SCOTUS Declines To Hear Two Bump Stock Cases

Slide Fire SSAR-15 Mod Bump Fire Stock
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -(Ammoland.com)- The United States Supreme Court declined to hear two bump stock cases meaning bump stocks will remain illegal for the foreseeable future.

After the 2017 Las Vegas Shooting, President Donald Trump ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to investigate the legality of bump stocks. The President was spurred on by an initial report from the FBI that the killer had several firearms equipped with bump stocks.

Overnight bumps stocks became enemy number one of the anti-gun crowds and the media.

A bump stock is a device that replaces the stock and pistol grip. When the shooter puts forward pressure on the hand guard, it causes the shooter to pull the trigger. The shooter keeps pressure on the hand guard causing the firearm’s recoil to reset the trigger. This technique is called bump firing. It is possible to bump fire using a belt loop or rubber band. A bump stock just makes bump firing easier.

Anti-gun advocates claimed the device was a machine gun. Before the shooting, the ATF long held that bump stocks did not meet the definition of a machine gun because the shooter’s finger pulled the trigger once for each bullet expelled. Although the device sped up the rate of fire, the device did not convert the firearm from semi-automatic to full auto.

After Trump’s demand, the ATF used Chevron Deference to reverse the ATF’s previous decision and declared the device a machine gun. Chevron deference says when a regulation is unclear, the agency responsible for the rule can use its deference to decide what it means. Before bump stocks, Chevron deference was only used for administrative regulations. The ATF has now started using its deference for criminal statutes.

After the new regulation was enacted, Gun Owners of America (GOA) sued the Department of Justice over the new rule in the Sixth Circuit in GOA v. Garland. The gun rights group would lose in District Court but would win in front of a panel of three judges in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The federal government asked in received an en banc hearing. An en banc hearing means the full bench of Judges hears the case. The Sixth Circuit split in an 8-8 decision. Since the court ruled for neither side, the lower District Court’s decision stands.

GOA expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision not to grant a writ of certiorari. Advocates hoped that the Court would start taking on more gun cases. SCOTUS had a history of rejecting Second Amendment cases until it agreed to hear Bruen.

“The implications of redefining a bump stock, redefining a firearm accessory and calling it a machine gun because it was capable of bump fire sets a horrible precedent,” said Aidan Johnston, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America. “We are not going to stop defending our members’ rights because of one setback or one court that refuses to get involved.”

The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) also sued in the Tenth Circuit over the ATF’s abuse of Chevron deference in Aposhian v. Garland. The plaintiff’s injunctions were denied in District Court. NCLA appealed the decision to a panel of judges in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel upheld the District Court’s decision. NCLA then filed for and received an en banc hearing. The Tenth Circuit also agreed with the District Court’s ruling.

The final case that can affect bump stocks is Cargill v. Garland. That case is currently sitting with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs lost a panel decision but were granted an en banc hearing. No matter what side wins, the losing side is expected to petition SCOTUS for certiorari in this case.

With the Supreme Court’s decision, bump stocks will remain illegal, and it might be some time before SCOTUS hears a case that will reverse the ATF’s use of Chevron deference.


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.

John Crump

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Montana454Casull

All these confiscated bump stocks need to be melted down and remolded as 18 inch dildoes and rammed up every member of the ATFs ass and Donald Trumps ass also for violating their oath to uphold the constitution.

Ope

Abolish ATF, rescind NFA !

ShortyStuff

What we really need is for the States to impose the 10th Amendment and invoke their sovereign rights outside of Federal overreach. The States could just come out and say the 2nd Amendment is law in their territory and no Federal restriction is legal or binding upon their citizenry.

Boom

You’re the coolest person on this website.

Wild Bill

That would be tipping the Constitution on its head. Have you forgotten the supremacy clause? Please see U.S. Constitution, Art. VI, section 2.

Boom

It’s really funny you replied to this, because I was gonna say, “You’re the coolest person on this website. … except, for maybe Wildbill” …. But I ended up not putting that…not knowing if they ‘knew’ you or not… That’s funny.

Wild Bill

This is not a popularity contest. We are just keeping our Constitutional analysis straight and on the level.

Boom

And I knew you would say something like that…looks like my esp is on point today.

Wild Bill

Sounds like a good day for a lottery ticket! A little lottery ticket. We don’t want to get too wild.

Boom

My gosh…oh how I wished…that really would be the answer to all my problems…well, some of them anyway.

….it wouldn’t do much for my personality flaws. Infact, I’m sure it would exacerbate them.

Boz

SCROTUS!

Jeff H.

Two birds with one stone in the making? On a positive note the fact that this “stock assembly” is recognized as a stock is a win for the states that have restrictions on certain configuations. For those that have to go featureless its a stock not a pistol grip by both definition and design.

Finnky

Hey John, Have you seen YouTube video by Mark Smith on Four Boxes Diner? I’d like to hear whether you think his argument is reasonable. As Mark says it – Scotus did not reject the case, but recalendared it. This means they have deferred hear it, and I’d guess will continue to put off hearing the case. So far pretty much what you said. However Mark’s theory is that this case is being delayed so that they can look for a case with more politically friendly ramifications. If they find such case with outcome vast majority agrees with, which can… Read more »

CourageousLion

I saw it and believe Mark is correct.

RAS

In case you haven’t noticed, we have much bigger and threatening problems from the current administration.

CourageousLion

The reason they didn’t take the cases is because neither of the parties had suffered a damage by the “rule”. People need to realize that a DAMAGE has to happen or the Supreme court won’t bother. Somone has to be arrested and then they suffer under the rule and the supreme Court will hear the case most likely. The Bruen case was just that. He was suffering a DAMAGE under the NY “Law”. I took a course with George Gordon years ago with his Barristers School of Common Law and that was one thing George made sure we understood. I… Read more »

Stag

Thanks, Trump!

Ope

I really doubt that President Trump had anything to do with this SCOTUS incompetence in not hearing these bump stock cases.

Boom

Stag is referring to Trump being the one to initially push a ban through, or so I’m told that he did.

HLB

I presume it was Trump’s executive order:

“Feb 20, 2018USA TODAY. 0:00. 1:23. WASHINGTON – President Trump signed a memorandum instructing the attorney general to regulate the use of bump stocks”

HLB

Ope

HLB, Trump and his AG didn’t ban bump stocks. They could recommend banning bump stocks, but either independently had the authority to do so. Only Congress can pass law regulating firearms. Trumps biggest problem was listening to everything Lapierre told him.

Boom

That too

Stag

No, his incompetence was made clear when he directed the DOJ to “do something about bumpstocks” which they did.

Boom

Do you also know that the blacks are the real Jews? And that what are now called the jews, are only Jew-ish…. ?

Do you also believe that we don’t go to heaven or hell when we die, but actually get regenerated…?…well, for a while anyway…until the second coming…

….I was just wondering.

CourageousLion

Talk about off point. Geezzz.

Boom

Well i just wanted to see how far his belief went. …and little personnel recon… There is no on point, or off point to good reconnaissance. Almost all information is vaild and/or useful.

Boom

Looks like I just can’t get away from weak minded fools.

No wonder we’re losing.