Bump stocks are drawing attention once again in the court system after being banned in the United States for over a year.
In 2018, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) came to the decision to ban the use of bump stocks. They ruled that bump stocks are in the same category as automatic weapons or machine guns, thus making them illegal.
However, a legal challenge could reverse the ban. Let’s dig into the details.
What Are Bump Stocks?
Bump stocks are simply gun stocks that are used to enable “bump firing.” This is fast firing that capitalizes on the recoil action of a semi-automatic firearm, allowing it to harness that energy and make the gun work in a manner that’s similar to a machine gun. Fully automatic guns were federally banned in 1986. Civilians were not allowed to buy new machine guns after that year.
Even though the ban took effect on March 26, 2019, many people decided not to give up their bump stocks. The ATF encouraged people to destroy their own collection by melting them down, or turning them in at a local ATF office.
It’s estimated that the federal government took in merely 600 bump stocks after the ban. There are probably around a half a million devices in the hands of private citizens.
The Tenth Circuit Court is Hearing the Case Again
The Tenth Circuit Court of Salt Lake City, Utah is filing a suit in the United States District Court to find out if the ban was constitutional or not. They argue that the ATF didn’t have the right to change any federal laws. The NCLA (New Civil Liberty Alliance) is in support of the claim that the federal agency, the ATF, doesn’t have the power to rewrite the laws.
The Tenth Circuit Court ended up hearing the case and finding a split decision. They are going to rehear the case this month with the goal of coming out with a more definitive statement.
Hopefully They Will Declare the Ban Unconstitutional
There is a highly probable chance that the court will find the ruling unconstitutional. The good news is that if the Tenth Court does find it unconstitutional, then it will most likely be on the docket for the Supreme Court. But who knows if the Supreme Court will even want to hear another Second Amendment case? Just look at the fact that they have turned down all those potential Second Amendment cases for their next in-session docket. It’s just a concept the Supreme Court is unfortunately not interested in right now.