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GOA files lawsuit against ATF over bump stock ban

Bump Fire Stock mounted on a GP WASR-10/36 AK-47.(WASR/Wikimedia Commons)
December 27, 2018

Yesterday, Gun Owners of America (GOA) filed a highly -anticipated lawsuit in the Western District of Michigan against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, challenging their new laws regarding bump stocks.

GOA Executive Director Erich Pratt said, “Our suit challenges the legality of ATF’s action and asks for an injunction to stop enforcement of the regulations. These dangerous regulations can go much farther than just bump stocks. The goal of the anti-gun left is, ultimately, not just banning bump stocks, but, rather, putting ‘points on the board’ toward its goal of banning civilian ownership of all firearms,” the group said in a press release.

Earlier this month in a statement the group said, “Gun Owners of America (GOA) and its Foundation (GOF) will be filing suit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice [DOJ] to seek an injunction protecting gun owners from their illegal prohibition of bump stocks.”

“ATF’s claim that it can rewrite Congressional law cannot pass legal muster. Agencies are not free to rewrite laws under the guise of ‘interpretation’ of a statute, especially where the law’s meaning is clear,” Pratt said in a statement.

The ban requires all individuals who own bump stocks to either destroy or hand over their devices to the ATF within 90 days, reversing a 2010 verdict that classified bump stocks as different from machine guns, which meant the same regulations could not be used, GOA explained in a report.

Pratt told American Military News, “The GOA lawsuit will demonstrate that the ATF bump stock ban is wholly unauthorized by statute, and completely inconsistent with all prior ATF rulings as to what constitutes a machine gun.”

“Not coincidentally, Michigan is located within the jurisdiction of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals — a circuit which is not only very pro-gun, but also has been more skeptical of illegal government regulatory actions than many other circuits in the country,” Pratt specified.

He added, “GOA is happy to announce that the Virginia Citizens Defense League has joined the suit as a plaintiff — as well as Tim from the Military Arms Channel and GOA’s Texas state director Rachel Malone. And I’m pleased to report that several state gun organizations, such as the Oregon Firearms Federation and BamaCarry, have contacted GOA and will be contributing financially, and by other means, to this case.”

Shortly after the announcement of the lawsuit being filed, Senator Dianne Feinstein was quick to comment that it would be “tied up in court for years.”