Bump Stock Case Expedited by Court of Appeals in DC

Slidefire Solutions Bump Fire Stock Assembled
Bump Stock Case Expedited by Court of Appeals in DC

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- The appeal by the Plaintiffs against the BATFE in the bump stock ruling has been expedited.  The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ordered the parties to submit briefs by March 4th of 2019. That is extraordinarily fast by U.S. appeals court standards.

The original ruling by the Circuit court hinged on the notion that ordinary words are ambiguous, and an agency can reverse previous rulings when the agency decides to do so.  From the opinion:

Most of the plaintiffs’ administrative law challenges are foreclosed by the Chevron doctrine, which permits an agency to reasonably define undefined statutory terms. See Chevron v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, 467 U.S. 837 (1984). Here, Congress defined “machinegun” in the NFA to include devices that permit a firearm to shoot “automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b), but it did not further define the terms “single function of the trigger” or “automatically.” Because both terms are ambiguous, ATF was permitted to reasonably interpret them, and in light of their ordinary meaning, it was reasonable for ATF to interpret “single function of the trigger” to mean “single pull of the trigger and analogous motions” and “automatically” to mean “as the result of a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that allows the firing of multiple rounds through a single pull of the trigger.” ATF also reasonably applied these definitions when it concluded that bump stocks permit a shooter to discharge multiple rounds automatically with a single function of the trigger. 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.

The Chevron doctrine gives enormous power to the administrative bureaucracies. An agency is not required to be consistent. An agency can change its interpretations of the law arbitrarily, as long as it can conjure up some justification of reasonableness.

One of the major challenges to the bump stock ban is that it reverses long-standing interpretation of the statute by the BATFE.

Both of President Trump's appointees to the Supreme Court, Justice Gorsuch, and Justice Kavanaugh, have been critical of the Chevron decision and its consequences. From eenews.net:

The Chevron doctrine, which is named for a 1984 Supreme Court case, played a big role in the confirmation battle for Gorsuch, who wrote a scathing concurring opinion slamming the doctrine shortly before he was nominated for the high court. Senators focused several questions on the doctrine during Gorsuch's multiday hearing.

While Chevron is unlikely to make front-page news during the Kavanaugh confirmation process, the debate over the future of the doctrine remains strong, particularly in conservative legal circles.

The Chevron decision gives enormous power to unelected officials. It undercuts the rule of law, as interpretations of a rule can be reversed at any time, arbitrarily, and without any change in the law by Congress.

When the Chevron decision was made, it was the D.C. Circuit court that was undercutting the democratic process, by applying the court's interpretation of regulations, which often seemed at odds with what Congress had intended.

Chevron was meant to stop the abuse of power by the D.C. Circuit but unintentionally gave enormous power to the bureaucracy.

It is difficult to accurately assign motivations to an appeals court or to the Supreme Court based on the timing of appeals.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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    WarSteveHeed the Call-upJoeDouglas Morris Recent comment authors
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    War
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    War

    This unconstitutional violation of our liberty is beyond my ability to digest. As a Army enlisted volunteer I swore an oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies forgiven and domestic.THIS WILL DEFEND, MOLON ABE, AND GOD BE WITH ME AS THE RULE OF LAW IS NO LONGER VALID. Where are the Governors of the states? Have they no responsibility to remove such violations of my rights? Are they also now enemies of the constitution? It is time fellow patriots. We must defend our God given rights or suffer them to unelected non-political and unreasonable criminals and thugs.… Read more »

    Joe
    Guest
    Joe

    First: Every thing I read is that Congress cannot legislate their responsibilities and authority away. They cannot give lawmaking authority to unelected beuracrats as per interpretation of the constitution. Then comes Chevron, which is at best, bad case law and unconstitutional. This gives power to overrule, overturn, and disregard the constitution to one lone beauraucrat’s wild infatuation of delusions of grandeur. Chevron is unconstitutional and must be destroyed just as the gca 34 68 86 must be destroyed and celebratory line of Patriots pissing on the graves of FDR, teddy kinkydey, & bush 41. Second: since when can a simple… Read more »

    Douglas Morris
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    Douglas Morris

    I shall keep the rest of “my cake” thank you sir…

    White Hat
    Guest
    White Hat

    Yes this bump stock debacle is another scam aimed at taking away our civil rights by a process of attrition and needs the attention all of you are giving it but what angers me the most is the “red flag” laws being passed by many state legislatures. Talk about ambiguous definitions, define “dangerous individuals” or “pose a danger to them selves” (that’s me with a chain saw) and let law enforcement, families and individual citizens make that call and define who that might be without due process they don’t even need an activist judge using the Chevron law. You don’t… Read more »

    freewill
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    freewill

    Its time the 1792 militia act was updated to our modern times..our founders didnt want a standing army to be formidable.

    John
    Guest
    John

    Let’s not forget which “friend” of gunowners caused this and supported it.

    He currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave…

    Steve
    Guest
    Steve

    OK, not to argue the law either way, but if the law stands and I have to divest myself of this SSAK-47-HYB AKM stock, the ATF’s destruction methods from their web site state possible methods of destruction to include completely melting, shredding or crushing the device. The very next sentence says: : “Any method of destruction must render the device incapable of being readily restored to function.” Since mine is the Aluminum type with the 6 position adjustable stock, would pinning & completely welding the chassis tube so it can never be used or returned to any bump or auto… Read more »

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Steve, why comply? Unless you commit an illegal act with your firearm, they will not be coming for you. I also believe in following law, but when arbitrary, wrong, and unconstitutional rules are created that cannot be enforced, unless you are “caught”, I would just go about my business and not worry.

    Steve
    Guest
    Steve

    We know it’s all BS but for me, the potential penalties, 10k fine and prison time as well as not being able to ever own a firearm again far outweigh any benefit I ever got from the POS. I just keep it because it’s a decent adjustable stock that allows mounting the AR style stock on the AK platform. Today I found the Tapco T6 is the same damn thing as mine if I welded it. So, for 40.00 on Ebay it just ain’t worth the risk of keeping it.. Who knows how far they will push it if the… Read more »

    Bill
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    Bill

    I ha e a bump stock. It can’t be adjusted in length, so it is very hard for me to use. Yet I Don not believe that the govt should be able to tell me that it’s a machine gun. Laws must be interpreted according to what the mean was at the time of passage, not what some one, even out Pres, wants it say!

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    He who defines the terms (meanings of words used) defines reality, and in essence makes law. Congress had certain things in view when THEY defined “machinegun”. The COurt needs to get into the record and determine what THEY meant then. Probably the single most critical aspect of this entire case is that a bunch of unelected unaccountable-to-the-People administrators have out of nowhere decided that the words COngress defined now mean something else, in essence, an agency has made law, an actioin strictly reserved to the COngress of the United States. It does seem that this Chevron business needs to be… Read more »

    tomcat
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    tomcat

    Congress likes the idea of an alphabet agency being able to pass opinions as if they were laws because that keeps congress out of the spotlight when something like bump stocks comes up. Congress doesn’t look bad because they didn’t take our right away. Besides the way democrats like to change the law to fit their particular interest this falls right into place for them. All this is a long way from what the founders intended and look at what Roberts did in the Obamacare decision. The rule of law has left the building.

    m.
    Guest
    m.

    re bump-stocks: NOYMFB, AH

    Macofjack
    Guest
    Macofjack

    I don’t care for the bump stock, but I do care about the 2nd Amendment! The courts are made up of liberal no goods and I do NOT trust them.
    Let’s hope the SCOTUS is really a Constitutional court and not a bunch of activists!

    Scotty Gunn
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    Scotty Gunn

    By the new wording used to ban the stock, the wording would fit any semi-auto gun.

    Joe M.
    Guest
    Joe M.

    This is rediculous , these people get voted in uphold our constitution not change it… it’s worse than being in class when one person does wrong and the teacher takes it out on the class…now one does wrong and they want to take it out on the whole country…..I know a Russian that went back to Russia because there are to many laws in this country….he was right wasn’t he ?? We’ve turned into a tree hugger country instead of a man’s country….I’m glad I won’t be around for another fifty years to see where this country is going…

    John
    Guest
    John

    As an Ohio Court found, the bump stock once installed becomes a vital component to the safe operation of the firearm.

    Prior restricted firearm laws enacted and found constitutional, such as The Brady Law, provided a grandfather clause, a provision the bump stock ban does not do.

    What it does do is criminalize those who engaged in legal commerce retroactive to the ban – creating defacto law which should be found unconstitutional.

    A happy medium “may be”, place bump stocks under NFA item with a trade off sought placing sbr’s and suppressors off NFA and under 4473 review.

    Charles Moore
    Guest
    Charles Moore

    Big difference between being “found” constitutional and merely being DECLARED “constitutional” by an ignorant or leftist judge.

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    Whether the Court likes it or not, words have meanings. Now, when you can change the meanings of those words, that is where the real power lies.

    Charlie Foxtrot
    Guest
    Charlie Foxtrot

    Look up Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 468 U.S. 837 (1984), see https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/chevron_deference. The Chevron Deference was explicitly mentioned by the government’s response to the case and the judge in this case. SCOTUS already gave the government the power to change the meaning of words, oddly enough in 1984.

    For more details, read “D.C. Court’s Refusal to Enjoin Bump Stock Final Rule Underscores the Problem with Chevron Deference NCLA believes courts must apply the rule of lenity instead” at https://www.nclalegal.org/news/2019/3/1/dc-courts-refusal-to-enjoin-bump-stock-final-rule-underscores-the-problem-with-chevron-deference-ncla-believes-courts-must-apply-the-rule-of-lenity-instead

    Vanns40
    Guest
    Vanns40

    And the High Court has indicated in two cases already that it is less inclined to follow Chevron. Gorsuch, in particular, has said as much. Chevron is long overdue to be discarded.

    Geoffry
    Guest
    Geoffry
    Ed
    Guest
    Ed

    As seen no bumpfire device only finger position

    Walter Goddard
    Guest
    Walter Goddard

    It’s time to get back to the Basics of Law, and the US Constitution.
    Let’s do away with self/arbitrary interpretations by SCOTUS as the heresy they truly are!

    If not, let’s just elect a President, who will appoint Constitutionally Correct English professors as SCOTUS, who can/will correctly interpret the language of the Fore Fathers’… surely they will be able to read the law, and give an accurate opinion!

    A SCOTUS is not required to be consistent, I am afraid to ask what does that even mean?

    Jack B. Nimble
    Guest
    Jack B. Nimble

    To be crude, it means they can make crud up as they go along. Yep, there goes all our fundamentals and traditions. It’s sad to see such a time ever existed, even more so to be living in that time. They should be careful, however, as the very power they now wield is the very power that will be their undoing. Indifference for the letter of the law has a corrupting effect that spreads from the top down.

    I agree 100%.

    Walter Goddard
    Guest
    Walter Goddard

    I know what you’re saying JBN..
    It’s sad, too sad!

    A 1st grader can see that the two faced Leftists are crying foul against trump, for violating his Constitutional authority. Complaining that he’s ignoring the checks and balances, but the same legislature gives the SCOTUS a free ticket to judge left or right, and up and down, at their own whim…
    Not at all an equal, balanced, or impartial judgment.. as inconsistent as they fell like being.

    Where is Liberty, where is Justice? She must be truly blind, and fell in the hog pen with the rest of the leftists!