How many times does this piece of firearms history have to be declared “legal”?
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “David Codrea, Scott Heuman, and Owen Monroe lawfully owned bump stocks,” an amicus brief in support of a complaint by Gun Owners of America, filed Monday in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by attorneys Alan Beck and Stephen Stamboulieh, declares. “They relied on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (‘ATF’) repeated express approval of so-called bump stock-type devices. Despite the ten-plus years of approval, the ATF reimagined and redefined terms in an unambiguous criminal statute to outlaw bump stocks under penalty of prison, fines, and loss of Second Amendment rights.
“As such, they have an interest in the outcome of this case because a positive ruling in the instant matter will assist them in their efforts to have their lawful property returned to them in the future and will help guide other courts in reaching the correct conclusion which is that bump stocks are not machineguns,” the brief explains.
GOA explained its actions in a Monday press release, defining why fighting the ban is essential for all gun owners:
“[P]ermitting ATF to reimagine bump stocks as machineguns in this case will have serious future repercussions, some of which are already occurring. [GOA and GOF] argued that, under the Final Rule, all semi-automatic firearms could qualify as machineguns… Enough is enough. The federal courts cannot stand idly by while ATF continues to blatantly evade the statutes Congress wrote through cutesy ‘interpretations’ of the text, thereafter rubber stamped by judges through use of Chevron deference. The statutory definition of ‘machinegun’ has a clear and unambiguous meaning, and it obviously does not include bump stocks. It is “emphatically the duty” of this Court to find and declare the meaning of the text.”
Forcing a court-ordered return of the property has been my goal. My device fits no rifle that I own but is nonetheless a collector’s item signed by its inventor, Bill Akins. Our complaint, which includes a “takings clause” claim, has wended its way from a standalone action against an acting attorney general to being consolidated with the Guedes v. BATFE complaint. The Supreme Court punted on hearing us, and both cases are currently pending before their circuit courts. So a positive GOA ruling would definitely revitalize our efforts.
A copy of our brief is embedded below. Because most of us aren’t lawyers, here are links to help better understand the legal arguments you’ll see regarding Chevron deference and the rule of lenity.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.