In a ruling, the federal court observed that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) cannot classify bump stocks as machine guns.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit further states that the federal ban on bump stocks considered as devices increasing the rate of fire for semi-automatic weapons is seen as unlawful.
Therefore, any ban should be placed on hold.
The prohibition came in the form of a regulation from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which treated bump stocks as if they are illegal machine guns. But the court, in a 2-1 decision, said changes in criminal law are up to Congress.
However, the federal appeals court ruled that such changes in law requires Congress to act – not the executive branch.
“It is not the role of the executive—particularly the unelected administrative state—to dictate to the public what is right and what is wrong.” Judges Alice Batchelder and Eric Murphy of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal wrote the 2-1 majority opinion and emphasized, “Granting the executive the right both to determine a criminal statute’s meaning and to enforce that same criminal statute poses a severe risk to individual liberty.”
The judges observed: “Entrusting the interpretation of criminal laws to the judiciary, and not the executive mitigates that risk and protects against any potential abuses of government power” while writing that a bump stock cannot change a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic, select-fire machine gun.
“A bump stock may change how the pull of the trigger is accomplished, but it does not change the fact that the semiautomatic firearm shoots only one shot for each pull of the trigger,” the judgment reads, “With or without a bump stock, a semiautomatic firearm is capable of firing only a single shot for each pull of the trigger.”
Senior vice president Erich Pratt at Gun Owners of America lauded the court ruling as great news.
He told in a statement on the group’s website: “We are glad the court applied the statute accurately and struck down the ATF’s illegal overreach and infringement of gun owners’ rights.
It was about time for a win!