Justice Gorsuch’s Statement on the Denial of Cert in the Guedes v. ATF Bump Stock Ban Appeal

Neil Gorsuch

Justice Neil Gorsuch, speaks during an interview in his chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

[ED: read the full opinion with cited case references here. As TTAG’s resident consulting attorney LKB points out, the key here is the last paragraph. The appeal in Guedes is from a denial of a preliminary injunction. There is no ruling here on the merits of the case. In other words, the bump stock ban itself could still be overturned.]

Does owning a bump stock expose a citizen to a decade in federal prison? For years, the government didn’t think so. But recently the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives changed its mind.

Now, according to a new interpretive rule from the agency, owning a bump stock is forbidden by a longstanding federal statute that outlaws the “possession [of] a machinegun.”

Whether bump stocks can be fairly reclassified and effectively outlawed as machineguns under existing statutory definitions, I do not know and could not say without briefing and argument. Nor do I question that Congress might seek to enact new legislation directly regulating the use and possession of bump stocks.

But at least one thing should be clear: Contrary to the court of appeals’s decision in this case, Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. 467 U. S. 837 (1984), has nothing to say about the proper interpretation of the law before us. In the first place, the government expressly waived reliance on Chevron.

The government told the court of appeals that, if the validity of its rule (re)interpreting the machinegun statute “turns on the applicability of Chevron, it would prefer that the [r]ule be set aside rather than upheld.”

Yet, despite this concession, the court proceeded to uphold the agency’s new rule only on the strength of Chevron deference. Think about it this way. The executive branch and affected citizens asked the court to do what courts usually do in statutory interpretation disputes: supply its best independent judgment about what the law means. But, instead of deciding the case the old-fashioned way, the court placed an uninvited thumb on the scale in favor of the government. That was mistaken.

This Court has often declined to apply Chevron deference when the government fails to invoke it. Even when Chevron deference is sought, this Court has found it inappropriate where “the Executive seems of two minds” about the result it prefers.

Nor is it a surprise that the government can lose the benefit of Chevron in situations like these and ours. If the justification for Chevron is that “‘policy choices’ should be left to executive branch officials ‘directly accountable to the people,’” then courts must equally respect the Executive’s decision not to make policy choices in the interpretation of Congress’s handiwork.

To make matters worse, the law before us carries the possibility of criminal sanctions. And, as the government itself may have recognized in offering its disclaimer, whatever else one thinks about Chevron, it has no role to play when liberty is at stake.

Under our Constitution, “[o]nly the people’s elected representatives in the legislature are authorized to ‘make an act a crime.’” Before courts may send people to prison, we owe them an independent determination that the law actually forbids their conduct. A “reasonable” prosecutor’s say-so is cold comfort in comparison.

That’s why this Court has “never held that the Government’s reading of a criminal statute is entitled to any deference.” Instead, we have emphasized, courts bear an “obligation” to determine independently what the law allows and forbids.

That obligation went unfulfilled here. Chevron’s application in this case may be doubtful for other reasons too. The agency used to tell everyone that bump stocks don’t qualify as “machineguns.” Now it says the opposite. The law hasn’t changed, only an agency’s interpretation of it.

And these days it sometimes seems agencies change their statutory interpretations almost as often as elections change administrations. How, in all this, can ordinary citizens be expected to keep up—required not only to conform their conduct to the fairest reading of the law they might expect from a neutral judge, but forced to guess whether the statute will be declared ambiguous; to guess again whether the agency’s initial interpretation of the law will be declared “reasonable”; and to guess again whether a later and opposing agency interpretation will also be held “reasonable”?

And why should courts, charged with the independent and neutral interpretation of the laws Congress has enacted, defer to such bureaucratic pirouetting?

Despite these concerns, I agree with my colleagues that the interlocutory petition before us does not merit review. The errors apparent in this preliminary ruling might yet be corrected before final judgment. Further, other courts of appeals are actively considering challenges to the same regulation. Before deciding whether to weigh in, we would benefit from hearing their considered judgments—provided, of course, that they are not afflicted with the same problems. But waiting should not be mistaken for lack of concern.

comments

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

    “How, in all this, can ordinary citizens be expected to keep up—…”

    Does this sound like the Court may be inclined to entertain dropping a big-ass hammer on what is called the “Regulatory State”?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      It could be. A stable legal code is considered part of an “modern” or “advanced” legal system.

    2. avatar A. C. says:

      I don’t think they’re going to drop a hammer. They may chisel away at it. I suspect that they’re also waiting to see if two things happen in November, 1) the Senate stays predominately Republican. If the Dems get control of the Senate, not only will Trump, Pence and Barr be impeached and convicted for basically being their opponents, but Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and probably Alito will be, too. And maybe a few appeals judges as well. Then they’ll get their gun ban, their non-electric car ban, their private property ban, and take away a whole lot more in making this country a socialist worker’s paradise. Just like Cuba and Venezuela.

      1. avatar Huntmaster says:

        They will have bitten off way, way more than they can chew.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        You’re as off the reservation as the TDS sufferers who ‘knew’ that Trump was going to put everyone with hispanic heritage in camps as soon as he took office.

      3. avatar Roymond says:

        Venezuela’s problem doesn’t come from socialism, it comes from stupidity. Norway is just as socialist but doesn’t have Venezuela’s troubles.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Norway is just as socialist but doesn’t have Venezuela’s troubles.”

          Not correct. Venezuela is raw socialism, with government control over production and distribution of everything. Norway is a market economy, with a heavy welfare burden. Norway fits only a US concept of socialism because of the welfare state.

          “Socialism: 1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
          2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
          b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
          3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”
          – – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/democrats-use-nordic-nations-as-models-of-socialism-they-actually-involve-a-lot-of-capitalism/2019/06/24/b6d9bbdc-945c-11e9-b58a-a6a9afaa0e3e_story.html

          https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/07/nordic-democratic-socialist-model-exposing-lefts-myth/

        2. avatar Dwo88 says:

          Norway just gets a huge portion of its government budget from oil and gas sales. Venezuela decided that foreign workers got paid to much, drove them off. Then it decided the native workers in the oil and gas industry, and the refineries got paid too much. Unfortunately they didn’t have a communist border guard system holding people prisoners, and all the competent workers went to work in other countries for real money, not Venezuelan toilet paper.

          Then they stopped paying parts suppliers too, so no one will sell to them without real currency up front. So their entire oil and gas exploration and discovery and drilling and refining went in the toilet. With the gradual loss of outside income from oil and oil products that is most of the government budget.

          Norway owns and gets all the profits from oil and gas, but doesn’t have the government run the Industry. About 20% to 30% of government income is from that. They didn’t nationalize ALL industries and property or basically try to run it all like Venezuela did, and destroy private property rights.

          So Norway has a lot of government services, financed by the oil and gas profits and higher taxes (Which they cut years back when it killed businesses.) on income. So it is a “Social Democracy”, without complete socialism. Venezuela WAS a social democracy, that is now a communist dictatorship.

          The only difference between “socialism” and communism is socialism is communism on a much longer payment plan, when communism becomes a complete dictatorship all at once. Socialism is gradual. “Frog->Pot=Cooked Slow” Equation.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      Unfortunately the musings of one justice mean very little. Successful views write precedential opinions, unsuccessful ones write editorials.

    4. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      If the court has questions on the merit of this ” rule ” then it should default to citizens rights and issue a stay of the bump stock decree until it is resolved instead of leaving an injustice in effect and kicking justice down the road for another day. if they cannot handle this then they should resign.

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

    “But waiting should not be mistaken for lack of concern.”

    Translation – “Jus’ hang loose, blood. She gonna catch ya up on da rebound on da med side.”

    1. avatar Will says:

      I love that scene. I dig that because I grew up in Gary Indiana in the 70’s and 80’s.

    2. avatar Mr Lucky says:

      The juxtaposition of “June Cleaver” and “The Jive-talkin’ Passenger” (both played by Barbara Billingsley) is hilarious.

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Is Gorsuch essentially saying the matter is not yet “ripe” for review?

    1. avatar Dude says:

      I read it as, We’ll take this up when Ruth’s replacement gets here. 😉

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Still waiting on that. She had colorectal cancer, then pancreatic cancer, and now recent episodes. She’s 86, and refuses to recuse herself or retire, so we’re all just following God’s lead in the meantime.

        https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/08/ruth-bader-ginsburg-health-096302

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Yeah, just having a little fun, but I’m not holding my breath. I doubt she’ll leave on her own as long as Trump is in office.

        2. avatar Huntmaster says:

          If the GOP takes the House it might be time to impeach her.

        3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          @Hunt,

          I would imagine her public comments regarding how the country would suffer “if Trump is elected” back in 2016 would be sufficient to show a lack of impartiality, and therefore a lack of ability to effectively perform the duties of a Supreme Justice.

          https://www.cnn.com/2016/07/12/politics/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-donald-trump-faker/index.html

  4. avatar enuf says:

    As I read it, the petitioner’s screwed up, it isn’t ready for the Supreme Court, there’s nothing for them to rule on until some lower court makes a final ruling.

    Even so the Gorsuch statement makes it very clear that this sure looks bad for Trump and his anti-gun bullshit. At least on this one issue.

    Are there any other statements from other justices?

    1. avatar ChoseDeath says:

      I couldn’t find any during a cursory search.

  5. avatar Debbie W. says:

    The Second Amendment is an individual right. For a court or politician to throw everyone who owns a bump stock into the same boat with a deranged perp runs contrary to an individual right. Good news isko the case continues and be thankful hilliary isn’t at the helm.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I’ve been saying this since #orangemanbad got elected. It’s all about the judges. Would we be better off with judges from Trump or hillary or bernie?

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Would we be better off with judges from Trump or hillary or bernie?”

        Doesn’t matter. The Chief Justice already declared that no justice of the SC is aligned with any president, presidential candidate, political leader. Game, set, match.

        1. avatar G.W. says:

          That doesn’t mean that they won’t rule in the way that the person that appointed them would have. A snake is a snake, is a snake and will always be a snake.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “That doesn’t mean that they won’t rule in the way that the person that appointed them would have.”

          What? Are you disagreeing with the Chief Justice? That SC justices have a political agenda? Why, the nerve !

        3. avatar Hydguy says:

          The Justices shouldn’t be beholden to a President, or a party. They should be beholden to the Constitution.
          But Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer are beholden to the liberal left. Roberts is on thin ice, and I think the left has something on him, which is why he upheld the ACA even though it is unconstitutional on it’s face.
          Alito, Goursuch, Thomas, and Kavanaugh are far more in the mold of Scalia.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The Chief Justice told the nation that all the SC justices are neutral, objective, no skin in the game when it comes to reviewing cases. That means no Left jurists, no Right jurists. Nine politically blindfolded judges. The Chief Justice is chief because the position goes to the most schooled, most intelligent, most uninfluenced, most impeccable, most bestest judge on the court. When people go the the SC, they put aside childish things (like politics and lineage), and reject any political influence. If you can’t trust the Chief Justice, who can you trust?

          If we could put fifteen or twenty judges on the SC (or more if needed), we could do away with all the legislative nonsense, and let the SC decide everything, even displace politicians and rule from a position of superiority of integrity and knowledge. With more justices, we could really shorten the amount of time it takes cases to be reviewed and decided. Legislative bills could be put before the SC prior to a president signing. That would give us better governance, faster. We would be better off with a Supreme Council Court ruling the country, than 535 yo-yos who have to beg for money to keep a job.

      2. avatar Chief Censor says:

        You say that when the judges refused to take the case and made excuses for doing so.

    2. avatar Truckman says:

      I myself do not believe that one man was involved in that shooting to me it sounded more like the old Waco standoff where the Gov. did everything to murder those people and this was another action to try and get a lot of gun control bills passed

    3. avatar Chief Censor says:

      Would Hillary put “law abiding” gun owners in this position like Trump did?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        hillary would put ‘law abiding’ gun owners on cattle cars. fdr put law abiding Americans in concentration camps because of their race.

      2. avatar Dwo888 says:

        The NRA (National Rifle Association) suggested it, that’s how Trump came to the conclusion of what to do.

        Just like 1986 the President almost completely ignorant of gun matters asks the NRA, and follows their advice, they aren’t just the only victims of their lack of knowledge, the alleged “authority” stabbed us all in the back.

        1. avatar Phil says:

          You are so wrong on all of this. Reagan loved him some gun control:

          This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety … While we recognize that assault-weapon legislation will not stop all assault-weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals.

          I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.

          Does this sound familiar? Well sounds like any other lie the Democrats spew about guns. Not to mention the “sporting clause” the BATF likes to use to block importation. These quotes are from Reagan in the 1980s. He also signed a letter with 2 other former Presidents in support of the 1994 AWB. Sure there are more out there, just the first couple I could find right away.

        2. avatar Dwo888 says:

          Phil, Ronald Reagan signed no letters, his wife did it for him. He was in the throes of Alzheimer’s and it is known Nancy hated guns, and blamed them for “Her Ronny” almost dying.

          You won’t find any video of Reagan making these statements because he never did. He could of signed the Brady Bill in a second while in office, yet never did. He’s not the first one used by family.

          James Brady I always assumed was behind gun control. Then I saw a piece on the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) passage/signing and he was involved in the ceremony. He parroted the exact same line as for the AW Ban passage, word for word. From the footage you could see he had very little idea what he was doing, where he was going, or even where he was.

          Sarah wound him up like wind up toy and pointed him in a direction. She used him, and the Brady Gun Control group to live a well paid, famous life. Otherwise he’d be a forgotten footnote of a tragic event on a government pension. She got to be important, travel on their dime, get paid a huge salary with him as a prop.

          It was well known Ron indulged Nancy in many things, but didn’t let her get into policy. He knew little about guns, but after the mistake of signing gun control as California governor, made sure not to sign any more. The FOPA of 1986 was on whole a good bill, with the “Hughes Amendment” added at the last second. Then the NRA let the House-Senate reconciliation bill have the Hughes Amendment included, afraid pulling it out would scuttle the whole bill. They told Reagan to sign it, after he heard objections raised to the 922(o) part.

          You mistake there ignorance of something, with support for it in general, with being for it. Nancy put Ron’s name on the AW Ban letter, and talked about supporting the Brady Bill herself. You never see a word out of a competent Reagan’s mouth favoring gun control. She used Ron at the end, just like Sarah used Jim Brady to push her own agenda.

          I wonder about Gabby Giffords myself now. After her head wound how much does she really know? Her husband is running for public office, and they travel and receive salaries as heads of a gun control group. Otherwise he’s an ex-astronaut whose twin brother spent a long time on the Space Station and scientists studied the hell out of the twins to see what weightlessness does to humans via identical twins.

          Otherwise he’s just another Shuttle astronaut among a lot of others now retired. Not a lucrative lifestyle. Head of a gun control group and spokesperson for them with all the travel and fame and paycheck looks pretty good.

          I wonder if he using a brain damaged gun shot survivor wife and how much does she really know and understand? Just like Sarah used Jim, Nancy used Ron to support gun control after his mind was mostly gone. I wonder if Mark is using Gabby the same way. I know Ronald Reagan never supported gun control as President, and got explicit permission from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre before signing FOPA of 1986, with assurances “Everything was just fine” with it.

      3. avatar James Campbell says:

        “Would Hillary put “law abiding” gun owners in this position”
        What part of “deplorables” did you NOT understand?
        The answer is a resounding YES.

        1. avatar Phil says:

          Turning 500,000 of your supporters into felons overnight is a very bold move. There are some on here who only like gun control if it comes from a Republican but if it comes from a Democrat it is bad. The irony is unbelievable and then claim somehow this insanity will overturn the NFA. All gun control is bad. Unfortunately if Trump does it it’s ok. Where as if a Democrat does it the Republicans suddenly grow a spine and stop it. Truly bizarre times we are living in.

  6. avatar jwm says:

    Unrelated. I heard that the scotus is taking up obama care.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      True. Although I think this will have a much broader political punch due to Election Year, and Trump’s original 2016 promise to seek the ACA’s overturn. That would be a major win in the dismantling of his predecessor’s legacy. This bump stock ban, unfortunately, is not the same, as Trump himself was the impetus for the ATF’s reversal.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Clarification…

        I think the Obamacare decision will have a broader political punch. Not this bump stock issue.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          The funny thing is, they pretty much have to admit that the ACA was an utter failure. Otherwise, no one would be talking about completely remaking our healthcare system. Of course they’ll never admit it because they coddle Obama.

        2. avatar DesertDave says:

          Whether or not it was a failure depends on what the planned outcome was. From the DemonRats point of view I believe it was and is a winner!

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Whether it was a failure depends on what the planned outcome was. From the DemonRats point of view I believe it was and is a winner!”

          Yes, indeed. It was designed to fail, and usher in government only, single-payer, no option healthcare. Once government owns all the healthcare, everything becomes a health issue.

  7. avatar LKB says:

    Goresuch’s statement has probably torpedoed any potential criminal prosecution under the new interpretation.

    While I would not want to be the party to be testing this (and I do not encourage any of you to do so), much like Judge Jones’ dissent in the Defense Distributed case (same procedural posture — appeal from a denial of a preliminary injunction), Goresuch’s statement is a roadmap for Guedes in the district court, as well as for any defendants charged under the new interpretation.

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      There is already a man being charged.

      1. avatar LKB says:

        Let’s see if the prosecution goes forward in the wake of this.

        If it is the only charge against him (doubtful), I suspect the case will be dropped. If it’s just one of many charges, look for them to plead him out on one of the other charges.

    2. avatar KJW says:

      When do we know about the NYSRPA ruling?

      1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        When you see a Cuomo on CNN having a screeching meltdown.

      2. avatar LKB says:

        Only the Court knows for sure, but I think it will be another few weeks.

        The Court just (last week) announced opinions in three cases that, like NYSR&PA, were also argued in December, but all three of those opinions were unanimous. No matter how NYSR&PA comes down, it will not be unanimous, and so there is going to be a back and forth between the justices as a draft opinion is circulated, dissents / concurrences in response to that are written and circulated, opinions / dissents / concurrences are further revised and circulated based on the back and forth, etc. And that takes time.

        My over / under line for the NYSR&PA decision is April 15. In theory, it could be as late as this summer, but I think they’ll get this one out before then.

        1. avatar Dwo888 says:

          Heller came in June, later than average for a case heard close to the start of the term. There was a lot of back room wrangling over that one, and Sacalia was firm as a rock it needed to be clear.

          This case who the hell knows what the results of the back room wrangling. If Roberts is opposed, it could be a loser or just gibberish that does nothing for gun rights. We have to wait and see.

      3. avatar Dwo888 says:

        We won’t see the NYC case ruling until June I bet. If it isn’t goobley-gook (Legal nonsense that does nothing. They do that lot in cases of guns and even limiting government.) it is going to go off like a bomb in the middle of the election season. Democrats are going to lose their minds.

        I believe the court has waited years and years for Washington D.C. and Chicago to change their licensing systems, and they are still playing games with people trying to get guns. So instead of going in and forcing these “agreements” where courts force governments into doing things, they decided to take a similar, but unrelated case.

        There was no reason someone shouldn’t be able to go shoot outside the city so a practice session isn’t $500. The license is so the person is “vetted”, not to stop guns from ever being moved, which is what it effectively does. People being competent in use of their gun should be encouraged, not made super expensive or impossible.

        I think this is the court being “subtle”. Either grant people their gun rights, or we’ll rule on more gun cases and limit states options on gun control in the entire country.

        Rumor is Maryland changed the rules on it’s business gun licenses to hopefully abort a lawsuit on carry permits/licenses a gun rights group has organized and is paying lawyers for. I think gun controllers are running scared.

        If Trump wins in November, and has a Republican Senate, Roberts being opposed to gun cases won’t matter, there will end up being enough votes to get cases heard and more precedents set.

        Of course before COVID-19 I would of said Trump was a shoo-in, but the press is moving to make it “All His Fault” and it could stick in some states, and he loses. Especially if all these geezers (Famous Politicians) running around on the campaign trail catch it and die. After age 60, the death rate from that virus is scary.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “After age 60, the death rate from that virus is scary.”

          There is actually an effective fix for that. In this era of “I can be whatever I want to be”, people sixty and over should just declare they are thirty-five.

  8. avatar Greg says:

    “The agency used to tell everyone that bump stocks don’t qualify as “machineguns.” Now it says the opposite. The law hasn’t changed, only an agency’s interpretation of it.”

    This a “Bill of Attainder.” In fact, The original ‘Interpretation’ is a Bill of Attainder via “Title of Nobility” granted by Congress. This is why the first Revolution was fought.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Correct. Bills of Attainder were a major problem. For the younger viewers in our audience, those were “search warrants” that were pretty much blank checks, allowing His Majesty’s minions to rummage through your home and belongings without any specific crime in question. If anything was found that could result in charges, it was written in the BOA after the fact. This was the focus of the Founders’ remedy found in what we now call the Fourth Amendment.

      Bills of Attainder, ex post facto, color of law, roadside asset forfeiture…certain evils are creeping back into our society.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        You’re confusing a Bill of Atainder with a overly broad warrant which is why they’re addressed separately.

        The 4A covers warrants and specifies that they shall be “…particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

        Article 1 Section 9 outlaws Bills of Atainder. Bills of Atainder are a legislative action or issued decree that assign a punishment to a person or group of persons without a judicial hearing by declaring them guilty simply by virtue of the legislation passing. Henry VIII used them, rather notoriously, to have people declared guilty and summarily executed.

        Atainder in English law is the “stain of blood” for a capital crime. Upon conviction the person can be executed, their property seized, inheritance voided and titles stripped. A Bill of Atainder does this without the judicial process. Later it simply comes to mean conviction by a legislature/sovereign without any judicial input.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Enjoying the information about “Bill of Attainder”; thanx.

        2. avatar Greg says:

          Excellent explanation, excellent!

        3. avatar ChoseDeath says:

          Thank y’all for explaining that, that was a new term for me. Well said everyone!

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Greg,

      I don’t understand your claim. Please expand a bit, especially the part where you say that Congress issued a Title of Nobility.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        @uncommon,

        Now that I read his comment again, I’m curious too, as I didn’t catch that the first time. Titles of nobility are expressly forbidden in the Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Clause 8), so you bring up a good point.

        1. avatar Greg says:

          The Titles of Nobility Clause is to secure against the same thing as the “Governors” from Brittan that would seize people’s Lives, Liberty, Or Property, without statutory support. In other words, Attain them. It doesn’t say to whom “Titles of Nobility” are forbidden, just that they are.

          What you described is not a “Bill of Attainder,” but a “Writ of Assistance.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

          It’s about four or five paragraphs in.

          You are right that stuff is especially Unconstitutional, much like the “Ex Post Facto” aspects of the Lautenberg Amendment and the GCA of 1968 for that matter.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          ” “Ex Post Facto” aspects of the Lautenberg Amendment and the GCA of 1968 for that matter.”

          In those instances, what activity was declared to be illegal (and chargeable) prior to the effect date of the legislation?

        3. avatar Greg says:

          Any felony before 1968, and any misdemeanor deemed Domestic Abuse before Lautenberg. 1994ish?

  9. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    This is a good thing. We need more Trump judges. And we need to teach the 2A in schools. That is the only long term solution. The next generation learning the importance of gun civil rights. And then working to protect them.

    1. avatar DrDKW says:

      We need to teach ALL the amendments in schools!

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Yes indeed. All of them!

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        September 17 is federally established as Constitution Day, and schools are formally encouraged to focus on the USC and all Amendments.

        Here’s one site that recommends such activities:

        https://www.k12.com/constitution-day.html

      3. avatar James Campbell says:

        Good luck with that.
        I saw an interview with Alan Dershowitz where he stated Harvard Law school is graduating students without ANY requirements of learning the Federalist Papers.
        The Federalist Papers are just the “users manual” to the Constitution and BoR.

  10. avatar StLPro2A says:

    Uh, does Gorsuch imply….hang on to those coordinates of your terrible boating accident???

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      It’s more like what the ATF does when they ask the public for comment on their future decisions. They already made up their mind and they are giving you false hope so you won’t be pissed at them.

      You know when a kid wants something while at the store and their parents tell them they will buy it for them next time, but they never do?

      “We’ll comeback later and get it. Okay, honey? Let’s go…”

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Yeah… because the SCotUS is totally known for stepping in before three has been a ruling on the merits of a case… oh… wait… that’s the exact opposite of how appeals courts work.

  11. avatar Phil LA says:

    He spent 15 paragraphs talking about it should have been reviewed and 1 paragraph agreeing with the reasoning to not review. Typical lawyer.

  12. avatar Dwo888 says:

    I told this to lawyers involved in this suit, and to the organization involved in the lawsuit. Stop filing Dumb Ass civil lawsuits.

    Courts let judges do anything under civil law, unless they use a blatantly unconstitutional argument in the ruling.

    They need to wait for a case where the Feds charge a non-prohibited person with JUST the Bumpstock charge, and no other felonies.

    The guy they charged first was a prohibited person for mental health reasons. Let that case go. You need a person who is charged with nothing else, and can own guns legally.

    Then pursue it as a CRIMINAL CHARGE. The government will now cite this, and other lost lawsuits over this as precedent. The Supreme Court could refuse to hear a criminal case, saying the case law supports it with all those lost cases.

    Stop supplying them with civil cases, judged on “Preponderance of the Evidence” and judge’s “judgement” of public safety. They will defer to the judge every time.

    In a criminal case it will get Intermediate, and maybe Strict Scrutiny. The fast and loose administrative BS they pulled will get tossed out. The precedent will then establish.

    DROP THE GOD DAMN LAWSUITS, YOU ARE PLAYING INTO THE GOVERNMENT’S HANDS CREATING PRECEDENTS THEY USE LATER IN THE CRIMINAL CASES TO HAVE EVERY APPEAL DISMISSED OUT OF HAND!!!!

    Is that clear to everyone? Stop the f#*king lawsuits now. Okay?

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Ok… honey, this is not a judgement and doesn’t set precedent. It can’t be cited.

      1. avatar Dwo888 says:

        When they lose the original lawsuit it will be. The people behind the suit were just pushing against administrative reasoning.

        They will lose. The Supreme Court has already showed they don’t want to touch it already. The lawsuit isn’t urgent to them, it’s another civil administrative government morass. They took the NYC licensing case, they aren’t touching two, because Roberts doesn’t want one.

        He hates over turning precedent. This would overturn precedent over a administrative law ruling. Not likely to happen with him as Chief Justice.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Got the lottery numbers in that crystal ball of yours? There are only a few times in SCotUS history that the court has stepped in to overrule a lower court to grant a preliminary injunction.

  13. avatar L2A3 says:

    The ATF explanation of how the bump stock works in relationship to the rifle is a BS example of gobblygoop by someone who is not technically qualified to make that decision or explanation of how the system worked. They totally disregarded the disconnector function in the firing of the rifle. All the bump stock does is allow the rifle to fire single shots faster than normal, you can do the same thing moving your finger back and forth hitting the trigger make the weapon fire faster than normal, that is called “BUMP FIRING” it is still one shot at a time, because the DISCONNECTOR prevents full automatic functioning, it makes the weapon fire one round at a time. So the reasoning given by the ATF used to claim the bump stock is a machine gun is a LIE, plain and simple. An statement of system operational ignorance to fill and please a political desire. THE TRUTH BE DAMNED!

  14. avatar M1Lou says:

    Possessing a machine gun, without a tax stamp, or post 1986, and having it sit in a safe, harming absolutely no one can land you in in jail for a decade. Lets play a game! What serious crimes that actually victimize another human being get you less time in jail?

  15. avatar possum says:

    Someone’s breath is bad yet a judge denies him a Cert’s. Is this the government our founding fathers envisioned. “I speck not.” Said the constipated Fly.

  16. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    It really sucks having to vote the guy who enacted illegal gun legislation because the others “might” be worse.
    FML

  17. avatar Geoff says:

    ATF cannot administratively rewrite the 1934 NFA definition of a machine gun. Congress has to do it.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “ATF cannot administratively rewrite the 1934 NFA definition of a machine gun. Congress has to do it.”

      “It all depends on what “is” is.”
      – Slick Willie

      Congress is quite willing to allow the Executive Branch to create the regulations/laws to implement law established by Congress. This requires/permits the EB to interpret the law so as to write regulations. In this case ATF is interpreting their regulations that are interpretations of NFA. It is how “the system” works.

    2. avatar Dwo888 says:

      They rewrote in in the 1980’s (1984 I think.) the definition. The definition is device or parts or a gun “That fires more than one shot per pull of the trigger”.

      It was done to cover DIAS’s for AR’s and Lighting Links, and any other future devices that causes a gun to fire full auto without altering the gun or receiver itself. They also had ALL open bolt guns thrown in for good measure, because their administrative decision that open bolt guns were machine guns got bounced by a criminal case.

      The same thing could get done to the “Bumpstock” if the Elmer Fudds stop filing lawsuits and wait for the Feds to charge a non-prohibited person with JUST a Bumpstock is a machinegun charge.

      The first guy charged is a loon who is prohibited from owning guns for mental health commitment that didn’t get entered in NCIS system and bought the guns from a gun store. They charged him with perjury for lying on the 4473 too.

      He was making threatening calls to the George Bush Presidential Library. So yeah, mentally ill. They know they can drop the Bumpstock if his lawyer challenges it, there are plenty of other charges to hit him with. They’re hoping his lawyer rolls on the Bumpstock and they get their first “conviction” on this.

      This is what the Feds are hoping for. Charges on felons and loons or cases with plenty of other felonies, then they got a list of “convictions”, so courts look at it as established law. Throwing in 3 to 6 lost lawsuits will help that too. So stop filing civil lawsuits okay? Just stop.

  18. avatar Red says:

    When we rely on 9 people to determine what the Constitution really says, we are already doomed. The Constitution was not written in legalese so that only lawyers and judges could understand it. It was designed for the people to understand it clearly. Not only that, Jefferson held that the Supreme Court rulings were essentially advice and not the rule of the land. Of course, that was the era when one didn’t have to worry about government trying to destroy every God-given right of liberty and freedom in the name of safety.

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