If only someone could have foreseen that using regulatory fiat to magically declare that a bump stock is the same as a machine gun could prove to be problematic. A Sixth Circuit en banc panel has deadlocked 8-8 in the case of Gun Owners of America v. Garland. The tie vote leaves the lower court ruling — which upheld the ATF’s ban — in place.
From The Hill . . .
The Trump administration outlawed the devices after a gunman in Las Vegas in 2017 used the rapid-fire accessory to kill 58 people and wound hundreds in the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
The [lower] court sided with the administration’s argument that the ban falls within the scope of authority Congress gave federal agencies to regulate machine guns.
Some excused the Trump administration’s move at the time as three-dimentional chess. They argued that had Trump not banned the stocks via the regulatory process, there was sufficient momentum in Congress following the Las Vegas shooting to pass legislation outlawing them.
“GOA’s fight is not over,” said the group’s senior vice president Erich Pratt. “The fact that the Sixth Circuit was so divided that it could not even give us an answer to our question means that the Supreme Court must eventually decide whether unelected (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) bureaucrats have the power to create new federal crimes out of thin air.”