Thursday, March 25, 2021

Bump Stock Decision

 Gun Owners of America v. Garland et al. (6th Cir. 2021) struck down ATF's definition of a bump stock as a machine gun.  Much of the decision is about Chevron deference.  Chevron is a decision that held that the courts should defer to regulatory agency expertise, but not in criminal law.  More importantly, they looked at the federal law definition of a machine gun:

Under this interpretation, the bump-stock-attached semiautomatic firearm clearly is not a machine gun as it is not capable of firing more than one shot for each depressed-released-reset cycle the trigger completes. (p. 30)

Congress could change the law to include bump stocks as machine guns, but ATF cannot just make a rule that says this. This was not a Second Amendment decision.

1 comment:

  1. I am not much of a scholar, but I think that while this is an important decision when it comes to the BATFE, and for now it will shine, eventually it is going to fade into the sunset, as the SCOTUS is going to eventually be forced into a decision on the 2nd amendment, once again, in order to give direction on previous decisions, like Heller and McDonald.
    Just my .02 cents, which count for nothing.