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Judge upholds Trump administration bump stock ban

Slide Fire Solutions SSAK-47-XRS-RH Bump Fire Stock mounted on a GP WASR-10/36 AK-47.(WASR/Wikimedia Commons)

A federal judge upheld the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks on Monday, but a court fight over the new rule won’t end anytime soon.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in Washington state rejected challenges to the ban in a lawsuit filed by several plaintiffs including the Firearms Policy Coalition, according to USA Today.

The judge rejected arguments that the rule was rushed through the administrative process or that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker improperly issued it. She ruled that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was within its rights to redefine terms that the government previously said prevented a ban, according to USA Today.

The Trump administration formally banned bump stocks late last year. Anyone owning the devices has to turn in or destroy them by March 26.

The devices gained widespread attention after the gunman in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting was found to have used them. Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more in the massacre, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.

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Bump stocks harness a gun’s recoil to “bump” the trigger, which allows more rapid fire.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit arguing against the ban said they will appeal and continue to challenge the rule, according to CNN.

The suit argued that the ban “smacks of agency abuse” and was the “product of serious, multidimensional legal violations,” according to NBC News. Friedrich ruled the plaintiffs failed to show the government did anything wrong in developing the new rule.

Other lawsuits challenging the ban have been filed as well, according to USA Today. Another case in Michigan is set for a hearing next month.

“I don’t think anyone wants an executive branch that can just make law by fiat with whatever they want for criminal penalties behind it,” said Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, according to USA Today. “It’s a dangerous place for our republic to say you can buy something one day and change its mind the next and send you to prison.”

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© 2019 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

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