bump fire stock ban
Dan Z for TTAG

As soon as President Trump directed the ATF to take another look at federal law in order to re-classify bump stocks as machine guns, the Firearms Policy Coalition and others filed lawsuits challenging the new ATF rule and then acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s authority to issue it.

The first decision, however, has gone against the challengers. DC District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich has rejected the FPC’s lawsuits.

As USA Today reports:

Friedrich rejected arguments that the rule was rushed through the administrative process, or that it was improperly issued by then acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. She wrote that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was within its right to redefine ambiguous terms that the government had previously concluded constrained them to allow the devices.

“That this decision marked a reversal of ATF’s previous interpretation is not a basis for invalidating the rule because ATF’s current interpretation is lawful and ATF adequately explained the change in interpretation,” Dabney wrote in her 64-page ruling.

She didn’t buy the FPC’s argument that Whitaker couldn’t legally issue the rule.

Friedrich also rejected an argument that the ban was unlawful because it had been approved by former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, whose appointment last year was met with criticism because he had not been approved for the job by the Senate. She ruled that Trump had the power to appoint Whitaker.

You can read Judge Friedrich’s 64-page ruling here.

This is but the first step in the process. And there are three other lawsuits that have been filed challenging the ban.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, denounced the ruling and vowed to appeal to reign in “a rogue and growing executive branch.”

“We are disappointed but unsurprised by the court’s ruling tonight denying a temporary injunction to protect Americans from an unlawful and unconstitutional regulation,” the group wrote in a statement.

Technically, owners of bump stocks have until March 26 to turn them in or destroy the. That date could change if a stay is granted while the ruling is appealed. In any case, given the anemic compliance rates with other laws enacting bans or mandatory registration in places like New York and California, don’t look for many owners to trash or turn in their bump stocks.

You can read the Firearms Policy Coalition’s statement on the ruling here.

56 COMMENTS

  1. What link/article is being quoted here?

    My understanding is that the ruling was only against the procedural challenges / temporary injunction, not a ruling on the merits of the case. As such the Judge *in no way whatsoever* “OK”‘ed the ban.

    But maybe the not-linked-to article will correct my understanding.

    • Yup. It’s a denial of a motion for preliminary injunction, not a ruling on the merits.

      As illustrated by the DD case, those are extremely difficult to get a federal court to grant. Add in Chevron deference and it’s likely impossible (unless, of course, you’re in front of an activist liberal judge who doesn’t like PDT, in which case the law and procedure matters not).

      • That’s a little too “silver lining” IMO. It was a denial of a request for preliminary injunction. The standard for a preliminary injunction is: It is clear that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in the case and failure to injoin the law will cause irreparable harm. The Court found the opposite. So, while all is not lost, the denial of the prelim. is far more than a mere bump in the road.

        I am a lawyer, but not yours and my opinion isn’t necessarily worth anything. That being said, it was at least tactically questionable to file suit in DC. Following the denial of the prelim., it should be obvious that it is a near guarantee that the DC Court is going to rule against the plaintiffs. This is going to be decided by the SCt. (almost certainly). A better Appellate Court path should have been chosen.

        Regardless, the hope will remain that the Supreme Court will be more protective of the Second Amendment than the traitor in the whitehouse.

        • While we’ll have to agree to disagree on how much to read into a denial of a MPI, I do concur with your observation regarding plaintiff’s choice of venue. Unless there’s something procedural that requires filing in DC (admin law geeks — please advise!), they should have filed in a district where the appeal would go the Fifth Circuit. (Thanks to some recent PDT appointments. CTA5 is back in the conservative column.

  2. Of course, we still have a Socialist Marxist Style Kangaroo Court System in place…Unconstitutional, Infringements, Nobody cares, Big Government still rules….Not until there’s some radical corrections with how business is conducted within the USA! Since the Globalists and their puppets (Libtards and RINOs)have control within our hallow chambers of government…

  3. She wrote that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was within its right to redefine ambiguous terms that the government had previously concluded constrained them to allow the devices.

    “Ambiguous”?!?!?! The NFA’s definition of a machine gun (firing a single shot per function of the trigger) is about as far from ambiguous as it is possible to get!!!

    These damned ideological judges (and others like them) are destroying this country by destroying the Rule of Law!

    All hail Rule of Man!

    • He’s not, but he’s done far more to preserve liberty than the alternative the socialists put forth.
      I’m waiting for an explanation of exactly where the government in any level thinks it has the power to regulate arms. It clearly doesn’t.

      • Yeah, cuz the BATFE banned bump stocks under Obama. Oh, no, that didn’t happen. Also, Obama said: “T[t]ke the guns first, go through due process second.” Oh, nope, that was the traitor. https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/376097-trump-take-the-guns-first-go-through-due-process-second

        So, your claim is that grabbing guns does more to protect the Second Amendment than not grabbing guns? No wonder the Republican Party is so wrecked. All the people in it vote against their own interest.

        • “No wonder the Republican Party is so wrecked. All the people in it vote against their own interest.”

          Huh.

          You would have preferred the choices HRC would have made for the two open seats on SCOTUS that were filled by the ‘traitor’, lawyer Tim?

          You actually believed a SCOTUS with six ‘Progressive’ Leftists on it would have granted cert. on the N.Y. Pistol Club transportation case?

          Whatever you’re smoking, can I have some from your bag? Because that has got to be some seriously good shit…

    • It’s 36d chesst, ban and restrict gunzz and ammo, kinda sorta, companies fold, however the MAGA Gunz Incorporated will sell you all you they can.

  4. unlawful and unconstitutional regulation is all we know from this so called free country. The ground will rumble on the day of reckoning

  5. Somewhere people got the idea that other people should rule over them and that mere possession of things should put them on their rulers’ capture-or-kill list. Thanks a lot.

  6. “Trump vows to veto anti-gun bills” ??? Bump stock Ban??? Crazy Miranda, believes all the propaganda. One book tells her how to get the look, another tells her to stay as plain as you are.

    • Declaring something as contraband has long history of being declared legal in the courts.
      When marijuana and later cocaine were first made illegal contraband, probably every house in America had some of each in the medicine cabinet.
      No one suggested the government buy up all those legally obtained, now illegal drugs.
      It’s only an illegal taking if the government takes it from you and gives it to someone else
      (Or uses it themselves).
      Forcing you to discard it is not considered “taking”

  7. A serious question. Are you violating a law by bump firing? I can from my solder w my SAM7UF and ALG. Does not change the fact of one trigger pull equals one shot

  8. No one is planning to outlaw machine gun ownership. Rich white men will always have their machine guns. Such as Donald Trumps two sons. Also rich Florida residence like
    Mike Fernandez who has a very nice machine gun collection in Florida as well.

    https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2018/03/22/nras-hammer-slams-longtime-gop-donor-over-gun-control-326264

    It was a rich man who commited mass murder in Las Vegas. And they are taking away the ability of the poor to have the same firepower as the wealthy. Or the poor to have the same firepower as the police. Since Obama who hate guns, except when the government has them. He sent select fire weapons to nearly every law enforcement agency in this country.

    The rich will always have what they want. This ban is economic discrimination. The state of Tennessee did the same thing 150 years ago. They wrote a law saying the only hand gun you could have was the Navy revolver. The most expensive gun at the time. And one that no free black person could afford.

    • “The state of Tennessee did the same thing 150 years ago. They wrote a law saying the only hand gun you could have was the Navy revolver. The most expensive gun at the time. And one that no free black person could afford.”

      I’d never heard that one, but it’s a great datapoint (as well as another example of the truly racist history of many gun control laws). Can you point me to some historical authority for it?

      • FYI for LKB

        David B. Kopel is one of the best researchers when it come to gun control history in the USA.

        “Tennessee enacted the 1871 “Army and Navy” law, barring the sale of any handguns except the “Army and Navy model.” The ex-Confederate soldiers already had their high-quality Army and Navy guns. But cash-poor freedmen could barely afford lower-cost, simpler firearms not of the Army and Navy quality.

        Many Southern states followed Tennessee’s lead, with facially neutral laws banning inexpensive guns, or requiring permits to own or carry a gun. As one Florida judge explained, the laws were “passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers . . . [and] never intended to be applied to the white population.” (Watson v. Stone, Florida, 1941).”

        https://www.encounterbooks.com/features/racist-roots-gun-control/

        TTAG has already discussed the current attempts to legislate the cost of gun up to the point of only the wealth being able to afford them. History is repeating itself.

    • “It was a rich man who committed mass murder in Las Vegas. And they are taking away the ability of the poor to have the same firepower as the wealthy.”

      WTF, so you are implying that ALL people should have the tools to commit mass murder? At least your are startling to figure out why they are being banned.

  9. Had not Stephen Paddock, a mystery man with unknown motives, with or without shadowy accomplices, using or not using a bumpstock equipped gun, possibly shot all those Vegas concert goers, bumpstocks would still be a legal gun accessory.

    Thanks to the ethical uncompromised nonpolitical and aboveboard FBI, the facts are clear. These things are just too dangerous; or not. But must be banned! That much is obvious.

    • His motives are perfectly clear. There’s a reason they’re still a “mystery.” Put it this way, if he had shot up a gay pride event instead, there would be absolutely *no* question in the minds of anyone what his motives were. But he shoots up a country music festival and all the sudden it’s all “oh well I guess we’ll never know”.

  10. As horrific as the Las Vegas attack was I’ve always thought it could have been far worse. Paddock, for all his money and all his crazy, was ignorant of his choices. There are other calibers and weapons he could have afforded and used to achieve far greater carnage. We are lucky he used a gadget that ruined his guns accuracy, making about 700 out of 1100 shots completely miss a large crowd of people in a restricted space.

    • I think 500 yards had a lot to do with the low Death count. Of course you being sniper joe could have done all head shots at that range.

  11. i wonder what the judge’s ruling would have been if she looked out her window and saw hundreds of pitchfork tynes GLINTING in the light of hundreds of torches.

    The rule of law is dead as a stone. So is the soap box, the ballot box, and the jury box.

    Yet the “gun community” and “liberty movement” who are supposedly going to save us when the shit hits the fan are too busy reading TTAG and doing backflips to comply with these crap laws to show up to the *midnight torchlight* rally.

  12. More of that 3D chess. Let’s just cut off one of our legs and then run a marathon. SMH

    The idiot could’ve just kept his yap shut… the NRA too. Even Obama didn’t do this.

  13. “In any case, given the anemic compliance rates with other laws enacting bans or mandatory registration in places like New York and California, don’t look for many owners to trash or turn in their bump stocks.”

    Does this mean that we can FINALLY drop this “law abiding” trope? Stick around long enough and most of us won’t be “law abiding” if we value our liberty.

    • Theres too many laws, regulations and rules on the books to NOT be guilty of something anymore.

      Then theres the willy nilly taxation. The patriots of 1776 rose up against far less egregious taxes then we have now.

      Our “public servants” kneejerk react to every crime, identity politics issue or perceived injustice with more legislation. Communism is now chic with half the population. With Google, FB, geneology companies, and the other big tech autocracies working with law enforcement, the era of Precrime has arrived.

      But, at least we are free, unlike those poor slobs in Russia.

      “Show me the man I will show you the crime.” Josef Stalin

  14. As far as I know they have never released to the public the forensics examination of all the weapons in Las Vegas Shooter’s hotel room.

    As far as I’m concerned there is no proof that an AR-15 equipped with a bump stock committed this massacre. This is not tinfoil hat stuff.

    If anyone has a link to the forensics report on the weapons used please post a link. I don’t trust the FBI just because they say so that a bump stock was used.

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