USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Matt Hoover’s (AKA CRS Firearms) legal team filed a motion to dismiss his case, citing the recent Bruen Supreme Court decision claiming that it confirms the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) is unconstitutional.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) arrested Hoover this past January, charging the YouTuber with conspiracy to violate the NFA. The ATF claims that Hoover took money to advertise the “Autokey Card.” The Autokey card is a metal card with an outline of a lightning link drawn on it. A lightning link is used to transform a semi-automatic AR-15 into a machine gun. Under the NFA, any device that turns a firearm into a machine gun is considered a machine gun.
Hoover, who lives in Wisconsin, runs a successful YouTube channel called CRS Firearms. The YouTube channel highlights firearms and makes fun of the ATF. Last year Hoover was approached by Erving about advertising the product. Before his arrest, Hoover had a federal firearms license (FFL) and a Special Occupational Taxpayers (SOT) and asked his local ATF office if the card was legal. The ATF office told him the card was not illegal. Hoover took their word but didn’t get it in writing.
The Autokey Card was sold on the web as a novelty item. The ATF raided the company and arrested the owner of the company, Justin Erving. The ATF then seized the company’s website. Hoover never advertised the item anywhere after the ATF shut down the company and declared the metal card illegal. At the time Hoover promoted the product on his YouTube channel, the ATF did not yet rule it to be a machine gun.
The new brief filed by Hoover’s legal team is a motion to dismiss the case and declare the National Firearms Act or NFA unconstitutional.
The brief relies on the recent Supreme Court decision in the New York State Pistol and Rifle Association v. Bruen. The main focus in Bruen was the right of an individual to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense, but in addition to confirming that right, SCOTUS also ruled that the two-step process that courts have been using in Second Amendment cases was also unconstitutional.
In the Bruen opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the judge stated that only the original text of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution could be used in gun cases. Hoover’s lawyers argue that the NFA runs afoul of the Second Amendment if you use the original text as written by James Madison.
The motion also includes some original testimony from the initial NFA congressional hearings. Hoover’s legal counsel, Zachary Zermay, uses the testimony of then-Attorney General Cummings in 1934 as evidence that the NFA is clearly unconstitutional under Bruen. If the NFA were unconstitutional, even if the Autokey Card were a machine gun, the charges would still need to be dropped since they were filed as violations of the unconstitutional NFA.
There is no word as to when the judge will rule on the motion to dismiss the case and declare the NFA unconstitutional or when the state will respond.
Machine Gun USA v Matthew Hoover Supplement to Motion to Dismiss 070122
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.