Federal Court Rules Against the Bump Stock Ban

Slidefire Solutions Bump Fire Stock on an Anderson Rifles AR15 Lower
Fifth Circuit Rules Against the Bump Stock Ban

NEW ORLEANS, LA -(Ammoland.com)- The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Trump-era bump stock ban is a violation of federal law.

For years, the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has held that bump stocks did not meet the definition of a machinegun. A machinegun is a firearm that expels multiple rounds by a single function of a trigger. A bump stock works by replacing the stock and the pistol grip of a rifle with a device that slides. The shooter puts forward pressure on the rifle’s handguard, causing the trigger to be pulled. The recoil of the rifle causes the trigger to reset, allowing the user to pull the trigger rapidly, but only one round is expelled per trigger pull.

During Donald Trump’s administration, a mass killing occurred in Las Vegas. The ATF claimed that a bump stock was used in the attack. Trump asked the ATF to “get rid” of bump stocks. The ATF used Chevron deference to declare bump stocks to be machineguns. Chevron deference is the legal deference afforded to government agencies. If a statute is ambiguous, then the agency in charge of the statutes the deference to determine the meaning of the statutes. The ATF changed the regulations and declared bump stocks to be machineguns because if a device converts a firearm into a machinegun, then the device itself is one. Chevron is very rarely used in criminal statutes. The ATF has used Chevron multiple times in criminal statutes, including the final frames and receiver rule.

Multiple legal challenges were filed against the ATF’s ruling on bump stocks.

A Tenth Circuit challenge (Aposhian v. Barr) failed, with the court siding with the ATF. A Sixth Circuit challenge (Gun Owners of America v. Garland) won a three-judge panel hearing, but the ATF requested and received an en banc hearing. An en banc hearing is a hearing where the full bench hears a case, and the panel decision is vacated like it never happened. The full bench split, leaving no winner. That means that the District Court’s decision stands. The District Court decided in favor of the ATF. Both plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court to take up their case, but the Supreme Court denied both cases. The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that a bump stock was not a machinegun in United States v. Alkazahg, but that case only applied to the military.

A fourth case, Cargill v. Garland, was the final bump stock case alive. Michael Cargill and the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) filed the lawsuit. The case attacked the bump stock for violating the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The APA is the law that governs how federal agencies develop and issue regulations. The plaintiffs argued their case before a three-judge panel, but the panel ruled for the defendants. The plaintiffs asked for an en banc hearing, and the Fifth Circuit granted the request vacating the panel’s decision. The plaintiffs and defendants pleaded their case in front of the full bench. The Fifth Circuit has now rendered its decision in favor of the plaintiffs causing a Circuit split.

The Court majority used the near decade of the ATF’s stance on bump stocks against them.

It highlights that FATD itself even admitted that bump stock didn’t meet the definition of machineguns and only reversed its opinion after the tragedy in Las Vegas. The court concluded that the change directly resulted from the shooting and not correcting a misinterpretation of the law or how bump stocks work.

The majority decision read: “But ATF reversed its longstanding position in 2018, subjecting anyone who possessed a bump stock to criminal liability. ATF reversed its position to a great extent in response to the tragic events that occurred in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. On that day, a deranged gunman murdered dozens of innocent men and women, and injured hundreds more. To carry out this appalling crime, the gunman used many weapons and utilized many accessories—including bump stocks.”

The court itself found bump stocks are not machineguns. It considered the ATF definition of a machinegun and reviewed how a bump stock works. Even to judges that are not firearms experts, it was abundantly clear that bump stocks did not meet the definition of a machinegun. But even the judges were wrong about the statute’s clarity; the “rule of lenity” would require the judges to “interpret the statute against imposing criminal liability.” The majority claimed that the ATF’s regulation violated those principles. Thirteen of the sixteen Fifth Circuit Court judges agreed that only Congress could ban bump stocks, and the ATF doesn’t have the power to ban bump stocks.

Since the government did not ask for Chevron deference to be applied, the Fifth Circuit didn’t have to apply Chevron. The Circuit Court found that the rule violated the APA and remanded the case to the District Court to enter a judgment for Mr. Cargill. It isn’t clear if the government will petition SCOTUS to hear an appeal, but if it does, the Supreme Court would likely take up the case since there is a Circuit Split almost forcing its hand to grant cert.


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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Ansel Hazen

It would seem to me that if bumpstocks aren’t machine guns then neither are forced reset triggers.

USMC0351Grunt

And you would be 100% correct. What the federal government affairs is the common folk discovering the common sense is still free and can be used at will by anyone that chooses to exercise their brain matter. This truly does offend the federal government.

swmft

common sense and the federal government???????? they are in government because they are to stupid to think…or think they can fix what is wrong

Patriot Solutions

Every bit of all of it is a steaming pile of bull shit if ever one existed.

“Take the guns first, due process later” is another steaming heap of retardation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Patriot Solutions
JayWPB

Or, “To Hell with the Constitution and the American People, we’re taking over!”

Arizona

FBATFE never had authority to redefine bump stocks as machine guns. They are not. Nor does FBATFE have the legal power to create or alter law, redefine words in statute such as “readily, rifle, firearm, suppressor” and “receiver”, nor to define crimes or claim that braces are stocks. They are not. Should FBATFE illegally conduct any of the above, their actions will be deemed unconstitutional and their opinions best disregarded by all.

swmft

dont have authority to do anything but collect taxes and even that is dubious at best

ashort

The key here is, the courts pointed out that the BATFE was found to be in violation of the APA, and proving the BATFE does not have to power to make or change laws and rules.

Ledesma

Bump stocks must have had divine intervention. Many things liberals get banned are never seen again.

musicman44mag

Chevron indifference being used to change something and making criminals out of people that bought products that they deemed legal in the first place. In addition claiming something to be a machine gun that was never used to kill all those people is a crock. They were fully auto machine guns that were being fired under multiple calibers from multiple locations including black opps helicopters. The whole thing is a cover up, a lie and was an inside job probably done with our own government and characters from other country’s working with them and I am quite sure it was… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by musicman44mag
Ope

Join GOA! The only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington!

Alan in NH

I know someone who cut his into 3 pieces with a hacksaw and turned in the pieces to his local PD. So then now what shall we do with our newly outlawed pistol braces?

Jayson

Pistol Braces are not “newly outlawed”. You are posting disinformation.
The pistol brace pending ruling is the same as the bump stock rule that got overturned. We’ll see if the ATF rescinds it or the President doesn’t sign it.

Alan in NH

The much discussed pistol brace rule has been rumored to drop any day now for a month. You really think a little thing like a court decision is going to slow down the BATF from doing whatever the hell they want to do? For that matter, if a ban on bumpstocks, pistol braces, and whatever else they could hang on it, came up in Congress, you think it wouldn’t pass? Or that Joe Stalin Biden wouldn’t sign it? You don’t think that those RINOs in DC would sell us all out in a hot minute? Down is up – right… Read more »

Ansel Hazen

Put them away and wait for the inevitable day that they are ruled legal.

musicman44mag

and don’t forget what they bible says. Good becomes evil and evil becomes good.

musicman44mag

LOL. Jayson, this stolen election thief and liar is frothing at the mouth to sign anything that would prohibit the manufacture or use of any type of firearm or part in anyway possible to enforce his NWO. The NWO cannot work if we have guns unless we all lay down and let it and there lies your problem. Schools turning out sheeple that if you comply you get to move on to the next grade. How smart you are makes no difference and independent thinkers are a threat to their democracy. We need a new school system in Oregoneistan. Stay… Read more »

swmft

I am glad I have a cnc

musicman44mag

Glad I have spent thousands on parts. All trading material for food or gas or medical.

Arizona

Braces are not “outlawed” or banned. If the FBATFE releases their unconstitutional rule redefining SOME braced pistols as SBRs, it will be thrown out as the bump stock rule was. FBATFE has no power to redefine items, criminalize anything, or alter existing law. Idiots who register braced pistols will be idiots who are out $200 and registered as idiots.

USMC0351Grunt

It’s too bad we can’t charge money to create a “Dumbass Registry”. There will be a lot of cash flow available to the administrators of such database.

Jayson

on a side note, if you read the ruling.. 293 pages, they talk about ‘tax forbearance” . The ATF has no authority to “waive” the $200 fee.. however, if you had an ideation that your PDW would function better as an SBR (which I have 4 tax stamped SBR’s) then you might want to take advantage of the $200 freebie, if you call it that and go thru the process of SBRing it. I’m going to do it with my B&T and probably my Stribog… I got some time to think about it before the ruling gets smacked down in… Read more »

musicman44mag

The first thing is you don’t get rid of it. It was legal when you bought it and they are changing the rules which is against the law making people felons and the laws are flip flopping as I type this note. Second, if they do a bump stock buy back, they are purchasing something that was never theirs. Even the phrase says I am your government and I own everything you have including YOU!!!! The over reach of our government will be rained in. Maybe with the new house we can get a handle on things and turn it… Read more »

Oldman

my only issue with your statement is in the first paragraph and it really isn;t an issue with what you said and that is: right now there are over two hundred people languishing in a federal jail, some of whom have not even been charged for over 2 years. Our federal gov. is totally unlawful and they have already broken enough laws, supported by our constitution that they ahould already have been overthrown by whatever means necessary. FJB and DOJ. I apologize for my typing….it is because I am using a laptop, which is foreign to me.

musicman44mag

they ahould already have been overthrown by whatever means necessary. FJB and DOJ.

Hi oldman. I don’t believe I have ever said that. Can you tell me where I did or show it to me? To say overthrow the government would be promoting violence. I never do that. Maybe you have me confused with someone else.

Oldman

sorry, that is not you said, that is what I said. like I said, it was not an issue with what you said it was another issue that I had and what you said reminded me of that issue. my apologies…. forgive me.

musicman44mag

Lol, sorry I miss understood, my apologies for that. I agree with one thing. Those people need to have a fair trial years ago. What our government is doing is illegal. They are not prisoners of war nor are the insurrectionists especially when they were invited in. what the you lady did was wrong but killing her for it is BS. The people vandalizing should get time or fees or both. The people that never went in shouldn’t be bothered with. We have the right to protest. Our government is out of control and changing the goal post by changing… Read more »

musicman44mag

I can’t believe that we have not gotten multiple lawyers together and petitioned the supreme court and gotten some kind or results from this. It shows me that when it comes to the military, everyone backs down. Think it might be because they have the most power because they have the best and most armament? I don’t know but I am sick and tired of waiting. Our new house better get their shit together and get this resolved. The longer it goes on it shows how much more powerful the demonratts are than us.

Oregoneistan

Oldman

I agree Too bad McCarthy is not the President

musicman44mag

I don’t think I would trust him that much. We will see. The proof is in the pudding and he hasn’t started feeding it to us yet.

Jayson

it has a stay already.. please stay up to date

musicman44mag

I am up to date. Having a stay is not a supreme court decision. Has it been found unconstitutional and illegal and told it cannot be enforced? So is it no longer going to be challenged again by another court ike the ninth circus court of seals by the left, probably. A stay is not the final end. You should know, we are going through a stay right now. Does that mean it is over and measure 114 will not be enforced. I don’t think so. I am informed including educated in some aspects of law. A stay is not… Read more »

Last edited 24 days ago by musicman44mag
Jayson

You don’t go straight to the “supreme court”
you’re ignorant, that was my point… whatever ..
The point of the “stay” was… the court needed to see the action of the ATF , it hadn’t been released, save, this past Friday. Then, there is something to work with. The courts are a “process” . It helps us because it establishes precedence . I understand you don’t get it…I’m not faulting you for that

What we have going FOR us as a “stay” is.. simply put, “someone is standing in line” for us…

Last edited 24 days ago by Jayson
musicman44mag

Thank God we have people fighting this thing. I don’t appreciate the way you make a point because, you are not very graceful. Nonetheless I know the procedure and it will wind up in supreme court. I am pointing out this needs to be accelerated to the supreme court and them not play games and kick it back down like they do most the time. Tell me this, has the court ever had an emergency session and made a decision on something in a week or two? You bet your sweet bippi they have. They can do it on this.… Read more »

Oldman

I agree

Oldman

I am liking what the house conservatives are doing right now, finally…..The dems are crapping their pants and even dumber than a fence post Obiden is beginning to squirm. making my week, for sure.

Wild Bill

If you mean me, I just checked in to see how the old gang is doing! We are having really nice weather and I have been taking advantage of it. Riding bike, playing with the dogs and horses. My neighbors have a son 6and daughter 5. I taught them how to play hop scotch and we do math with chalk on the pavement. I am having great fun. How about you all?

Oldvet

Seems it wasn’t that many years ago that the gas companies were advertising gas as a clean burning fuel .

swmft

I remember that too, but some of those dairy farms in Vermont the methane could kill you

musicman44mag

I believe that gas is different than LP. Doesn’t burn as well or as hot either. I have cooked with both.

musicman44mag

It is, the problem is that big money demoncraps didn’t invest in it years ago so they cannot make the big bucks but forcing us all into electric everything will line their pockets because they all invested into it before they started making new laws. Pelosi investing in battery powered vehicles the day before obiden announced all usps was going to go electric is a dam good indicator that I am right. Oregoneistan where our illustrious bisexual governor is going to suck up to obiden more and better than our bisexual bitch governor brown. We will wish for her back… Read more »

swmft

dont teach them to read and right that is subversive, least they learn to think for themselves

Wild Bill

You should see those kids flying around on their horses! I plan to teach them basic marksmanship, hasty defenses, and how to hot wire Chevys.

musicman44mag

Me too. What is the straw that will break the camels back. I am supprised that there are not protests in the streets about J6.

I propose J6 become a day that we all fly our flags upside down.

Wild Bill

Here, on the ranch, we have lots of moving parts that, by the grace of God, are all in good rig. Let’s all exercise caution and don’t get identified!!

Oldvet

Well Guess who is behind the gas stove panic….. Three letters , If you don’t already know they are A O C and her cult . First time she mentioned it and is trying to make believe no one has been listening to her !
Yes she has one doesn’t want you to have one . Probably some green dream money behind it !!!

Oldman

last night on Tucker, it was reported that more than 54 % of homes in the US use natural gas for one thing or another…..Lunatics, i tell ya!

Oldvet

Oldman… I wouldn’t doubt that one bit .

Oldvet

Oldman… Tucker has come out and said FJB plans to destroy the restaurant business ! Do you suppose that is to prevent a source of food when they inflict famine on this country so they can control all food sources ?

Oldvet

Today I read where Fjb plans to shut all coal mines down by 2030 . Some more logical thinking on their part is in order to reduce global warming shut down fossil fuels . Now does anyone realize that the color of solar panels is black and they raise the air temp over their surface approximately 7 degrees . Now where does that extra heat go ?

Oldvet

In regards to the gas stove ban , Article in the federalist wire … more than 33% of homes in this country have gas stoves . But let me ask you How many restaurants do you know of use anything but a gas stove ? I would guess it would be much closer to 100% have gas stoves. Are we in effect looking at another attack on business both small and large ? Yet another method of control of what we can and cannot do ?

Oldman

Of course! Joe really has nothing to do with this though as he cannot think his way out of a paper bag. IMO Soros and China are causing all of this turmoil and we ourselves are letting this happen and we are going to self implode. This next year will be the most interesting of all in our history. The special prosecutor for Biden and the documents will come up empty handed and call the investigation a nothingburger, while they still keep going after Trump for declassified docs. Our republic is hanging on the edge of a cliff. the only… Read more »

Last edited 24 days ago by Oldman
Oldvet

Oldman Unfortunately I fear you are correct .

Oldvet

You know I would bet that more than 75% of the homes in this country have a gasoline powered car too . But that ain’t stopping them .

Oldvet

What would you guess the percentage of homes in this country are heated by a gas furnace ?

Oldman

Two hours ago, when you did, however, I was not here to read it. I would like to add one thing to this whole discussion about the bumpstock ruling. I would hate to see any of us who might still have them, to bring them out, admit to having them or challenge these assholes. The powers that be are still willing to kill you for anything they don’t agree with. The fight has just started and they have not impeached senile Joe or Merrick Garland. This fight in Congress is gonna be a loooong one.

Oldman

If you have been listening to Hakkim (Jeffries) today, he is already trying to start up a whole bunch of crap, just like he did on Friday.

Last edited 30 days ago by Oldman
Chuck

As it should be. The ATF’s explanation of how a Bump Stock works/functions is entirely incorrect, as it is not done by a “single pull of the trigger,” at all.
We used to Bump Fire our Nylon 66’s an Marlin 60’s off our hips in the 70’s to fire them faster (it was a great waste of ammo but fun when you’re young and stupid. All a Bump Stock really does is facilitate the same technique from the shoulder. The stocks do not change the function of the trigger.

Considerthis

Since the left puts so much importance on names and re-naming things. I suggest we start calling bumpstocks – ” Non-converting gain of function devices “

swmft

and a forced reset trigger is a first finger exercising device

Roland T. Gunner

Where have the constitutionalist judges been all my life?

ShortyStuff

Next up should be suppressors. States should retake their rights under the 10th Amendment and tell all the Federal agencies to stay out of their State.

Paul Valone

Thanks, John, for your usual accurate and in-depth analysis. I would add only that Grass Roots North Carolina joined GOA and other 2A organizations in the amicus brief cited by the Court in its majority decision.

CaptainKerosene

A one armed person gets no bump stock action. The revoil moves the rifle which moves away from the trigger finger because a projection holds the trigger finger forward.allowing reset..
The shooter’s action pushing the gun forward reconnect the finger with the trigger. Accuracy is nil. Wasting ammo and making noise is the point. It won’t work with a muzzle break.
A pistol brace allows a one armed person to safely fire by stabilizing the gun

USMC0351Grunt

You’re wrong there. A one-armed person sure as hell can activate a bump stock. And I wish people would pull their heads out of their butts about this “recoil” issue. No such recoil has anything to do with the bump stock action. It is the placement of the trigger finger in the trigger well against the protrusion holding the tip of the finger being put on that sweet spot of the trigger when the upper receiver is pushed forward that activates the trigger to quickly reset. It’s pretty much the same thing as the fast reset triggers or quick reset… Read more »

Orion

unlike pistol braces, bumpstocks were not created to aid those with physical handicaps. and if you cant put accurate aimed fire out to 25yds with these, maybe you dont rate one.

TexDad

“Moderated”

Last edited 1 month ago by TexDad