Federal Court Overturns a Trump-era Bump Stock Ban

The Trump administration’s prohibition on bump stocks, a firearm attachment that allows a semi-automatic pistol to fire more frequently, was overturned by a federal appeals court on Friday, Fox News informed.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), operating under “immense” popular pressure, short-circuited the legislative process by authorizing a law to identify bump stocks as “machineguns,” which are illegal to possess, according to a 13-3 decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The court ruled that ATF lacked congressional authorization to act in this manner.

After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, in which a gunman killed 58 people at a music festival, the Trump administration implemented the bump stock ban, which was challenged by gun rights groups.

The attacker was able to fire more than 1,000 bullets in 11 minutes at a crowd of 22,000 people by using guns with bump stocks.

The Attorney General was directed to restrict bump stocks by an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in 2018, and the ATF carried out the president’s directive. In order to do this, the government changed its ten-year-old stance that bump stocks were not machineguns.

Bump stocks, according to the ATF, harness the energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which they are attached so that the trigger resets and continues firing without further physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. This allows a semiautomatic firearm to fire multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger.

As “such devices allow a shooter to commence a continuous firing cycle with a single stroke of the trigger,” the agency determined that bump stocks were “machineguns.”

The appellant, Michael Cargill, filed a lawsuit against the government after the ATF’s rule required him to turn in six bump stocks. He correctly contended that a bump stock does not fall within the legal definition of a “machinegun” as the trigger must be pulled more than once to fire the weapon. According to federal law, a machine gun fires with “single function of the trigger.”

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