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 October 6, 2022

Supreme Court votes not to overturn ATF bump stock ban

The bump stock ban, which became effective in March 2019, was not overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Monday.

According to Breitbart News, in his lawsuit challenging the prohibition, firearms instructor W. Clark Aposhian questioned the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) capacity and authority to categorize a bump stock as a machine gun.

Aposhian sued in 2019 in an attempt to get the ban lifted, but his claim was unsuccessful. Following an appeal, the Tenth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals affirmed the prohibition, according to Courthouse News on May 7, 2020.

The Tenth Circuit's opinion said, in part: "The [ATF] final rule determines that semiautomatic rifles equipped with bump stocks are 'machineguns' because they' function as the result of a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that allows the firing of multiple rounds" through "a single pull of the trigger," U.S. Circuit Judge Mary Beck Briscoe, a Bill Clinton appointee, wrote for the panel.

"Applying Chevron [deference], the statutory definition of 'machinegun' is ambiguous, and ATF's interpretation is reasonable," the opinion went on.

Following an appeal to SCOTUS, the decision to maintain the prohibition was made. The following is a summary of the appeal's question provided by Aposhian's counsel:

Whether the court of appeals correctly determined that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying petitioner’s request for a preliminary injunction in this challenge to a final rule interpreting the term ‘machinegun,’ 26 U.S.C. 5845(b), to encompass devices known as bump stocks, which permit users to fire a semiautomatic rifle continuously with a single pull of the trigger.

Because the SCOTUS decided against overturning the ban, the process of contesting the prohibition may have reached its conclusion. The ATF restriction on bump stocks is, therefore, probably here to stay.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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