A panel of judges on the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the legality of a 2018 rule by regulators that classified Bump Stocks as machine guns.
Bump stocks are attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to simulate automatic fire using said weapons recoil.
In 2018 the ATF ruled that bump stocks are machine guns, therefor they mere made illegal. This ruling came under fire immediately for a verity of reasons, many called out the ban as no sensical as the utility of the bump stock could be replicated with a string or even a belt loop, others called out the ban for making many Americans criminals over night.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the legality of a 2018 rule change by federal regulators that reclassified bump stocks as illegal machine guns.
The Circuit, which controls Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, handed down a 60-page opinion in the case of Gun Owners of America, Inc. v. Merrick B. Garland this week. The crux of the issue to the court was that the ATF – effectively part of the executive branch of government – enforces laws rather than makes them, with that authority reserved for the people acting through their elected representatives in Congress.
“Congress could amend the statute tomorrow to criminalize bump-stock ownership, if it so wished,” said Judge Alice M. Batchelder for the majority, which was joined by Judge Eric E. Murphy. “But as judges, we cannot amend [the statute]. And neither can ATF. This is because the separation of powers requires that any legislation pass through the legislature, no matter how well-intentioned or widely supported the policy might be.”
Batchelder is a 1991 appointment to the federal bench by President George H. W. Bush, while Murphy, Ohio’s former solicitor general, was appointed in 2019 by President Trump.
A major parts of the courts decision was that a bump stock requires a trigger pull for every shot fired. 2A groups are hailing this as a major victory and a push back against gun control.