Firearms Policy Coalition, a grassroots gun rights advocacy organization, filed two different legal suits challenging the bump-stock ban. The first suit, FPC v. Whitaker challenged the constitutionality of President Trump’s appointment of Attorney General Whitaker. FPC’s statement reads “[Acting Attorney General Whitaker] has no authority to issue the [bump-stock ban] because the President failed to adhere to the Constitution’s Appointments Clause and federal laws regarding succession and vacancies in the office”. The second suit, Guedes v. BATFE, challenged the ATF’s classification of bump-fire as machine guns under the NFA. 35 exhibits that attempted to prove this claim false were filed. They filed a motion seeking a temporary injunction to prevent the Trump Administration from implementing and enforcing the new regulation.
On February 26th, 2019 the plaintiffs in both cases released this joint statement:
“We are disappointed but unsurprised by the Court’s ruling tonight denying a temporary injunction to protect Americans from an unlawful and unconstitutional regulation.
It is important to note that today’s order is not a final ruling on any claim, and is merely a trial court’s denial of a temporary injunction. And while we had hoped for a quick and positive outcome at the trial court level, we have been and remain committed to litigating these issues as much as it takes to completely resolve the cases and protect Americans from a rogue and growing executive branch, including by petitioning the United States Supreme Court if necessary.
Our attorneys have already filed notices of appeal with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and will be moving to expedite the appeal. Our outstanding counsel has and will continue to make every effort to protect American gun owners and their private property from the Administration’s dangerous, retroactive, and confiscatory ban than will turn thousands of good people into felons and deprive people of their lawfully acquired private property.”
Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, where the shooter fixed several semi-automatic rifles with bump stocks, there was a public outcry to take legislative action against such devices. Many gun owners, along with the NRA, support a ban on bump stocks. However, other gun owners/gun rights advocates were vehemently opposed to such a ban. FPC raised a considerable amount in donations to combat the ban.
What Happens Next?
Moving forward, FPC has assured its members and supporters that this court ruling is not a final ruling on any claim, and is merely a trial court’s denial of a temporary injunction. “Our attorneys have already filed notices of appeal with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and will be moving to expedite the appeal”, an email sent out to their member’s reads.
However, the court’s memorandum also states “the Coalition is unlikely to succeed on these final challenges to the bump stock rule.”
It will be interesting to see how a conservative court that is often labeled as pro-gun will rule. Two of the newly appointed conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavaughn were appointed by President Trump. Given such information, it is unlikely they will rule against his administration. Nonetheless, FPC’s supporters can count on their organization in for the long haul when it comes to combatting any measure of gun control.
Donations can be made to FPC’s legal battle here.
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