bump fire stock ban
Dan Z for TTAG
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On the first day of the Supreme Court’s new term, the Court announced this morning that it has denied cert in two cases challenging the ATF’s ban on bump stocks under the Trump administration. The cases challenged the ATF’s authority to reclassify previously-approved bump stocks as machine guns.

From the AP . . .

The cases the justices declined to hear were an appeal from a Utah gun rights advocate and another brought by the gun rights group Gun Owners of America and others. As is typical the justices made no comments in declining to hear the cases and they were among many the court rejected Monday, the first day of the court’s new term. …

The Trump administration’s move was an about-face for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 2010, under the Obama administration, the agency found that bump stocks should not be classified as a “machinegun” and therefore should not be banned under federal law. Under the Trump administration, officials revisited that determination and found it incorrect.

The decision by the Court not only sidesteps another gun control case, but also a challenge to federal agencies’ regulatory power through Chevron deference, allowing them broad abilities to interpret laws as written by Congress.

 

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98 COMMENTS

  1. So any entity with sufficient clout in government can just declare a statute written by Congress invalid and make their own “law”. Nice. Still a 3rd class right in the USSA.

      • Such decisions will continue as long as Gun Control is not Center X. Since History confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is rooted in Racism and Genocide the evidence is crystal clear, Gun Control should be and can be abolished like Slavery. The court probably knows that but if plaintiffs would rather grasp at straws then so be it.

    • The fucking *point* of ‘Bruen’ setting the new standard for 2A cases to be heard was so that the SCotUS wouldn’t have to hear bullshit cases like bump-stocks.

      Let the lower courts apply the new one-step standard and screw it up, then the high court may hear it.

      It’s only been 4 months, people. Court cases can take YEARS to play out… 🙁

      • It’s a feature, not a bug. Lawsuits are measured in years at minimum, often decades for politically charged ones.

      • this was not a “Second Amendment
        case.

        Still, at least one more pending that SCOTUS may actually bite on, since the arguments in it were a bit different than ALL of the other cookie cutter cases

      • New York is in open rebellion against the Bruen decision.
        They passed a new gun law more strict than the one that was struck down by the Supremes.
        This new law outlaws all guns in a large area around times square along with no conceal carry in all parks.
        Many previous businesses with premises only gun permits were sent letters that the permits are no longer valid.
        Reenactors Can longer bring their reproduction muskets into parks to re-create revolutionary and Civil War battles.
        Urging patience is foolish when the Supremes have no method to enforce the rulings

      • John Boch seems to suggest the US 1st Cir. went back in time to try and skirt around Bruen when it upheld Morin v. Lyver in September 2021. SCOTUS just sent it back in light of Bruen, which of course was decided this past June.

  2. The law is worded such, that a bump stock doesn’t fit the definition of a machinegun. As much as people don’t like bump stocks, the wording of the law matters, and it is bad precedent to “fill in the gaps” of the law that is not written in order to to restrict Americans. Courts should take a strict approach for any laws restricting the people. IMO, the whole thing on banning machine guns is unconstitutional, but that viewpoint is “unpopular”… so.

    • There’s an EPA case they are scheduled to hear shortly, and that can result in Chevron deference being flushed down the metaphorical toilet.

      The case is Sackett v. EPA, oral arguments heard today, Oct.3.

      Let’s just see what happens next June…

  3. That’s unfortunate. But not entirely surprising. There’s been a lot of background noise about legitimacy of SCOTUS. Maybe they’re taking a wait and see approach after the Bruen and Row hullabaloo.

    • They have ruled on how a case is to be considered. Let’s see what happens. ‘Bruen’ is just a few short months old…

  4. If you want rapid fire, get an AK variant.
    Frankly, after a couple of mag dumps, rapid fire is boring and wasteful.
    The legal malfunctions in the Nation have become so numerous that SCOTUS can’t hear every case.

    • You are missing the point. Practicality has no relevance on this issue. Using it as a justification is no better than the antis use of practicality for magazine size, gun features or amount of guns. “Nobody NEEDS a ______” Fill in the blank and you are no better than them.

        • Fully supporting and strict enforcement of The US Constitution and Bill of Rights is not being a “coconut”. It’s what the USA was founded upon from day 1.
          Evidently you’re not intelligent enough to understand that?

      • Moodock and Country Boy,

        The United States Supreme Court does not have enough time to hear every case which aggrieved parties appeal to them. That sad fact forces the U.S. Supreme Court to choose some cases and reject others.

        I can only hope and imagine that the U.S. Supreme Court prioritizes (and thus hears) the cases with the most far-reaching consequences. If that is true, the U.S. Supreme Court would likely decline to hear this case about bump-stocks which, upon casual inspection, has very limited consequences for our society.

        • I say they do have the time. It’s plain to see that a bumpstock is not a machine gun nor is a forced reset trigger. Time spent by SCOTUS no more than 60 minutes to reaffirm the truth and move on. Hell they could strike down the NFA, say the AFT is an illegal agency, and wrap up the morning by declaring National Reciprocity is the law of the land because SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means what it says.

      • the amount of people actually owning these things is relatively small…magazines are a much different matter….

        • Since when did it matter? One person being denied a right is wrong enough. What’s the magic number that it matters? anything between 1 and infinity is subjective.

    • Why would getting an AK help, it’s just as semi automatic as an AR, MP5, 10/22?

      I see this argument a lot, full auto is wasteful, etc, but I lump that in with other statements like “you don’t need an AR to hunt deer, deer don’t wear Kevlar.” No one needs a sports car to drive to the shopping mall.

      We should be able to decide whether to shoot rapid fire or “waste” our own ammo, if we want to spend the cash or find it amusing, that should be fine and shouldn’t result in a felony conviction and jail time to do so (or require an FFL and SOT).

      • An AK trigger resets with about 1/8″ movement of your finger whereas an AR is about 1/2″. You can merely vibrate your finger against the trigger of an AK rapidly and do a mag dump in 6 seconds or so, depending on how well coordinated you are. Bystanders at the range will think you have a machine gun.

    • Then you should be content with being allowed to only own a double shotgun. And only a 5 shot revolver. You will save lots of ammo then. And you will make the government happy.

      • Ironically I agree with Chris. It’s not up to you to tell me what I can and cannot own, that’s how a free society works. Sadly it goes over most your heads.

        • “It’s not up to you to tell me what I can and cannot own,…”

          Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah?

          If you don’t mind me, and do what I tell you, then your are dumb, a fathead, evil, wicked, mean, bad and nasty.

          And dumb.

  5. So is that the final nail in the bump stock coffin, over and done, or is there still anything pending on these?

    That doesn’t bode well for pistol braces unless someone can make a clear distinction why one administrative overreach is not appropriate when another was.

    Besides opposing magically turning bump stocks into machine guns when previously they were determined as not, causing companies to go out of business, inventory to be forfeited and destroyed, and making legal purchases by citizens into a banned item that makes them a felon, we also opposed the precedent for the president, doj, and ATF to just decide something is illegal and reinterpret the rules because of political desires, with financial and criminal penalties.

    Biden definitely took that precedent as his path forward on firearm receivers, ghost guns, and pistol braces, and if there isn’t a clear line we will remain at the mercy of each new administration.

    • “So is that the final nail in the bump stock coffin, over and done, or is there still anything pending on these?”

      ‘Bruen’ has ruled cases cannot be considered under the 2-step format.

      We have to wait for someone to file a fresh bump-stock case to see if the court applies the proper one-step standard.

      We need to chill the fuck out a bit and see if the courts and appellate courts do their job…

      • There’s also the “rule of lenity”- any ambiguity in statute is resolved in favor of a criminal defendant.

        The first time the ATF tries to prosecute somebody for owning a bump stock, the issue of what the statute actually says and how it is to be interpreted will be brought up by the defendant’s lawyer. The Chevron Deference does not apply in criminal cases, the rule of lenity does, and it pretty much says the exact opposite. So, no wait will be given to the ATF’s “interpretation” of what a machine gun is, only the statute will matter, and any questions about what constitutes “a single pull of the trigger” will be resolved in favor of the defendant.

        For reference, see the criminal case a few years ago about the convicted felon who was manufacturing ARs that the ATF quietly settled because neither the upper nor the lower receiver of an AR meet the legal definition of a firearm.

        • Needs to be re-litigated under the previous ruling that states that agencies cannot create law, only congress can.

      • ATF’s primary thrust was to put an end to the sale of these items…just don’t get caught with one…they like to make “examples” from time to time…still plenty of gadgets out there that do the same thing….had some scruffy types show up at one of our mg shoots using “hellfires”…couldn’t really tell the difference…..

  6. How about this, stop giving other people authority over your life. Once you realize those are just other people their power to regulate things slips away.

      • Sure. I don’t use credit and when fiat currency is convenient i use it but I realize it is manipulated and not an Investment. Your point? I have a natural and enumerated right to bear whatever the fuck kind of arms i want. No pencil neck and the goon squad have a say in it. Just stop thinking they are better than you and you should submit. I’m free how about you?

        • Free to carry whatever arms I want.
          You must live in Afghanistan or some place like it because if you walk into a U.S. post office with a .22 bolt action single shot you’ll find out about free to carry whatever you want anywhere you want.
          The only Right we have is the right to remain silent until its tortured out of us.

        • A cute retort that draws a clear line between reality and internet bravado. Do your thing, though.

  7. So time to leverage Bruen to invalidate the NFA altogether.

    Make the gun-haters wish they had stopped while they still had something.

    • The Supreme Court is government, government is power Over people.
      Do you actually think the Supreme Court wants to change that?

      • So you do recognize that government is just a power structure to control us. Who gives them that power? We do. We can also take it back. Who said it had to be a plurality of people that took it back. Just be defiant. They are just other people. Many of which arent smarter or of better character than yourself so why defer to them? The rule of law is broken in this country anyway, it is selectively enforced, confusing and wholly unenforceable if enough people, or any people even, stop obeying. For three years almost we had people following tyrannical edicts in the name of a flu bug. I for one am tired as hell of justifying to anyone what this adult is doing. Just food for thought, not confrontational.

  8. Looking forward to LKB’s analysis. There may have been reasons for the non cert in the cases themselves, flaws in the arguments of some type, or perhaps bump stocks were not in “common use” in the founding era and thus not protected.

    • yeah I would like to see that too, don’t want to overreact, the media is quick to toss this out to claim a “win.” Hopefully not common use, common use is a trap that will limit us to a musket, sword, and cannon. As soon as arms move past our gun powder era we will be locked out of the next big thing as common use becomes a chicken and egg game.

      • Yep, common use was a dead end and that is why it was abandoned in Bruen. I am not happy with this refusal to clear out the bump stock ban, but I am interested in why they refused and even more interested in where the district courts are headed post Bruen and WV v EPA.

        • They hear today another EPA case, Sackett v. EPA.

          Reading the questions the justices ask may give us an idea how they may rule next June on it…

    • The core of the argument in the petition is that bump stocks aren’t machine guns. This is not a Constitutional question, it’s a political one. That’s why SCOTUS didn’t take it.

  9. I am quite content to allow the red Communist States to have all the abortions they want. They believe in murdering children and having sex with them. I can’t stop that. But the red white and blue Freedom States can have machine guns, rocket launchers, Crew serve weapons, civilian aircraft armed with whatever weapons they can carry.
    And armed privately owned watercraft.

    We are moving toward a national divorce. And it doesn’t have to be a violent one. We just agreed to go our separate ways. Like the anti-war crowd in this country keeps talking about. There’s no need for violence.

    • Tennessee decriminalized short-barrel rifles and shotguns. It’s still a federal crime, but so is marijuana possession in every jurisdiction, and for that matter, so is illegal immigration. Texas decriminalized suppressors.

      • Tennessee and Texas are light years ahead of other states who don’t have constitutional carry. And those states are continuing to pass more and more gun control. The world is not perfect and it never will be. But certain parts of the country are certainly better than others. And any state with constitutional carry is certainly Superior to one that does not have it.

  10. Everybody just chill the fuck out a bit.

    ‘Bruen’ set the new standard, let the lower courts apply (or refuse to apply) the new one-step, text and tradition standard.

    When appellate courts refuse to apply the standard, then the SCotUS may (or may not) step in…

  11. Bump stocks were dead after the Las Vegas massacre. I think we all knew it, even though some of us didn’t want to admit it. Yesterday, we were admonished by TTAG that unintentional discharges threaten 2A. If that’s true, then what do bump stocks do after Las Vegas?

    The bump stock is not the hill I choose to die on.

    • “The bump stock is not the hill I choose to die on.”

      Preach it.

      All we have to do is remind the appellate courts what happened the last time they thought they could get cute with the 2A, and it should cool their jets.

      Thomas will have no problem giving them ‘Bruen’ 2, Electric Boogaloo.

      Ralph, I’m becoming convinced they haven’t yet fully realized what decision means for their little plans… 🙂

      • “All we have to do is remind the appellate courts what happened the last time they thought they could get cute with the 2A, and it should cool their jets.”

        So far, Biden has confirmed 83 federal judges vs 69 confirmed at the same point under Trump.

        I’m not confident that any of the new political appointees will do their jobs. They will all be little Ketanji Brown Jacksons. You remember, the brilliant female judge who couldn’t answer the question about what makes a woman because she’s not a biologist.

        And now SCOTUS has to decide whether or not to continue affirmative action. Does anybody rally expect Jackson to vote against the scheme that got her the SCOTUS job in the first place?

        I practiced law for 35 years, and I was always aware that the legal system was a sham. Now its just an obvious sham.

        • “I practiced law for 35 years, and I was always aware that the legal system was a sham. Now its just an obvious sham.”

          I think there are more people than most folks think. Who have come to believe that our legal system is really just a sham. When Hillary Clinton is not prosecuted over the mishandling of classified material. Or when President Clinton’s National Security advisor, Sandy Burger, is caught with secret documents in his underwear and socks, and he gets off scot-free.

          Or when Kyle Rittenhouse is prosecuted even though video evidence shows he was defending himself against a mob attack. Or when criminals smash glass and shoplift and they are let go. The same day they were arrested. The police are ordered to stand down. And let criminals run free.

          Yeah I think most of America is starting to believe our justice system is a joke.

        • “Does anybody rally expect Jackson to vote against the scheme that got her the SCOTUS job in the first place?”

          She will vote the *exact* same way as the old, white, Leftist Scum ™ she was appointed to replace, Ralph, and you know it.

          The court balance didn’t change with her confirmation. It’s still 6-3, in our favor… 🙂

        • “Or when President Clinton’s National Security advisor, Sandy Burger, is caught with secret documents in his underwear and socks, and he gets off scot-free“

          So you practiced law for 35 years?

          You must’ve missed the classroom time on ‘perjury’ and ‘bearing false witness’ because you seem ready to lie in public to support your fantasy narrative.

          “Berger was fined $50,000,[23] sentenced to serve two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and stripped of his security clearance for three years“

          Donald Trump was caught with hundreds of TS/SCI documents, and evaded 2 federal subpoenas to return the documents.

          Based on the Berger precedent, the Donald is looking at a couple hundred years sentence and several million dollars in fines, good times!

        • miner. Reading comprehension. Chris did not practice law for 35 years.

          You’re blending two comments to get your snark. No wonder Trump will be the next potus. Your side is incompetent.

        • J-bird, I’m answering both comments in one post for brevity. Chris quoted Ralph to support his post, unfortunately they are both wrong about Sandy Berger.

          And Ralph practiced law for 35 years, while believing the legal system is a sham? I don’t know that I would be proud of spending 35 years participating in a sham system, seems ethically compromised.

          But who cares about ethics if you can turn a profit, right Capitalists?

        • How many years have you spent thinking you’re a social-lists when in reality you’re a Fascist, miner?

          And when did Ralph say he was proud?

  12. So much for Trump’s 4-dimensional chess game that his supporters oft commented on TTAG whenever anyone criticized his banning bump stocks. Such a great deal-maker, getting nothing in return for this gift to the gun grabbers.

    • I agree with you. But I also know that the “gun community”, has never supported to wide spread ownership, of machine guns to the general population. Most of the “gun community”, and I believe most of the people even here on TTAG, will never support the repeal the NFA. Because that would mean machine guns would be legal for everyone. And the cost of a machine gun would drop like a stone.

      Reading the comments about black teenagers with guns with glock switches, tells anyone just how little support, there is for MG ownership in the “Gun community”.

      From 2017

      “Marion Hammer: NRA Never Wanted Legal Machine Guns, Bump Fire Stocks”

      https://jewscanshoot.org/2017/10/14/marion-hammer-nra-never-wanted-legal-machine-guns-bump-fire-stocks/

      • the NRA has always been willing to settle for half-a-loaf…the obama administration approved these devices because they were somehow going to aid people with disabilities…misuse restricted its use….

        • Las Vegas shooter put the kibosh on them, that’s what comes to mind when non-gun folks think of Bump Stocks.

        • “the obama administration approved these devices“

          Yes, the facts of history show Barack Hussein Obama expanded your gun rights regarding both bump stocks and the CARD Act of 2009 expanding lawful carry onto millions of acres of federally managed lands.

          And republican Donald Trump restricted our gun rights, as well as advocating for red flag laws making the direct statement “take the guns first, go through due process second.”

      • I disagree. There are less than 150k machine guns that can be legally held by ordinary civilians. Many owners have multiple machine guns. Many have owned them since 1986, when the prices started to shoot up. A friend of mine bought an M16 during the Clinton Crime Bill’s AWB because it was cheaper than a pre-ban AR-15. The market has since exploded ($30k+ for a factory M16), but they would rather have their machine guns than the money. If more machine guns could be registered, they would be the first one in line to buy more. Hammer is a FUDD and a major recipient of NRA cronyism. She’s in it for herself and cares nothing about gun rights.

        • Are thinking about a factory made machine gun being sold to the general public??? Because I’m not. When or if MG’s are deregulated. It will be people like me, in the tens of thousands, who will convert our semi-autos to select fire.

          That is how this country will get, over a million new machine gun owners overnight.

    • “Such a great deal-maker, getting nothing in return for this gift to the gun grabbers.”

      Nothing?

      ‘Bruen’, by a vote of 6-3.

      I thank God for Trump’s gift of Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Coney-Barrett to the Supreme Court… 🙂

      • He picked 3 names off the Federalist Society’s list just as any other Republican would have. How was that enabled by caving to the post-shooting gun control hysteria and legitimizing rewriting the NFA by executive order (now be applied to 80% receivers and pistol braces, next applied to who knows)? He could have tied a bump stock ban to CCW reciprocity or passing the Hearing Protection Act, but 8natead he just gave it away.

        • Manchin-Toomey attempted a tradeoff in rights. We were supposed get handgun sales across state lines and a few other goodies in exchange for background checks at gun shows and private sales, but not transfers between family members or friends, which were exempt. It was properly ripped to shreds by 2A supporters.

          Horse trading never works out well. As far as trading bump stocks for something good, that was never going to happen. The sheep are too frightened.

  13. It ain’t called a “balanced court” for nothing.

    You get to possess a firearm outside the home, but you also get pieces of plastic declared a machine gun.

  14. If it wasn’t for President Trump we would not have had the Bruen decision at all. I’m very happy to take “a Great Leap Forward” for our rights. And yes I know we didn’t get legalized weed intoxication from Trump. But we have already discussed several cases where the Bruen case was successfully used in our favor. And I don’t believe a RINO would have picked judges from the Federalist Society.

    And by the way. Congress never sent President Trump any pro-second Amendment legislation for him to sign. And you can blame, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for that. But we did get legalized cannabis from the 2018 Farm Bill. That’s “one Great Leap Forward” for marijuana legalization.

    There are now many legal marijuana business Millionaires and billionaires in the United States. And there numbers are growing.

  15. On bumpstock defense….

    Why are the companies that make bumpstocks, and other enhancements, not the lead plaintiffs in suits to overturn restrictions on same? Why is it the SAF, GOA, NRA, or other “gun rights” organizations are left to defend the profits for companies making items that actually serve to solidify the original infringement of RTKBA?

    • Probably because they were small companies that made a niche product not massive corps. I bet there wasn’t much profit left over after they had to dump their inventories. I’m saying this with no actual knowledge, just an honest guess.

      • “Probably because they were small companies that made a niche product not massive corps.”

        That doesn’t justify fighting legal battles to enable niche companies to continue to make money making products designed to get around the NFA/GCA. The core issue is infringement, not supporting private businesses profitability, and our “right” to evade infringements on the constitution.

        Follow the money….plenty to be made by companies creating workarounds. If NFA and GCA are abolished, a notable amount of revenue to companies providing workarounds will be lost. What is the goal, here? Protecting profits from workarounds, or eliminating infringements on 2A?

        • Your point is correct on principle. I believe in principles and fighting but legal battles are very expensive. Sometimes you simply can’t do it especially when your opponent has unlimited funds. Being that they were probably an operation with 5 employees and under 1 million gross, again guessing, that probably left very little after the government yanked their business out under their feet. Since slidefire was the only company making them since they got bumpfire shut down the entire legal burden would be on them. If it came down it I bet they just couldn’t raise the funds despite how much they wanted to.

        • The goal is to let those higher ups in these gun rights groups keep their retirement funds in collecting the NFA items and selling them for huge profits down the road.
          If they fight for the plebs to have work-arounds like bump stocks, binary triggers, etc., pay off some politicians to then ban those range toys, they can then “fight for our rights” to own those gadgets and keep our eyes off the prize of the NFA.

  16. I’m disappointed, but not surprised. SCOTUS takes less than 2% of the appeals. To be in the running, it has to either be contrary decisions in different Circuits or a matter that at least 4 Justices feel needs to be addressed. Criminal cases get more interest because they avoid issues of standing, and a person’s life is on the line. Furthermore, the arguments for the appeal must be based on arguments from the trial. Both cases were from prior to Bruen, so it couldn’t have been part of the case. SCOTUS already has an EPA case that addresses the limits of regulations. The cycle will need to start again with a Bruen-based argument, or somebody will need to be charged with possession. Post-Bruen cases may challenge NFA or the Hughes amendment, which would encompass bump stocks.

  17. If I ever won a huge $$$ lotto drawing, I would probably find a 2A lawyer and ask how much they thought it might cost in a long running SCOTUS case and put forth the money to repeal the NFA and Hughes Amendment.
    I would make sure my name was front and center and call these groups out for being such pansies for filing lawsuits for range toys and not going after the ‘Big Dogs’.
    Even if it just wound up getting rid of the Hughes Amendment and/or taking suppressors off the list, I’d still consider it a victory, but I would make sure to force the reasons for the NFA into the light and have scrutiny applied to all of them by having them show how many crimes the NFA actually stopped any crime at all- we’ve had nearly 100 years to gather that information. Hell, no one could come up with a good reason to put suppressors on the list to begin with, but they did it anyways.

    • “If I ever won a huge $$$ lotto drawing, I would probably find a 2A lawyer….”

      Good on ya’, mate. Hadn’t thought of that before. Good excuse to by a lotto ticket at the liquor store.

      Best of luck to you winning.

  18. @Moondock
    “Since slidefire was the only company making them since they got bumpfire shut down the entire legal burden would be on them.”

    A single company may suffer, a bunch of single companies might suffer, loss of sales/profits. That does not justify major 2A support organizations fighting battles to maintain the status quo.

    The problem is not company profits, or existence. The problem is infringement on 2A. End the infringements, and the demand for workaround products drops to near zero.

    The sole reason companies make workaround products is to workaround infringement of the Second Amendment. Money and effort should not be spent protecting companies, but fighting infringements. Do away with infringements, and everything falls in place.

  19. @brian
    “pay off some politicians to then ban those range toys, they can then “fight for our rights” to own those gadgets and keep our eyes off the prize of the NFA.”

    Didn’t want to go there, however…..

    I don’t remember reading about any direct court case to completely overturn NFA, or GCA.

  20. Those cases are just over the denials of preliminary injunctions. If you want the court to hear your case, litigate it first. Utah guy’s case is weak sauce; almost reads like a pro se litigant

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