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Appeals Court Reverses Bump Stock Ban in 13-3 Decision



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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a 13-3 judgment Friday, overturning the regulatory gun regulation that prohibited bump stocks under former President Donald Trump.

According to Reuters, the court implied that decisions on weapons should be made by Congress rather than the executive branch.

The majority opinion for the Fifth Circuit was written by Circuit Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, who also said that the authors of the bump stock prohibition did not give a “fair warning that possession of a non-mechanical bump stock is a crime.”

According to Breitbart, the ATF approved the text of the bump stock ban in December 2018 and gave owners 90 days to surrender the said accessories.

The Department of Justice summarized the provisions of the ban, partly saying:

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices-meaning “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics-are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.

According to the summary, a bump stock allows the trigger of a semiautomatic firearm to reset between rounds of shooting, but the bump stock-equipped “semiautomatic firearm” is “self-acting or self-regulating,” and, therefore, a “machinegun.”

Judge Elrod stated, “A plain reading of the statutory language, paired with close consideration of the mechanics of a semi-automatic firearm, reveals that a bump stock is excluded from the technical definition of ‘machinegun’ set forth in the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act.”

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