A federal court in the nation’s capital halted enforcement of a ban on bump stocks against members of gun-rights groups suing to overturn the law.
The D.C. Circuit Court’s order Saturday staying enforcement of the ban initially applied only to the groups in the case. The court issued a clarification on Monday stating that all members of the gun-rights groups are covered, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“The D.C. Circuit’s order today in our ongoing bump stock litigation makes it clear that the Circuit Court’s current administrative stay of the ATF bump stock ban Final Rule applies to current bona fide members of Firearms Policy Foundation,” Foundation President Brandon Combs told the publication.
“We have already filed an emergency stay application with Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts.”
Also affected by the stay are members of the Madison Society Foundation Inc., Florida Carry Inc., and individuals Damien Guedes and Republican Missouri state representative Shane Roden, the report said.
The ban is scheduled to take effect Tuesday.
It was in response to the 2017 shooting in Law Vegas in which a gunman fired hundreds of rounds from a high-rise hotel room on attendees of a music festival.
The Free Beacon said the Justice Department redefined “machine gun” to include bump stocks. The gun-rights organizations sued, charging the the DOJ was rewriting the law, which it isn’t allowed to do.
The court ruled, “The purpose of this stay is exclusively to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the disposition of this highly expedited appeal, and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the appeal.”
A second case over bump stocks, in Michigan, has been escalated to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A trial court rejected the request for a temporary injunction over the same issue.
The Gun Owners of America asserted to the appeals court the lower court judge was in error, “both factually and legally,” for not issuing the injunction.
The group pointed out the ATF’s loose definitions have resulted in absurdities such as using “a shoe lace to ‘convert’ a semi-automatic into a machine gun.” The agency then charged the gun owner was in possession of an unlicensed machine gun.
“For decades, courts consistently concluded that the statute was unambiguous. … Suddenly now, our separate and jealously independent third branch of government is consistently concluding that the statute is ambiguous…. In the future, when otherwise-law-abiding bump stock owners inevitably are prosecuted for possession of unregistered machineguns, will the courts flip back, and conclude that the statute is again unambiguous?” GOA said.
GOA Executive Director Erich Pratt said the ban “is so poorly written it threatens the legality of AR-15s and other constitutionally protected firearms.”
He said the group is seeking an order to prevent enforcement of the ban or “hundreds of thousands of innocent bump stock owners are … in danger of becoming felons.”