms, issued or adopted FOR THE ADMINISTRATION and ENFORCEMENT of the LAWS specified in paragraph 2 hereof, which are in effect or in use on the effective date of this Order, shall be held to mean the Director'”.Walker created the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms] from the [Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division] of Humphrey’s [Internal Revenue Service]. He then says, that, what was transferred, is the same ENTITY as the [Commissioner of Internal Revenue]. He KNEW he could not create something from nothing without the AUTHORITY OF CONGRESS and/or the President, so he made it look like he did something that he had, in fact, not done. TO COMPOUND THE FRAUD, the FEDERAL REGISTER PUBLISHED the unbelievable assertion that a PERSON HAD BEEN REPLACED WITH A THING; ” the term Director Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division has been replaced with the term Internal Revenue Service.”

      http://usa-the-republic.com/revenue/BATF-IRS%20Criminal%20Report.html#tgotm

      1. avatar Joe Marcom says:

        Consider precedent: ATF has exercised authority to classify weapons which fire from an open-bolt, and the drop-in sear for the AR-15 as machine guns. Whether they actually have this authority is an open question.
        Congress banned sale of machine guns made after May 1986 to civilians, but not the firearm itself. It’s right to do so is questionable, under the 2nd Amendment, but was never challenged.
        I claim that any total ban is unconstitutional; getting this through the Courts is another matter.

        1. avatar Albert says:

          PEOPLE, EVERY Gun restriction law on any Federal, state or county criminal code is ILEA GAL.
          Father more, every State, county or Federal politicians that voted for, signed into These unlawful acts and or attempts to enforce them are guilty of Violations of there sworn oath of Office, and Treason against the Constitutions of the United States as well as there own state Constitution. The second Amendment is NOT discretionary, there IS no room for interpretation, it says very CLEARLY. “The Right to bare arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”. NOT EVER, against any body including convicted felons, metal patients, or even children. The ONLY ones able to restrict Arms are ourselves. We teach, limit our children use, a we respect friends that ask we not carry in there home…… But NO Governmental body, agency, or agent there of has the authority to prohibit, restrict, or even hold records of ownership of a Fire Arm…… The ne4xt part of that is, in the 1800, a Cannon that fired a 8-10 inch round ball, or grape shoot, was also considered a “Fire Arm” and was legal for anyone to own? So ANY Military, anything that shoots is legal…..

  2. avatar 2a suxs sucks says:

    John what is going on with our foid card ?

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      i can say that isp is working at some levels. 90day ccw no prints, foid changed (“updated without request”) so numbers are now matching. new id card due in 2020- why didn’t they renew it?
      friend who returned after moving out of state is being asked what do you have now while you are out of compliance? he had to lie of course. pending, pending.

  3. avatar Shiffrod says:

    Mr. Boch makes some wild assumptions about Trump’s cleverness.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Not sure about that. I thought of it when Trump ordered the ATF ban. If it could occur to me, then, certainly it could have occurred to Trump and his advisers.

      It is a sly game, politics.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        “It is a sly game, politics.”

        ****
        Yes, and I still believe Trump has been playing the fabled “4D chess” will all of this. Think of it…if/when it becomes a formal conclusion that the ATF lacks the authority to make such rulings, it will act as a bulwark against any future attempts at re-classifying things on the fly. By allowing the ATF to step over the legal line, he’s allowed its boundaries to become a refreshed topic of discussion.

        For example, until I read this today, I was fully expecting the ATF to review AR pistols for reclassification as SBRs due to their extreme similarities. This may preemptively stop that.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Looks like we’re going to find out. All you “never Trumpers” might want to corral your Trump Derangement Syndrome long enough to ask yourselves who nominated Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, as well as hundreds of conservative lower court judges. Your fanaticism does not explain how that has happened. Or the tax cut, or the thriving economy, and on, and on, even while attacked constantly by liberal trolls like yourselves. If you feel that last dig was inappropriate, examine your company.

        1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          I still support Trump. But he did not support the suppressor case in Kansas. In fact that was stated in writing. And a good guy is going to jail for several years now. And the NRA has only given lip service to the suppressor industry. And only lip service to the Hearing Protection Act.

      3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        @Larry,

        Was that directed toward Never Trumpers in general, or toward LifeSavor and/or me? I voted for they guy, so…

      4. avatar Hannibal says:

        Except you care about this enough to be posting on a gun site like TTAG. None of them do- at all. Your problem is that you think anyone but a very small minority care about bump stocks. They don’t. On either side, for that matter.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          I don’t care about bump stocks even the slightest bit. I do care a whole lot about not giving the government a boost in its race toward a bureaucratic police state.

          As Napresto said below, the problem here, even if Trump’s gambit ends up squelching an avenue of administrative abuse (a very good thing), is that in the meantime, REAL PEOPLE have been forced to give up personal property had their businesses destroyed.

          I do not appreciate billionaires playing games with my property and my civil rights, even when they’re ostensibly on my side.

      5. avatar Napresto says:

        Politics is a sly game indeed, but if Trump was playing 4d chess in this case (I doubt it), his sly maneuvers cost a lot of innocent people a lot of money in destroyed product, lost business, legal fees, and court costs. If it was 4d chess, it was all totally unnecessary and not a little inconsiderate. If not, it was just plain stupid to believe that banning bump stocks would curry any meaningful favor with the left.

        Either way: for shame! The smart move: tell the left to go pound sand, always.

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      and still it is the impression that is somewhat plausible.
      “may you live in interesting times.”
      that’s most of the chinese i know, other than “man with hole in pocket feel nutty all day.”

    3. avatar enuf says:

      Agreed. Some people drank so much Trump Kool-Aid in 2016 they are now hopelessly addicted.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        What’s good for the Leftist goose is good for the right-wing gander.

        The difference this time is, we now have a SCOTUS making noises it might like to *severely* reign-in the regulatory state and its fascination with interpretative rulings. Rulings like, “What is a machine gun?” … 🙂

      2. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Enuf,

        Still a Trump supporter but not drinking any Kool-Aid.

        Around our house we spend a lot of time talking about what we think he is doing wrong. We cheer when he gets some wall built, when he wins a court-case, but we shout and mutter endlessly about how the swamp is still swampy, how the bad-guys keep their security clearances, how the deficit gets bigger and bigger, how SHE is still not in jail, and how we remain militarily embroiled in places we should not be.

        (WHAT!!! We are sending our military to Saudi Arabia? WTF!!! They can’t defend their wells and pipelines?? They have the wealth to purchase some of the most advanced military gear available! Are they at least paying us for this??? Why are our troops putting their lives on the line???).

        So, it is possible to believe Trump planned this whole bump stock escapade and still be a Trump critic and hold his feet to the fire.

        Lastly, your posts are always well-though out; I find myself agreeing with you often. I always read your words, unless you are replying to Vlad; I do not read Vlad threads.

        My reply here is just to offer context, not to criticize in any way.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          I often just scroll past the Vlad threads as well. Not worth the time, and surprising that so many here get sucked in to replying.

        2. avatar Truckman says:

          Trump did make a statement about saudi arabia and them paying for anything we do plus they have to be involved

    4. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      ATF’s Brief on the bump stock ruling is behind a login-wall in the PACER system. It can be found in the 10th Circuit Court’s filings, case number 19-4036, Aposhian v. Barr, et al.

    5. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Boch’s just trying to make a buck like Wayne Lapierre. He’s also quite the Fudd too.

    6. avatar Donttreadonme says:

      Agreed, I doubt it was any “3d” chess. He wanted to give the left something and he picked an easy one. Hes done nothing to strengthen the 2a, and I dont expect he will.

  4. avatar Andrew lias says:

    If you read the nfa there is no ambiguity to what a machine gun is. A lot of people have viewed this an overstep of the executive branch and noted congress needs to make it a reality. The atf has been a habitual line crosser for decades maybe they crossed a line too far on this one.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Thanks. I never got the courage to read such tripe, it’s good to know it is as I understood as a child. And again, I have to say (in a very IANAL way) that the NFA was written, argued, passed and signed in 1934. Here, 85 years later, a faceless, nameless, unelected bureaucrat has taken it upon himself (albeit with urging from POTUS) to change the wording in an ATF rule book, on his own, after which thousands of shiny newly created felons can report to Federal prison for 10 years. Yeah, no! That change requires consideration, vote and signature from 535 congresscritters and the POTUS. All that before we even begin deciding on it’s constitutionality. I cannot even imagine it being considered enforceable in any court.

  5. avatar jwm says:

    Trump is loading the 9th circus as we speak. The left are chopping their own dicks off. NYC has set gun control up for a major ass whipping by the scotus. The ‘squad’ has put the final nail in the democratic party’s coffin.

    Trump is going to have 4 more years to load the courts. We will have nationwide constitutional carry no later than his second term. There will be grim financial times ahead for folks that make money off opposing gun control. They won’t be seen as needed.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      From your keyboard to God’s inbox!

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        the good lord has scooter’s posts blocked for spamming about revolvers.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Heathen! God is a revolver man, just like me. His just shoots lightning bolts.

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          I like that one, jwm. 🙂

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          SO!! It’s a Python, then, JWM!!?

        4. avatar Rusty - Die Ruthie Die - Chains says:

          From what it says right here in my Bible, God cast the serpent out (I forgot just where, but it was before he went and tempted Eve). So iffn God leans toward the revolvers, its gotta be a Smith!

        5. avatar Ticktalk says:

          You are all wrong. Everyone knows God carries an original 1847 Colt Walker. Only He could use it and not have it blow up in his face.

    2. avatar Lawbob says:

      Roberts could screw us. Squishy.

    3. avatar enuf says:

      Trump is not loading the 9th Circuit. The Federalist Society is pulling Trump’s strings on Federal judge appointments. He’s completely out of his depth and has surrendered to people who know what they are doing.

      A Trump win in 2020 is not certain, though I agree it is likely that we will see a repeat of 2016. Where the candidates of the two parties are so repugnant there is no “Lesser of two Evils” to pick from. Either victory is a disaster for the Republic.

      1. avatar LifeSavor says:

        We are faced with annihilation on the one hand, and extinction on the other?

        Let us pray that we choose wisely.

        Hyperbole is fun!

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          “We are faced with annihilation on the one hand, and extinction on the other?”

          ****
          You sound like an NRA fundraising mailer, LifeSavor. 🙂

      2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “…there is no “Lesser of two Evils” to pick from.”

        ‘Feel the Bern’ is probably the least-obnoxious candidate they have. He would be tough to beat.

        I’m still very worried someone with very little ‘baggage’ may be picked, like Tom Hanks, who is popular across party lines.

        That would be as ugly as Harris’s nasty camel toe… ;(

        1. avatar chuckers says:

          I don’t want the US to turn into Venezuala. I have a friend from Panama and she said the country is being overran by people fleeing Venezuala. Go to Russia and get out of the tourist section where the people are actually forced to live and stay there for a day or two and see if you are even remotely willing to take a chance of living in a hell hole like that. Everybody is equally poor and living in squaller. Do I hear a go Bernie?

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Chuckers, it is still not too late to get into Cuba (you have to fly commercial on a tour), which would be much safer and cheaper than Venezuela, Russia, or China, never mind North Korea. But a week there will leave you with no doubt whether you want to stay or return to the US. I got there on a cruise in March, found it unspeakably sad. Average family income is $35-50 per *month*, and that is the figures they are bragging about. You cannot even imagine the conditions. I have rarely been so happy as when I got off the ship in Miami.

      3. avatar GapharmD says:

        Yeah. Just like his 2016 victory has been a disaster. America becoming great again!

      4. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Trump is out of his depth? Sorta like nearly every president before him, relying on subordinates who are experts in their fields to handle the details? Were you watching when Reagan addressed that? A possible exception was LBJ, and perhaps Nixon, since they had spent their entire lives on the government dole, in LBJ’s case going from abject poverty to extremely wealthy without ever holding a real job. If you need to rant about how awful Trump is, you could at least try to make a small quantity of sense.

        1. avatar enuf says:

          I’ve been politically aware and active since Nixon in 1968. Supported Reagan for President. Was seriously pissed off when he hit us with a massive tax increase.

    4. avatar LLRNR says:

      Probably no need for a speed loader with lightning bolts, right? They’re pretty fast on their own.

  6. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    I thought bump stocks were a novelty when they came on the market. That thought was confirmed the first time I used one. Poor man’s full auto and full auto lost it’s fascination for me decades ago. That said, there is no reason for bump stocks to be illegal. In fact, I believe the way in which the government made it so is unconstitutional. Negative administrative rulings usually are.

    1. avatar The Grey Man says:

      I used a bump stock and I thought it worked pretty darn good! Gotta have a decent trigger though….

  7. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Un Constitutional from the start.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      ^ This!

      Notice that the court briefs fail to mention the fact that the 1934 National Firearms Act and 1968 Gun Control Act blatantly violate the United States Constitution, Amendment Two, which is the Supreme Law of the Land:

      The Final Rule is void as a matter of law because, as ATF has conceded, it lacked “the authority to engage in ‘gap-filling’ interpretations of what qualifies as a ‘machinegun’” under the Gun Control and National Firearms Acts.


      Of course attorneys out there will immediately chime in that the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act are the law of the land since United States Congress passed them and the U.S. Supreme Court has not struck them down.

      My response: we need a way to immediately nullify laws which obviously and egregiously violate fundamental, inalienable rights and the United States Constitution.

      And my first thought on how to do that: we need the equivalent of a Grand Jury which can promptly review such contentious laws. If at least 18 out of 20 Grand Jurors agree that such a law does not violate our inalienable rights or the U.S. Constitution, then it stands. Otherwise, it is null and void. And both sides must present their argument to the Grand Constitutional Jury and the Grand Constitutional Jury’s decision must rest on simple logic, common sense, and decency, NOT on convoluted legal constructs.

      I believe my example is very robust. Every Grand Constitutional Jury would agree that theft, assault, rape, and murder is wrong and uphold laws which punish such criminal behavior. When something happens which is more obscure, such as denying a minority demographic from voting, there is a very good chance that at least 3 of the 20 Grand Constitutional Jurors would disagree and prevent that law from taking effect, thus preserving the voting rights of a minority demographic.

      That is how you prevent tyranny of the majority AND tyranny of the minority as well.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        And who stacks the ‘jury’?

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I’m witcha. This is a great plan and will solve all the world’s problems, so long as all members of this grand jury are selected by me and me alone, now and forever.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Geoff PR,

          Of course the Grand Constitutional Jury selection process would be absolutely critical to the success of that approach. The process would have to ensure a random cross-section of our nation.

          If any entity could stack the jury, it would not work.

      2. avatar LifeSavor says:

        U_C,

        Quoting you: “…we need a way to immediately nullify laws which obviously and egregiously violate fundamental, inalienable rights and the United States Constitution.”

        Amen! Your idea is essentially a civilian review and adjudication. I am thinking there must be a way to fix how the Supreme Court operates. They often and deliberately decide so narrowly that they avoid constitutional questions.

        Of course, we will never rid ourselves of prejudicial judges….

      3. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

        You are just as delusional as the far left Utopians. Animal Farm should be mandatory reading for all. Of course your idea will work, after all we are all equal, it’s just that some are more equal than most. Your Star Chamber will fare no better that the original one and for the same reasons.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    I’m sure the folks over at Slidefire are ecstatic now that they’ve shut down and lost everything.
    This is a consequence of law and bureaucracy often overlooked. Though a bad decision may be struck and a bad law may be repealed the damage caused cannot be undone and has long reaching affects.

  9. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

    If the ATF ban is thrown out would that have any affect on the state bans like Florida’s? I don’t have a dog in the bumpstock fight (except in principle) but Florida’s ban includes binary triggers.

    1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

      No, it would not! The state bans are legislative bans, while the federal ban was an outright illegal executive ban. Watch out for a legislative federal ban that may include binary triggers.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        Florida’s ‘bump-stock’ ban includes binary triggers, and even *worse*, “any device that speeds up rate of fire”. A standard, stock Timney trigger could be argued to a Leftists it increases rate of fire, even *slightly*. The law as it stands does not address that, and that was the point of the law in the first place…

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          I am aware of that as well and the Timney trigger issue is one that I would take to court. I have the means.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Money or not, you still need “standing”.

        3. avatar Ckineverett says:

          Cyclic rate of the action determines rate of fire. The speed that any given individual can pull the trigger, even if faster than the cyclic rate will not increase the firearm’s rate of fire. A bump stock cannot increase the rate of fire of a rifle beyond what the rifle is capable of without it, and nor will any trigger ever invented.

        4. avatar The Grey Man says:

          Is Florida going to cut Jerry Miculek ‘s trigger finger off?

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      If it were thrown out as unconstitutional under 2A, it could possibly affect state laws, but there are so many grounds to toss it, I doubt 2A will even be argued.

  10. avatar ScottMc says:

    Exactly how I assumed it would go down.

    A machine-gun is still a machine-gun and a bump stock is still a collection of over priced pieces of plastic.

  11. avatar Dude says:

    So now the companies and individuals that were hurt from this rule should be able to sue the government for damages.

    1. avatar Rusty - Die Ruthie Die - Chains says:

      Yeah, I was just thinking that once this is put to bed, the Slide Fire folks have both standing and a significant claim against ATF as does anyone who worked for them: Loss of business, destruction of property, loss of wages. Maybe even punitive damages as well, since they should have known they did not have the statutory authority to impose such a ban, and Trump made me is a bit too much like “I was just following orders”.

  12. avatar Freebird says:

    How about some real answers as to what happened in Las Vegas instead ?

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      ^^^Here, Here!!! ^^^^
      YES!!!

    2. avatar The Grey Man says:

      ^^^ Absolutely!!!!!!! That Vegas shooting stinks to high heaven!!! I can still see that FBI guy standing next to the sheriff at the news conferences… Why was he there in the first place? I felt sorry for the sheriff because I think he was being told what to say…

  13. avatar Cory C. says:

    This article is delusional. Yeah, I get it. Trump’s better than the Democrats in some important ways. I won’t disagree with you there.

    But to think the more likely explanation for this whole melodrama is that Trump set into motion a master plan wherein he willfully violated the constitution just to later be repudiated, is hard to take seriously. Consider the evidence. Before the ban went into effect, the ATF said that they lacked authority to regulate bump stocks. In fact, we all well understand that this is precisely why the bump stock was allowed to market in the first place. So, it’s not like the ATF has changed its mind to support the president’s plan. This merely demonstrates that he lacks complete control over them, or at least lacks control to the degree that they’re willing to make legally specious arguments to the same degree that Jeff Sessions was when he wrote the manifestly unconstitutional letter instructing the ATF to ban bump stocks. It seems far more plausible that the ATF is actually relying on the court to enable them to ignore Trump on this issue.

    I doubt many of us here are in love with the ATF, but anyone with even the slightest bit of familiarity with the law can say with a straight face that the ATF is generally consistent in its reliance upon statutory authority. Like any other legal matter that involves unforeseen variations on items which were previously regulated in a more simplistic form, they have to make judgment calls, and those judgement calls are not always agreeable to gun owners. Again, though, like many of you, I’ve read dozens of (maybe 100?) ATF letters and statements and there is a legal consistency that is only ever deviated from when they run into something novel. I would be bold enough to say that most of the judges, lawyers, law professors, etc. I deal with on a daily basis are far less doctrinally rigid than are the ATF. Now, does this mean I like the ATF or that I think it should even exist or that the statutes upon which they rely to form their arguments are themselves constitutional? Absolutely not, but the one thing we can say about this agency is that it’s comparatively less arbitrary and capricious than are most other executive agencies. And most of the time when they do something far afield (like trying to ban M855) it’s because of presidential meddling.

    I also question the idea of Trump giving Democrats a gift to appease them knowing that it will eventually get shot down so he can say, “Hey, I tried.” For starters, he’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t intend to appease them in the slightest bit in every other aspect of governance, so why would it be a good thing for him to do, or even a likely that he is doing so, here? Further, why this and not universal background checks or one of the other more pressing goals of the Democrats? Surely, you don’t think that it’s because Trump is not willing to cross THOSE lines. Further, all of this assumes that Democrat politicians actually want bump stocks to be banned. I would argue that they no more want guns off the streets than they want poor minorities to get out of the ghetto. They need these issues to differentiate themselves politically. And what they actually want are fundraising talking points, and guns are merely a foil toward that end.

    Lastly, our government is not a monolith. It is in fact a body composed of competing factions, and I’m not talking about only the three branches. I’m referring to the various camps within those branches. For instance, we have agencies which pay farmers to grow tobacco and those which encourage people not to smoke, among many other seemingly incompatible organizations. And though they sometimes have unusual ambitions that manifest themselves in some odd ways, the main thing that are all clamoring for is job security. Period. The primary goal of any government functionary is to keep the money flowing in so that they and their cronies can continue to live a life free from the worries faced by the average American. Surely you don’t think this vaping scare has to do with kids getting addicted to a mostly harmless substance, do you? No, it’s about the governmental entities who control tobacco seeing their prominence and cash flow diminish as fewer people smoke cigarettes. So, guess what they’ve done. They’ve bent the narrative to show that vaping is basically as bad as smoking cigarettes, which justifies their continued existence. The ATF, however, is a more conservative organization. It’s not the fiery, narcissistic housewife of the local insurance agent who decides that she can run the school board better than anyone else can, all because her precious Braxton or Braylyn or Dakota or McKinley or whatever didn’t make the cheerleading squad. No, the ATF is more like the principal of the high school who smiles and nods and doesn’t rock the boat too often and keeps his job for 40 years… and shoots people’s dogs on occasion. And just like the aforementioned principal, the ATF is thinking beyond Trump, so it’s not willing to undermine its “legitimacy” for him.

    The point is, it strikes me as an article of faith (if not outright confirmation bias) to believe that the ATF is playing its role in Trump’s brilliant strategy simply because he violated the constitution and in doing so put them in a position that they couldn’t defend.

    1. avatar PK says:

      Excellent analysis.

    2. avatar ScottMc says:

      Have you ever worked in a state or Federal government under civil service, but not the Senior Executive Service?

    3. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Cory C.,

      Well-written, but I disagree with your conclusion. Here is why:

      The ATF was public about believing it does not have the authority to implement the bump-stock ban. That means they told Trump when he consulted them about the order he planned to issue. So, from the start, he knew this would be overturned upon a court challenge.

      FULLY AGREE with your paragraph that begins “Lastly, our government is not a monolith…” This is an insightful, practical analysis of how many large organizations really operate.

      1. avatar Cory C. says:

        LifeSavor, I can’t entirely disagree with your logic. However, at best, this means that Trump knowingly violated the Constitution in the name of gamesmanship, which is a hard pill to swallow on its own accord.

    4. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      (ATF) “… the one thing we can say about this agency is that it’s comparatively less arbitrary and capricious than are most other executive agencies.”

      Yeah, like the EPA. *shudder*… ;(

      I really hope the SCOTUS is itching to put a lid on regulatory over-reach like it has been rumored…

      1. avatar SoBe says:

        SCOTUS failed to do so last year when they had an easy case with little media coverage. Why do you think they will revisit with any more publicized case.

  14. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Umm . . . I thought from the first that Trump was engaging in a little slight-of-hand as a way of navigating his way out of bunch of political demands during a moral panic. Basically he was “sandbagging”. By making the ban a presidential order he avoided the demands for congress to pass a law. Laws are permanent while presidential orders are not. Absent congressional actions ATF rulings are more easily challenged and subject to change.

  15. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    So what will happen to the millions of dollars of inventory that were turned into the A.T.F. for destruction which they probably have not yet got around to destroying. Will the wholesalers and manufacturers be re-reimbursed? Fat chance, rather they will just have to absorb the loss. And at present I would not get caught with bump stock in your possession. The ATF is still enforcing the illegal law because they know they can get away with it and have no intention of not enforcing the law , not today and not ever. Laws mean little or nothing to the Government Bureaucrats because they will tell you , we do not enforce the law, we are the law.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      And at present I would not get caught with bump stock in your possession.

      Even I am having trouble making sense out of what I wrote there but it does not matter It all pays the same.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Thousands upon thousands were sold, anybody have a clue how many were turned in? A dozen?

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      Wait, this post seems to be largely within reality. Who are you?

  16. avatar pwrserge says:

    Ok everyone. All you clowns who ran around like retards with your asses on fire… I’ll say it once and once more when the case is finally settled.

    I
    Told
    You
    So

    That is all.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      Even the Republicans will not permit bump stocks ever again as they have the Presidents blessing. If the ATF is ordered to stand down the Republicans will pass a bump stock ban in Congress and claim it was their common sense gun law.

      And of course Power Brain when that happens I will remind you that “I TOLD YOU SO”!!!!!!

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Vlad… what part of “get the fuck out of my country” didn’t your sub-human commie vermin brain not understand?

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          You have got a lot of gall. I was born here and you were not. So according to your twisted philosophy (not mine) that makes me the better American because you cannot ever be a real one. Again your twisted way of thinking, not mine.

        2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          Now you have done it you have made me feel bad. You are going to be sorry I am going to go lay down on the basement floor and scream and cry and kick my feet and it will all be your fault.

        3. avatar pwrserge says:

          Service guarantees citizenship Vladdy boy.

        4. avatar pwrserge says:

          But let me expand on that Vladdy boy.

          “A citizen accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic, of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life. The civilian does not.”

          You kiddo are not a citizen. Nowhere in your little rants have you ever pointed out your own personal willingness to support and carry out the political actions you advocate. It’s always your cowardly ass hiding behind better men than you. “The police will”, “The Army will”, “The courts will”

          But leave it for a brain damaged commie to believe in magic dirt.

        5. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          quote—————-But let me expand on that Vladdy boy.

          “A citizen accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic, of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life. The civilian does not.”

          You kiddo are not a citizen. Nowhere in your little rants have you ever pointed out your own personal willingness to support and carry out the political actions you advocate. It’s always your cowardly ass hiding behind better men than you. “The police will”, “The Army will”, “The courts will”

          But leave it for a brain damaged commie to believe in magic dirt.————–quote

          I have always sat back and watch brain damaged Morons like you get their asses shot off so that the ruling elite could become more wealthy and more powerful. If you had not flunked history you would have known from the beginning how the world works. Instead you chose to get your ass shot off. You admitted you did get it shot off. Its called Darwinism. You were lucky you survived but the world was not.

        6. avatar pwrserge says:

          Thanks for proving my point Vladdy boy… the hilarious part is that you think the military will ever support someone like you.

        7. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

          So while pwrserge and Vlad duke it out for dominion over nothing, the rest of the room carries on elsewhere with relevant conversations…

      2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        That is right when the corrupt criminal courts who always rule in favor of gun control overturn the bump stock ban I will tell me “I told you so” or “I told me so” or both. I can argue with myself about this for hours. People have been telling me “I told you so” my whole life but I never listen and that does not have anything to do with me being such a pathetic miserable loser.

      3. avatar George Washington says:

        You fkn pos….. Nobody reads your garbage, HOMO….GTFO AND DON’T COME BACK!

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          I’m sure your reasoned and well-argued argument will convince him.

    2. avatar Mike V says:

      I hope to be told so on this.

    3. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

      The President has been trying to get a gun control package together now for weeks. We fought back and his efforts have been stopped it seems. Now, out of the blue, the ATF is throwing in the towel on the executive bump stock ban.

      The next step will be a legislative bump stock ban. Congressional Democrats certainly want it, congressional Republicans want it and the President wants it. Heck, even the NRA wants it. The President will get his gun control package!

      Throwing in the towel on the executive bump stock ban will also not resolve the Chevron Deference issue.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        If only court calendars didn’t make your argument complete bullshit.

        1. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          Please explain!

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          The filings in question pre-date the current gun control push. It takes WEEKS to write these sorts of filings and then respond to them.

        3. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          While my initial assertion of the timing may be wrong, if the executive bump stock ban gets thrown out, the next step will be a legislative bump stock ban that will be a must-pass bill. Your 4-D beer beer pong approach is still brilliant strategy, i.e., BS.

        4. avatar pwrserge says:

          We’ll see… the closer the election gets, the less likely anything is to pass.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          A bump stock ban will not pass Congress, much less be signed. Don’t believe me? Try to write a bill which would ban them, without simply banning a name (which can be changed before the ink is dry on a law).

        6. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          LarryinTX, several states have already banned them by describing its function. The biggest danger of that 4-D beer pong strategy is the “rate enhancing” description, which is whatever the ATF’s mood of the day is.

      2. avatar ScottMc says:

        You might have something there. Right now bump stocks are theoretically legal, but there are no manufacturers, those who were will eventually be compensated and will invest in new, less controversial products, and no sane person who still possesses one of these cheap but evil collections of plastic will dig one up. The time to ban bump stocks that barely exist might be upon us!

        The important outcome is that the definition of a “machine gun” has not been altered AND the administrative state clearly has no authority to alter that definition.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          The inability of the administrative state to alter laws in such a way might have a much larger impact than just bump stocks.

          One of the nasty things about the way the administrative state has worked in recent decades is to do something blatantly illegal knowing it would be difficult to challenge since lower courts will often give them the green light. As such any challenge requires a plaintiff with standing, deep pockets, moral courage, the fortitude to go the distance and the willingness to bet that they will both get cert from SCOTUS and then win the case.

          The “deep state” as some call them has been playing on this for a long time. Trump might have just taken their ability to do that away, or at least given plaintiffs a SCOTUS decision that makes wins in lower courts much, much more likely because precedent.

          A gamble to be sure and it still may not pay off, but nothing ventured…

        2. avatar Charlie Foxtrot says:

          FYI: Right now bump stocks are NOT theoretically legal, they are still illegal until a court says otherwise! Also, just because the government has driven bump stock manufacturers out of business with President Trump’s and the NRA’s 4-D beer pong strategy, does not mean that bump stocks barely exist. I have not heard of mass turn-ins or destructions of bump stocks. The more likely case is mass non-compliance.

  17. avatar DJ says:

    I agree. Trump waved a bone at them and knew the court would take it away.

  18. avatar Sam Hill says:

    I wonder if as a senior citizen afflicted with severe Sanford type arthritis, a bump stock will qualify as a medical appliance .if I have a doctor’s note? I can see it now, two hundred of us old farts climbing aboard a commercial flight to florida using our bump stock equipped support rifles as canes duly authorized by the CDC.

  19. avatar enuf says:

    When the ban is overturned and it is again legal to have one, I will wait for the price to fall and then buy one. Then take it out on July 4th to empty some magazines. Then put the thing on the shelf and forget about it.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I’m not sure I can empty the magazine on my Mosin nagant any faster with a bump stock than I can without.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes (the fake) says:

        I was able to “bump fire” my SKS by just keeping a loose grip on the stock and keeping the trigger finger really light on the trigger. I need my trigger finger in my line of work, but will BATF now be seeking to deprive me of it?
        Besides, how would I clean my nose otherwise?

  20. avatar John in Ohio says:

    “As I’ve written before, I suspect the President knew the regulatory reclassification of these obscure accessories lacked enforceability in court.”

    You’re delusional, Boch. There was no good reason for Trump to do what he did. I’m astounded and dismayed that you have anything to do with organizations that are supposed to be supporting the right to keep and bear arms.

    How did that firearms policy coalition thing go there, buddy? Why did it get scrubbed from the President’s webpage?

    From where I sit, it looks like your motivation is to pay your bills while keeping your inner Fudd silent enough to fool the suckers. Nothing but a lil Wayne (LP).

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Just an example of someone believing what they want to believe. Trump was right when he said he could shoot someone in Time Square and his supporters wouldn’t leave him.

      There’s a reason why much of the shitty gun control laws we’ve had passed in this country happened under GOP administrations. They can always find cover to do it while they’d fight tooth and nail if a dem put it forward.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Lol… what? Are you high? Name one purely gun control proposal that passed under a federal GOP administration. I’ll wait.

  21. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    This crap of “expanding” the definitions of words sound extremely ORWELLIAN!!! It makes political correctness seem 2 year-olds trying to learn the language and soon no one will know how to interpret anything. When the ban gets to Scotus it’s in trouble and so are the people who insisted on the destruction of 1000s of the stocks.

    1. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

      Yes, it is starting to sound like that a—w-pe, Neal Goldfarb’s Corpus Linguistics. Basically say something wrong enough times and it becomes truth is what Goldfart is promulgating.

  22. avatar GomeznSA says:

    Well I certainly do not know what all of the ramifications of this admission from the bats are (I’m NOT s lawyer). I do know this though – bump firing is a technique – not a specific piece of hardware. IIRC the technique was originally ‘discovered’ – possibly back in the 50s – and was accomplished using a shoe string to facilitate that technique.
    And if you are as uncoordinated as many of us (me) are – no amount of hardware, be it a stock, a shoe string, a belt loop or a rubber band – can enable us to make that technique work.
    The never ending “assault weapons” mantra(s) from the hoplophobes is a classic example of how they manipulate terminology to confuse people – especially non-gun folks – evidence: look at all of the opinions regarding this latest ‘revelation’ from the bats.

  23. avatar The SGM says:

    My problem with the Bump Stock Banning is that this was a Departmental which when enacted would carry the force of Law. Remember that the Congress is the only entity granted Law Making Authority by the Constitution. It appears that our Congressmen are too overworked, biased and afraid of constituent complaints to make a decision.

  24. avatar Will Drider says:

    If we recall the origional “Administrative Justification” for the BFS/Devices Ban was that DOJ stated all the BATFE Technical and Legal Experts “interpeted the Law incorrectly”. It was DOJ that proceeded to rewrite Congresses “specific intent” when they CHANGED the Laws definition of Machinegun. Once again DOJ throws BATFE under the bus to answer for DOJs misdeeds.

    There is a bigger problem connected to the illegal Ban: DOJ Claiming to be authority on the Laws, then clearly knew the deligated Administrative Authority did not allow them Rule making authority: Which was a power grab from Congresses Statutory Authority. We also have Administrative and Legal agencies that have oversight from Draft to Publication of Changes: the didn’t Stop this Abuse/power grab. It was Congresses Authority that was stolen and within all of Congress there was not a single whimper that Their Authority had been used without their approval and consent. THIS SHOULD PISS-OFF EVERY AMERICAN. It’s OUR CONSTITUTION and Rights they’re blatantly abusing and no DOJ criminal will be held accountable!

  25. avatar LarryinTX says:

    I’m pretty sure Sessions had a complete breakdown almost immediately after becoming AG.

  26. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m not a big fan of Trump but it’s really odd to cheat at a game where you get to pick the ref and then every ref you pick at every level is exactly the kind to tell you that your cheating isn’t allowed.

    That’s damned strange behavior for someone who is often accused of just wanting to win right choices be damned.

  27. avatar Heretic says:

    A. I could practically hear the gagging as you were typing out this article.
    B. Trump didn’t plan this all out and in fact has always been an anti-gun New York Democrat.
    C. you are sumption about how the lawsuit will turn out are exactly that. Assumptions. About lawsuits that were brought about in the first place because MAGAtards don’t know how to hold their politicians accountable.

    1. avatar Guesty "Weekend at Ruthie's" McGuesterson says:

      I see why your username is Heretic.

  28. avatar Alan says:

    So the BATFE admits that it lacked the legitimate authority to perform as it did with respect to Bump Stocks. In other words, this federal agency and the DOJ, where is is now housed, acted in violation of the law. Stay it isn’t so Joe, say it isn’t so, or put is other terminology, What Else Is New?

  29. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Whether Trump is masterful at prestidigitation is not the issue, here.

    As someone already noted, look at the damage done, and the precedent set. The anti-gun gang attacks all along the line, relentlessly. They don’t have to overturn the Second Amendment. Exhausting gun owners with constant, damaging attacks via laws is a viable tactic. Proclaiming laws we don’t like to be “unconstitutional” achieves nothing, Only when the Supreme Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient Magistrate of the Crown declares a law or regulation unconstitutional, are we out of danger of oppression. Meanwhile, we suffer the loss of our natural, human and civil right(s).

    If you don’t think real damage is done while the courts bankrupt citizens through the onerous process required to recover losses from government agencies enforcing unconstitutional law….well, pray you never learn. When a law is finally declared “unconstitutional”, all the perversion created while that law was in place is not overturned, and restitution ordered. Each victim must pursue individual recovery actions at the Bar. And that includes people currently jailed for “violations”, and those who have completed their punishment.

  30. avatar Red says:

    Screw Trump and the whole Swamp he lives in.

  31. avatar Casey Cothron says:

    Back to killing jobs and taxing the peasants then…

  32. avatar Philip Twiss says:

    Writing and enforcing illegal laws has no matter in a immoral political world. Many will be imposed without any regard to the Constitution or the Bill of rights because of two things:
    1. No responsibility for their actions. The government has no responsibility for its actions even if they know the laws / rules they write or enforce are illegal. They will kick in the front door and do want they want because you may go to prison for life (Mass.) but they will not be prosecuted for murder in enforcing Red Flag laws, Maryland.
    2. Most will not have the resources to pay for a legal fight to prove themselves innocent (All Red Flag Laws). The government found they can take property (Land…) for whatever reason they what and most will not be able to fight them in court. So too with Red Flag laws, lawyers are not provided by the government so the individual will have to provide their own legal defense. Lawyers and legal experts cost the kind of money most can not even begin to afford. And realize, even if you do prevail, none of those expenses will be awarded in the judgement. The government will just say “sorry for the inconvenience” and return your rights.

    P.S. Don’t expect your weapons to be returned, because they will be “lost” or destroyed by “accident”.

  33. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Unfortunately the gun community has never been interested in educating the public about the right of citizens to keep and bear ANY ARM. There only interested in promoting the guns they are currently selling.

    And they are afraid of new technology from new (rival) gun companies. What if the STEN GUN went back into production? Which it has in the former Yugoslavia. A very much improved version for the 21st century. Using modern materials and modern manufacturing methods.

    In WW2 the Sten was already a “cheap” gun. Now today it’s an even better and cheap $$$ gun.

    I think they would out sell any AR15 on the market today. And cost less as well.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “There only interested in promoting the guns they are currently selling. ”

      Curious statement where commenters insist all weapons of war should be in the hands of the citizenry.

  34. What a waste! I saved for one, Purchased one, then they put out this B.S. rule.
    So, being a good citizen, I didn’t know what to do. I’m sure as hell cant afford a $250,000.00 fine, and don’t have enough years left to do 10 at Club Fed.
    I took it to work and I put the band saw to the plastic, made smaller pieces from a big one.
    Now this article comes out, that’s big government for you..

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