Appeals Court Strikes Down Ban On Bump Stocks: A U.S. appeals court on Friday overturned a rule the Trump administration had implemented in the wake of a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 and outlawed “bump stocks,” which enable users of semi-automatic weapons fire numerous rounds quickly.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled 13-3 that the U.S. Congress, not the president, should act despite “tremendous” public demand to enact a ban.
Bump stocks were included in legislation that forbade machine guns, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Still, U.S. Circuit Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod ruled this was not the case.
Moreover, the legislation did not provide a “fair warning that possession of a non-mechanical bump stock is a criminal,” according to Elrod, arguing for the majority.
Stephen Higginson, one of the justices who dissented, claimed that the logic used by the majority was intended to “legalize an instrument of mass murder.”
Three other federal appeals courts have dismissed ban challenges. Although the Supreme Court turned down challenges from two earlier rulings in October, Friday’s judgment increases the likelihood that the court will ultimately reach a verdict.
The president of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a conservative organization that brought the case, Mark Chenoweth, said that the circuit split that resulted “should bring this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court’s attention promptly and supply a suitable vehicle for deciding this issue once and for all.”
The Justice Department’s ATF division, which adopted the rule, declined to comment.
Bump stocks allow users to leverage the gun’s recoil to their advantage by allowing the store, which sits against the shoulder, to slide backward and forward.
Although Democrats frequently advocate for gun control, the Republican governor of former President Donald Trump enacted the ban on bump stocks through an ATF rule after a shooter used them to kill 58 people at a country music event in Las Vegas in October 2017.
The restriction, which became effective in 2019, is also supported by Democratic President Joe Biden‘s administration.
Texan gun owner Michael Cargill had contested the restriction, but a three-judge 5th Circuit court upheld it in December 2021.
The verdict on Friday overturned that decision. Most of the judges were chosen by Republican presidents, while Democratic administrations selected the judges who dissented.