Thursday, a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the ATF’s new rule that re-classifies bump stocks as machine guns. That ruling only applies to the plaintiff who filed that suit. Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has done the same thing.
Like the Tenth Circuit’s ruling, this one only applies to plaintiff Damien Guedes who brought the suit along with the Firearms Policy Coalition. Their lawsuit challenging the bump stock ban was initially denied by a District Court, but a DC Circuit three-judge panel today has agreed to issue the stay.
The bump stock ban will go into effect as of March 26.
From the ruling . . .
FURTHER ORDERED, on the court’s own motion, that the effective date of the Bump-Stock Rule, 83 Fed. Reg. 66514 (Dec. 26, 2018), be administratively stayed in its application only as to the named Appellants in appeals Nos. 19-5042 and 19-5044, pending further order of this Court. The purpose of this stay is exclusively to give the Court sufficient opportunity to consider the disposition of this highly expedited appeal, and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the appeal. See D.C. Circuit Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures 33 (2018).
You can read the full ruling here (PDF).
UPDATE: Our friends at the Firearms Policy Coalition, which is a party to this lawsuit, noted some questions in the comments below and have sent these clarifications:
You have that backwards. FPC had their suit dismissed. The stay only applies to Codrea, Madison Society Foundation, and Florida Carry. It does not apply to Guedes or FPC.”
1) The FPC lawsuit was not dismissed. FPC dismissed its interlocutory appeal yesterday following oral arguments. (See attached motion. The oral argument audio recording is here [note that it’s about 2 hours long].) FPC plans to “to move to amend its Complaint to respond to the ratification in ways that are relevant to the Court’s eventual application of the voluntary cessation doctrine.” Then FPC can “secure a final judgment in the district court, and to then appeal from that judgment.” The FPF/Guedes claims will proceed [separately now] on their current litigation track.
2) The order of administrative stay is “to the named Appellants in appeals Nos. 19-5042 and 19-5044, pending further order of this Court.” The named appellants in no. 19-5042 are: Firearms Policy Foundation, Shane Roden, Madison Society Foundation, Inc., Florida Carry, Inc., and, of course, Damien Guedes. See the operative complaint here and the appeal brief here. I’m not sure why the commenter would think the stay is limited to “Codrea, Madison Society Foundation, and Florida Carry” given the order’s text; Codrea is a plaintiff-appellant in no. 19-5044 (Codrea, et al. v. Barr, et al.), and, as noted, Florida Carry, Inc., and Madison Society Foundation, Inc., are plaintiffs-appellants in 19-5042 (Guedes, et al. v. BATFE, et al.).
Why is this only being applied to individuals and not as a whole?
The D.C. Circuit panel issued the order on its own motion (“FURTHER ORDERED, on the court’s own motion…” Order at 2.). Our requested relief was for all affected persons (not just the named parties). In light of the stay today we have asked the government if they would voluntarily move the deadline back for all people, recognizing that these issues are serious and that people should not be threatened with prosecution while the issues are still up in the air. Even if they decline, we hope to expand on this stay order to protect everyone affected before the deadline.
I’m curious *how* it can be ordered to be so-applied, also. What, are these two guys gonna end up with the only transferable bump stocks? Will the Hughes Amendment be clearly broken but only for them, despite the whole ‘equal protection under the law’ thing?
At this time we do not know if the subject devices will be “transferable bump stocks.” The order says [only] that “the effective date of the Bump-Stock Rule, 83 Fed. Reg. 66514 (Dec. 26, 2018), be administratively stayed in its application only as to the named Appellants in appeals Nos. 19-5042 and 19-5044, pending further order of this Court. The purpose of this stay is exclusively to give the Court sufficient opportunity to consider the disposition of this highly expedited appeal, and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the appeal.”